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Old 08-30-2009, 04:21 PM   #1
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Battery system meltdown

I'm posting this for Gary Smith who has a 2000 38' FDS. The battery holddown got loose and shorted to the house battery positive terminal:


"The first two pictures are the ones I took while we were there before any repairs. If you look carefully at the pictures, you can see an "arc mark" on the hold-down which is an L-shaped piece of steel held down by a long piece of all-thread to the bottom of the battery pan. The piece of all-thread had been partially eaten through by acid corrosion and somewhere along the way, it allowed the hold-down to shift and come into contact with the positive post of the adjacent house battery. So, the little "arc welder" I had going there was what melted the corner of the house battery and the adjacent chassis battery.

The shop foreman (or someone there) indicated that this is the 4th Alpine coach they have seen where this hold-down shift occurred, making contact and allowing for the battery melting and damage. The technician David who did the re-installation of the new batteries split sections of fuel hose and attached them with adhesive to the edges of all four hold-downs to lessen the possibility of any hold-down contact in the future.

Pictures 3 & 4 are the melted batteries after they were removed by David at Guaranty RV in Junction City, OR. Finally, the last picture is of the new batteries and newly installed, insulated battery hold-downs put in by the Guaranty technician. I hope this is the end of my battery failures for a while!!!

Gary"

http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12065
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12066
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12067
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12068
http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=12085
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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There may be several ways to skin this cat, but the way I elected to go was to take my battery hold down bars to the local Rhino dealer and had them spray the bars with the Rhino bed liner stuff. Seems to work o.k., they don't slip around, are insulated from contact with terminals and are corrosion resistant from the battery bank offgassing.
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05 40FDQS
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:17 PM   #3
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In the past we have had a 2000 and a 2003 40ft Alpine coach. Both coaches had a very poor (from the factory) positive terminal connections where the factory wired many cables and wires to the same positive terminal. This quickly caused loose connections (heat) and lots of white fuzz buildup. I solved the problem by buying a 6 inch long copper bus bar with insulated standoffs. I installed this on the side of the metal battery compartment and attached all of the cables that were formerly attached to the positive terminal to this bar. Then I ran on 2/0 cable from the buss bar to the battery positive terminal. Now no heat, no fuzz and a great connection. I think others on this forum have also done this with great results.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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I replaced my metal hold down bars with piece of 1/2" thick Plexiglas, cut it into strips using a table saw, then drilled the holes. No more worries on corrosion on that part anyways....
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
In the past we have had a 2000 and a 2003 40ft Alpine coach. Both coaches had a very poor (from the factory) positive terminal connections where the factory wired many cables and wires to the same positive terminal. This quickly caused loose connections (heat) and lots of white fuzz buildup. I solved the problem by buying a 6 inch long copper bus bar with insulated standoffs. I installed this on the side of the metal battery compartment and attached all of the cables that were formerly attached to the positive terminal to this bar. Then I ran on 2/0 cable from the buss bar to the battery positive terminal. Now no heat, no fuzz and a great connection. I think others on this forum have also done this with great results.
Can you please post a photo? ...and where did you find the bus bar?
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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I cant provide photos cause we sold the coach. However the copper bus bar is the type used in commercial building electrical panels. Go to a commercial electrical distributor like Graybar. They sell the parts. Copper bar is about 1-1/2 inches by 1/4 thick. buy one that is about 7 inches long. You will need to drill and tap bar for each cable you want to attach. I think I drilled and tapped 5 holes for the cables and one on each end of the bus bar to bolt the insulating standoffs. I know this is overkill but it works and eliminates all or most of the white corrosion on the positive house battery terminal. All of the cables but one were long enough to just move to the new bus bar..............
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:20 PM   #7
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Rick,

I purchased my bus bar from Boaters World. It is a 300 amp bar that has a cap to cover all connections to prevent accidental contact.

[IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/Owner/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/moz-screenshot.png[/IMG]

http://www.boatersworld.com/product/196978522.htm
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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Rick:

You can also buy pre-made bus-bars for your install, less work but not much more $$$. Again, an electrical parts store/wholesaler/distrubutor will have/order what you need.

I also found them at West Marine, from Blue Sea:

http://bluesea.com/category/9/35
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