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Flooded Cell Battery Maintenance Advice

Updated on May 9, 2019
Joe McMillen profile image

Joe holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is also an ASE certified mechanic, and is an avid camper.

Battery Watering System

Battery watering system showing filler bulb
Battery watering system showing filler bulb

I had struggles with lead acid flooded cell batteries until I did some research on the subject. Proper battery maintenance makes a big difference in battery life.

Let's face it the joy of traveling with a camper or motorhome come at a price. You must be constantly performing maintenance on your rig of you will face the consequences at some point.

Here are a few tips:


1. If you have an inverter read the owners manual and seek to understand what these battery charging terms mean and how they are accomplished.

a. Bulk

b. Adsorbtion

c. Float

d. Equalization (this is important in battery life)

2. Install a battery watering system. There are several manufacturers and most work well.

Batteries are essential to operating a 12 VDC system in your camper and require constant maintenance for a long life. Maintaining water levels can be labor intensive and in many cases is almost impossible to accomplish. I have had 2 motorhomes and both made manual filling difficult. I am not impressed with how the manufacturer took very little time to consider battery maintenance. Watering systems are very easy to install and makes maintaining proper water levels a snap. I can top off my 4 house batteries in less than 10 minutes.

A couple of points for installation:

a. Make sure the battery tops are clean and free of debris. Take the time to clean your battery tops regularly and also keep the terminals clean. Regular maintenance makes it easy.

b. Follow the manufacturers instruction for watering system installation. Installation must make logical sense for access and proper water flow.

c. Use only distilled water for topping off your batteries.

d. If you are using the bulb type filler system for pumping water, only squeeze the bulb till it feels "turgid", any more and you will overfill or damage the hydraulic connections.

e. It may be necessary to remove the battery leads to gain access to your battery tops. If this is the case, turn off the battery service disconnect switch and remove the main positive and negative battery leads.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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