Monday, August 24, 2009

Maintaining Coach Batteries

If you have your coach plugged in most of the time, the converter that LD installs will slowly boil the batteries. This causes the acid to vaporize and to come out of the vents at the top of the batteries, and corrode EVERYTHING that it contacts. Proper water level will help greatly, but to fix the source of the problem replace the converter. Do a search on this Group and you will find lots of info on converter replacement.

One tip that may be handy for some: In a few aircraft, there will be a vent line from the sealed battery compartment that is routed through a container of baking soda before exiting the ship. Most planes don't have this, so some will solve the problem by mixing as much baking soda as will stay dissolved or suspended in water. Then soak paper towels in the solution. Fold the wet towels into a thick strip of appropriate dimension that will lay on top of the battery vents. Microwave this strip until dry. Place on top of battery to neutralize any acid fumes. Replace baking soda towel every few years or on condition.
Periodically clean all battery connections.

Consider the use of the Pro-Fill battery watering system. It greatly simplifies maintaining the battery water level at the proper level.

Care of your battery when the coach is not is not in use is also very important. As noted above, the stock converter/charger used by Lazy Daze will "cook" your batteries over time if left plugged in while in storage. One solution is to plug your coach into a timer that allows the charger to come on only for an hour a day. Another is to use a multi-stage battery charger/ maintainer, such as the Battery Tender by Deltran. This is more than a simple trickle-charger.

From the horses mouth: The Trojan Battery User's Guide. Load it, Print it, Read it, File in a handy place.

Trouble-Shooting

Batteries charge only when engine is running:

You need to find out if the 120 Volts is getting to the converter. If you have AC power in the coach, and the breaker to the converter is not tripped, then most likely the converter has failed.

There is a "Main" breaker. Is there AC power to the rest of the coach. For instance, does the microwave have power (light in the timer window, door light when the door opens)? Does the refrigerator operate on AC or the air conditioning fan work?

If not, check the supply to the coach and the 30 amp breaker in the coach. Breakers themselves do occasionally go bad and need replacing. See if 120 Volts is making past the breaker.

You could have a loose connection. Any chance some of the wires need to be torqued down at the terminal strip?

If everything is OK but still no power, the generator automatic transfer switch (ATS) may have failed.

Contributors: bumper, WxToad, Linley Gumm, Alex Rutchka

Revised 6 Jun 11

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