Do batteries outgas when used? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2016, 07:41 PM   #1
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Name: Steve Robison
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Do batteries outgas when used?

Do batteries only outgas when being charged or also when being used? I have no battery mount outside for the time being and was wondering if it would be safe just to put it under a cabinet when we need it to run the 12v circuit?
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:47 PM   #2
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YES even the newer AGM batteries that many think do not. The manufactures of those state they need to be vented as well.

Any battery in the trailer needs to be put into a special box that vents to the outside.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:52 PM   #3
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YES even the newer AGM batteries that many think do not. The manufactures of those state they need to be vented as well.

Any battery in the trailer needs to be put into a special box that vents to the outside.
Good to know, I thought they only gassed when charging. And in that case I won't have to shell out almost $200 for an agm battery that still leaks gas, I'll just get a cheap deep cycle battery.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bluetang99 View Post
Good to know, I thought they only gassed when charging. And in that case I won't have to shell out almost $200 for an agm battery that still leaks gas, I'll just get a cheap deep cycle battery.
Most of the gassing occurs during charging, but all batteries need to "breathe" all the time. Just because a battery is advertised as "sealed", that is not entirely true. Additionally, all batteries are capable of generating heat, again, mainly during the charging cycle, but it is another good reason to have adequate ventilation in any battery box or compartment.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:24 PM   #5
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Yes.
Your question seems a little ambiguous too though?
They mainly togas while being charged and so in the context of "being used" in an RV it is safe to say that if you have a battery in there and it is connected to a charger circuit and its routine is being charged and loaded pretty much all the time when connected to shore power yes it will outgas at times while in use.

Better safe than sorry if you are thinking you might use a battery but not charge it unless it or you are not in the trailer.
Just stick the battery outside or in a vented enclosure if inside unless you are sure somehow that it is not producing gas.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:40 PM   #6
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Yes.
Your question seems a little ambiguous too though?
They mainly togas while being charged and so in the context of "being used" in an RV it is safe to say that if you have a battery in there and it is connected to a charger circuit and its routine is being charged and loaded pretty much all the time when connected to shore power yes it will outgas at times while in use.

Better safe than sorry if you are thinking you might use a battery but not charge it unless it or you are not in the trailer.
Just stick the battery outside or in a vented enclosure if inside unless you are sure somehow that it is not producing gas.
Sorry I wasn't clear, by using it I meant not connected to the charging circuit, just connected to the fuse box which runs my TV and 2 led lights.

Basically what I was going to do is if one day we plan on getting the camp site without power I would take my battery and hook it up to the 12v circuit of the PD4045 under the sink.

When we would get the camp site with power I just wouldn't take the battery with me.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:06 AM   #7
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Your approach requires good planning and then camping according to your plan. If you left the battery at home, you are limited to electric sites only. That would not work for me. We plan, but not to that level of detail, and dealing with surprises along our journeys is part of the fun! Also, I would probably drop and damage the battery while moving it around so much - hopefully not on my toes! I think the "standard" 12Volt setup is better.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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Your approach requires good planning and then camping according to your plan. If you left the battery at home, you are limited to electric sites only. That would not work for me. We plan, but not to that level of detail, and dealing with surprises along our journeys is part of the fun! Also, I would probably drop and damage the battery while moving it around so much - hopefully not on my toes! I think the "standard" 12Volt setup is better.
Bluetang99,
Your avatar just says "Scamp", but not what size. Does your trailer have electric brakes? Just curious, because if it does, the trailer battery needs to be installed while towing in the event of a "breakaway" trailer condition occurs. Trailer brakes are required for trailers over a certain weight in most states. I'm not sure what size trailer you have, but it is just one more item to consider if it does have brakes.

You can also save yourself a lot of work in having to go through the hassle of removing and reinstalling the battery all the time by installing a battery cut-off switch. YMMV
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bluetang99 View Post
Sorry I wasn't clear, by using it I meant not connected to the charging circuit, just connected to the fuse box which runs my TV and 2 led lights.

Basically what I was going to do is if one day we plan on getting the camp site without power I would take my battery and hook it up to the 12v circuit of the PD4045 under the sink.

When we would get the camp site with power I just wouldn't take the battery with me.

As Paul suggests I think you will find it far more convenient in the long run to just wire the the trailer up to the battery the conventional fashion so you always have the option of camping without power or with power without having to do anything.

