I've got 2 4D House batteries, wet cell. One is easy to access, right at the foot of the aft cabin entrance. The second battery is located in the far reaches of the aft cabin, amidship. The only way to access this battery to check the fluid level is to somehow move aside and prop-up the heavy innerspring mattress--which is not easy in that cramped area. Has anyone come up with a simple method to access this spot?
I thought I was the only one. I await helpful answers (unlike mine).
sorry, it is just a PITA, largely for this reason I switched to Lifeline AGM's that do not need to be checked. One thing I tried with some success was to use a couple of buckets upside down to prop the mattress on then shimmy underneath.
Only way to do it is to haul that mattress out. At least that's what the boat mechanic does. If anyone else comes up with a better idea, I would like too know it too.
What you dont like Sumo Wrestling with the mattress? I have 2 6V batteries under there and am thinking of adding 2 more, but like you hate the job of checking the water levels. I pull all the bedding and miscellaneous stuff stored back there out of the way then fold the mattress over towards the side of the boat. I can usually wedge it in such a way it stays out of the way. I'm thinking of sewing a couple of grab handles, similiar to what comes on a mattress for home, on the far end so I have something to grip when pulling it up and over.
Easy cure but you might not like it. (and same as I see from replies below)
Replace the wet cells with AGM's and then you have no need to check fluid levels.
This is what I have on my B40.
Replacing wet cells with AGM is certainly something I've been thinking about, but I'm not anxious to throw away 2 new batteries just yet. More importantly, if I upgrade to AGM, don't I have to replace the alternator, because the stock alternator and internal regulator are designed for wet cells? From what I've read, AGM requires different regulator settings. Have any of you who changed to AGMs replaced the alternator/regulator?
Our 2008 B43 was delivered with 2 4D AGM's (house bank) and a type 31 AGM engine start battery along with standard 80amp alternator. This setup has worked fine for last 5 years. The Dekka AGMS are holding up very well. We do not abuse them by overly depleting the batteries. We monitor usage via independent battery monitor (Link Lite) and try to never drop to 50% depletion and optimally not below 80% depletion. They also hold charge very well during storage (minimal discharge). Not having to remove the rear mattress to check fluid is the least of the advantages to us. AGM's don't leak (unless you overheat them), can take a lot of voltage without damage, last a long time when properly cared for, and do not require additional fluid. We do check the post connections at least once a season when we are removing the rear mattress to check all rear compartments.Cost can be mitigated by traveling to a local Dekka factory distributor. There are quite a few in the US and the savings is well worth the trip. We have a Dekka distributor 15 mins from our home. (These look like the same batteries Defender sells but with a different label). They ain't cheap but they are the best, in my opinion.
The best way to access this area I found is to use a fender as a prop under the mattress.