Bigfoot Battery Bodge - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-16-2016, 08:09 PM   #1
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 17.5'
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Bigfoot Battery Bodge

Finally, at 61, brought home my very first travel trailer: a 17.5' 2005 Bigfoot! I'm hoping my wife will use it enough going to retriever trials that it will be worth it!

It needs a bit of touch up, but there is one glaring problem...a local "RV professional" installed a solar panel, and upgraded to (2) 12 volt batteries...but he moved them inside, under the drivers side dinette seat. They're inside some sort of plastic dual battery box. Now...
I know this is not good. Pain the butt to relocate them again. Occurred to me that a possibility would be to bite the bullet and pay for 2 replacement AGM batteries, but repeatedly in this forum I see people insist that the explosion danger still exists with AGM's. But no explanation? All the info I read on them insists that they DO NOT vent to the atmosphere. Can anyone clarify this for me?

Cheers,
Dogteam
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:41 PM   #2
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The battery box should be vented outside the shell of the trailer. If not, I would either take it to the upgrader or do it myself; it's just a matter of flex hose over to a vent fitting. The whole shebang looks like this, but you could just buy the pieces you need for probably $10 or less.

Vented Battery Box Large White - $29.99
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Old 04-16-2016, 08:59 PM   #3
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Ah. Interesting. The box looks airtight, I could add the vent i suppose...If I could bring myself to cut a 4" hole in the shell....
Thanks for that!

dt
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dogteam View Post
Ah. Interesting. The box looks airtight, I could add the vent i suppose...If I could bring myself to cut a 4" hole in the shell....
Thanks for that!

dt
Any RV type shop could do the install; the parts are cheap. I think the hose on my Escape is only a little over an inch diameter. The outer vent is nowhere near the size needed to cover a 4 inch hole!
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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Oh, OK. I was going by the ad, says 4.5" vent. How large would you figure is adequate?

(BTW, if anyone has an answer to my AGM battery question...still curious!)

DT
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:49 PM   #6
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Dunno hole size. I could measure mine tomorrow. You might call these guys:


MTS Products 274 Battery Box Vent Kit w/ 30" Hose Polar White

Can't answer the AGM question, just know I wouldn't spend the money compared to putting in a vent.
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Dunno hole size. I could measure mine tomorrow. You might call these guys:


MTS Products 274 Battery Box Vent Kit w/ 30" Hose Polar White

Can't answer the AGM question, just know I wouldn't spend the money compared to putting in a vent.
Charlie is right - a proper vented battery box with a small vent in the side of the trailer will fix the issue.

I know there is a lot of info on the internet that suggests AGM batteries do not need any venting - I would suggest that is not necessarily true will all brands/types of AGM's and people really do need to start reading the manufactures install instructions
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogteam View Post
I see people insist that the explosion danger still exists with AGM's. But no explanation? All the info I read on them insists that they DO NOT vent to the atmosphere. Can anyone clarify this for me?

Cheers,
Dogteam
I forgot to mention that the issue with not venting AGM Batteries came up here a few years ago when a new trailer manufacture failed to vent theirs and it resulted in a few members here having overheated batteries burning the bottom of the hatch they where in and some smoke in the trailer - one member had a young child sleeping on top of the battery hatch when it happened in their trailer.

On another forum: Evoluionm.net - Battery Vent - scroll down to post #7 The rep for Optima batteries explains why there instructions state their sealed batteries should be vented to the outside and they actually are designed with a vent built in to attach the hose to them. He came on here as well due to the above mentioned incidents and gave the same explanation as to why Optima sealed batteries should have been vented to the outside.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:39 AM   #9
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Carol, Charlie...thank you for all that good advice! I understand now about the AGM batteries, and I have a pretty inexpensive fix for my problem!

I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

Cheers!

dt
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:25 AM   #10
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First I spent my working life dealing with Hydrogen manufacturing.

The chances of you having a problem with so little hydrogen from a battery I would not be concerned. There is enough air movement in the trailer to deal with it, at best I would if concerned add one vent in the dinette seat.

As for AGM batteries I use them in my electric dive hookah 68 amp size it is a sealed unit as it has to be water tight with an electric compressor that can run for 2.5 hours. Mine are layed on there side to fit in the space no venting needed as they are sealed.

The kind of Hydrogen levels you would need to be a problem are very remote.

Its not unheard of to have some other problem with batteries ie an internal short that can cause a battery explosion but one should not assume its hydrogen without facts.

The thing to always remember is anything sold in the USA that carries any kind of liability is something every manufacture will guard themselves against. Hence warnings about everything even if remote.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel A. View Post
First I spent my working life dealing with Hydrogen manufacturing.

The chances of you having a problem with so little hydrogen from a battery I would not be concerned. There is enough air movement in the trailer to deal with it, at best I would if concerned add one vent in the dinette seat.

As for AGM batteries I use them in my electric dive hookah 68 amp size it is a sealed unit as it has to be water tight with an electric compressor that can run for 2.5 hours. Mine are layed on there side to fit in the space no venting needed as they are sealed.

The kind of Hydrogen levels you would need to be a problem are very remote.

Its not unheard of to have some other problem with batteries ie an internal short that can cause a battery explosion but one should not assume its hydrogen without facts.

The thing to always remember is anything sold in the USA that carries any kind of liability is something every manufacture will guard themselves against. Hence warnings about everything even if remote.
Yes, I suspected as much. And I'm very familiar with litigious butt-covering. But...the trailer is mostly for my wife, and I want to make it as safe as possible for to use. I'll probably, based on what you said, go with a small vent. Maybe throw in a couple of yellow tops when the time comes (but probably not, I'm at heart pretty cheap <_<).

Thanks,
DT
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:42 AM   #12
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Daniel, not to sidetrack this thread, but I see you have a 17' Bigfoot. What do you use for a hitch? This one just came with one of those Reese friction sway bars...
I'm towing with a Sequoia.

dt
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:07 AM   #13
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Your talking about a weight distribution hitch,yes I have the Reese it keeps everything level, as long as you set your brake controller properly it works like a charm.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Daniel A. View Post

The thing to always remember is anything sold in the USA that carries any kind of liability is something every manufacture will guard themselves against. Hence warnings about everything even if remote.
While you may believe it to be remote for an unvented AGM battery to become a serious hazard to the occupants of a travel trailer we have more than a few members here who will tell you it REALLY can happen!
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