Friday, May 24, 2013
May 24 - Ontario to NH and the exploding battery
May 24 - London (Ontario) to W. Chesterfield, NH and the exploding battery
Rain again this morning with wind but not as bad as the last three days. Took PR401 to PR403 at Woodstock, Ontario and then to Queen Elizabeth Parkway at Bayview. This is a high population area and traffic was heavy but moved well. It is also an area along Lake Ontario where many vineyards are with wineries everywhere.
Followed PR405 at Saint Catherines to the border crossing just north of Niagara Falls at Lewiston, NY. Amazingly there was only one car and one RV ahead of us. The lanes are a lot more clearly marked now with "Cars/RVs" instead of leaving you to wonder if you are a truck or a car. Smooth crossing with the usual questions. The US Customs always wants to look inside the camper but never asks us to put out the sliders. It's so good not to be worried about an inspection if one occurs.
I-190 to I-290 to I-90 all the way to Albany NY. From there I-87N to Route 7 which crosses NY. This same road changes to Route 9 at the Vermont border. The traffic going through Troy NY at the start of 7 was fierce and we found ourselves back in highly aggressive driving. Up and up over the mountains through Bennington, VT which is a picture perfect small New England town.
Just after Bennington we heard a loud pop like a quart soda bottle exploding. It sounded like it was in the rear seat but there was nothing there to blow. We pulled over, did an inspection, found nothing and thought maybe we had struck a bird with the nose cone of the camper and it echoed. Continued on to Truck Camper Warehouse in W. Chesterfield, NH just over the border from Brattleboro. Bill had said he would look at the "wrinkle" we put in the diamond plate side of the camper which fits in the truck bed. He said it was cosmetic, caulked a few places for us and took a look at the weep holes. All checked out fine UNTIL Joe opened up the battery compartment to tighten up on the lock latch. One of the batteries had exploded, leaving chunks of plastic, acid and wire all over the battery compartment. Bill's guys cleaned it up and we replaced the older batteries with two new Interstate Pros which will give about the same performance and weigh two batteries less. Thanks go to Bill and his crew for the instant service and kindness in taking care of us just as they were closing for the day. We're staying over in the yard tonight, listening to even more rain and ready to head home in the morning.
This is all the acid splattered all over the battery bay.
Moral - do NOT overfill your batteries. Leave some room at the top of the battery for outgassing. My fault as I'm always after Joe to check and fill the batteries. Sometimes fate works in your favor, being so close to TC Warehouse and finding the blown apart battery here instead of in the boondocks of the Grand Tetons. Who knows how much damage would have been done by an open vat of battery acid before the electric system quit.