Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Maintenance and Repair
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-01-2020, 03:18 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Washington
Posts: 4
THOR #1474
RV Cabin Battery

How do you safely check the water in the cabin battery and how do you know how much to add?
__________________

__________________
Biker91mt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2020, 05:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Brand: Keystone
Model: Sprinter
State: Florida
Posts: 852
THOR #15553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker91mt View Post
How do you safely check the water in the cabin battery and how do you know how much to add?
Just like in your car. If it is not sealed, pop off the caps and you will see a fill line. Add distilled water as needed.
__________________

__________________
2011 Keystone Sprinter 323BHS. Retired Master Electrician. All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.
cavie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 02:47 AM   #3
Member
 
Down South's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E 27.2
State: Louisiana
Posts: 72
THOR #17883
If it's in one of those hard to get to places, use an inspection mirror to check level. You need to have water covering the plates. Fill to about 1/4" above plates or close to the full ring.
As mentioned, use distilled water only.
__________________
2017 Thor ACE 27.2
Down South is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 02:30 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Washington
Posts: 4
THOR #1474
RV Cabin Battery

How often should you check the water level? Is it safe to remove the caps? Is the fill line easy to see?
__________________
Biker91mt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 03:01 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
Except for my GREATLY ABUSED 6v golf cart batteries in golf carts, where the loads often heated the cables to a point they burned off the insulation and burnt a battery terminal right off the battery(they were used as tractor motors for small road plows):
I haven't added water to a battery in 45 years.

I think, and some will dispute :
Checking your coach battery water is not needed.

Don't let the worriers(wherever you acquired the original notion of checking the chassis battery's water) worry you.
If the worry worries you, spend $100 NOW on an agm battery and never ever will you need to mess with an inspection mirror, distilled water and contortionism.

By nursing the water level, if it ever was a problem, all you accomplish is prolonging the eventual replacement of a long outdated technology of a wet cell.

Replace it today, amortize the $100 to the nickel a day it is to not worry about water.
(Pay the core charge on your new battery, place a free adv on Craigslist, and give your good but antiquated battery to someone who doesn't have the cash for a new badly needed battery.)

I always prefer happy, especially when it comes to my rv kit.
I see it as Thor lended me a battery until I could buy the one I like/need/want. It's a lender battery you have now.
__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 03:07 PM   #6
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,085
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker91mt View Post
How often should you check the water level? Is it safe to remove the caps? Is the fill line easy to see?
Unless you tell us what kind of coach you have no-one can accurately answer this question. On some motorhomes the battery is easier to access than on others.

Technically, the battery level should be checked before every trip at a minimum.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (Toad)
FMCA - F432054
EA37TS is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
Site Team
 
EA37TS's Avatar
 
Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,085
THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Except for my GREATLY ABUSED 6v golf art batteries in golf carts, where the loads often heated the cables to a point they burned off the insulation and burnt a battery terminal right off the battery:
I haven't added water to a battery in 45 years.

I think, and some will dispute :
Checking your coach battery water is not needed.

Don't let the worriers worry you.
If the worry worries you, spend $100 now on an agm battery and never ever will you need to mess with an inspection mirror, distilled water and contortionism.
IMHO, this is the exception and nowhere near the norm. And my statement comes from over 50 years of experience with working with all levels of lead acid batteries in light and heavy equipment.
__________________
Dave
US Army (Ret)
2020 Entegra Accolade 37TS
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (Toad)
FMCA - F432054
EA37TS is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 03:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 1,763
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biker91mt View Post
How often should you check the water level? Is it safe to remove the caps? Is the fill line easy to see?
You should never top off a discharged battery. The flooded lead acid batteries swell as the discharge. As a battery charges, the case will shrink and the water acid will overflow. If the water is very low in the battery, you should just add enough to cover the plates and then charge the battery before topping off. During the winter batteries seldom need water, as charging the does not heat the water enough to have it boil off. When the batteries are above about 80 F degrees, some water will be lost during charging, so the higher the temperature the more often you need to check the battery water level.

