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Old 09-28-2017, 07:27 AM   #1
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Battery Maintenance

I would like to know what if any maintenance is required for the batteries in my coach. I have a 2016 Winnebago Meridian Itasca model 40R. The rig has both engine and house batteries and Im not sure if they are sealed or do they require water checks.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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There's six things to consider:
1. Are the batteries secure and connections tight? Keep an eye on the tie-down straps, clips, connection lugs - tighten / replace as needed.
2. Are the batteries clean, including the posts and connection lugs? Baking soda and water works for general cleaning - some dialectic grease helps on connection points.
3. Is the battery water level full? AGM batteries are sealed and do not need water added - regular 'wet cells' need water (often monthly). Find out what brand / type of battery you have - a quick internet search may clarify what type you have.
4. Are the batteries mis-shaped or leaking? Bulges on the sides or leaks / cracks in the case are not good signs?
5. Are the battery voltages staying above ~ 12.1V? AGM and wet cell batteries should not be discharged lower than 50% of rated capacity (~ 12.1V) - if discharged below ~ 12V the batteries can be damaged.
6. Are the batteries remaining at ambient temperature? If you feel a battery and it is hot-to-the-touch there's a good chance that a significant problem exists.

Hope others contribute their thoughts ... keep the questions coming ...
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:23 PM   #3
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Such great advice all of us can learn from.
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Old 09-28-2017, 02:16 PM   #4
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What Steve said, plus:

Get yourself a Profill (or similar) battery watering system. Once hooked up, you can easily add water to your batteries at not overfill them. This usually applies to your house batteries. Your engine batteries are normally sealed, maintenance-free batteries and only require the inspection steps listed by Steve.
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trynforpar View Post
I would like to know what if any maintenance is required for the batteries in my coach. I have a 2016 Winnebago Meridian Itasca model 40R. The rig has both engine and house batteries and Im not sure if they are sealed or do they require water checks.
You likely will have NAPA Flooded Lead Acid batteries for coach batteries and a no-maintenance chassis battery. My instructions below are for this situation.
Buy and keep a jug of distilled water in your RV. Buy a battery filler it looks like a turkey baster. Depending on your battery location, you may want to buy an inspection mirror so you can look down the battery filler holes at the electrolyte level.

To check, I suggest you do about every 3 months ...

Chassis battery, look at the battery check window, if OK leave the chassis battery alone.

Coach batteries - clean the tops of the batteries. Put on some plastic gloves and safety glasses to protect your skin and eyes from acid burns.
Then, using a flat blade screwdriver carefully pry up the electrolyte covers, trying not to let anything fall into the electrolyte holes. The electrolyte level should be well above the plates in the cells beneath the holes. Add distilled water if need be, ONLY DISTILLED WATER nothing else, using the battery filler. Replace the caps, I use a plastic tent peg mallet to make sure the electrolyte covers go back down all the way.

Do one cover at a time.

If everything is right you should get the same levels on subsequent battery checks. Personally my battery electrolyte level is not going down between checks so I now only check every 6 months.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:36 PM   #6
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I looked up the information from Winnebago and it is the same as a 2015 Journey that we have.
The 2016 Meridian has 6 group 31 AGM batteries for the house. These don't require checking for water as they are a sealed battery. The batteries in ours are from Napa. The chassis batteries are sealed also and don't require water. Just look at the posts to see that they are clean and also check the condition as far as leaks, etc.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:48 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the very useful tips and information regarding my batteries. Nice to know that they are sealed units requiring no water. I'll make sure that connections are cleaned and keep an eye out for any leaks etc.
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