Recently, a friend was working on his batteries neatly mounted in an exterior compartment. He was proud of his system: multiple 8Ds positioned systematically and filling up the compartment with a precision fit. Over the years, corrosion from the batteries made the compartment floor resemble the landscape after a new snowfall. Copious amounts of corrosion were eating away at anything metal. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
The solution to the corrosion problem (after checking the charging system) is a product that’s been around for years, but is not well known in the RV community. The Battery Mat absorbs and neutralizes battery acid and is simply placed under the battery before it is mounted in the compartment. It’s a product that has been used extensively in the military and government and makes perfect sense for all motorhome owners who use open cell batteries.
At first glance, The Battery Mat looks like a plain old piece of nondescript material, but it’s actually made of super-absorbent polypropylene needle punch felt. One side is heated for strength and the fabric is slowly pressure treated at high temperatures using a natural acid-neutralizing formula. The material is then cured in ovens. Once that’s done, the fabric is dipped in a latex sealant, heated again in the ovens and screen-printed.
My experience with The Battery Mat started many years ago when the company sent me a sample. It was a package containing an 8-by-12-inch, 3/16-inch-thick yellow mat, with a bunch of battery images printed on the surface. After a little hesitation, I installed the mat under a battery in a compartment that was plagued by corrosion. The mat proved to be effective over a long period of time. Eventually, I used larger sections of heavier duty material (sold in custom and bulk sizes) in a number of battery projects. The material is available in standard and heavy-duty configurations cut to 8-by-12 inches or 8-by-20 inches, or in sheets and rolls. Prices vary, depending on size and thickness, but the basic yellow mat can be found on the Internet for $3.95.
Most onlookers are skeptical at first. It’s hard to imagine how the mat traps and neutralizes battery acid that leaks from the terminals or cell caps. A key element is the latex sealant that repels water and retains the acid neutralizers in a potent state. Battery acid seeps into the highly porous fabric (latex is not impervious to the acid) where it is absorbed and neutralized.
The Battery Mat is made in the United States from components originating in the United States. The company claims to manufacture the world’s only acid-neutralizing mat and has a long history in dealing with battery acid solutions.
The Battery Mat is an easy and inexpensive way to keep the battery compartment looking clean and free from corrosive damage. It is claimed to last up to three years, in service. The company will provide technical assistance when ordering the product.
Time to Complete: 1 Hour
Tools needed: Utility knife, straight edge, tools to remove battery