As for the water level, there is a neck in the compartment where the plates reside. That is the water level for a fully charged battery. If you have several heavy house batteries; then a battery watering system is a great investment (Flow-Rite).
__________________
Jim & Roy Davis
2016 Hurricane 31S
1961 Rampside in tow
Beau388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 03:35 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
IMHO, this is the exception and nowhere near the norm. And my statement comes from over 50 years of experience with working with all levels of lead acid batteries in light and heavy equipment.

Comment on the $100 expense of replacing the antiquated lead acid with an agm and if you agree it's the best course of action for someone unknowledgable and probably, due to the average age of our group, inable to perform the potential dying dog pretzel faced yoga position needed even once a year let one the suggested every trip.

The water fill device for a 12v is about $60. An agm, the one I bought yesterday was $110(including core charge). To what end buy the water filler to salvage labor on an antiquated system?

This all comes from someone(me) who has TWELVE newish, serviceable, six volt wet cells, $1,800 worth, sitting in the garage right now. My current position is to move those dinosaurs to power the greenhouse fans and just break down and buy the batteries I want for my rv kit.


I think it's a good idea to get it all over and not worry about a worry.
I thinking this for myself also, thus the 6v's not being put in the Thor kit. I have the space, the cables, the inverter, I'm just not going to deal with the heavy 1909 era technology of them.

Whether or not it needs water, and I have about 40 batteries on the ranch right now, isn't really the point. A cure is my point.

So, two days ago I added a winch to one of the tractors. While I'm doing this I cleaned the battery terminals, popped the one piece caps off, checked the water(6 years old, didn't need water) leaned the top with glass cleaner, babied it, told it I loved it. Worked as normal yesterday. Today, dead won't take a charge past 75%, completely absolutely gone.
The second you show some love around this place, something bites you on the butt.
So, the new agm I bought yesterday for the offroader which gacked up its 10year old optima red top, now goes to the tractor and I get to find another 34 four post for the offroader.

https://www.amazon.com/Battery-Water...5843669&sr=8-9

If you need to check your battery often for water level, the above link will make it easier. Not agm easy, but easier than popping caps.
__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 04:14 PM   #10
Site Team
 
16ACE27's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 4,161
THOR #7035
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
Comment on the $100 expense of replacing the antiquated lead acid with an agm and if you agree it's the best course of action for someone unknowledgable and probably, due to the average age of our group, inable to perform the potential dying dog pretzel faced yoga position needed even once a year let one the suggested every trip.

The water fill device for a 12v is about $60. An agm, the one I bought yesterday was $110(including core charge). To what end buy the water filler to salvage labor on an antiquated system?
OK, I'll bite. Where did you buy a 100 AH AGM deep cycle battery for $110 including core charge? I've seen 55 AH AGM dual-purpose batteries for close to that price, but that's not what we want/need for house batteries in our RVs.
__________________
Ted & Melinda
2016 ACE 27.1
2016 Chevy Sonic Toad
16ACE27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 04:20 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
OK, I'll bite. Where did you buy a 100 AH AGM deep cycle battery for $110 including core charge? I've seen 55 AH AGM dual-purpose batteries for close to that price, but that's not what we want/need for house batteries in our RVs.
Perhaps I misunderstood the term 'cabin'.
I use the term coach and chassis and assumed by cabin he meant chassis/engine, as in airplane cabin and truck cab.

I can see how cabin can mean coach, since you camp in a cabin.
Maybe I had my terms confused.

Please apply everything I said to mean the 'underhood engine starting battery'.

Please change my amortizing to fit the cost of replacing the loaner batteries in the house part of the rv.

Please see the dislike for my 6v batteries has to deal with wet cell in general no matter where they are used.

I'll look up an inexpensive AGM deep cell.
I paid $366 for the oddesy battery in the avalanche. I don't think it's a deep cell.

