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Wet Cell Battery Maintenance


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I know most discussion are on AGM and Lithium, but my May 2020 Elite II came with wet cell batteries.

It stays plugged in at home when not on the road. The batteries have an indicator window, but it is only visible for the outmost left batteries.

In order to check fluid level I would have to disconnect all wiring and pull all four batteries.

Is it reasonable to assume that if the battery indicator window I can see shows good levels, I'm likely OK on the others?

For those of you using wet cell, what kinda of maintenance  have you done after two years?

Most usage is RV/State parks with electricity, but I expect at least five days of Boondocking in May, with solar.

I may outsource a Lithium install to Mike (Moderator), but likely not soon. 😉

 

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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1 hour ago, Ralph Mawyer said:

Is it reasonable to assume that if the battery indicator window I can see shows good levels, I'm likely OK on the others?

No, that would be very convenient, but most likely one or more batteries is lower than the one you can see. They ought to slide out far enough to perform routine service without taking stuff like cables apart, are your tray slides binding up somehow? To properly maintain them, you need to use an electrolyte specific gravity tester, to check all the cells individually when the battery is at full charge, and the acid should be relatively clear. If it is black, there are internal problems. I would get one like this, with a glass float: ... https://www.amazon.com/OTC-4619-Professional-Battery-Hydrometer/dp/B0050SFVHO/ref=sr_1_4?crid=1NGVTGCAZOPRL&keywords=battery+hydrometer&qid=1643667151&sprefix=battery+hydrometer%2Caps%2C122&sr=8-4

Have you read through the battery manual? I am not sure if this is yours. Section 4 covers maintenance.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/wp-content/uploads/oliver-university/Component_Manuals/Trojan_Batteries/Trojan_Battery_User_Guide.pdf

I screwed around with wet batteries for decades, in my vehicles and as an aircraft tech, IMHO the development of dry/ sealed batteries is the greatest invention ever!

John Davies
Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I have the 4 x 12volt wet cell option.  I’ve been very happy with them.  We typically stay at full hookup campgrounds for our long stays, so the batteries only get used for our quick overnight Harvest Host stops on our way to our destinations.  No solar or inverter, just using the batteries for lights, water pump, and exhaust fans when stopped at a HH with no hookups.  And my battery tray slides out far enough to get the caps off the batteries to check water level.  They’ve only needed very minor top off of water on a few cells over the last 3 years.  
 

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4, 6.2L Flex-Fuel engine 

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

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Unfortunately John Davies' advice is basically correct IF you want to make sure that the batteries are properly maintained as JD says.

But, if your only interest is to add water (distilled) then you do not need to purchase anything but a "turkey baster" (or something similar in order to get the water into each cell.

Again, as JD says, just because the first two batteries are OK does not necessarily mean that the other two are the same.  But, you should be able to at least get to those filler caps without removing the batteries from the Oliver.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks...

 

I'll check again, John has me wondering if my slide might not be coming all the way out. If so, probably due to cable length.

Hold-down brackets or cables cover the indicators and/or the caps in a few cases.  All manageable, just a hassle.

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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  • 1 month later...

I talked to service and they said my wet cells were of the maintenance free variety.  So watch the little blue dot and amps I suppose...until they go bad.

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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Is Oliver using sla batteries for the flooded option? 

Could you take a photo when you get a chance?

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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They are using a different battery now, and apparently when mine was built, as the ones I have are not the ones pictured in my 2020 printed manual.

I'll get a photo in the next day or so...

Brightway brand...but all they make is AGM and Lithium now.

 

2020 Legacy Elite II Hull 625 - 2013 Lexus LX 570

San Antonio/Boerne - Texas Hill Country

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On 3/1/2022 at 10:19 PM, Ralph Mawyer said:

Brightway brand...but all they make is AGM and Lithium now.

Curious if the new “wet cell” option might be a sealed battery with agm technology.  This could be a possibility…I’ll know in a month. Hopefully they won’t toss in the old style that’s been sitting in their warehouse (I don’t mind flooded but I’d rather not get units that have been sitting for years).

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Oliver doesn't offer the old style un-sealed lead acid batteries anymore.  The batteries in the last two pictures are sealed batteries.  However, FrankC's battery picture above with the 12V blue label on them ARE flooded cell lead acid batteries that are NOT sealed.  Therefore FrankC's batteries do need distilled water to be added to them every so often while the batteries in the last two pictures are sealed and there is no way to add liquid even if you wanted to.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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