Battery location - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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Is it safe to place the battery where my refrigerator used to be (assuming I can get it out tonight) ?

It would now be in a very well ventilated area but not technically sealed off since since the cabinet doors are not air tight.

Thoughts?

Dan
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Old 04-26-2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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I know there are some strong opinions on this issue due to the fact that when the battery is being charged there is a small amount of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas produced, and these mixed together can be quite explosive.

But consider your car, battery in the engine compartment with sparks flying all around during dry weather. And many of the older cars and pickups had the batteries under the seat. The only problem I've ever heard was when a fellow pulled the caps off his battery while it was on a high rate charger and peered down the holes to check the water level with a cigarette in his mouth. I don't even know if the story was true -- probably someone just thought it up to scare little children.

So I am a little cavalier about such things. Of course, I managed to survive my infanthood and childhood just fine without a seat belt and haven't yet figured out how work my daughter's cell phone or digital camera.

But if you are concerned, you can get a regulation battery box at a marine supply.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:08 PM   #3
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We`ve had 8D diesel batteries blow up from a spark while under charge where I used to work.....also batteries can blow when boosting cars from the arcing of the booster cables when the batteries are connected with the wrong polarity or in the wrong sequence or at the wrong point.....stuff like this happens.......Benny
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:36 AM   #4
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Dan,

You asked for thoughts...

Do I have a philosophical objection to sealing it off? Is it physically impossible to find a location due to space considerations? Do I travel alone with no one else I care about in the trailer? Battery explosions are relatively rare. Will I be comforted that it was a one-in-a-million chance that my beloved pet weasel went up in the explosion? I can't eliminate all risk so where do I draw the line? What is reasonable due diligence?
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:21 AM   #5
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Dan, as long as the battery is in a plastic battery box with lid so it can't leak acid into the trailer, and the fridge compartment is still vented to the atmosphere, I think it's almost an ideal location. I don't see a problem at all.

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Old 04-27-2006, 01:39 PM   #6
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What's the main concern here? Is it the fumes (regardless if it blows or not?) or the spill factor?

I assume by placing it in a plasstic battery box and strapping it down I'm OK.

Dan
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:35 PM   #7
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What's the main concern here? Is it the fumes (regardless if it blows or not?) or the spill factor?

I assume by placing it in a plasstic battery box and strapping it down I'm OK.

Dan
Dan, I think it's both spill containment and venting hydrogen. I also think that by putting it in a box and strapping it down in a well ventilated compartment, you're fine.

Roger
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:05 PM   #8
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I must be dense. If the danger is the creation of explosive gases during charging, wouldn't placing battery inside a covered little plastic box make accumulating said gasses more probable?

Now that aside, I take it the ideal location would be on the tongue? Or would the rear bumper be better? Or, does it matter, so long as the battery is kept outside?

When I got my Burro, judging from the wires and a metal tray on the curbside rear bumper, that's where the battery was kept. But I don't want to put my new battery there. I like keeping the bumper clear. I also don't want the battery where it can be seen and becomes a temptation.

There's no room for it on the tongue, so I was planning to place it under the sink, where my original fridge was, but I have sealed up those fridge vents. By placing it in a plastic box have I reduced to negligible the probabilities of placing my weasels at risk, or not? Or, if I buy a sealed battery which has no openings, does the entire safety question become moot?
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Old 04-27-2006, 05:50 PM   #9
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I'm not certain, but I think you can buy replacement battery caps that have a fitting to attach a vent hose. This would be an ideal way to vent a battery.

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Old 04-27-2006, 05:59 PM   #10
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So you would drill a hole in the wall or floor for the hose to expell what its venting? Gosh I don't think I would do that.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:02 PM   #11
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So you would drill a hole in the wall or floor for the hose to expell what its venting? Gosh I don't think I would do that.
I don't see why not... Your trailer already has a few holes in the floor. Get a drill, cut the hole(s), and if you are fussy paint the unfinished surface inside the hole.

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Old 04-27-2006, 07:16 PM   #12
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...Or, if I buy a sealed battery which has no openings, does the entire safety question become moot?
No, because there are no completely sealed batteries. Gel and AGM batteries normally do not vent, but still have a safety overpressure vent, which is why they can be mounted any way except upside-down. I think an AGM battery would significantly reduce the risk (which may be low anyway), but indications from AGM manufacturers on their web sites are that venting the compartment is still required for safety.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:30 PM   #13
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Are you aware that every Cadilac de Ville has a battery under the rear seat. It is a sealed lead acid battery. I don't think they would put one there if it was unsafe.