I think we can all agree wet cells are either to cheap out on battery cost or for very limited specialized use which calls for only wet cells and that automotive isn't one of those uses.

We all know why our Thor kits came with wet cells....
I think I can safely say not a soul in the world prefers a wet cell if same sized alternative is offered.


Op,
Get rid of those if you can afford it.
__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 05:36 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
halfprice's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 29M
State: California
Posts: 2,510
THOR #3156
Will our stock convertor charger properly charge agm batteries??

If seen some that have an agm setting you can select but my stock one doesn't have this feature

Jerry
__________________
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...mods-4609.html
Jerry, Maria, and Sasha 6lb Yorkie
2017 Thor Hurricane 29M
2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport
FMCA # F464385
halfprice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 06:36 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 1,763
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
Will our stock convertor charger properly charge agm batteries??

If seen some that have an agm setting you can select but my stock one doesn't have this feature

Jerry
The diffidence between flooded battery and AGM optimum charging profile is 0.1 to 0.2 volts higher on the absorption stage. AGM batteries have little resistance thus can except higher charge voltages without out-gassing. This higher voltage materially shortens the time of the adsorption stage

There is a problem if AGM batteries are charged too fast in the bulk stage. Because of the paste on the mats the ions can move only so fast between the plates The movement needs to happen so the ions can be reunited to form water. The max recharge current recommended is 10 to 13% of the battery banks amp-hour rating. So for a 200 amp-hour battery bank the max current should be between 20 to 26 amps. Any more current risk the battery producing excess hydrogen and out-gassing.
The chemistry is the same but the limitations are different.
__________________
Jim & Roy Davis
2016 Hurricane 31S
1961 Rampside in tow
Beau388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 06:47 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
Will our stock convertor charger properly charge agm batteries??

If seen some that have an agm setting you can select but my stock one doesn't have this feature

Jerry
Here's all I know:
Absorption rate on an AGM is about a volt higher on AGM vs wet and the float is up to 1/2 a volt more.

So, absorption being higher, the agm has a a cushion when using a standard charger and is the same or cushioned once charged.

Our little 45amp charger isn't going to overrun an agm (gas absorption) but a 150amp charger might. Ours might not be research lab amperage perfection, but I'll need to know the downside as percentage of loss before I commit to there being a difference other than theoretical as it would apply to our rv use. My GUESS is ambient temperature plays as big or bigger a part than does an amp charge on the low end of things like our converter is.

If you can find a straight, no boolcrap, we're not selling anything, real reason an agm can't be charged on a low output charger, I'd like to read it. No one has ever told me if differences in manufacture, specific gravity, temperature, lead content, make these slight voltage differences just guidelines or absolutes.
Something like: 'battery life is diminished in an agm by 2% when using a standard modern nonhigh amp charger' would suffice.

I've always heard not to, but the facts don't stacks.

I know the 200amp alternator on my truck doesn't know agm from wet cell. I don't know how the agm life is diminished by our little converters that an alternator wouldn't.
__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 07:28 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 1,763
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I know the 200amp charger on my truck doesn't know agm from wet cell. I don't know how the agm life is diminished by our little converters that an alternator wouldn't.
Never confuse a starting battery with a deep cycle battery. (AGM, flooded or VRLA) The battery design of the three common types of batteries is as different as a gasoline spark ignition engine as comparied to a compression ignition diesel engine.



To directly answer the question, usually the alternator's voltage regulator is programed to adjust the current based on the regulator's internal temperature so the battery charge rate is not excessive. Back in the day with high output alternators with external regulators, GM simply used a 8 gauge wire between the alternator and common output junction stud. From the common output junction to the battery, GM used a 14 gauge wire 3 feet long.
__________________
Jim & Roy Davis
2016 Hurricane 31S
1961 Rampside in tow
Beau388 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2020, 07:46 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
So the alternator on our rv's don't charge the coach batteries?
How do the batteries on the coach charge when we're going down the road?

