Interior mounting of Optima batteries... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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Hello All,

This may have been asked before or discussed, but would there be any reason why you couldn't mount a sealed Optima battery on the interior of a trailer? Under the dinette benches or where ever?

Optima RV Batteries

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Old 10-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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I read that it is OK to do so and I also read that they can be runed easy by being overcharged so should you not have a quality converter with charge controller, you may want to reconsider
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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Mine is under the front streetside bench, vented through the floor, never had an issue so far
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:11 PM   #4
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The Optima battery Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says this in the "Reactivity" section: "Sparks and othe souces of ignition may ignite hydrogen gas." And in the "Engineering Controls" section: "Never recharge batteries in an enclosed, unventilated space."
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
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Hello Peter,

Thanks for digging that up, its food for thought. I suppose the chances are very low for explosion, but do the benefits out way the risk?

I was tossing around the idea of two more batteries under the bunk or adding another battery (one) to the tongue like Bill has done.....Bill's mods.

I'm planning on doing an axle flip, if I do the flip there will be clearance for a second battery below the tongue.



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Old 10-06-2008, 11:57 AM   #6
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The issue is really whether the charging circuit you use causes or helps prevent battery outgassing.

If there is no outgas then it can not ignite.

Properly charged batteries should not outgas but......

If your battery box is under the dinette but in an enclosure that is vented outside then you should be OK.

I would both use a good charger and provide a sealed compartment vented outside just to be safe.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:23 PM   #7
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Is there quality issues with the factory installed converter/charger in rv's? Should we be buying new ones?
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:24 PM   #8
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FWIW,

Optima batteries, like gel cells should not be charged at voltages above 14.1 volts. If your charger cannot be adjusted for AGMs or restricted to the manufacturer's recommended charging cycle, then you may need a better charging system. If you cause a gel cell or AGM to 'outgas' you will ruin the battery because there is no way to replenish the lost 'gas' (electrolyte). With conventional batteries you just add water so cooking the electrolyte is less of an issue. Cook the electrolyte in a gel cell or AGM battery to the point of outgassing and you've just ruined it.

Assuming you charge them properly, there should be no outgassing; so mount them wherever. Except that I would hesitate to put anything that heavy behind the axle.

By the way one of the main features of AGM batteries is that they can absorb charging current quickly. They can accept charging rates to 50% of capacity. A 100 amp hour AGM can accept upwards of 50 amps without problems provided that the voltage is under 14.1. That means faster 'bulk' charging anyway. But you need a charger and cables capable of handling the load.

The lack of 'outgassing also means that you will have less maintenance as the terminals won't build up corrosion as quickly as the typical wet cell battery.

Also if you're like me and tend to neglect your batteries, AGMs can be recharged after being discharged and left that way for a while. They recover nicely as do gel cells.

Charge ON!
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Is there quality issues with the factory installed converter/charger in rv's? Should we be buying new ones?
Converters are primarily 12VDC power supplies; battery charging for most is a distant second function and can ruin a battery if left connected long enough (like in storage). Modern converters are generally upgradeable to produce multistage charging, but it's not cheap.

A lot depends on your camping style -- If one camps with 120VAC power (hook-up or generator) then a good converter might be good -- If one camps without the 120VAC power then what use is it?

Personally, I fall in the latter class, so I pulled the 12VDC fuse block out of my converter and ditched it as being excess weight (newer converters are electronic, so they don't weigh much) -- For the times when I do have 120VAC available I bought a good multistage charger, which has other uses.

Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice!
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:33 AM   #10
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Is there quality issues with the factory installed converter/charger in rv's? Should we be buying new ones?
Yes Ken, there is definitely a quality issue with some factory installed converters. The Magnatek converters Casita installs are particularly bad. The 6300 series was terrible and the 7300 series in use now is not much better.

I don't know what converter Bigfoot uses, but if yours is original, I'd recommend replacing it. For about $200 you can get a Progressive Dynamics converter from Best Converters. If you're installing expensive batteries in your trailer, that would be cheap insurance.

I fried two batteries using Magnatek converters in Casitas. The first was with a 6300 series from the factory. The second was with a 7300 series upgrade I did and that was an AGM battery it wiped out.

After upgrading to a Progressive Dynamics with a Charge Wizard, I never had another problem. With a decent converter, you can leave your trailer plugged in to ground power indefinitely without damage to your battery. It keeps the battery at the proper charge level without overcharging. It also minimizes sulphation which is a major killer for lead-acid batteries (including AGM).

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Old 10-16-2008, 08:02 AM   #11
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The Optima battery Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) says this in the "Reactivity" section: "Sparks and othe souces of ignition may ignite hydrogen gas." And in the "Engineering Controls" section: "Never recharge batteries in an enclosed, unventilated space."
That info gets me to thinking about battery boxes. Hydrogen rises, the lid is 1.5 - 2" high above the openings for the wires which one might be consider vents creating a potential gas trap. Does that mean charging a battery while in a battery box is unsafe?
Where is the source of ignition going to come from?
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:29 AM   #12
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That info gets me to thinking about battery boxes. Hydrogen rises, the lid is 1.5 - 2" high above the openings for the wires which one might be consider vents creating a potential gas trap. Does that mean charging a battery while in a battery box is unsafe?
Where is the source of ignition going to come from?
My battery box has little vents at the top.
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Old 10-19-2008, 03:38 PM   #13
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Loose or corroded connections...
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:13 PM   #14
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There is a reason ALL mfrs place the battery(ies) on the trailer tongue. I would not try to second guess them and place it inside the trailer. A storage battery contains a LOT ot power and any glitch in its operation could prove fatal if mounted inside the closed living space.
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