Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-16-2019, 12:06 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Forester Coach battery maintenance??

How often do you check levels and add distilled water to your coach batteries? They are under the steps at the entrance. Hard to get access. Do you have to unattach everything and take them out, or is there an easier way to check and add water. Iíve had my RV (2019 FR MBS) for six months and Iíve never checked.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_5254.jpg
Views:	161
Size:	295.7 KB
ID:	196944  
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 8,450
I could be wrong but I don't see any "caps" or removable pieces where you can check water/electrolyte levels. They may be AGM type batteries and if so the only maintenance necessary is to make sure connections are clean and tight.

I'd determine the type of battery first. Flooded Lead Acid or AGM. If AGM, don't attempt to open any caps.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 12:49 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: PNW
Posts: 258
All I know is our slide got stuck in the ďoutĒ position twice. We learned that the slide motors run off the coach batteries and the stock coach batteries are junk. Our locale dale discovered the problem after the secon incident - they installed two maintenance good batteries and weíve had that slide in and out 50 times since with no problems.

Basically Iím just passing on an FYI about cheap stock batteries. Good for you diligently trying to take care of those stock batteries, would probably have had ours last longer than 13 months had we done better with them.
__________________
2017 MBS 2401W
BBogey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:09 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
A32Deuce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Posts: 9,193
I read to put the slide out only when hooked to shore power or running the genny.
__________________
2012 SunSeeker 3100SS Toad-1962 Futura Average 100 + days camping
A32Deuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:50 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
I could be wrong but I don't see any "caps" or removable pieces where you can check water/electrolyte levels. They may be AGM type batteries and if so the only maintenance necessary is to make sure connections are clean and tight.



I'd determine the type of battery first. Flooded Lead Acid or AGM. If AGM, don't attempt to open any caps.


Thanks Mike. I know it is hard to see in the picture, but the caps are under the black plastic handles which are pinned down by the positive and negative cables. That is part of the problem. Hard to get to. I donít necessarily want to detach all of the cables to get access to the fill wells on a monthly basis. I have seen in multiple places and online that they should be checked for levels every month. I have never had to do that in any car I have owned. Maybe it is standard to give new cars a maintenance free battery these days. Anyway, it seems really injurious to lead acid batteries to let the solution levels drop. I have seen thathat in many posts. But monthly checks???
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
A32Deuce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Posts: 9,193
I found that the 3 stage converter they use tends to put more into the batterys after you first add shore power. I did have to check mine once a month and add water. Much different then a car since the coach batterys work harder. Just my findings, others may be different.
__________________
2012 SunSeeker 3100SS Toad-1962 Futura Average 100 + days camping
A32Deuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by A32Deuce View Post
I read to put the slide out only when hooked to shore power or running the genny.


Thanks. I think our system prevents us from putting the slide out unless we have a very powerful power source like shore power, the generator, or the chassis engine running. I will check the next time I go to my storage unit. You got me curious.
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:55 PM   #8
Kanadian Kamper
 
kenandterry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,940
Huh.

Iíve never seen a lead acid battery where the caps are underneath the battery cable posts. The cables on mine run across some of the caps, but you just pry the caps off to check the levels. I donít remove the cables unless itís time to replace the batteries.

Maybe someone else with an MBS can confirm if theyíre now equipped with sealed house batteries.
__________________

Ken and Terry
2018 Sunseeker 2430S with Trekker cap
and only rarely pushed by our 2017 GMC Terrain toad (4 wheels down)
Former Georgetown 330TS owner for 10 years with more mods than I can count.
kenandterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 02:56 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBogey View Post
All I know is our slide got stuck in the ďoutĒ position twice. We learned that the slide motors run off the coach batteries and the stock coach batteries are junk. Our locale dale discovered the problem after the secon incident - they installed two maintenance good batteries and weíve had that slide in and out 50 times since with no problems.



Basically Iím just passing on an FYI about cheap stock batteries. Good for you diligently trying to take care of those stock batteries, would probably have had ours last longer than 13 months had we done better with them.


Thanks!! Copy all. More incentive to keep them healthy.
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 03:46 PM   #10
Citrus County, Fl.
 
GL1800Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hernando, Fl
Posts: 2,143
Hard to see from the photo but the caps are probably partly hidden under the strap. I check mine at least every 2 months. Have needed to add water only 3 or 4 times in almost 4 years. My coach was ordered so the batteries didn't sit on a dealers lot and drain. Except for a few days it has either been on the road or on shore power. I also never operate the slides unless hooked up or generator is running.
__________________
2016 Forester 3011DS
2017 Toyota Corolla SE toad
PREVIOUS: 2015 Flagstaff 832IKBS
99 Terry 31G
GL1800Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 04:27 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenandterry View Post
Huh.



Iíve never seen a lead acid battery where the caps are underneath the battery cable posts. The cables on mine run across some of the caps, but you just pry the caps off to check the levels. I donít remove the cables unless itís time to replace the batteries.



Maybe someone else with an MBS can confirm if theyíre now equipped with sealed house batteries.


Misunderstanding. The battery caps are under the battery handles, not under the battery posts. Would not be a problem to get to them except that the cables are holding down the plastic handles which are pinning down the caps. Hope that makes sense.
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 04:35 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL1800Rider View Post
Hard to see from the photo but the caps are probably partly hidden under the strap. I check mine at least every 2 months. Have needed to add water only 3 or 4 times in almost 4 years. My coach was ordered so the batteries didn't sit on a dealers lot and drain. Except for a few days it has either been on the road or on shore power. I also never operate the slides unless hooked up or generator is running.


