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Old 10-08-2015, 04:46 PM   #1
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Bad Coach Battery

So I went and checked the coach batteries today to see if the water was ok in them. All checked out fine except for one was low. Started adding distilled water to it and the level was not rising, the water was leaking out the back. Must of froze at one point or another. Must be the original batteries from 2014.

Now do I get 4 new batteries now ? Or is there a way that I can take that one battery out for the winter and just leave the 3 others for the winter. Can just 3 batteries be run ?

I'd really like to take them all out so I can clean up the compartment, respray the black paint on the bottom and put in the battery mats I bought. Just not sure if it can go through the winter on 3 batteries or go for the 4 now. Just would want to protect the new ones for the winter.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
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I have always been told to replace all the batteries at the same time. I would in this case as you have to assume that all 4 were subjected to the same abuse.



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Old 10-08-2015, 05:05 PM   #3
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Yes Phil that's what I've seen also. Replace them all at once. But seeing that basically the coach will not be used for the winter I was wondering if I could just take that cracked one out so it doesn't make more of a mess in the compartment and wire them so just the three are working for the winter. If that's the way it's been I'm sure way before I bought the coach it seems like it's been running the coach fine for lights and the fridge.
Sort of like a 3 legged dog, not as fast but gets there.

Then come spring I'd put all 4 batteries fresh with new.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:12 PM   #4
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Sorry Joe I assumed you were still using it. I don't see why you can't wait until spring to replace them. What's to protect? You will toss them in the spring right?



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Old 10-08-2015, 05:17 PM   #5
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Yes just would have liked to clean up the mess in there. Not sure if the cracked battery will continue to leak as it gets heated up. Guess I could just let the coach go dead for the winter but was thinking of keeping it on support, keeping the fridge working, and having lights to flip on when ever we feel like going in and make believe we're at a CG.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:58 PM   #6
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Joe, I have attended a number of battery seminars concerning motor homes. I have always been told that you need to have an even number of batteries in place because you are making 12 volts from two 6 volt batteries, and then I believe they are in parallel (or maybe it was series). I also would not leave the "bad battery" in, as it will ruin the other battery. If I remember this correctly, batteries will seek the lowest level battery. You can get the remaining batteries tested and see what there condition is. I did at one time replace only one battery under warranty and then replaced the other three the next season. No problems since. Hopefully this helps! Craig


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Old 10-08-2015, 10:33 PM   #7
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Craig makes a good point if they're 6-volt batteries. If that's the case, you can likely pull 2 batteries out.

There should not be a *need* for 4 batteries; especially if you have a way of charging them regularly.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:42 PM   #8
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Joe - Take the batteries out and clean and repaint NOW, The acid that leaked already has, and will continue to do damage. Wash with lots of water, apply baking soda and let it sit awhile, then fully flush again.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:01 AM   #9
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Joe if I remember correctly you purchased your unit preowned so my question is are the batteries original? If not how old are they.
The charging circuit will increase amperage to restore the weak battery/cell as such it will cook the other cells causing them to boil out. As others have said go buy a hydrometer and see what your specific gravity is of all the cells.


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Old 10-09-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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Wayne the batteries are Interstate. I'm assuming that they are original 2014. They are not punched out. Do you know what brand Berkshire puts in at factory ?
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Old 10-09-2015, 11:04 AM   #11
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Joe, our 2015 says Worldwide.


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Old 10-09-2015, 02:45 PM   #12
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Started to look at the mess and decided just to go for it. Made a diagram of the batteries and put pcs. of tape and labeled all the the wires. Then I used zip ties to keep them up and out of the way.

Oh I drilled an 1 1/4" hole in the bottom off to the side to let the water / mess run out into a bucket. I'll just pick up a rubber automotive plug that snaps in for future needs.

What a mess under the batteries ! Washed and scraped all down, used an air gun to dry it. Primed it then used some spray satin chassis black that I had kicking around. Looks good now, ready for the matts and new batteries.

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Old 10-09-2015, 02:52 PM   #13
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Would recommend everyone to check out there battery box to see if you have any corrosion going on.

Along the bottom edge right behind the rear wheels not sure if it was poor welding or left some spots not welded along there for water to escape, but I figure water can also get in there especially right by the tires. I'm going to pick up a tube of black body filler and caulk that seam up.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:17 PM   #14
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Forest River should have never removed the battery trays. At least with them you had a chance to save the bottom of the compartment!!


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Old 10-09-2015, 03:20 PM   #15
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Joe, I got to believe that those Interstates are replacement batteries. That is what I replaced mine with. You might want to ask Buffalo RV if they replaced the batteries. Might still be under warranty. Craig


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Old 10-09-2015, 03:24 PM   #16
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Craig it would be nice if they were in a roll out tray, but should be good now and I'll just keep an eye out for it.

Big question I have is not sure if I should throw new batteries in now or wait till spring.

If the coach is plugged in will that keep the batteries from freezing getting a charge once in a while. Maybe the bad battery didn't freeze but had another issue. Not sure.
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:29 PM   #17
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Are the batteries dated ? If the numbers haven't been punched out can the Interstate store here tell if they are recently new from looking at the battery ?
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superchief View Post
Joe, I got to believe that those Interstates are replacement batteries. That is what I replaced mine with. You might want to ask Buffalo RV if they replaced the batteries. Might still be under warranty. Craig


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X2


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Old 10-09-2015, 03:52 PM   #19
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Joe if you are replacing all of the house batteries you might want to consider the chassis batteries too since they come from FL and will be older that the house.


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Old 10-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5456Mich View Post
Started to look at the mess and decided just to go for it. Made a diagram of the batteries and put pcs. of tape and labeled all the the wires. Then I used zip ties to keep them up and out of the way.

Oh I drilled an 1 1/4" hole in the bottom off to the side to let the water / mess run out into a bucket. I'll just pick up a rubber automotive plug that snaps in for future needs.

What a mess under the batteries ! Washed and scraped all down, used an air gun to dry it. Primed it then used some spray satin chassis black that I had kicking around. Looks good now, ready for the matts and new batteries.


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Looks good!
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