Just some friendly advice to others........
If your starter batteries give you the slightest hint of trouble, replace them. Don't be an idiot like me and 'assume' they'll be good to go after a long road trip and a few nights on shore power.
After sitting in storage for about 3 weeks, my van failed to start about 4-5 weeks ago. First time I've ever had any problems starting in about 3 years. Got a jumpstart and put a charge on the batteries for a few days. For the next 2 weeks (which included a one week roadtrip), the van started fine, zero problems. So, I assume all is fine and put the problem out of my mind. Of course, I should have known better. But I forgot about the battery problem and missed an opportunity to have Hubert and Manny swap them out when I took the van in a week ago for service.
I paid for that one.
We drove up to Mammoth Thursday night. The van is loaded (and I mean LOADED) with two adults, three kids and a dog for a few days of camping/fishing. We pile into the van bright and early Friday morning to go find a good campsite, and the darn thing won't start. Click, click, click.......nothing. Murphy's law at work.
I plug into shore power for about 15min and it reluctantly starts. Drive into town and pick up two new batteries at Napa auto parts and then get told by every auto service provider in town to come back the next day and the'll see if they can do the swap.
Fearing that the entire camping trip was about to go down the drain, I returned home and decided to do the swap myself. Geez, that was a PITA. Three hours and many swear words later, we were good to go. Fortunately, I carry a high lift bottle jack, two jack stands and a big block of wood. Without those, it would have been impossible to do the swap without help. Those things are heavy and awkward. I could not dis-connect or re-connect the leads with the batteries suspended on the tethers. They needed to be up higher very close to the frame.
This was a good lesson for me and something I could have and shoud have avoided entirely. Only positive is that it didn't happen as we were getting ready to leave the campsite.