Thanks. You are 100% correct. The caps are under the black plastic battery straps which are pinned down by the cables. Just makes it really hard to check solution levels. It is reassuring that you have only had to add water about once or twice a year. My rig is pretty new and the dealer only had it for a few weeks before I took it ooff the lot

I guess I will have to 1) undo the cables 2) to get to the straps 3) to pry open the caps 4) to check the level and add distilled water if necessary. Seems like a bad setup to make this monthly check so hard.
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 04:49 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 8,450
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzteuscher View Post
Thanks. You are 100% correct. The caps are under the black plastic battery straps which are pinned down by the cables. Just makes it really hard to check solution levels. It is reassuring that you have only had to add water about once or twice a year. My rig is pretty new and the dealer only had it for a few weeks before I took it ooff the lot

I guess I will have to 1) undo the cables 2) to get to the straps 3) to pry open the caps 4) to check the level and add distilled water if necessary. Seems like a bad setup to make this monthly check so hard.
With the standard "if this was mine" disclaimer I'd probably just cut the straps right at where they start to cover the removable caps. This would leave some "Tabs" that I could attach a vise grip to each and use that to lift batteries.

Considering that I'd want to check water levels far more often than I'd want to remove batteries I could live without the straps.

Adjusting the cable positions would be good too.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will."

"Sometimes you're the dog, sometimes you're the tree"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2019, 05:58 PM   #14
DW's 401(k) Plan
 
DaGrinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western MD
Posts: 2,355
I pull my coach batteries out each winter when the Sunseeker goes in storage. About once a month, I check the fluid levels, put the battery charger on each to top them off then pay a visit to the coach, hook my batteries up and then start the generator. Then back home they go. This is the 3rd year and the batteries seem to be doing good. In the summer, the coach is always plugged in. (Knock on wood) So far, so good.
__________________

"Sunny" the 2017 Sunseeker 3010DS
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad
.... and lovin' life........MOST of the time.
DaGrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 01:41 AM   #15
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
With the standard "if this was mine" disclaimer I'd probably just cut the straps right at where they start to cover the removable caps. This would leave some "Tabs" that I could attach a vise grip to each and use that to lift batteries.

Considering that I'd want to check water levels far more often than I'd want to remove batteries I could live without the straps.

Adjusting the cable positions would be good too.


I think youíre right. Checking/filling fluid levels will happen much more frequently than lifting out batteries (at least hopefully anyway). And Iíll definitely try to move the cables around so that I can access the caps easier. Thanks for the help.
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 01:44 AM   #16
Junior Member
 
fritzteuscher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granger, Indiana
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGrinch View Post
I pull my coach batteries out each winter when the Sunseeker goes in storage. About once a month, I check the fluid levels, put the battery charger on each to top them off then pay a visit to the coach, hook my batteries up and then start the generator. Then back home they go. This is the 3rd year and the batteries seem to be doing good. In the summer, the coach is always plugged in. (Knock on wood) So far, so good.


Thanks Grinch. I may move in that direction. Are your batteries in the steps? Easy to get in and out?
__________________
Fritz Teuscher
CDR USN (Ret)
2019 Forest River Forester MBS
fritzteuscher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 02:07 PM   #17
DW's 401(k) Plan
 
DaGrinch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Western MD
Posts: 2,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzteuscher View Post
Thanks Grinch. I may move in that direction. Are your batteries in the steps? Easy to get in and out?
Yes, in the steps. Easy to get in and out? Ehh. Could be worse. Could be a WHOLE LOT better. When I hook them up in the winter, I don't put them back in the step. I bought a long battery cable and now put them on the bottom step and use the extra cable as an extension for the hot side. It'll be a couple weeks before I get back out, but I will take a pic next time.
__________________

"Sunny" the 2017 Sunseeker 3010DS
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad
.... and lovin' life........MOST of the time.
DaGrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 03:03 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,398
I would think every 90 days or so is plenty often enough to monitor them ONCE you know that they don't need it more often. Just check at one month ...then at 3 months and if at 3 months you don't need water or just need a little...then top off and check back in 90 days. Frequent Deep cycling, Bulk charging and the occasional EQ/conditioning charge can use more water than the engine battery uses so it's important to establish YOUR usage of water which can be different from that of others with the same batteries.

I know you have the pry off plates... if you cant get to them by pulling the handle out of the way... just cut off the handle...you're not gonna need it again till they're dead and your gonna need to water more often than that. No need to disconnect cables!

As an aside...though it does not apply to your batts...there ARE cheap, wet cell batteries that are SEALED that are NOT AGMS. They use part of the case space for extra fluid and return valving to minimize water loss. They are generally called "no maintenance" batteries. They should be avoided... and are not meant for deep cycle use.
__________________
________
Cam
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 04:07 PM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 61
We have a2019 3011DS, and our batteries are sealed. There are no significant markings on the top of the batteries. The caps are just like a sealed automotive starting battery.

I would like to know if these are: sealed flodded acid ....or.....AGM ....or ...?

Anyone ??

Thank You;

Brian French
Brianfrench65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2019, 06:18 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
A32Deuce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Posts: 9,193
I doubt they are AGM. Dealer may have put in no maint. batterys or sealed.
To find out, remove one and look at the side of the battery. Should have a sticker on the side.
__________________
2012 SunSeeker 3100SS Toad-1962 Futura Average 100 + days camping
A32Deuce is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, forester, maintenance

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 Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:39 AM.