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Old 06-30-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Bad smell fom battery compartment under steps?

We have been traveling for about 3 weeks and a couple of days ago we noticed a bad odor in the living room, it only happens when we are traveling , I thought it was one of the bathroom black tanks so I drained and flushed and put new chemicals in and the smell went away so I have been making sure to drain an flush the tanks every morning before we set out for the days drive. But today we pulled into our next cg, and the smell was there again. I know it's not the black tanks so after smelling every where I opened the battery storage under the inside steps and the smell seems to be coming from there. I felt all the cables and they were fine. But the bar holding the batteries down was a bit warm. Anyone run into this before ?
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:44 PM   #2
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check the fluid level in your batteries. sounds like they are off gassing- maybe too much charge going into them- whats your volt meter read?
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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When I had that smell coming from the battery compartment, one of my batteries was about to explode. They were the deep cycle type and I replaced both of them.

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Old 06-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Sounds like you've found the general location of your odor, just not what's causing it yet. Have you checked battery water levels? I'd also find a way to check battery voltage while you're running. I've had over charging batteries smell just like pork chops frying. A close sniff check of components in the area might also reveal something, and a check for any corrosion or dirt that could cause voltage leaking or shorts would be worth while.

Good luck tracking it down, but I definitely wouldn't just ignore the problem.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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if your batteries have a side bulge in them, then they may have gotten hot. check them with an IR temp gauge before you mess with them
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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Sounds (smells) like a battery that is cooked. better replace it before it goes BOOM.

Ken
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Sounds (smells) like a battery that is cooked. better replace it before it goes BOOM.

Ken
Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

Don't ignore the part about going BOOM because it does happen. The same thing happened us a couple of years ago. After breaking camp and hooking up, while doing my final walk around after pulling out of our site and with the diesel running, I picked up the same odor.

Our batteries are located in a rear bay and when I pulled the chassis battery drawer out one of them was out gassing and bulging out on the sides looking like it was ready to go any second!

I was able to continue after disconnecting the bad player and using only one starting battery until I could get back to civilization.

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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This is a brand new coach, should I have this problem? And yes the smell is definitely coming from the batteries. I will probably have to call the dealer tomorrow , I know nothing about the batteries, and I don't want them to go boom. I don't see them bulging.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:40 PM   #9
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The best advice I ever got RVing was on my maiden voyage when a neighbor told me to not get upset at all the things that I was going to find wrong with my brand new 40DP and that it would take a year to get them worked out.

These things do happen on all makes and models and getting them fixed is a part of buying a new rig.

No, it shouldn't happen but something is causing your battery to outgas frequently and I'm guessing you'll find one or more of them is dry of water. Even after your dealer gets the cause fixed, you'll need to learn to maintain your battery banks so an optimist might look at this as a good educational opportunity.

A question does come to mind. Do you have a Dimensions Charger/Inverter in your rig? You probably have a control panel which shows the status of your batteries, charger and inverter. See if it has the brand name Dimensions on it. Among other things, this controls the amount of current routed to your batteries for charging when connected to shore power. I cooked two sets of house batteries in the first year because it comes from the dealer set at a maximum (25 amp) setting which proved to be too much for the batteries to handle. There's pretty wide spread belief that these units aren't a very good design but with input from the Dimensions factory I controlled the problem by adjusting the charging current down to 15 amps. This can be done from the control panel inside the rig.

Call your dealer and please keep us posted on what you find out.

Best of luck

Rick
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:31 AM   #10
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This is a brand new coach, should I have this problem? And yes the smell is definitely coming from the batteries. I will probably have to call the dealer tomorrow , I know nothing about the batteries, and I don't want them to go boom. I don't see them bulging.
To add to my post above:

We were getting ready for a camping trip, the MH was plugged into our house voltage and every time I walked by, the gas alarm was going off. After about the third time of resetting the alarm I noticed the sulfur smell and knew exactly where it was coming from. As I was pulling the cover off of the battery box it was very hot, and one of the house batteries was very warm to the touch

I disconnected the batteries and that stopped the alarm from going off. I was so close to having a battery explode it wasn't funny, and that could have been a catastrophe

Ron
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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Is there a way to shut off the charger to the batteries?
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:04 AM   #12
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Is there a way to shut off the charger to the batteries?
On my rig it's done at the Dimensions Inverter/Charger control panel inside the coach. I just set it to limit the charger to zero amps.

Rick
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:32 PM   #13
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Ok, found out with the purchase of my rig I got 1 year free membership to coachman.net which is a 24/7 hot line to a service tech. He said we were all right it's the batteries and my converter was probably not set right at the factory and is continuously charging my house batteries, and to use thw generator periodically to cool the coach during our drive today , and the is not a way for me to do it. So he asked me for my itinerary since we are only doing one night stays all the back to sc, he is setting a service appointment up for me tomorrow morning in Amarillo Texas since we will be driving right through there tomorrow.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #14
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We had a battery blow up on our 2012 Georgetown this past winter.
A few days before our CO detecter would alarm and I made an appointment with a dealer to have it checked. A day after that we were gone and when we came back our neighbour came running out and told us we had an explosion and they shut of the LP. The battery had blown up, I called the dealer that was to look at the CO detecter and they asked me to call the manufacturer. Forest River called the dealer and told them to bring out 2 new batteries and check the converter charge rate. The charger was ok.
We bought the coach in Ontario and this was in Alamo TX. On our way back to ON we stopped at Forest River in Elkhart and they rechecked the converter and found it was ok.
They felt it was a defective battery. We were very happy with the way Ron Hover RV Donna TX looked after us even though we did not buy it from them. Also were pleased that John Armstrong at Forest River stepped up and had us looked after.
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