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More Snow In Texas!

We worked like our hair was on fire Monday. Tuesday was forecasted for 4-6″ of snow as far south as where we were. Nothing will make a job site muddier than melting snow so we knew we were going to have another few days off.

Sure enough, I got up Tuesday morning to rain and sleet. The Weather Radar showed the snow was on the way.

Snow begins to blanket the ground in Central Texas

Snow begins to blanket the ground in Central Texas

I had two chores to do before I blew out of there for the sticks and bricks in Dallas. I had to go get propane and I had to retrieve the 8d house battery from my brother’s full hook up site.

I have been having a time with this pair of 8D AGM house batteries on my RV.  I had pretty much determined one of the batteries was bad and a last chance of recovering the battery involved desulphation.  The way I understand it, desulphation strips the crud  off that builds up over time on the lead plates in a battery.  My portable battery charger had a desulphation setting and it took 24 hours of continuous application .  No way I could do that on intermittent generator power.  I had taken the battery over to my brothers the previous day and let me tell ya, I was not looking forward to retrieving it.

My batteries are located in the rear baggage compartments on the Old Girl — one on each side.  A great

The electrical compartment on the Old Girl

location except when you have to access them. With the baggage door opening upward and outward, you have to bend far over or get down on your knees to do anything in the RV storage compartment.   A normal car battery weighs what?  25-35 pounds?  I can handle that.  I can even deal with the larger heavy equipment batteries we use like the Caterpillar 4Ds.   But this 8d is a whole different animal.  Roughly the size of 2 regular batteries, it weighs over 160 lbs.   I was not prepared for such a dense weight in a small package –especially down on my knees in the mud.  It was like kryptonite.  It made me groan and wheeze and get weak at the knees and my back still hurts.   But enough of an old broke down man’s whining.

I went to my bro’s and wrestled the battery in to the back of the Suburban in the teeth of a howling blizzard — by Texas standards anyway.  My concern was getting the battery back in the baggage compartment.  Getting it out had been fairly simple with gravity assisting.  Lifting it up into the compartment would be another animal entirely.  I toyed with the idea of just leaving it in the back of the Suburban and connecting it with jumper cables to the house cables to test it out.  But I was being optimistic since it had checked out well after the desulphation and went for the full install.  I should have listened to that inner voice; my back would be thanking me over and over had I done that.  The battery went to hell in 5 minutes once I put a slight load on it.  Dammit!   I seriously considered going to get the backhoe and dragging that battery out with a chain and then shooting it with my 12 gauge and then running over it with a bull dozer and then maybe incinerating it up with diesel fuel before I buried it in a deep, cold hole.   Rat bastard!  In the end, common sense overcame the anger and I just packed my bags and headed to Dallas.

I am going to pick up a pair of 12v deep cycle batteries from Wal-Mart or Auto Zone while I am home.   The 8D AGM replacement batteries would be anywhere from $400-$600 dollars each and I know I am not going there.   I seriously question the wisdom of spending this much on this type of battery to begin with and then the weight just seals the deal.   The batteries I am looking at will be 1/5 the cost and if they last 2 years I will be ahead.

End Note: Ain’t Love Strange by Paul Thorn from So Far So Good.    Ex-professional boxer, son of a preacher turned  sorta Mississippi Blues Man. Worth a listen

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1 comment to More Snow In Texas!

  • Awww that is too bad about the big batteries going to heck. We found the best deal last year at Batteries Plus chain stores. Their 6 volt battery matched the same specs as the popular Trojan, but for only $90 each. We bought 4 and have not had a problem since. You probably already know this, but for the benefit of new RV folks reading this, NEVER let your batteries draw down below 50% of their rated capacity… shortens their useful life considerably.

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

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