Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Batteries

The older I get, the more things have to happen early in the morning in order for me to get them done correctly.  The trouble is that with all the medical stuff since last fall, my mornings have become later and later.

I never was an early riser, but having Biscuit come to live with us changed things to be more early.  She sometimes wakes up at 4:30 or 5:00.  But as she gets a little older, she is beginning to sleep in a little more.  This morning, she was awake at about 6:30, and had us up as well.

So since we are up, its time to repair the batteries that have been on my agenda since last fall.   They are under the coach along the frame.  When the big wall slide is deployed on a front engine motorhome, the bins move out with it.  That leaves a large empty space behind the bins along the frame.  So that is where I needed to crawl with my tools to change the batteries.

Since I had never changed any truck sized batteries, it took a while to understand how it was wired.  Since it is a 12 volt system, the batteries are in parallel, but there are several wires that bolt together and relays that connect the house batteries back to the starting batteries.  Added to that, I didn't want to take both batteries out at the same time.  That would have taken the electricity off of the engine control module, essentially shutting it down.

But in order to get the front battery out with the cables, it was necessary to remove the back battery first.  I took the back battery and headed for Sam's Club.  I purchased both new batteries, even though I only had one old battery to trade back in.  I'll bring back the other one later.

Back home, I crawled underneath and decided how to use my power pack jumper battery to power the system while both batteries were out.  From there, it was put it all back together.  It seemed like each battery weighed in at 60 pounds.  That was just a guess, but sitting on a small stool doing arm curls with batteries was never my strong point.

By noon, it was ready to test.  It started right up without any help from the coach batteries.  I had been using the emergency switch to tie all the batteries into the starting cycle.  I let the motor run for about half an hour.

Eventually we got cleaned back up and returned the second core battery to the store.  I was quoted $135 for each battery plus tax and installation.  Around $350 total.  Today I spent $179 total.  I always like to save half of the cost by doing things myself, and today we did exactly that.

Later in the afternoon, I rode off on the scooter way up into the foot hills of the superstition mountains East of Apache Junction.  The roads run out of black top, and are not maintained by the city once you get part way up the mountain.  I rode a little of the gravel, but my riding skills are only about half of what that requires, so I turned around and returned to safer roads.

Back home the darkness over took the day,  that's happening about a half hour later now that we are a month away from winter's shortest day.  But the weather man says were in for cooler weather for the rest of the week.  That's OK though because that set of batteries is now off my mind!


  1. Good to see you got your batteries changed, if they are anything like the batteries in the coaches I drove those babies are heavy. Hope the weather improves for you, were looking at maybe more snow tomorrow. When is spring starting this year. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. My expertise extends to changing the batteries in my flashlight & that's about it for me......

  3. Good job out of the way and glad you didn't pop any stitches....lol.

  4. Did you see any lost gold mines in the Superstitions? Old-timers used to say they were there, but I never saw any rich Superstition explorers.


  5. Good job on changing those batteries. It sounded like a bit of an engineering job to me. I'm like Al - flashlight batteries are the extent of my knowledge and it's a good thing they have + and - on those!

  6. Nice to have that job out of the way. My hubby has to check the water in ours a lot. That's a blue job so I don't even try to understand all of that, but guess I should. Stay warm.


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