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Old 01-25-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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Need to service batteries

Last week I had to move my rig out of storage and found the batteries were dead as a door nail. Even after hooking up to my truck, it took several minutes before I could get enough juice to the batteries for the 6-point levelers to lower the rig onto my truck.

With my previous TT, it was a simple process to open the battery case by removing the strap and pulling out the battery to take home and put on my battery tender. When I looked to do the same with my RW, I found two boxes with lids that appear to be screwed down.

What is the best way to charge up the batteries prior to a trip since I don't have power at the storage area? I did purchase a regular battery charger for emergencies, but I can't even figure out the best way to hook it up.

Do I just take out the Phillips-head screws that appear to be holding the box covers on? Do I need to take both batteries out in order to get them charged up before my next trip?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Steve
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Steve, search on here for battery cutoff. Lots of issues with the switch not totally cutting off the batteries. As for maintenance, undo the screws all around, disconnect and pull batteries up and out. Very heavy. I want to put in a slide to get them out. I purchased clips to replace all the screws as well.
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
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Hi, Steve. i found a small solar panel charger at an auto parts store for $25. i
It is just a trickle charge, enough to offset the battery drain from a auto clock. It comes with terminal clips (like jumper cables) which I attached to the terminals, ran the wires out through gaps in the metal for the gen prep, and bungee-corded the panel on top of the pin box. Works great.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely have to look into both of them. This just shows again how valuable this site is for us "newbies". Your willingness to share you knowledge and experience is much appreciated.


Hopefully, one of these days I'll also be an experienced RW owner and I can "pay it forward".
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:29 PM   #5
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Happyfeet, I actually bought one of those but had spoken to our storage place and he said to just plug in to keep batteries up he would move us to one with electricity and charge me $5 more per month !

So never used it and returned it...
do you disconnect the batteries when solar charging
Do you have any concerns about overcharging ?
Thanks in advance !

I may go back to that since handling the 50 amp is bothersome in the winter, even WITH the electric cord reel
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:44 PM   #6
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I made two short cables with terminal rings to come off the battery. These go into a box I made that has two battery posts sticking out the side. The positive lead connects to the post inside the box, while the negative lead connects to a keyed shut off switch, then the other terminal. when I want to use the charger, I clip the leads onto the two terminals and engage the cut off switch. When traveling, I turn the switch off, remove the key, preventing anything from accidentally shorting across the terminals. The charge it puts out is a very small amount, just enough to offset the drain a dash clock would draw. Water level stays good, so I'm figuring that it's not overheating. We go out once a month, so the battery gets full charged then. ��
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:56 PM   #7
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Thanks ! and I'm remiss in not welcoming you to the site !!!!

go to the user cp and update your signature with your particulars so we can return the favor and help !
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:10 PM   #8
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Thanks for the welcome! I joined the site to get information on what troubles, if any, might be common to Redwoods. We currently have a 2014 Open Range 388RKS. Every trip we have made (once a month since new last March) has ended with it back into the dealership for warranty repairs. Looking to trade out of it into a 2015 38RL. The dealer is bringing one in for us to see, and hopefully do the deal, this coming Saturday. We love the design of the OR, but the build quality is way below my expectations! We've lost all confidence. Like what I read about RW!
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:52 PM   #9
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Johnboy - there is a 50a to 15a adapter that is only about a foot long. I use it all the time when the rig is out in front of the house and I just need minimal power to it. I got tired of the 50a cord too !!
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Old 01-27-2015, 02:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboytoo View Post
Happyfeet, I actually bought one of those but had spoken to our storage place and he said to just plug in to keep batteries up he would move us to one with electricity and charge me $5 more per month !

So never used it and returned it...
do you disconnect the batteries when solar charging
Do you have any concerns about overcharging ?
Thanks in advance !

I may go back to that since handling the 50 amp is bothersome in the winter, even WITH the electric cord reel
John,
I have had solar chargers before and the ones i had would stop charging when the battery was full. I think most good solar chargers have this feature.
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:10 PM   #11
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Just to give you an update, I went out to my rig yesterday and attempted to take the batteries out to bring home to charge. What a PITA. With the cables going through the boxes on multiple sides, I decided to not even mess with it. I hooked up to my truck and charged them up a little. According to the gauge in my rig, they were only down to about 12.7 amp. I will be moving the rig to it's permanent location on Sunday, so I'll have it hooked up and won't have to worry about the batteries to a while. When the weather warms up, I'll definitely have to figure out something. I may give the solar power idea a shot, if I can figure out how to hook it up.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sbenhoff View Post
Just to give you an update, I went out to my rig yesterday and attempted to take the batteries out to bring home to charge. What a PITA. With the cables going through the boxes on multiple sides, I decided to not even mess with it. I hooked up to my truck and charged them up a little. According to the gauge in my rig, they were only down to about 12.7 amp. I will be moving the rig to it's permanent location on Sunday, so I'll have it hooked up and won't have to worry about the batteries to a while. When the weather warms up, I'll definitely have to figure out something. I may give the solar power idea a shot, if I can figure out how to hook it up.
Sbenhoff,
Boy do I feel your pain. I was going to service the batteries and decide were I would install another battery cutoff switch. I got the first cover open enough to get my wrench in to disconnect the cables, but when I tried to unscrew the negative cable the bolt stripped I need to get these cables off in order to pull them through the cover so I can get the other battery box open. I am going to have to cut off that bolt now. That is not a big deal, but over all, like like you said, a real PITA
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:15 PM   #13
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I told the factory 2 years ago that the batteries had to be relocated. They market these units as retirement full time homes but few people over the age of 50 can get to the damn batteries
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:36 PM   #14
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Dave, I checked my batteries and topped off with distilled water using a flashlight and a small to medium sized mirror while we were in Gulf Shores AL at Christmas time during my work 2 week shut down. With the Generator in ours, i could barely get in or over them to see adequately. Not user friendly at all.

Chris
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:48 PM   #15
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I replace mine with AM so I don't need to add water. They need to be on a slide out tray.
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:54 PM   #16
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Do you mean AGM type batteries? I am sure they are still heavy and a PITA!!

Chris
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:19 AM   #17
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Yup Chris your right AGM
Think either I'm getting old and dislexic or this computer is putting words in my mouth
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:33 AM   #18
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Need to find some rollers that will handle the load and fab something up. I paid this winter to keep plugged in.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:29 AM   #19
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My 2 cents on the battery box covers. I took all the little black screws out of the cover, took the batteries out, removed the screws that keep the boxes attached and added a strap that goes around the bottom of the box and up over the top of the box. Screwed the box back down, batteries back in, cover on and pulled the strap tight. Easy access.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:59 AM   #20
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Do you have the lead acid still
If so how do you seal the boxes for the vent tube
The strap would be way better than the screws
The way they run the cables tying the battery's together is a PITA. You need to be a contortionist to try and lift the covers and unbolt the cables at the same time
If I still had the old batteries I would cut slots into the holes that the wires go through and then seal them. That way the cover will lift straight off making it easier to access
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