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Old 12-28-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
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Battery Extraction Tool?

Having a knuckle-busting time slipping those two huge, heavy LIFETIMES out of their little doghouses to put them on the charger. SURE, they have a nice handle on the **top** where it is more or less useless behind the end-mounted aluminum doors. Who has an ingenious device for gripping-and-pulling those sweethearts out? 1999 30' Excella 1000.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:02 PM   #2
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nylon strap

when replacing the batts, put a nylon strap (think old motorcycle tie-down) around the battery(ies) to make sliding them out the next time easier. if you can work a plumber's snake or electricians snake or some other thing around your batt while in the hole, then you can run something around the back side and pull them out. One caution: do your best to completely disconnect the battery before trying to snake something around them-use a plastic snake device if possible.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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Greg, a flat sheet of metal with a lip at one end that's narrower than the battery could be slid underneath—lever one side of the battery up to force the lip under. You only need a sheet a few inches wide that fits under the side that has been raised. I think some cookie sheets may be like that. If you can get it all the way to the back, the lip will help you pull it out. The other one should be easier since you will have more space.

There are other pans that have a lip all the way around and if the battery fits between the sides, that also could work.

Or charge them in place, but you probably can't do that or you would have by now.

Other less helpful suggestions: 1. Tilt front of Airstream up about 45˚ and they'll slide out; 2. Attach Airstream to high powered dragster and let 'er rip while the batteries are tied to a rope tied to a tree.

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Old 12-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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I have the same problem. Just removed them two days ago. I always take a 6 inch putty knife with me. I lift the end of the battery just enough to slip the blade under about half an inch and then they come out quite easily. For the next time I think I will put a strap around the battery as well to make the removal even easier.
Al
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:06 PM   #5
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A Variation on the Theme...

I had a sheet of clear plastic that I used to make a version of the cookie sheet idea.

The plastic was from a product package. The package had a clear plastic front to display the product. It's about .020 thick (think heavy card stock). You can buy something similar at the hardware store.

I cut the plastic about 3 to 4 inches wide and made it about twice as long as the depth of the battery compartment. I folded it 90 degrees on one end so it extended about 4 inches up the back end (far end) of the battery. Once I had the batteries out I slipped the plastic under the battery and I used heavy duty aluminum clad duct tape (the tape withstands extreme hot and cold temperature) to affix the 90 degree plastic flange to the battery. The other end of the plastic is a tab so you can grab it with your fingers. You could even make a hole/slot in this free end to make a handle.

Now the battery slips in and out of the compartment easily. All I do to remove it is grab the lip of plastic, lift slightly to get it over the lip of the compartment, then a gentle tug.

I also use a thin piece of this same plastic to prevent "shorting" the battery terminal as it slides through the opening.

Clear as mud right?
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:13 PM   #6
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One of these stays right in the compartment next to the battery.

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Old 12-28-2011, 06:16 PM   #7
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Depending on which Lifeline model you have, they should have either a rope handle on either end or a 'trestle handle' at the top that has a space to insert your fingers to allow for battery handling.

If you have neither, perhaps a PO removed them. If YOU are the PO and these handles are not present, perhaps your battery source removed them.

Can you shed additional light on this mystery ?
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Old 12-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #8
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I have had 4 Lifetime batteries since 2006 and have never taken them out of the trailer for the winter. I just disconnect them at the converter, so there will be no draw on the batteries, the trailer is in storage for 4 months in the winter, and the batteries stay fully charged. After taking the trailer out of storage, I reconnect the batteries and they are good to go.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
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Wow, thanks for all the good ideas, folks! We'll look into adopting the "under plate" concept or the putty knife stored in the compartment, possibly along with some sort of pull strap. @lewster: Thanks for asking. The batts both have the black top handle. I can, and do, use the small black tab under the handle bracket to get some "purchase" to start moving them. Also most interesting to hear that one can actually leave them alone for several months and all can be well. I've long understood that a box of new batteries last longer when placed in the freezer while waiting for use, so all that makes a bit of sense. We never let her sit longer than 45 days before we move again so far. Snow will slow us down a bit, if/when it comes to Virginia. This has been a wonderful "first season" with The Silver Otter, over 20,000 miles; 26 states; 1 province. We'll add three more states in January. Thanks again!
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Greg, dry cells are supposed to last longer if kept cold, though I'm not sure the freezer is the best place. But wet cell batteries can freeze and that's not a good thing as I understand it. That happens when the water gets low in an unsealed battery, but the point of not letting water get low is not to let them freeze.

In thinking about how to get them out, two things with hooks at the end would work too—slide them along the side of the battery and pull. A nail or screw through a stick or piece of metal or anything with a hook. Push some ball bearings under them and they will come out easier.

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Old 12-29-2011, 11:25 AM   #11
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Banjobill

Off subject, but what kind and model of banjo is that you have pictured?
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
2. Attach Airstream to high powered dragster and let 'er rip while the batteries are tied to a rope tied to a tree.

Gene
Gene, I love those "Wile E Coyote" style solutions!
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
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Per Lifeline factory spec: you can leave a fully charged set of Lifeline batteries for up to 90 days before requiring a 'boost' charge. Just be certain that the batteries are fully isolated from any loads (completely disconnected).
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:15 AM   #14
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@lewster: Way Cool. THANKS.
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