finally trying apply what I’ve learned…

Over the weekend I finished changing the oil, probably dumped almost a quart on the driveway trying to get the drain pan off the ledge. I’ll be power washing the driveway once the RV get’s moved. I need to find something to direct the oil between the front suspension pieces since there’s no good place to handle a pan full of oil. I’m sure I was putting on quite a show, was expecting an audience like Robin Williams had emptying the black tank on the movie RV. In the end I got it done and no leaks from the drain plug or oil filter after running the engine for a while.

My next task was the house batteries, turned out only two were six years old. One battery is eight years old that the dealer put in when we took delivery in 2012. I had been trying to charge the batteries before taking them in to test. When I was removing cables on the oldest battery I realized it has at least two cells shorted since the post was scorching hot when I removed the cables. I also managed to break one of the battery cable clamps, don’t over tighten!

I decided to shop AGM prices and wow are there some expensive ones out there! I did manage to find some AGM Marine batteries for $169 each and decided they can’t do any worse than the lead/acid batteries I’m replacing (and I am impressed with the life I got out of those). I decided to RV Cheaper and go with the bargain price with 3 year full replacement warranty. Since I only have space for three house batteries, I have to go with 12 volt wired parallel. If I had room for four batteries, I would have done 6 volt pairs, each in series.

The old wet cell batteries served us well so fingers crossed the AGM’s are even better and money savers in the long run. I have no doubt I’ll get three years on these batteries so I don’t have to do it again before we start shopping for a newer RV for our retirement travels. I think I found some really good deals on these.

When I added the two batteries in 2014, I only managed to find some 4 Gage cables that were too long and different lengths. I’ve since learned that I should have used 2 Gage cables, short as possible and all the same length. I made better cables my mission on the new set of batteries. After trips to several local parts stores, I found no cables even close to what I needed. So I went to Amazon and wouldn’t you know I found exactly what I needed, I really wanted to shop local. The cables only took one day thanks to the Amazon Prime membership and I got it all buttoned up today. only a few more items on my to-do list now.

The two on the left were matching from an auto parts store in 2014, the green one came new with the RV in 2012. My 2014 cabling job looks like a snake nest! The green battery was shorted out and very, very hot from the charger trying to bring it back to life. I had not checked water in months and there was some leakage even though they weren’t on the charger during storage.
I bought two pairs of 2 Gage cables, this time with 3/8″ lugs instead on clamping style. I’m so happy that now the cables are all the same length and color coded.


The finished installation, snug and better organized than my last installation six years ago! The house cables are on opposite ends of the battery bank so all the batteries get drawn equally. I also added some heavy rubber insulation around the main  house cable so it doesn’t wear through and cause a major short later on (probably overkill since it’s been fine for 21 years).

I still have not figured out where I want to mount the solar charge controller, that’s a project for another day. I want to keep the controller out of the way for servicing the batteries as well as the pump and tank that run the leveling jacks.

Hopefully what I learned and shared helps you do it faster and easier my project was. Happy travels…


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