What is it?
The Qwik-Fill battery watering system
from Flow-Rite is a system of float valved water filling manifolds that replace your battery caps.
A few squeezes of a bulb type pump moves distilled water through the manifolds, filling each cell to it's optimal level.
Why do I need it?
The regular flooded cells delivered with most motorhomes and TTs require the periodic addition of distilled water to each cell to replace water that evaporated due to normal use or overcharging.
This is universally recommend by just about every flooded cell battery maker but unfortunately almost as universally ignored because it is such a chore, especially when multiple batteries are involved.
Failure to do this leads to low electrolyte levels which reduces output and capacity. The lower the power, the more deeply the battery is discharged, which severely reduces its life span.
To add insult to injury, the charger will see this reduced voltages as a signal to charge the battery. Unfortunately the proper voltage cannot be achieved so the charger will overcharge the battery which can effectively 'boil' more electrolyte off, which can rapidly kill the battery.
How much does it cost?
I have 4 house batteries so I ordered the following:
2X Flow-Rite MP-2000 Qwik-Fill 12V Double RV Battery Watering System @ $49.19 EA
1X Flow-Rite RV-2020 Hand Pump @ $18.03
The total cost with free shipping from RVUpgrades
Don't make the mistake of getting the Pro-Fill, those are for 6V batteries.
How is it installed?
Installation was incredibly easy. As you can probably guess from the first pic, I did it during a lull in our campground activities.
I was concerned that all the overlapping wires and battery straps would make installation difficult, but that was not the case. As per the instructions, make sure your batteries are topped off and charged before you start,
1) Flow-Rite recommends linking a maximum of 2 batteries to each fill point. Look at your setup and determine which routing is most efficient
2) Check to make sure that your barbs are oriented in the proper direction. They do not say it in the instructions but barbs can be relocated, as I intuited from the additional barbs they supplied.
Caps are tougher to move. I used a a pair of close cutters to grab the plug where it meets the manifold body and gently pried it off. Use a very sharp pair and be careful not to cut or damage the cap. Below is a pic of a reconfigured module:
3) Now that your modules are ready to install, remove the caps of the battery you will be working on. Resist the temptation to remove them all to avoid dirt falling in.
Carefully pry off the cap and use a paper towel to wipe the surrounding area, making sure not to wipe debris into the cells. Get the module you planned for that bank and lower them in, then tap lightly with a hammer or mallet to properly seat them.
I used a piece of wood placed under the wires as a lever to move them out of the way when necessary. You may have to loosen a few to redirect the wires, especially at the end of the battery. I did this by very slightly loosening the post screw and tapping the connector with a wood stick to rotate it. I avoided sparks by keeping the screw relatively tight.
Once seated, everything will slide in place. You may have to come in at an angle due to the length of the valves. Once seated, they sit pretty low.
4) Now that your 2 first manifolds are in, take the black hose and cut a piece to join them. I went a tad longer so they would stay in place. Don't make it too long or the stress might dislodge the manifolds. Now cut pieces of the same length for each additional battery you need to install.
By the way, the instructions claim that the hoses are marked for length by battery group, but I could find no such markings.
5) When all the manifolds are plumbed together, its time to cut the clear hose to connect the batteries. If the batteries are far a part, cut the hose long enough to allow it to sag bellow the top of the battery.
Be sure you leave enough length for the fill hose to tuck under somewhere when filling is complete.
How well did it work?
Filling was a real joy. Flow-Rite uses very nice connectors that make attaching the bulb pump very easy. I lowered the other end into my distilled water jug and began pumping. When the cells are full, the floats in the manifolds close the valve. Once all the cells are filled, the bulb becomes hard and impossible to squeeze.
I was initially concerned with the amount of water added but I realized that the manifolds, lines, and cells themselves needed to be filled.
I not only wholeheartedly recommend this product, I believe it is an essential piece of equipment.