Smoking Batteries (was: Battery problem in our Parkliner) - Page 19 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2013, 01:02 PM   #253
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Mark, Thanks for taking the time for you report, good info. I don't have the same problem with everyone that has the duel battery setup. Having just the one battery will be somewhat easier to manage, having more room to get a sealed battery box into. I have also thought about moving the battery to the rear bumper, as I carry my bikes on a rack over my truck bed. And my battery is mostly located to the very rear, so going to the rear bumper seems logical. I only have 1 lp tank, but just don't like the idea of putting it out on the tongue because of the extra weight there. So for me it will be rear bumper or where it is but in a vented box.
You bring up something I thought about but didn't fully explore, which is going to a one-battery setup. In fact, that might be my best solution. Most of my trips are three days or less in duration, and I do have a Honda generator I could use on longer trips. That would give me an installed battery that I could put in a vented box. Ideally, I would go with a D31M and use it's built in vent and route to the outside...but that involves a purchase and finding a buyer for the current Group 34's.

Thanks for letting me know your plan...it got my wheels turning in a different direction!
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #254
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Mark, No problem I'm glad it got you thinking about another alternative. By the way I do camp for a week up in the Adirondack's with no hook ups, and have never had a dead battery. But I do run led lights and don't run the furnace much at all. And you can always top it off a bit during the day with a small solar panel if need be. I think you will be just fine with only one.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #255
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Thanks for sharing Mark.
I can imagine running such an _experiment_ took a bit of the "Relaxation" out of the R & R !

My Xantrex LinkLITE battery monitor shows up this week and will be installed before we head out for 5 days off grid...it will be a nice test of things.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:23 PM   #256
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Thanks for sharing Mark.
I can imagine running such an _experiment_ took a bit of the "Relaxation" out of the R & R !

My Xantrex LinkLITE battery monitor shows up this week and will be installed before we head out for 5 days off grid...it will be a nice test of things.
I call it "adventure!"

That looks like a very informative little device. Let me know how the install goes and if you like the information it provides. I may install one myself if your feedback is positive.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #257
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A little of both. I figured I would hear the batteries vent, so I kept the compartment mostly closed to avoid creating a mess if that began to occur.

I checked on them at fairly regular intervals.

The air temp was in the 70's. I had the overhead fan going and the windows open.

Every time you opened that compartment you let cooler air in thus not duplicating the OP condition. But it's important to note that you did notice some battery heating. The influx of cooler air prevented thermal runaway, if thermal runaway was the cause of the OP failure.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:23 PM   #258
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hmmm well for those of us with the streetside batteries and all, what about some kind of mesh door where the 30 amp cable is located. If that was open while the ParkLiner is plugged in it would allow some airflow into the battery/charging area.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:38 PM   #259
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I was contemplating putting one of those black 2" drain thingies like i put on the lid of the battery bay...but then i saw all the gaps around the edges of the door and thought there might just be enough air-flow without it!
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #260
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Every time you opened that compartment you let cooler air in thus not duplicating the OP condition. But it's important to note that you did notice some battery heating. The influx of cooler air prevented thermal runaway, if thermal runaway was the cause of the OP failure.
Just for the record, MANY things about my "test" did not duplicate the situation of the OP. And trust me, I wasn't trying!
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:58 PM   #261
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hmmm well for those of us with the streetside batteries and all, what about some kind of mesh door where the 30 amp cable is located. If that was open while the ParkLiner is plugged in it would allow some airflow into the battery/charging area.
It seems like unless it also had a fan, it wouldn't necessarily help remove a ton of heat from the compartment. And here in the deep south...it might make my situation worse!

Even my little AAA batteries I use in my headlamp heat up with I recharge them. All batteries warm up when charged, right? I didn't mean to scare anyone with the comments about the batteries getting warm...I would expect fully discharged (as mine were) batteries to generate heat when recharging.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #262
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Mark, Thanks for sharing your experience this weekend as you monitored the charging of your batteries and observation that your 'test' didn't produce the Thermal runaway scenario. I realize we had an additional draw on the battery that I didn't think about.. the refrigerator. The CW tech guy reported that one of the batteries had an internal failure, so I think it's definitely the variable in play. I didn't retain the compromised battery so unfortunately can't send it back for any further assessment.