The only danger is if under heavy charging the hydrogen generated would leak out and be ignited somehow. There is a very minute probability that this would happen.
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Old 04-27-2006, 08:31 PM   #14
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If you had a small case of some type, preferably plastic, with the side against the fridge vent open and possibly a gasketed access door from the cupboards I don`t think you`d have a problem....your fridge was sealed off from the trailer interior if it had gas capability.....I was under the impression that the battery would just be placed in the fridge space and open to the cupboards which would cause a possible high accumulation of gas...also like Brian said...the cars that had batteries in the passenger compartments, i.e. Corvettes, had a fairly tight access hatch from the passenger cabin to the battery compartment with venting thru the case bottom.......Benny
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:29 AM   #15
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Are you aware that every Cadilac de Ville has a battery under the rear seat. It is a sealed lead acid battery. I don't think they would put one there if it was unsafe.

The only danger is if under heavy charging the hydrogen generated would leak out and be ignited somehow. There is a very minute probability that this would happen.
The battery in located in a vented box. The Cadillac manual warns about making sure the vent hose is attached and about open flame in the vicinity of the battery, particularly during charging. I don't consider this a remote possiblity in what is a small room with gas cooking appliances.

But, to each his own.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:00 PM   #16
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Here is a "reasonable" price in a vented battery box that I have found:

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/rv-conv...oxes-vented.htm



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Old 04-28-2006, 08:11 PM   #17
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Here's an even better "deal" - though I do not know how they are to deal with:

http://www.marinersdirect.com/shorts/detai...hp?ITEM=5720159



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Old 05-02-2006, 10:02 PM   #18
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All of the millions of VW Beatles had the battery under the rear seat. I never heard of a safety problem with that. BUT, anyone who has messed around with old VW's knows that the floor under the battery is often eaten away from battery acid. To protect other things that might be stored on the floor in your battery storage area, it would be really cheap insurance to spend the 30 bucks on a vented container such as the one ttmatson referenced.

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Old 05-02-2006, 11:05 PM   #19
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Quote:
All of the millions of VW Beatles had the battery under the rear seat. I never heard of a safety problem with that. BUT, anyone who has messed around with old VW's knows that the floor under the battery is often eaten away from battery acid. To protect other things that might be stored on the floor in your battery storage area, it would be really cheap insurance to spend the 30 bucks on a vented container such as the one ttmatson referenced.

Bob
I watched a neighbors VW burn. He drove home went into the house and boom, the battery blew up. One crispy VW. This was a buss not a bug.
I think I'll keep my battery out on the tongue.
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Old 05-03-2006, 04:59 AM   #20
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Most of the VW fires were from rubber fuel lines that broke and leaked onto hot manifolds. I had a buddy who had a microbus go up in smoke too, only his was on the freeway.

The issue with batteries when they charge isn't the release of hydrogen, it's the hydrogen gas concentration build-up. As with any fuel, (wheat or soybean dust included) it has to reach a specific concentration in the surrounding air for it to oxidize (burn or explode). The most critical place for that concentration is at the battery caps in the top of the battery's cells when it's charging. After that, if the battery is in a small confined space without being adequately vented to atmosphere, eventually the air-to-hydrogen ratio can build up to an explosive level.

I remind you that you can extinguish a lit match in liquid gasoline. You are probably much more at risk of explosion from gasoline vapor spilling from the fill spout every time you fill your car's gas tank, or when you get gas and a truck is filling the station's tanks; and few of us have ever seen either of those occur.

While a hydrogen explosion can happen with batteries, as a practical matter, I just don't think that a battery encased in a strapped-down, vented standard RV-style plastic box in a compartment vented with refrigerator vent-sized holes is going to be a problem, even with a cooking stove above it. There is just too much free air exchange from the refrigerator vents for hydrogen to build up or be a problem. Lots of RVs (including my Airstream) have vented battery compartments inside the body. They have just a wooden box with a battery tray in them, and a small vent in the door. I have yet to hear of or personally have a problem with them.

Roger
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