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Old 06-01-2017, 10:29 PM   #1
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A Scarry Battery incident

On our way back from a long weekend we stopped at our usual rest stop to dump and the water pump wouldn't work. So we rinsed as best we could and headed home.

I parked and as I usually do, plugged in and went about our post flight duties. About an hour after we parked I went out to get something and inside it smelled like we didn't clean out well so we added water to the tank and threw in another deodorizer.

An our later I went out to see if it was better and realized that it wasn't sewer smell but a battery cooking! I hit the battery disconnect and unplugged. I opened the battery compartment and had to let it slam shut. I decided that the coach was safe and let things settle.

The next day I opened the batter compartment and found the source of the smell!

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Old 06-01-2017, 11:02 PM   #2
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From the looks you got lucky. 2 things I would say as a follow up... rinse and neutralize the acid residue in the battery compartment to keep the area from rotting and rusting. Cooked batteries with do that very quickly. Next would be to check the output voltage from your converter and make sure it was not damaged or the cause. You should be able to find the appropriate steps voltage for the battery charge for your converter rather easily.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:15 PM   #3
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I've since checked and it's working properly. All I can figure is that the battery shorted internally, over heated and self destructed. Saw it happen on a 48v heavy battery on a Oskosh snowplow. Was even more spectacular. Caps flying like bullets.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:21 PM   #4
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Similar thing happened to me a few years after I bought my motorhome. One cell in one of the 12V batteries shorted, but the good battery masked the problem so the converter kept charging. We woke up to a sound like a backfiring car and I figured out what it was when I heard the acid dripping down from the underside of the motorhome. Since then, I run 2 large 6V batteries in series rather than 12V in parallel.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:30 PM   #5
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My plan was to change them out at the end of the season. That schedule just moved up! Th only problem is that the tray has 11" of clearance the 6v ones I've found are 11+.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:36 PM   #6
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You were lucky they didn't catch on fire and burn. That happened to us 4 years ago. Glad your safe and there was np serious damage to your coach.


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Old 06-01-2017, 11:38 PM   #7
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Just wondering, on my RV my alternator charges the coach batteries. Did you check the alternator?
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:47 PM   #8
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I haven't, but it's a new alternator and the chassis batteries are just fine. Ill check that tomorrow, tho. My theory is that these maintenance-free batteries needed maintenance. Pried off the caps on one of the other batteries and it had one bad cell...dry as a bone. The 3rd one was still ok.
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:56 PM   #9
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How do you know they were maintenance free batteries? Was that stated on the battery?

I know several people who thought they had maintenance free batteries and when I looked at their batteries they were not maintenance free and all needed water.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:05 AM   #10
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Yes. They are 12v atarting/deep cycle maintenance free. IMHO dual capacity (starting and deep cycle) are not the best way to go in a strictly deep cycle configuration. Unless they are high reabsortion batteries, they need watering, especially in high charge/discharge cycles.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:27 AM   #11
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Unfortunately that is wrong. "maintenance free" batteries are seal cell ones. The one on the engine. There are not standard maintenance free deep cycle batteries unless they are lithium. In short, if they have removable caps you must check them
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imob View Post
Unfortunately that is wrong. "maintenance free" batteries are seal cell ones. The one on the engine. There are not standard maintenance free deep cycle batteries unless they are lithium. In short, if they have removable caps you must check them
What has happened here is a spark(posible loose connection) has ingnited the gas from a battery that was being charged.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:37 AM   #13
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Thanks for making it even clearer. That was the point I was trying to make. Just because it says so, doesn't mean it is so.
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