Smoking Batteries (was: Battery problem in our Parkliner) - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-12-2013, 03:12 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Spanke View Post
I never really thought I would state this on this forum, but, I really have to agree with everything Byron has stated about this problem.

He is 100% correct! IMHO (And his too!)

Thanks!

Spanke

I wouldn't say I was 100% correct. In fact I'm probably not 100% correct.
I do believe my theory of what happened is a starting point. There's a lot of assumptions in my analysis, that's how failure analysis works. Actually we know very little at this stage of the game.
We know that something was released from the batteries that resulted in the appearance of something that was assumed to be smoke, enough so that the smoke alarm went off. And that's about all we really know. The rest is based on possible causes and possible assumptions. One of the first assumptions was the failure of both batteries was unlikely, however it's not impossible that both batteries developed a shorted or low resistance cell. One my assumptions was the batteries were fully discharged, that might not be the case.
I assumed that most probable cause the batteries expelling what we believe is electrolyte was over heating of the batteries during charging. I believe this is pretty close. Was it because of charge rate, or simply "overcharge". I can make a case for either way.
Failure analysis is a system of knowing what happened, knowing how it should have worked, then developing theories based on that knowledge. The assumptions used are systematically shown to valid or not, new theories are formed based on the new information and process goes on. It's been said it's like peeling an onion, each layer is discarded with new information until you reach the center. Sometimes there's only one layer sometimes there's hundreds.

The one thing that bothers me about this case is it's quite possible that the "root cause" will never be found. Another possibility is the "tongue in the side of cheek" fix. Unfortunately I've seen this way too many times.

The tongue in the side of the cheek fix. When fishing all day and not catching a fish, one last cast before I give up. I place my tongue strongly against the inside of my right cheek and low behold I catch a fish. Therefore the answer to catching fish is the tongue strongly pressed against the inside of right cheek.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:02 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by glennco View Post
So I have a question related to all the issues discussed here. These are AGM batteries, so a single bad cell isn't supposed to cause a full short in the battery correct?

But let's say a full short occurred in one of the batteries. How would the converter handle that situation? Could that have caused this issue?
If just one battery failed with a cell short, that battery could overheat, or more likely simply hog all the current and not allow the other one to charge. In our case here both batteries were expelling a liquid, which indicates an over pressure inside the case. One battery with a shorted cell cannot cause the other battery to increase internal pressure.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:09 AM   #73
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I have the same converter with a Lifeline AGM. It charges fine. Unlike flooded cells, AGMs have a very low self discharge. I leave mine for 5 months and it drops about 0.3 volts. But, I fully charge it before I put it away for the winter. As I said earlier, I suspect the converter malfunctioned. Raz
Here's some more assumptions is form of ifs. If the fridge has an electronic control panel was that on, is there a propane detector installed. Those two item could drain the batteries in a few months.

However, after thinking about this a bit more, I'm more inclined to think the converter attempted to charge to a voltage above where the maximum charge point is. (my solar charger charges to 13.8 for sealed batteries)
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:57 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Here's some more assumptions is form of ifs. If the fridge has an electronic control panel was that on, is there a propane detector installed. Those two item could drain the batteries in a few months.

However, after thinking about this a bit more, I'm more inclined to think the converter attempted to charge to a voltage above where the maximum charge point is. (my solar charger charges to 13.8 for sealed batteries)

Don't forget, these folks were camping. The tow vehicle would have charged the battery along the way.

Long distance troubleshooting is a nice academic exercise but I will be surprised if we find out the cause here. Take care, Raz
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:00 AM   #75
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I'm not sure what caused this situation. But, if this were my trailer, I'd seriously look into moving the batteries outside, to the tongue. While sealed batteries present less danger from hydrogen gas, it's still scary to think of a potential battery explosion with only a thin piece of plywood and perhaps a mattress separating my head from disaster. Also, some type of non-conductive strap should be used to secure the battery(ies) and the entire electrical load for the battery(ies) should also be fused right at the positive battery terminal. Just my opinion.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:29 AM   #76
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If I was Chandler, I'd have a three way call with the converter manufacturer and the battery manufacturer. It sounds like there may be a fundamental design issue. The solution may be as simple as setting the converter to the gel battery mode.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:42 AM   #77
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Any ideas on how to install something that would be better?

When I Google Optima batteries (or really any battery for that matter, including the one in my truck) they mostly have a steel bar holding the battery down.

Is the main concern the metal strap has more potential flex than a steel bar? Do you think that as long as the metal strap is secure it is likely ok?

Just asking, hoping for someone to convince me one way or another!

Mark
IMHO, the battery mounting in the Parkliner is inadequate. I'd either get a battery tray with strap or plastic battery boxes.

Battery Tray For Optima Series by T-H Marine | Marine Products Pro Shop

Kilby Dual Battery Tray

Noco Heavy-Duty Battery Box | Battery Boxes| Northern Tool + Equipment
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:55 AM   #78
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It's unfortunate that the name of the thread has been changed to include "Parkliner". It implies a problem with the trailer when neither the batteries nor the converter were made by them. Raz
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #79
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Could someone attach a picture of where they have added a circuit breaker to the positive battery terminal? Google seaches turn up nada! I am wondering if there is something tailor made for this purpose.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:15 AM   #80
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Would something like this be a good upgrade? It is a battery box with 350 lbs of force resistance.

Amazon.com: Attwood Power Guard 27 Battery Box, Vented, 27 series: Sports & Outdoors
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:25 AM   #81
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Could someone attach a picture of where they have added a circuit breaker to the positive battery terminal? Google seaches turn up nada! I am wondering if there is something tailor made for this purpose.
Here are 2 pictures, one is the one found on most trailer frames and the other one found at the battery.
Attached Images
  
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:43 AM   #82
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Here are 2 pictures, one is the one found on most trailer frames and the other one found at the battery.
That helps. Any thoughts on where I would purchase something like the second picture? Those appear to be UK companies.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #83
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That helps. Any thoughts on where I would purchase something like the second picture? Those appear to be UK companies.
Any Auto Parts Store.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:57 AM   #84
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Advance Auto carries them as does Amazon
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