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Old 07-27-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
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Seal the battery boxes?

I did a check on the two 31DCM batteries yesterday morning and found they were both dry and the plates looked like swollen blobs. That sort of surprised me, since we just bought the trailer four months ago, and have only exercised the slides three or four times. I ran to Autozone and bought two wet cell 29 DC marine/rv batteries as replacements.
The battery boxes were sealed like crazy with black silicone. I didn't have the time or inclination to reseal the boxes so the holes in the sides of them where the wires run through are still open. The boxes have vents/drains in the bottom and I reconnected to vent hoses on the top.

A couple of questions:
Are bad things going to happen to good people if I don't reseal those boxes? Auto, truck and boat batteries run in unsealed boxes & are in close proximity to wires and hydraulic lines, and nothing bad happens. Is there something unique about RVs I'm missing?

Checking the water in sealed battery boxes jammed inside a tiny compartment is absolutely agonizing! The front compartment is partitioned & pre-wired for a generator (on the to-do list), so the battery area only has space for two batteries. What batteries should I install next time so I don't have to check them? AGM?
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
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The Sky will fall if you don't put the batteries in sealed boxes, NOT!
Our 2010 Montana was delivered with the battery just strapped to the floor of the front compartment, not even in any type of box.
I have removed the factory boxes on our MB, added two more batteries for a total of four, boxed them in and fab'd a cover with the two vents attached, is it sealed, NO, and we haven't died yet and we live in it 9 to 10 months of the year. And as Alfred E. Newman would say "What me worry".
When it comes time to replace, AGMs will go in. The price of AGMs have come down a long way and if you look around can be found for not much more than standard Lead/Acid.
Others can disagree with my setup, but they're not living it in, we are.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:55 PM   #3
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Other than flimsy foam gasket mine aren't sealed & we've lived in it for 4 3/4 years. I also agree checking the water is a royal PITA, fortunately I only do it twice a year & mine doesn't have the gen box in the way.
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:41 PM   #4
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Thanks, folks. I couldn't imagine how it could be an issue. So far that seems to be the only area on our Redwood where they got carried away and did TOO good a job when they built it!

Now I'm fussing with the Trailair pin box. It was only filled to 30 pounds, so I jacked it up to 68 pounds. Next I'm going to look for my grease gun. If they didn't check batteries or pin box pressure when they prepped the trailer, they probably didn't grease it up, either.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:13 PM   #5
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My batteries lasted 2 weeks after we bought the trailer. Put in Interstate AGMs. They have been great for 2 yrs so far. No checking and adding water
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:02 AM   #6
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i would verify the charging voltage. your charger could be boiling the batteries if it is not set to the correct type you have. to have a toasted battery in 4 months is not normal.
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ted 95 View Post
i would verify the charging voltage. your charger could be boiling the batteries if it is not set to the correct type you have. to have a toasted battery in 4 months is not normal.
Agree, something is definitely wrong.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:37 PM   #8
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The 3 batteries delivered with our new 38gk were junk and were replaced by the dealer.

I agree, bet your charger is not set up for the proper charge rate for your batteries. Every time batteries are changed that should be checked and adjusted.

I too fought the battery fill nightmare - you can get a flow rite system to make it a piece o cake !

That is what is on our motorhome now, makes battery checking a thing of the past because you just hook it up and pump a few times to fill with distilled water.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:53 PM   #9
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After 2 years, I had 1 dead battery, and 1 very weak battery.. I replaced my no-name sealed batteries after 2 years.. I just dropped in 2 of the Lifeline Group 31 AGM's . .
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:49 PM   #10
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My battery covers lay loose on top of the battery box. With the vent hose hooked up, they vent fine...been that way for 4 years.

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