Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Batteries, Schmatteries!

Well, it had to happen. We have been nursing a couple of "so-so" chassis batteries all winter. When we move, we have to charge them up the day before. We really thought they should last a wee bit longer, but that was not to be. Actually, we probably got a year more out of them than we should have.

Since we plan on leaving here next week, Terry decided to get them charged up. He put the charger on them and it showed a full charge, but when we tried to start the coach . . . no go. So he did another test and found one battery was still below where it should be, while the other appeared to be fully charged. Well, you cannot have that situation, so with the help of the neighbor, he was able to pull them out. They sit behind four coach "house" batteries, so help was necessary. We put them in the back of the truck and took off for the Freightliner dealer. I hope no one down here has to deal with that Freightliner dealer, because they certainly don't seem to want motorhome business. Terry had talked with them earlier in the day and when we arrived with our batteries, he said he didn't have anything like them and couldn't order them. Okay. . . well they are Freightliner batteries, but he suggested we try Kenworth or Peterbilt up the road. So we drove up to the Kenworth dealer. They were really nice, but also did not have the same battery but suggested we try Interstate Batteries up the road. We had tried to find the Interstate dealer, but they had moved. We ended up calling them for directions as they operated out of warehouse 17 in a huge warehouse complex. These people were very nice. They came out to the truck and load tested the batteries. The one was totally dead and the other operating at 1/3 capacity. The situation with the new ones is that the strength posted on their batteries is the minimum the battery puts out. The label on our Freightliner battery considerably higher leading one to believe they don't match. The tech said Freightliner does that so that you are fooled into believing that nothing but that specific EXPENSIVE Freightliner battery will work. He load tested the new battery and proved that the output is actually considerably more than the minimum the label indicates. No question that the new batteries were what we needed.

So we left with two new batteries and a lighter wallet. We stopped by our favorite restaurant, Rudy's, and picked up some barbeque to go since it had gotten late since we started this afternoon trek. Once we got back and ate, Terry got the new batteries installed. Phaeton Place fired right up and we are ready to go!

We plan on leaving here on Tuesday next week and staying south as we make our way toward Louisiana.

Till next time. . .



KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Glad you got the old batteries properly tested and replaced with good ones. The folks at Interstate are more of an *expert* than the repair places are. Now you are *good to go* ... wheeee

Karen and Steve

Dale said...

Thanks Karen and Steve. . . the tech said we got a good year more than normal out of the batteries. Now we can rest easy on the trip north next week.