One of the really bad things about a bus or a large Recreational Vech. (RV) are the batteries it takes to run one of these monsters of the highway. We are battery poor. Eagles take 3 starter batteries, 8 House batteries, and one battery for the generator. We just replaced the starter batteries and now because of age, we are replacing the house batteries, all eight of them. This is no simple chore, and it is not cheap, around $1100.00 for the batteries alone. The old batteries were WallyWorld Golf Cart (6 years old) and the replacements are Interstate, made in St. Charles Missouri, USA. First order of the day is to get them out of the compartment, they weigh about 160lbs each and lifting them straight up and then out is no easy task. Some buses have them on a slide out tray but we do not have that luxury. After removal of the batteries, then it is time to work all the connectors. You take them to the grinder and do a number on them to remove all evidence of corrosion. Word to the wise. It is a good idea to make a working diagram of the position of all the cables when you disconnect or at best, take a shot of them with a camera. It will be a LOT BETTER DEAL later on when you go to re-hook everything up and you cannot remember which way all the cables connected and where all of them went to produce power to the coach.
Now the real fun begins. Cleaning up and detailing out the entire compartment. Which means a lot of masking tape, a lot of scraping and cleaning and then repainting all the surfaces.
One improvement was a case for the battery maintainers. And more illumination in the compartment with LED work lights. The next thing to go in were two utility work lights and a battery maintainer station and its own light set up.
I also felt the need to add a heater box and do something with the back wall which looked awful plain and just downright ugly. So I fabricated some wood trim and made some improvements in that area at the same time. In the winter time I close off the compartment and run an electric heater to keep batteries warm and to ward off freezing. So the back wall got a covering and battery box too.
The following three shots are the bay at about 90% completed. All that remains are a few odd’s and ends, and it will be a wrap. This is the final bay restoration on the bus, they have all been reworked and completely refurbished, this is also the last project for the year.
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