Thom, you are really amazing how quickly you are rolling out and writing up your mods. Really impressive. When the battery boxes were delivered Friday I knew right away we were not going to be able to fit them. We are in process with building a custom box solution to accommodate the batteries. It won't be completely airtight, but will vent to the outside, address the straps, and create a separation from the converter. We're trying to figure out to vent out the back like yours and cut through the fiberglass shell (wince) or to go through the door on the side that is already there anyways and cut that instead.

Tim, Thanks for your comments as I was thinking along the same lines this weekend. On all our camping trips we've gone to state parks and plugged in, so culling down to one battery is a viable alternative to me, and your experience in terms of how long your one battery lasts, makes me feel we could definitely go this route. We have two propane tanks on the tongue so batteries can't go out there. I prefer to go down to one battery than to relocate the batteries in another interior space. And I feel more secure to have it in a sealed battery box.

We also will have a temp/smoke alarm to be installed in the space which could have alerted us to the problem as soon as the acid has started to char the wooden cover. And as many pointed out earlier a fuse switch to be installed at the battery, and a battery monitor, though that would not have prevented this specific incident. It's going to be a phased approach since off site storage means we have limited time window to access and work on the trailer.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:21 PM   #263
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Mark, Thanks for sharing your experience this weekend as you monitored the charging of your batteries and observation that your 'test' didn't produce the Thermal runaway scenario. I realize we had an additional draw on the battery that I didn't think about.. the refrigerator.
I was using propane to cool the fridge the first night. I would have used the AC mode but as my unit is relatively new, I wanted to shake out all modes of operation of the equipment before I go too far afield. I used AC the second night.

I suspect you were using the AC selection and not the DC selection on that first night?

If you WERE using DC, it is probably worth noting that the instructions for the Norcold fridge (I am guessing we have the same one?) state to not use DC operation to cool the fridge initially...it is only for maintaining the temp once it has been cooled.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #264
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Yes, sorry, AC mode . We only use the fridge in AC or propane mode.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:01 PM   #265
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...Thom, you are really amazing how quickly you are rolling out and writing up your mods...We're trying to figure out to vent out the back like yours and cut through the fiberglass shell (wince) or to go through the door on the side that is already there anyways and cut that instead...
Thanks again Mimi. And on the shore power door thingy...
Yes on "wincing" when i thought that cutting through that beautiful gel coat on the back wall was the solution. I really wanted to go through the power-cord door on the street side...BUT, i'm not sure the door would hold up with the extra stress of tubing of any size. From what has been shared with me, 2" is suggested as a hose size for non-sealed lead acid batteries. What Optima Jim pointed out was that the 27 and 31 batteries have a built in vent hole that small tubing is plugged in to (the Optima customer service guy stated 1/4" outside diameter tubing?)...so i sort of guessed (remember i'm not a rocket scientist ; ) that 3/4" with the sealed AGM batteries in their own area to the outside would suffice, or at least let some air circulate (the battery area also has a ~1"x2" opening on the box bottom for intake/circulation).

Anywhoo, that power cord door on #35 is flimsy, and i think i would have to have the lightest of tubing to make things work for very long before having to replace the door hardware...so i went out the back. AND as i posted...Even my McGirlver-Perfectionist wife thinks the through-the-hull fitting looks nice. (but between us...i still was seriously nervous taking a 1" drill bit through that shiny fiberglass!)

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #266
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Thom, Thanks for sharing the specifics behind the tubing size you used. I agree with mrs, McGyrlver that you did a phenomenal job with the vent. It looks as if it came like that from factory. I prefer this placement too for the reason that if there was flammable gases passing it may be advantageous not to have it venting right in front on of the power connection. Out the back seems even if only slightly, a better place. It's just hopefully we make it as clean cut as how you did yours. And any tips on how to control or contain the fiberglass dust (ouchies!) from the drilling?

Just figuring out how to configure the batteries in the space and the construction of the box constructed has taken most of the weekend. Question: Do your batteries sit on spacers or something to allow for the circulation within the box or do you have vents at the bottom?
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