Since the holidays have pretty much got me living day to day in various Walmart parking lots, which has all but killed my interest in taking a picture, I decided this would be a good time to write about a major problem that's been going on with my boondocking lifestyle for the last couple of weeks. I didn't want to talk about It earlier but seeing as how I've got a lot of spare time on my hands at the moment this problem gives me something to write about.
Back when I was still at the ranch I woke up one morning and noticed that the voltage on my batteries was really low which was odd because all of the days had been sunny, so I was getting plenty of charging, and normally my voltage should've been 12.5 first thing in the morning, but now I'm looking at my gauge and it says 11.9... This is not good.
After checking to see if something was turned on that shouldn't of been on I went out to see if there was a problem with my batteries and very quickly found out there definitely was.
A long time ago I wrote about how I had installed a battery watering gadget called the Pro-Fill On-Board Battery Watering System by Flow rite and how easy and convenient it made keeping my lead acid batteries full of water. And when you have four golf cart size batteries pouring water into each cell by hand is not fun and this seemed like the perfect solution.
But when I took the pro-fill crap off of my batteries so that I could see inside the cells, my heart and my wallet sank. Staring back at me was one battery with the water at a perfect level, another battery had two cells perfect and two other cells dry, and the other two batteries were completely dry. I probably shouldn't have done it but I was so mad at the pro-fill junk that I took it all and threw it in a nearby dumpster.
I Religiously watered the batteries about every three weeks and even wrote in my logbook the date, so the frequency of watering couldn't be the cause, after all one battery was full.
I installed the Pro-Fill system about 2 1/2 years ago and I feel that if I had installed it incorrectly so that some of the batteries weren't getting water they wouldn't have lasted 2 1/2 years.
I'm sure the batteries were working the way they were supposed to be this last winter when I was in Texas because on one occasion I had four straight days of cloudy rainy weather with hardly any solar charging and I never run out of battery power.
So what I believe happened is that the little floats on the pro-fill system that shuts off the water to each cell that's being manually pumped into them, stuck in the shutoff position and wouldn't allow water to be pumped into those cells. That's just a guess on my part because I didn't spend much time looking at it since it was dripping sulfuric acid and I was more than a little upset.
So right now I've got enough battery power to last through the night and I've had plenty of sunshine to charge them back up during the day but there severely damaged and will have to be replaced since their the heart of my system that allows me to boondock the way I do.
So what's next ? I have some ideas, some normal, some wild, and we'll talk about it tomorrow.