RV Battery Fail

Newport Fishing Village

We’re off to visit Newport Harbor (Oregon of course). It’s a town along the Oregon coast just North of our camp at Tillicum Beach.

Here just inside the harbor beyond Yaquina Bay Bridge, is a commercial fishing village with all you would expect. The community appears to be a quaint, close-knit place, with many fishing boats, wholesale fish markets and touristy spots to shop and eat. Today being the weekend, there are a lot of tourists and parking was at a premium for autos, but impossible for the Workhorse. We did find a spot down by the docks where it looked like mostly fishermen and commercial vehicles parked, but there weren’t any signs prohibiting the Workhorse and Jagger said it was okay so we parked it. We got out and explored the docks and Jagger got to go with us for a nice stretch. The creaky docks mocked in protest as we walked their planks exploring. While we didn’t go far, we did get to experience the flavor of this place. One that visitors hustling along the sidewalks not far away did not experience.

Before leaving this quaint town and heading back to camp we drive around exploring a few spots we saw along the way. In the process of doing that, we found a unique, unadvertised, tourist stop next to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Aquarium Village. Each of the shops here is unusual and so is the design of the buildings, many of which seemed to be empty. We couldn’t figure out why, but we enjoyed the experience anyway. If you go to the aquarium here this may be a place for you to stop also. Kids would enjoy the experience too.

Back at Camp – Next Morning

The first thing this morning I step down outside and notice a wet spot under the nose of the Coach. Since there are no water connections there, I know it’s not water. Since the Coach doesn’t have an engine, I know it’s not oil. Hmm, that leaves “BATTERY ACID”!

I’ve been monitoring my batteries for weeks now since they haven’t been fully charging. I must be low on water or I overfilled a cell using the Battery filler As I’ve mentioned in another post (My Batteries are Dying). My batteries haven’t been lasting the night before fully discharging, which isn’t good. I’ll be limping along until arriving at my home base in Montana. Just below here is a “State of Charge” battery chart.

% Charge
Spec Gravity

I open the front compartment door, confirming immediately that was the problem. I then went inside the Coach and grabbed the baking soda (two boxes) that I keep on hand for fires and accidents like this one. Before going back I told Sydney what happened and rushed back outside. Once there I liberally sprinkle over the acid inside and out. While I could just leave the mess inside the battery compartment, for now, I wonder what can be done about the mess on the ground.

Tillicum Beach Campsite

I don’t want anybody to step in this mess once we pull out so I walk over to the Host site and ask if they have a shovel I could borrow while explaining what happened. They were happy that I told them, stating most visitors wouldn’t mention it and just pull out leaving the mess for someone else to deal with. Back at the Coach, I sprinkle the spot once again to neutralize the remaining acid. It had stopped dripping at that point. Then I scrape up the remaining residue and disposed of it. Finally, I haul about twenty gallons of water to rinse the pavement. Good as new. Well almost. Finally, I test the specific gravity of the battery and determine that one cell on one of the batties registers “good”. The rest of the cells seem to be okay. Hopefully, they last a few more weeks.

The Tillicum Beach Campground has been an unexpected treasure along the trail. Our last morning here I met Met Don and Karen. They were only spending one night because they are on their way home to Salt Lake City, Utah. A nice couple who also own a Reflection 5th wheel. They’ve owned theirs about the same length of time as I have been traveling in mine. I enjoyed the conversation, but too little time since we are both pulling out today and heading in deferent directions.

Tillicum Beach

I didn’t plan our stay here originally. I had never heard of it, but it definitely turned into a great find. Unfortunately, we must say goodbye as we hitch up the Coach and move slowly out onto the Coast Highway, turning left or North. Our next stop will be another rare find for this area. That’s right, for some reason Dump Stations are rare in this area and the city of Walport, Oregon maintains one just off the coast highway. They charge $10 for the privilege. After finishing we pull out and head north again, crossing the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport, before heading slightly inland. Our destination one hundred and ninety miles to Silver Falls State Park.

Safe Travels…Gary and Jagger

More Photos: Newport Oregon

Campground Review: Tillicum Beach Campground


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4 replies

  1. Thanks for the Memories. I’m astonished that you can remember such detail about that trip. I hope you’re enjoying winter. Mexico is getting cold, believe it or not.


      • Hmm, not sailing. I have a small apartment here in the cruise. I’ve been reading about it on my blog but I haven’t been able to publish yet. The boat I came down for did not work out. But I am quite content where I’m at for the winter. I have several boat sitting and dog sitting jobs coming up for the spring. Life takes so many twists and turns.


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