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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

New Trojan T-105 Six Volt Batteries and Quicklynks Monitor

This is a motorhome modification that we did two weeks ago, but I forgot to get around to blogging about it.

Here goes that Steveio.... 

Busy on another project:

When we bought the Winnebago View motorhome in April, it came with two brand new 12 volt Interstate coach batteries. These are the two batteries that run the electrical items in the camper portion of the motorhome. Although they were new, they were both smaller 12 volt batteries. Good enough to maintain things in between going from campground to campground if you are going to places with full hookups. But that's not our style....  We need longer lasting batteries that can manage boondocking while out in places without electrical hookups. 

Here are the ones that we got with the motorhome in April. Steve already started taking them apart after he labeled all the cables by the time I took this photo. 

Steve took careful measurements of the battery storage compartment underneath our entry step. He decided to install two large six volt Trojan T-105 golf cart batteries. These are deep cycle batteries that with careful monitoring can last a long time. In our last motorhome we had 4 large six volt batteries. With proper care and maintenance, our battery banks have always lasted us eight or nine years before needing replacement. 

We cannot quite afford going to lithium batteries, plus it would also mean changing over the inverter and the controller as well as some of the other equipment on board if we went to lithium. 

So we will stick with what we are used to, the 6 volt lead acid batteries. They have easy access under the entry step cover that we can reach and monitor the distilled water levels. 

It's very important to never let the lead acid batteries get below about 80% of their level. So that means never going below 12.41 volts. If you draw batteries lower than the top 20%, you greatly reduce their ability to be recharged over and over again. 

Steve shopped around and found a very good deal at a golf cart battery dealer called Mayco Industries in Green Bay. We buzzed down and picked them up for $175 each. The core charge was $30 more per battery, so we turned in the two barely used 12 volt Interstate ones, rather than take the hit.  I know we could have probably sold them for more to someone on Marketplace, but we decided to just turn them in.

Steve carefully marked each battery cable before removing them off of the old batteries. They had been set up as two 12 volts hooked in parallel. These new 6 volt ones he had to adjust the hook up a little bit different to do two 6 volts hooked up in series. That way it equals 12 volts. The new 6 volt batteries are known to have slower discharge rates because the plates are further apart in the battery cases. So they last longer than 12 volt ones. Also these batteries have higher amp hours, 225 amp hours. (The 12 volt batteries that we replaced were only 110 amp hours total). 

Something we added at the same time was this bluetooth battery monitor from Quicklynks. It gives a more detailed accurate readout via a Bluetooth signal to a smartphone. 

It was only $26 on Amazon:

The little wire clamps are attached to each battery post, and the base unit attaches to the wall of the battery storage compartment. Very easy no fuss installation. 

An easily loadable app is added to the smartphone. Just turn on Bluetooth and connect and it shows the state of charge, as well as the state of what is drawing during use. Very handy!

We are excited to test out the batteries and the new monitor the next time we do some boondocking. Along with our solar panels that we added 3 weeks ago, we should be all set!  We are looking forward to a few longer trips, now that we have worked out all the little details and modifications. 


A long time ago, my daughter Erin bought me a copy of Life's Little Instruction Book. One page had always made a big impression on me. I remembered it and quoted it often. Here it is:

Taking note of the second item on that page where the red arrow is....


Youngest granddaughter Claire decided she needed to have a lemonade stand. She made up her sign and then she and her mommy went to the store for supplies. She had little Ziploc bags of shortbread cookies. She also included a free bouquet of dandelions with each purchase!

I helped with advertising by pasting this photo on all of the local Marketplace and chit chat groups for Oconto.

She also got lessons in what net profit is after subtracting the cost of cups and the products that she was selling. The ice came free out of their freezer. She provided service with a smile.  We "tipped" her too.

By the time she was done, that little stinker raised $16!


Around the house, we've been getting a few things settled into the flower beds and I also planted my tomatoes. Our son-in-law Waylen dug up some raspberry plants for me. My friends Joyce and Bob also let us come dig up some raspberry plants from their plot. So we are going to start a raspberry patch. All of the coleus flowers are in the flower beds and taking off nicely.

We are extremely dry and haven't had rain in a number of weeks. I have been hosing everything down with city water as my rain barrels are bone dry. I hate using city water on my plants, But a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. 

I also splurged this year and picked up three beautiful fern plants when we were at the local Menards store. I love ferns!!! 

I have always wanted to hang ferns along on the front porch just like this. I have seriously looked for realistic looking silk ones to hang there.  I know it gets way too hot in the summer afternoons as this side of the house faces to the West. I've been carefully saturating them every morning and every evening until the water runs out of the bottom of the hanging baskets.

On the very hottest days I have been moving them into the shade and then hanging them back up once the sun goes down. We will see how long I can keep them going. If by July or August it's just too hot out here, I will move them into the backyard where there's more shade in the afternoon. 

We also put up this sign that we had gotten from Steve's dad's house.

I think it looks so "farmhousey" here. Set up between the rocking chairs and my big old ivy plant, I think that's the perfect location for the sign. 


In the little wreath underneath the coach light,
we now have five baby wrens!

They are so smushed in there now, I am thinking they are almost ready to fly.  

Their parents chose this spot on the wreath which is right next to our rocking chairs and just down from the porch swing. We moved the rocking chairs over to the other side of the front porch. We have avoided even going out on our front porch at all, other than to just grab the mail or water the plants. Giving them their privacy and security so they can raise their babies in peace.

Last year the wreath was down on the other end of the porch where we hung the sign. They built their nest securely hidden in the wreath last year....  but a huge blue jay came and snatched out the little babies before they even had feathers on them!  I was SO MAD at those blue jays!!!

Then the determined wrens started a second nest of babies, which grew to fruition and flew away.

It looks like this year, by choosing to be located over closer to our chairs, the nasty blue jays have not come in this close to our door. Smart parents!  


And to finish off the rest of this blog, lately Grandpa has been giving each of the grandchildren a special ride in the Mustang. They somehow always end up over at Shake-A-Burger which is a local Drive-In with ice cream. He has taught them the delights of having dipped ice cream cone twists! 

(it is his favorite, 
and I am allergic to dairy,
 so he needs pals to go with him)

And after they are done with the ice cream, he brings them home again. 

What a great way to start off the summer!

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