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Old 11-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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House battery cracked and empty on '06 Tiffin

Howdy!

I came home today to pack up the motorhome for a nice weekend with the wife in the Texas Hill Country and noticed a rust colored puddle stain under the steps of my rv...took the battery housing cover off and one of the batteries has popped its tops and is cracked in two.

First question, can I drive her to my destination and then change the battery tomorrow or tonight or do I need to do it right now before we leave...we have a car rental we need to pick up.

Two, can I plug her in at the RV park without damaging anything?

Thoughts...help?
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Rewire it to eliminate the bad battery and you should be fine until you get to your destination. Be careful though as there is probably acid everywhere. Buy a bunch of baking soda to use to clean up the acid.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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You really should remove that battery right away, and wash the area thoroughly, where acid came in contact. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda as said above, and brush it well. Rinse and do that again, several times. This half hour or so spent will help stop the corrosion that is taking place.

Tape up the leads that went to the battery, so they do not short out. When you have more time, clean it again, wire brush, and paint the metal that has been exposed to acid.

NOW, you need to find out why the battery cracked. Was it low on water, and overheated from the charger? Is the charger itself, putting out too much voltage? What condition are the other batteries? e.g. is the water level above the plates, and can you have someone do a load-test? How old are the batteries?
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #4
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Well we drove to Fredericksburg, only about 75 miles out, setup camp and then I pulled the battery. It is a Walmart EverStart marine batt with a 10/10 sticker on it...had a hole blown completely through it...wth?!

Went to Walmart and bought the same batt, $88 otd is not too shabby! Didn't clean up, but will pull both batts next week and clean up.

When I installed the negative cables (3), I got some spark...I had everything shut off, so is this coming from the coach battery or what?

Still not sure what caused blow up, batteries are maint free and other battery is fine.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxRVMan View Post
Well we drove to Fredericksburg, only about 75 miles out, setup camp and then I pulled the battery. It is a Walmart EverStart marine batt with a 10/10 sticker on it...had a hole blown completely through it...wth?!

Went to Walmart and bought the same batt, $88 otd is not too shabby! Didn't clean up, but will pull both batts next week and clean up.

When I installed the negative cables (3), I got some spark...I had everything shut off, so is this coming from the coach battery or what?

Still not sure what caused blow up, batteries are maint free and other battery is fine.
If you have 2 batteries and only replaced 1, the old battery will kill the new 1 If I'm reading this right, if both had a build date of 10/10
Turn off your house battery switch then do some checking
If there is a spark when you replace the neg cable there is a draw on something. You could pull some fuses then check and see if there is a spark if no spark replace one fuse then check again until you find the one that sparks.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxRVMan View Post
Well we drove to Fredericksburg, only about 75 miles out, setup camp and then I pulled the battery. It is a Walmart EverStart marine batt with a 10/10 sticker on it...had a hole blown completely through it...wth?!

Went to Walmart and bought the same batt, $88 otd is not too shabby! Didn't clean up, but will pull both batts next week and clean up.

When I installed the negative cables (3), I got some spark...I had everything shut off, so is this coming from the coach battery or what?

Still not sure what caused blow up, batteries are maint free and other battery is fine.
Capt Bill said it best.
Also, if one is bad, you need to replace all the house batteries.
You mention some sparking when you connected the cables. Make sure you have not had your rig plugged in and the batteries under charge while connecting or disconnecting cables. One tiny spark will result in the battery exploding in your face.
Also, when removing and installing batteries, always connect the Positive Cables FIRST and then the Negative. That way your wrench cannot short out to ground and result in an explosion.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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It is a little late to do any more than speculate but a battery with a shorted cell will cause your electrical system to continuously try to charge the battery causing it to off gas and possibly explode. Suspect that is what happened in your case.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:40 AM   #8
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Good info guys, I appreciate it. I will replace the second battery as soon as I get home as well as clean the battery compartment.

When I got the spark, the coach was unplugged, 12v disconnect was off...everything was dead, or at least I thought it was...could there be a connection to the engine battery?
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:11 AM   #9
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Good info guys, I appreciate it. I will replace the second battery as soon as I get home as well as clean the battery compartment.

When I got the spark, the coach was unplugged, 12v disconnect was off...everything was dead, or at least I thought it was...could there be a connection to the engine battery?
TxRVMan
Do you have a solar panel?

If you do, (and if sun/light was hitting it), you can get a spark even when nothing in the coach is drawing 12VDC current.......
That has happened to my coach while in a repair shop where a high watt mercury vapor ceiling light was directly above, and shining directly onto, my single 70 watt solar panel.

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Old 11-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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TxRVMan
Do you have a solar panel?

If you do, (and if sun/light was hitting it), you can get a spark even when nothing in the coach is drawing 12VDC current.......
That has happened to my coach while in a repair shop where a high watt mercury vapor ceiling light was directly above, and shining directly onto, my single 70 watt solar panel.

Mel
'96 Safari
No sir, no solar panel.

Does my inverter need to be "line charge only"?
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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The spark may have been the weaker and older of the pair (house batteries) trying to equalize with the new one. Sometimes the worst scenario is not the answer
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