House battieres in basement compartment?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

BinaryBob

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Posts
1,920
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
How do y'all service the batteries when hidden in compartment?
I'm scratchin the head on this one. You'd think they would have put in a slide tray.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1051.JPG
    IMG_1051.JPG
    97 KB · Views: 57

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
17,326
Location
Farmington NH
I assume you mean checking fluid levels. Use a mirror with a flashlight. You can add fluid by using one of these.

https://www.amazon.com/Plews-75-033-Battery-Syringe-Filler/dp/B000HA9PR2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532269464&sr=8-1&keywords=battery+hydrometer&refinements=p_89%3APlews
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
Rene's option works, but I'd use a battery watering system, best thing since sliced bread. All the caps are replaced with special filler caps and plumbed together. I can water all four of my batteries in under a minute
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,525
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
You'd think they would have put in a slide tray.

Slide trays cost real money, especially ones that can carry multiple heavy batteries and resist corrosion from acid fumes.  Since it's YOU that has to deal with the maintenance (and many owners don't bother anyway), the manufacturer chooses to leave problem to you.  You can:
1) Pull the batteries out for service. That's ok if they only need water once a year, but not so good otherwise.
2) Use a gadget such as the ones Rene or Sun2 suggest
3) Change to AGM sealed batteries (my choice)

This is one of many little details that often distinguishes the higher end models from the general herd. And one of the things you learn to look for when shopping for your next RV.
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
I have a slide tray and it's still way easier and faster using the watering system
 

BinaryBob

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Posts
1,920
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
THANK YOU all...
So... it appears this battery bungle is by design then... hmmm.
Trip coming up quickly. I'll go with the mirror for now, and order a watering system.

P.S... Did Gary just say my motorhome belongs with the "general herd"??  ;D ;D
 

Back2PA

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Posts
5,766
BinaryBob said:
P.S... Did Gary just say my motorhome belongs with the "general herd"??  ;D ;D

No no, I'm sure he didn't. You'll note he modified the sentence with "often", not "always". Yours obviously is the exception  ;) ;D
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,038
Location
Where ever we park it!
I have a slide tray for my six 6 volt batteries. One of my must haves was the sliding battery tray when the coach was built. Even Tiffin had eliminated the sliding tray if you opted for the AGM batteries during the build. It still made way more sense to be able to pull out the whole battery rack because even with sealed batteries, I still need to check cables and clean an repair as necessary. 

I have considered the watering system a few times, but I still like to pop the caps off and look inside to check the status of the plates.  Ever since I had a maintenance free battery explode on me in the middle of the night, I like doing physical inspections myself. If I had the watering system I know I would fudge on the inspections. 
 

BinaryBob

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Posts
1,920
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
At some point I will look into adding a sliding tray. The manner in which the compartment is designed would certainly make it fairly easy to install.
For now, I'm resigned to the mooo'ing bay of the existing compartment...... ;) ;)
 

ZinLuvR

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Posts
129
Location
Colville, WA
Can't beat a slide out tray.  I wish I had one.  I had 4 12 volt AGM Trojans installed, 161 lbs apiece as I recall, two per shelf.  It will take a pretty hefty slide to handle that load.  I think one of my winter projects someday will be to build a slide out for the batteries.  As it is I have to use a fork lift and slide them out onto a piece of plywood.  I helped the kid lift the things up and in when first installed and you have to take the strut off the door so you can swing the door completely out of the way for both of us to get close enough to shove the things in.  PITA.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,525
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
P.S... Did Gary just say my motorhome belongs with the "general herd"??  ;D ;D
LOL!  I guess I did, though not meaning to insult you or the Adventurer.    You generally don't get the sort of nice features you are asking about until you hit a much higher price point, upwards of $400k MSRP in todays dollars. For any given item there are always exception (and thus my use of "often", "most", and the like), but price is always the 500 lb gorilla lurking in RV designs.

If it's any consolation, my American Tradition, classed as a luxury model, didn't have a sliding battery tray either. That was dropped when they went to AGM batteries in my model year. The fixed cover plate above it was removable, though not as easily as it might have been, so I re-engineered that plate for both better storage and easier removal.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,794
Location
Davison Michigan
Gary RV_Wizard said:
Slide trays cost real money, especially ones that can carry multiple heavy batteries and resist corrosion from acid fumes.  Since it's YOU that has to deal with the maintenance (and many owners don't bother anyway), the manufacturer chooses to leave problem to you.  You can:
1) Pull the batteries out for service. That's ok if they only need water once a year, but not so good otherwise.
2) Use a gadget such as the ones Rene or Sun2 suggest
3) Change to AGM sealed batteries (my choice)

This is one of many little details that often distinguishes the higher end models from the general herd. And one of the things you learn to look for when shopping for your next RV.

While Slide Trays are indeed expensive.. So are AGM batteries but where as the Slide Trays are a "one time" purchase. AGM's will eventually need replacement.

YOu might lay a layer of 2x or however thick you need under them then plywood on top of that so you can pull them out onto some kind of support to check 'em then shove ;em back. Kind of a poor man's slide.. Rollers make that easier don;t forget to pin it in place.

 

Neal

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2009
Posts
536
Location
East Texas
We have tried most all the above, except AGM batteries and slide out tray. Somewhere along the way, something happened to make me move on to the next thing to try. We  have about 20 batteries to service so always looking for something easier or better.
Currently ( & have been for several years),
we cut a piece of flat belting about 5/8"x4", drill a hole near one end to store hanging on a nail.
Open only one battery at a time, stick it down to the plates, then look to see if it has about 3/4" water (or whatever you desire). Wipe off with a paper towel, then on to next cel.

Then to add water, we use a gallon jug with a pitcher handle (Probably a green tea jug). Get a 30" piece of clear plastic hose. Drill a slightly smaller hole in the lid of the tea jug and force the soft plastic hose into the hole. Fill the jug about 1/2 full (for ease of handling with one hand) of distilled water. Hold end of hose in each cell while tilting jug so water will run. Shortly, you will get good at guessing how long to let it run. Then check each cell again with your depth gauge.

When servicing a golf cart situation where you can stand up and look in, Start with a full jug.
Store jug with a bolt slipped into discharge end of hose to keep clean.

Also, when changed out batteries, and battery compartment needed attention. We cleaned it up, Repainted, then covered the floor with flat conveyer belting for the batteries to sit on. We did this a little over 5 years ago and have not had batteries out since, so can not tell you if we got the results we hope for or not. At least the top side looks dry and not corroded.
 

BinaryBob

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Posts
1,920
Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ya'll have been most helpful.
The immediate fix is this lighted mirror which indicated all 24 cells covered the plates but needed a couple of ounces to reach the vent. I see sealed AGM in my future. What a pain in the ass......
 
Top Bottom