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  1. #1
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    Battery watering maintenance methods for flooded batteries

    I did a search on this and did not find much useful information.

    First - this is for general maintenance of flooded batteries. I don't need to hear about AGM, Gell or Lithium. Nor do I need a new converter (actually I do) or testing equipment. Well I do need a good hydrometer.

    Why do I say that? Every thread on this topic got hijacked on why and what was wrong with flooded batteries using water. They do use water and part of a good maintenance program is keeping the water at the proper level, and using a hydrometer to check the charge state every so often.

    So for those folks with flooded battery systems, how do you do your watering maintenance?

    I will be setting up a bank or 4-6V deep cycle Crown CR-260 (260 ah each) that will give me a 520 ah total. 50% usable. I will have them in a closed vented case. My previous bank like this went 10 to 15 year with out issue. Back then I added water using one of those thin spout pitchers. Made a lot of messes. I will need a new converter/charger for thees as Crown has a specific charging profile they want that almost every standard charger like WFCO does not meet I have solutions for this already.

    Now I see there are watering systems out there.

    https://watermybattery.com/
    https://www.batterywatering.com/
    https://www.flow-rite.com/

    Then there is the old watering can of the 60's https://www.amazon.com/Performance-T...5581571&sr=8-5 This is an example only. Reviews on theses are very mixed with lots of spills

    Are there any other systems that work for folks doing general maintenance?

    Thanks Keith

    PS I need a good hydrometer - any recommendations?
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  2. #2
    Site Sponsor Txfivver's Avatar
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    Great question Keith. I've thought about adding some kind of maintenance system but then thought why bother? I replaced the crappy dealer installed batteries after one year with slightly less crappy lol Interstate deep cycle wet cell ones. My trailer is plugged in all the time in storage and I check the water at least once a month if not more. No kidding I have had to add water once in a year and a half and only a couple of cells were low. The originals went through water like crazy when charging. I did buy one of those bulb type turkey baster thingies at the grocery store and use that to put water in and it eliminates any mess. I guess if yours take a lot of water and maintenance then a watering system might be a good idea.
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  3. #3
    Site Sponsor AZMike's Avatar
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    I wish I could check my water level and be able to use a hydrometer. My dealer delivered my rig to me with a wet Interstate battery with non removable tops (it says not to open the battery). I tried to remove them one day and was afraid I would break them.
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    Site Sponsor Gronk1's Avatar
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    I use an old Blackstone squeeze bottle. If you wanted to get fancy, get a Camelback cycling bottle. They only put out water when you squeeze them (even upside down).
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  5. #5
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    I pop the tops off twice per year and top off with de-ionized water if needed. I don't use a hydrometer, just top up. Once it can't hold a decent charge...I replace.
    I use a syringe for topping off.
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  6. #6
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    I use a 50cc veterinary syringe with a Luer-lock tubing extension. Allows me to easily control water addition.

    On my boat, where one battery is in a really awkward spot, I tape the end of the tubing to a dental mirror so I can see into the cell.
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  7. #7
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    I got ten years out of my Trojan batteries in my 2006 Alpenlite. Standard deionized water check/fill every six months. The unit had a slide out tray that made it fairly easy to get to. Used small funnel.
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  8. #8
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    I also use a bulb type baster. Works good. I don't leave my trailer plugged in and find filling up with distilled water annually is adequate. My battery switch disconnects the entire trailer.

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor Steven@147's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=powerscol;354334]I did a search on this and did not find much useful information.

    First - this is for general maintenance of flooded batteries. I don't need to hear about AGM, Gell or Lithium. Nor do I need a new converter (actually I do) or testing equipment. Well I do need a good hydrometer.

    Why do I say that? Every thread on this topic got hijacked on why and what was wrong with flooded batteries using water. They do use water and part of a good maintenance program is keeping the water at the proper level, and using a hydrometer to check the charge state every so often.

    So for those folks with flooded battery systems, how do you do your watering maintenance?

    I will be setting up a bank or 4-6V deep cycle Crown CR-260 (260 ah each) that will give me a 520 ah total. 50% usable. I will have them in a closed vented case. My previous bank like this went 10 to 15 year with out issue. Back then I added water using one of those thin spout pitchers. Made a lot of messes. I will need a new converter/charger for thees as Crown has a specific charging profile they want that almost every standard charger like WFCO does not meet I have solutions for this already.

    Now I see there are watering systems out there.

    https://watermybattery.com/
    https://www.batterywatering.com/
    https://www.flow-rite.com/

    Then there is the old watering can of the 60's https://www.amazon.com/Performance-T...5581571&sr=8-5 This is an example only. Reviews on theses are very mixed with lots of spills

    Are there any other systems that work for folks doing general maintenance?

    Thanks Keith

    PS I need a good hydrometer - any recommendations?[/QUOTE


    The same as others, I use a syringe to top off. I check the batt level quarterly, haven't had to add water yet.
    Way back after high school at the "full service" gas station we used a batt filler can similar to this https://www.amazon.com/OEMTOOLS-87010-Battery-Filler/
    Can't advise on hydrometer but a quick search of amazon brought up a lot of choices, your guess as good as mine of the quality but should report on the state of the acid in the cells.
    On a side note I was talking to another RVer the other day and he was telling me about these pills than you can drop in the cells, supposed to keep the plates clean. Said his brother works for a battery company and gets them through him. Said it works great, I've not heard of them, but I've not looked for them either.
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  10. #10
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    Due to the location of the the batteries on the tongue of our 312 and under the cap, there isn’t an easy way to visually inspect each cell and add water, so I went with the system from watermybattery. Use the same Crown batteries as the OP. Have only needed to added a few ml of water in 9 mo, but keep it plugged in to 50a when in storage. I posted pics of our setup last year some time. I’ll see if I can find that thread. Love the watermybattery system.

    Speaking of, and temporary hijack here, should I remove my current system and put a single 12V battery back in when I trade our 312? I Can use the Crowns in the new 378 until we upgrade to lithium.
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