Not clear by your profile what year Scamp you have but it should already be wired to allow for the battery on the tongue and lines to your convertor. ....... so your good to go with or without power, that is unless the PO decided to reinvent the wheel a mess with the wiring. ;-)
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:57 AM   #10
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Another reason for good ventilation is because during charging batteries produce hydrogen. Hydrogen is an explosive gas. Batteries should have enough ventilation to disperse this gas and all sources of ignition should be kept away.


Happy Camping!
Marky
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:04 AM   #11
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I think the optimum plan is to build a sealed battery box with a removable lid. Then run a vent tube (1/2" or larger pvc) from the top of the box in an upward direction to the outside of the trailer shell. Next install a small computer fan (apx 3" brushless 12v DC) that will draw less than 5 watts near the bottom of the box. Leave about a 1/2" gap between the batteries. There will some ventilation without the fan running as hydrogen is much lighter than air. Turn on the fan during heavy charge or discharge to assist in battery cooling.

Bill in NC, building Promaster camper
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:08 AM   #12
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twice....

I've had batteries explode near me TWICE....both are long stories but both times the circumstances were the battery(ies) had been rapidly completely discharged....AND a spark was introduced. Contrary to popular belief (Hindenberg stories et al) nothing much happens other than a VERY LOUD bang....the battery casings split open...battery caps crack/fly and some acid escapes....

Hydrogen is fourteen times lighter than air...venting is simple...manufacturers take the easy way out by mounting a battery box outside but this increases tounge weight and can become impractical if/when more storage is desired
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Bluetang99,
Your avatar just says "Scamp", but not what size. Does your trailer have electric brakes? Just curious, because if it does, the trailer battery needs to be installed while towing in the event of a "breakaway" trailer condition occurs. Trailer brakes are required for trailers over a certain weight in most states. I'm not sure what size trailer you have, but it is just one more item to consider if it does have brakes.
...
My Scamp did not come with a break-away and I am not aware of any Scamps that do. So the battery is not needed for the brakes in that case.

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Originally Posted by MarkyVasquez View Post
Another reason for good ventilation is because during charging batteries produce hydrogen. Hydrogen is an explosive gas. Batteries should have enough ventilation to disperse this gas and all sources of ignition should be kept away.
The OP posted that he is NOT going to be charging the battery in the camper.

He also said "for the time being" so this is not what he plans to do permanently, and perhaps not more than once.

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Originally Posted by wbullivant View Post
I think the optimum plan is to build a sealed battery box with a removable lid. Then run a vent tube (1/2" or larger pvc) from the top of the box in an upward direction to the outside of the trailer shell. Next install a small computer fan ...r
Again, the OP is not looking at the optimum permanent plan but just a simple way to watch TV with LED lights for the time being.

-----------------
I am not going to tell you that you can use your battery safely in the camper, because you can't do it easily. But if you were to do so, and you only used a few LED lights and a small TV, and you never charged it indoors, and if you kept the terminals protected to prevent shorts, and if you made sure it was not in an enclosed space (except the trailer it's self of course), and you kept sparks and other sources of ignition away (no cooking inside with the battery there also!) and you kept some windows and esp the top vent(s) open to move the air around, and you made sure there was no risk of electrolyte (acid) being spilled...

.. then the risk is pretty low. But the risk is real so for liability reasons I am telling you to not do it.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:34 AM   #14
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How about buy the battery box, they are plastic, strap closed, some have handles. You will use this when you do have a mount on the tongue, Said mount just being two pieces of angle iron that the plastic battery box gets strapped or bolted to.


When you want battery take box containing battery, during camp set up if you need battery put the box containing the battery on the ground by the tongue and hook it up. Don't need it then leave the battery box with battery packed away. Heck no reason you can't charge the thing if it is sitting in the box outside on the ground by the tongue.

http://www.amazon.com/NOCO-HM318BKS-.../dp/B004W5SGBO

You will have safer transport of the battery, covered when in use, safely vented during use. You will want one of those boxes eventually anyway as they protect the battery and make bringing into a garage or shed for off season storage much easier.

Don't kid yourself an exploding battery is no joke, I know of only one person that did it, they were jumping a car with battery that had just been run down trying to start. Exploding battery creates shrapnel covered with battery acid. Aside from extreme pain from the chunks of plastic that were blasted into his hand and arm covered with acid, even after pieces were removed the acid burned skin did not heal for months.
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