Smoking Batteries (was: Battery problem in our Parkliner) - Page 16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-16-2013, 09:29 PM   #211
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Shall we revert back to 'Smoking Batteries' title for the thread? Can someone here do that for me.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:37 PM   #212
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Mimi good luck and please let us know and take photos... since I think a few of us are going to be looking into doing it. I'm not thrilled with the thought but an option is to move the 2 batteries out of the street side lazerette and put them on the floor below the rear window... will take up some valuable floor space but the boxes will definitely fit. Could box it off to conceal it.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:45 PM   #213
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Thanks. I will definitely give an update. We store offsite and have littles to look after, so time is a limited window but my hope is that it can get done this weekend.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:00 PM   #214
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Mimi,

Is the 12V connection on your tow harness wired to allow trailer battery charging when you are towing? Mine is not, but I was curious if yours was, and if so, about how long you drove to go camping.

You said the event woke you up around 3:00 am. Do you recall about what time you plugged in at the campsite?

How hot was it outside that night?

And what else did you have running on power? Fantastic fan? If so, Which direction?, Air Conditioner? Anything else?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:14 PM   #215
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Originally Posted by mrscottyg View Post
Mimi,

Is the 12V connection on your tow harness wired to allow trailer battery charging when you are towing? Mine is not, but I was curious if yours was, and if so, about how long you drove to go camping.

You said the event woke you up around 3:00 am. Do you recall about what time you plugged in at the campsite?

How hot was it outside that night?
We have a factory installed tow package on our vehicle, but it's not setup to allow us to charge while towing. We plugged in about 7:30pm. It was not hot at all, maybe 70, we slept with windows open and the fan on, no ac.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:11 PM   #216
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Thread title changed again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimi Lee View Post
Shall we revert back to 'Smoking Batteries' title for the thread? Can someone here do that for me.
I've changed the thread title, as you can see. I left the "was" title, to help some of our more casual members find it again.

FWIW, "our" in the old title was intentional, as the thread addresses a problem in the OP's trailer which may or may not be common to other (early) Parkliners.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:13 PM   #217
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Thanks. I am going to run a test this weekend on our trailer. I've been reading about AGM batteries, and it seems you have to reduce the charge voltage when the ambient temperature is elevated. Your charger was working full tilt to recover a pair of very discharged batteries, probably at peak power. When the cooling fan turned on to keep the converter cool, that heat was being dumped into the same compartment as the batteries. If this heat cannot get out of the compartment, then it will get very hot. Since you lost both batteries at once, I wonder if this was due to Thermal Runaway. As the battery accepts current, its internal temperature rises. The rise in temperature reduces the battery impedance, causing it to accept more current. The higher current further heats the battery, and so on, causing the battery temperature to run away. An upper limit will eventually be reached when the electrolyte starts to boil.

When I hook up our trailer this weekend, I will monitor the temperature in this compartment so we can find out if we have an overheating condition.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:57 PM   #218
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Scott, you are on to something. I can confirm the cooling fan kicked on that evening. (Hindsight is 20/20). We did open the converter manual at that point to see if that was normal but there was nothing that called out to us the fan running was an emergency and not SOP due to it being warmer weather.

If only I knew then what I know now... As I have said many times

It will be very interesting to see what happens when you monitor for temperature this weekend.

Have fun, be safe (of course)
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:32 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Mary F View Post

I've changed the thread title, as you can see. I left the "was" title, to help some of our more casual members find it again.

FWIW, "our" in the old title was intentional, as the thread addresses a problem in the OP's trailer which may or may not be common to other (early) Parkliners.
Thanks Mary. Sorry for troubles.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:58 AM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscottyg View Post
Thanks. I am going to run a test this weekend on our trailer. I've been reading about AGM batteries, and it seems you have to reduce the charge voltage when the ambient temperature is elevated. Your charger was working full tilt to recover a pair of very discharged batteries, probably at peak power. When the cooling fan turned on to keep the converter cool, that heat was being dumped into the same compartment as the batteries. If this heat cannot get out of the compartment, then it will get very hot. Since you lost both batteries at once, I wonder if this was due to Thermal Runaway. As the battery accepts current, its internal temperature rises. The rise in temperature reduces the battery impedance, causing it to accept more current. The higher current further heats the battery, and so on, causing the battery temperature to run away. An upper limit will eventually be reached when the electrolyte starts to boil.

When I hook up our trailer this weekend, I will monitor the temperature in this compartment so we can find out if we have an overheating condition.

Now that sounds feasible. Keep us informed on the temperature rise. The temperature rise would probably be higher when the batteries are completely discharged.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:34 AM   #221
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This thread has been very interesting to read -- sometimes brilliant, sometimes shudder-worthy. It has bordered on bashing ParkLiner, but then backed away from that. In many industries, from RVs to autos, restaurants to hospitals, there is often a gap between "best practices" and "what works". The practice of putting the battery in an unvented interior compartment is not new, not unusual, and not unique to ParkLiner. I have seen the same thing on dozens of different trailers from different manufacturers. The possibility of a problem exists, but doesn't usually happen. But it CAN.

What I hope is that companies who are not following best practices with batteries will catch this message, and learn. Don't forget that most of the people who design and manufacture trailers are not licensed chemical engineers -- they are hands-on nuts-and-bolts people who hear the call of the open road and the song of the forest. We can help them learn the intricacies, or we can be critical of them for not knowing what we didn't know, either.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:53 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by Mimi Lee View Post
Scott, you are on to something. I can confirm the cooling fan kicked on that evening. (Hindsight is 20/20). We did open the converter manual at that point to see if that was normal but there was nothing that called out to us the fan running was an emergency and not SOP due to it being warmer weather.

If only I knew then what I know now... As I have said many times

It will be very interesting to see what happens when you monitor for temperature this weekend.

Have fun, be safe (of course)
These cooling fans are designed to come on in what I will call "normal" operation. The fan in the converter in my camper ( wyfco ) will come on, and cycle on and off just from turning a few lights on in the camper. Of course that is a load on it that is also in addition to the power it is sending to the battery, even if all it is doing in running in "maintenance output".

Point is, there was at least an implication that the fan kicking on may have contributed to the failure of the batteries. I'm seeing this as a bit of a stretch. How hot does it get under the hood of your car on a hot summer day ? How many of us have run an AGM battery pretty low in the car, and then subsequently had that battery get hit with the rapid charging that occurs from the high output alternator ? This is "normal" operating parameters for this stuff, and we don't see widespread failure of batteries in these circumstances.

......just some more food for thought.....
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #223
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Or not. Perhaps the issue really hasn't been about the battery, but that Parkliner does not isolate and vent the battery.
Perhaps, those who have other brand trailers could simply post in this thread, what their manufacturer does. We've already learned that batteries should be contained and vented.
Any event, mine is outside on the back bumper.
Glenn, Would you mind posting a picture of your battery that is mounted on the bumper ?
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #224
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Would it be practical to mount the battery on the tongue of these trailers ?
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