I'll buy all you said, I always do, your knowledge is far more in depth than my simple field experience. Im always absolutely amazed at the Minutia you know about the Thor factories.

But can we find anything where a percentage of failure is attributed to using a standard low amp charger on an AGM?

And in your post you said 200ah agm should have 26a charging?
Isnt that 8 hours?(I can't go back and look, I might be remembering wrongly.)

I'm in over my head math wise, but 8 hours of charge seems to make the batteries all but unusable with an inverter.

We get a lot of historic accounts and my field accounts and laboratory numbers, I just want to know if a standard charger takes a month or a day or a year or a percentage of load off of an agm.
__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2020, 06:36 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Windsport 27K
State: Kentucky
Posts: 729
THOR #2817
I have two AGM batteries for the coach. They were purchased at Batteries plus Bulbs about three years ago. When the coach is being stored, I maintain them with an AGM specific charger with the USE/STORE switch set to store and the batteries' grounds disconnected.

The chassis battery is about two years old and is a flooded lead acid battery that is maintenance free.

When the USE/STORE switch in set to USE, and when the engine is running, all batteries are being charged. When shore power or the generator is running, all batteries are being charged.
__________________
Metalman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2020, 06:57 PM   #18
Junior Member
 
GordSanClemente's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 30.3
State: California
Posts: 20
THOR #17673
I assume that someone will tell me this is a real bad idea, but if they do, maybe they can tell me why.
I was out on the road in a new to me coach (so no real idea how that batteries have been treated), not happy with how the batteries were charging and discharging. I decided it was important that I check the fluid level in the batteries first before trying anything else.

My battery compartment holds two house batteries and really nothing else.
There is about 6 inches above the batteries. I tried repeatedly to jamb my head into the opening (just kidding)

I went to CVS and purchased to baby medicine droppers.
Had my gloves and goggles on.
Used one to dip into the each battery cell and see if I could pull up fluid from what I considered a reasonable depth. If no fluid, I put distilled water in to the cell with the other medicine dropper until I was able to pull fluid with the first dropper.
Did this for all 12 cells (6 per battery). Found only two that really needed water.

Long term solution: I purchased two LiFePO4 batteries from Costco when they were on sale for $700 each. Apparently I like to throw money at my problems. (much the way I throw alcohol at my feelings)
__________________
GordSanClemente is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2020, 07:07 PM   #19
I Think We're Lost!
 
Bob Denman's Avatar
 
Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 13,439
THOR #8860
I always figured that it was just easier to pull the batteries out of the coach for this type of servicing.
Since I'm such a Klutz : I'd rather have the mess be on the floor of my garage.
__________________
Good Sam Member 843599689
FMCA Member F473304
Current coach: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
"Nobody helps him. Now he has his revenge"
Bob Denman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2020, 07:14 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
ducksface's Avatar
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
Posts: 1,619
THOR #13932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I always figured that it was just easier to pull the batteries out of the coach for this type of servicing.
Since I'm such a Klutz : I'd rather have the mess be on the floor of my garage.
I SHOULD BE down at the shop pulling my chassis battery right now. It's being moved for now to my new right front bin. No more battery over the engine, it's going to be at knee level inside that bin. Later it gets moved to in front of the passenger tire. The factory wet battery will go on the extra battery shelf and be replaced by a BIG oddesey battery.

This lock down doesn't affect my home life at all, but I'm getting a bit lethargic since I have no travel deadlines.
I bet I've wasted 200hrs lately.

Edit:
I made it down to the shop.
Am sitting on my considerable ass and contemplating a nap in the shop recliner. I am facing in the direction of the rv...it's a start I guess.

Edit edit:
I just dawned on me while getting situated in the recliner:
I can nap
INSIDE THE RV!
The day is lost....
__________________

__________________
Below is a link to most of my modifications either accomplished or pending.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f2...n-18996-3.html

Click on my pictures then click the pop-up for a full screen zoomable picture.
ducksface is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×