Tuesday, January 3, 2012

House Batteries

Carol walked by the rear of the Beast yesterday (Monday) and got a rotten egg smell and then told me.  I told her I was not back there at all and the smell wasn’t me.  Maybe she got a up draft!  Anyhow, I went out to check it out and whew was it a good one.  The Beast was letting loose.  I pulled out the battery tray and yepper the batteries were cooking.  I felt each one of the four house batteries and all were cool to touch except one and it was pretty warm.  Took off the battery caps.  It was like an entire football team ate beans for a week then came over and drank beer and ate boiled eggs.  It was that bad.  I believe it was some type of sulfur acid cooking in the battery.  So now what.  I called the local stores and the cheapest I could find a 6 volt deep cycle battery was $109 – no thank you.  Now what…oh yea I got a golf cart with six 6 volt batteries.  I borrowed one.  After some grunting I installed it in the beast.  Then I found another battery that had a broken post.  I remembered when I checked the batteries about a month ago that this one terminal post was almost broke but holding.  Well, it was broke now for sure. This might have caused the first battery to over charge (cook). I went back to the golf cart and got another battery and installed it.  Now I got two batteries that are one year old  (Beast) and two batteries that are least 4 years old (golf cart). SDC11930  SDC11933 I know you should not mix good batteries with old batteries but hey, I was out of options at the time.  Plus I’m cheap - - I mean frugal… Next test is to unhook from the shore power (lot pedestal) and see how they do.  If they don’t hold “OK” we will get new batteries (4) when we are in Yuma from Sam’s.

Today (Tue) I looked at all my gauges.  One is my Xantrex and it was reading about 14.8 volts and batteries are charged doing a float charge.  I disconnected from the 50 AMP shore power and went on coach batteries and solar.  Xantrex was reading 13.8 – looking good.  The solar charge gauge was reading 8.4 volts and sending 30 AMPS to the batteries.  Something isn’t right with the volts.  I checked the wiring of the house batteries and they are correct.  I ran the microwave and ran the batteries down to 12 volts.  Then I turned off the microwave and the batteries recovered to 12.6 and then to 12.9 pretty quick with the solar cranking them up. Appears to be normal.  Later the battery in the same location over heated.  I called Newmar, they said do a hydro test of the batteries. I went to the Auto store and bought the little hydro tester. They all tested alright. Called Denny Orr. He thinks it’s the wiring. I called Mark Nemeth, we talked and decided he will stop over tomorrow AM. Carol’s doc called and said we can leave Livingston.  I took out the last two batteries and installed two more golf cart batteries. The cart is looking sad. Especially after I took two more batteries out.SDC11932

Now I got 4 golf cart batteries in the Beast.  Check tomorrow and see if everything is back to normal tomorrow.  Maybe it’s the solar charger going hay wire?!…..

Did you catch where I snuck in about we can leave Livingston?

Too much talk…I got to go get ready to leave Thursday?  We still got one more check $ in bound that we will wait for.  Gotta make sure that we don’t cook batteries while en route also…

See ya…..