There's an old motor home on our property we want to get rid of. It was
driven into place about three years ago. Apparently, no one checked the
batteries, and they are all dried now, I would guess fried. Can one fill
with electrolyte, charge, and hope for a Hail Mary? Or just go get new
batteries........ three of them.
I don't see why you'd need 3 batteries just to start it
and take it to a junk yard. I would think only 1 would be
required for starting and the other 2 would be deep
discharge type to run 12V loads when the RV is parked
and the motor off.
Very unlikely you're going to revive a 3 year old battery
that's just been sitting there and allowed to go dry.
When they sit discharged, they sulfate and go kaput.
Could you temporarily use a battery out of another
vehicle? Or take an old one that's near replacement
time from another vehicle and put a new battery in
that one? Another possibility would be if there is a
nearby junk yard that would sell a used battery for
You don't need new electrolyte, what has dried out is H2O and that's
what you should use as replacement fluid.
H2O Yes but the water you use must not had contact with metal source
rain water accumulated on plastic sheets would be Ideal. good luck!
In some parts of the country, the mineral content of tap water will kill
batteries. It's a good idea to go buy distilled water, at the store, for
auto battery top off. The buck a gallon or so is worth it, not to risk
killing a $75 battery.
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
SAY WHAT?!?! I've been filling them with tap water for decades.
remove the "not" from my address to email
You must live in an area with very low mineral content in your water.
Distilled water is the best as it is (supposedly) pure water with
nothing else dissolved in it. Anything dissolved in the water will
upset the battery chemistry.
It should only take one battery to start it. The others are probably
there to run the 12 accessory systems (lights, pumps, radio etc).
If it is just going to the salvage yard can you pull a battery out of
an existing vehicle to get it there.
Be careful if you try to jump start. Dead batteries in similar
circumstances have been known to explode.
If you want to donate it put an avert on Craig or freecycle.org were is as
Some charties will pay a tow company to haul it off and you can get a tax
Ordinarily, the acid doesn't evaporate...just the water. Conventional
wisdom is, "never add acid to a battery."
I'd remove them. Add water. Wait a few days for things to
diffuse around before trying to recharge.
Chance of recovery is slim and none, but the cost of the experiment
I'd replace the cranking battery and make sure the thing runs.
Remove the other two, verify that you won't blow up all the lights
because of the way the charging circuit is implemented.
Sometimes, you can put a jumper from the cranking battery
to the rest of the system. Don't just short one of the isolation
diodes, hook the cathode sides together.
And verify what you're doing so you don't blow stuff up.
They're not always wired the way you'd think reasonable.
Don't try to jump start it with the bad batteries.
You never know what the open-circuit alternator
voltage will do to the electronics the instant you remove
the jumper cables.
And don't try to run the microwave from an inverter when
using just the cranking battery. Wiring is often sized by
the charge current, not the maximum discharge current.
Negotiate the price based on whether you replace the other two.
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