Do I need a battery box? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:16 PM   #1
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Do I need a battery box?

I'm planning on installing a deep cycle battery under the seat in my Trillium camper. Thinking of getting one from Costco (Kirkland).

Do I need a battery box to avoid toxic fumes?
The box under the seat acts as a battery box would, I think. It's closed (but not fully sealed)

AGM batteries are double the price and I'm not ready to spend that much.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:22 AM   #2
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short answer...yes.

lead acid batteries emit dangerous gas (hydrogen). remember the hindenburg?

best to get that gas outside.

p@
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:43 AM   #3
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You want to vent it to the outside also😎
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:59 AM   #4
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Battery boxes for inside use are sealed with a vent hose to the exterior. It means cutting a small hole in the shell.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by thimith View Post
I'm planning on installing a deep cycle battery under the seat in my Trillium camper. Thinking of getting one from Costco (Kirkland).

Do I need a battery box to avoid toxic fumes?
The box under the seat acts as a battery box would, I think. It's closed (but not fully sealed)

AGM batteries are double the price and I'm not ready to spend that much.
Everyone else answered the question on the need for a sealed battery box, but have you considered mounting it on the tongue to save space and eliminate the sealed box.

AGM batteries offer way more for the price. With proper care to both flooded and AGM, the AGM will last nearly twice as long, it discharges way slower when not in use, it charges faster, can handle extreme hot or cold better, and can be used inside without a vented battery box. I have been using dual 6V for a few years now and they have performed great.
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Old 08-11-2018, 08:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
short answer...yes.

lead acid batteries emit dangerous gas (hydrogen). remember the hindenburg?

best to get that gas outside.

p@
We all know what happens when you combine just one oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms !!...





Definition of hyperbole....
Comparing 200,000 cubic feet of hydrogen struck by a hundred million volt lightning strike to a couple of cubic inches of diluted hydrogen exposed to a 12V spark.


Get a battery box anyway.

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Old 08-11-2018, 09:23 AM   #7
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Battery box?

I agree with our moderator, Mr. Bennett. AGM is the way to go. More expensive but no cost of time and money to build or buy and install a box.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:33 AM   #8
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I agree with our moderator, Mr. Bennett. AGM is the way to go. More expensive but no cost of time and money to build or buy and install a box.
Battery box...8 bucks, small wall vent...3bucks.
Can't justify the cost... you just have to want one!
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:10 AM   #9
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AGM or lead-acid, venting needed or not... if its mounted where the terminals are exposed, put it in a box. This advice from someone who has accidentally shorted out a battery with a wrench across the terminals, or some other way, more times than he cares to admit. Its a scary thing when it happens but in these cases there was no explosion so fortunately he is still around to admit it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:37 AM   #10
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While a tongue mounted battery box is handier, and solves any fume issue, it leaves the battery exposed to thieves.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
We all know what happens when you combine just one oxygen atom with two hydrogen atoms !!...





Definition of hyperbole....
Comparing 200,000 cubic feet of hydrogen struck by a hundred million volt lightning strike to a couple of cubic inches of diluted hydrogen exposed to a 12V spark.


Get a battery box anyway.

When hydrogen and oxygen come together to form water it is not just a quiet merging and bingo a drop of water. It emits energy. Two H's and one O, not a big deal. With lots of H's and O's it can become a big deal. Doesn't take 200,000 cubic feet. Even a safe demo with a small amount in a chemistry class can be impressive. With the caveat "don't try this as home." Batteries and their surroundings don't explode often. Mainly because commercial installations are required to do it to code and most amateurs take proper precautions. Be smart and be safe. If you're doing an internal installation use a sealed box/compartment with venting only to the outside.


And, by the way, the Hindenburg didn't go up in one big explosion. The hydrogen inside wasn't mixed with oxygen. It came into contact with oxygen as the enclosing envelope leaked and burned away. It was a very rapid burn, an inferno.


Mix hydrogen from a battery with oxygen (air) already contained in a closed space, such as a closed compartment or battery box, and you have a potential bomb.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:43 PM   #12
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I have had 2 batteries explode, one was on a charger with the caps off when a spark set it off. The other was in a vehicle and went off when I hit the starter. The Uhaul rental trailers had the battery mounted under the rear seating, in a box with a gasketed lid and a vent tube to the outside.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I have had 2 batteries explode, one was on a charger with the caps off when a spark set it off. The other was in a vehicle and went off when I hit the starter. The Uhaul rental trailers had the battery mounted under the rear seating, in a box with a gasketed lid and a vent tube to the outside.
As you know, I was a fleet mechanic, so yeah, I've seen about everything that could happen to a battery!
In some Fiberglass RVs the battery is under the seat with no battery box at all when the compartment is vented or just not air tight.
I suggest a battery box if for no other reason than to contain most of the mess in case of a failure or leak.
Many cars now have the battery under the back seat exposed without a separate container... Go figger!

Lead acid batteries don't really outgas much unless they are under a heavy charge rate like when jump starting.
I have seen plenty of sidepost batteries simply short out inside where the post attaches.

The battery in my Scamp13 is now under the rear center bench.
It is in a sealed/vented container which is much stronger than a standard plastic battery box... still I don't expect any significant outgassing under normal use.
At least a battery box should prevent shorting the battery with some junk cargo with which it shares cargo space.
Consider this... battery goes dead in storage, freezes and cracks , a case would sure facilitate cleanup!
Also keeping a lid on can help prevent discharge by keeping the battery top clean.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:46 PM   #14
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I did the same type work too Floyd, although apparently you dealt with a wider range of equipment. Happily retired now and don't miss it one bit.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by wilyoung View Post
When hydrogen and oxygen come together to form water it is not just a quiet merging and bingo a drop of water. It emits energy. Two H's and one O, not a big deal. With lots of H's and O's it can become a big deal. Doesn't take 200,000 cubic feet. Even a safe demo with a small amount in a chemistry class can be impressive. With the caveat "don't try this as home." Batteries and their surroundings don't explode often. Mainly because commercial installations are required to do it to code and most amateurs take proper precautions. Be smart and be safe. If you're doing an internal installation use a sealed box/compartment with venting only to the outside.


And, by the way, the Hindenburg didn't go up in one big explosion. The hydrogen inside wasn't mixed with oxygen. It came into contact with oxygen as the enclosing envelope leaked and burned away. It was a very rapid burn, an inferno.


Mix hydrogen from a battery with oxygen (air) already contained in a closed space, such as a closed compartment or battery box, and you have a potential bomb.
Oh,the Humanity!!!


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Old 08-11-2018, 06:03 PM   #16
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I spent 30 years in manufacturing hydrogen, I would not be the least bit concerned about the placement of the battery, you can vent it inside it dissipates rapidly much lighter than air, I agree with Floyd that all the other reasons for having a box are worth while.



In a major industrial setting manufacturing hydrogen with an explosive meter you would be amazed at how close to the source you would need to be to get readings on the meter I'm talking about volumes that fuel boilers. As long as the battery vent is not plugged there should be no issue, the reason battery cases are dark in color is because hydrogen is also light sensitive to detonation.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:33 AM   #17
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Do I need a battery box?

Weird synchronicity seeing this discussion. Just installed a new house battery in my RV trailer. Put it in backward. Positive to negative. Am feeling extra stupid because of electrical engineering degree.

Blew out four fuses. Lucky the factory design of my RV trailer includes includes fuses for just this stupidity.

Talked with someone who remembers that DC voltage wires are color coded positive-Black, and negative-White , which is the opposite of automobile color code. Was thinking red-positive.

Now put some electrical tape around the wires that is red and black to get my attention three years from now.

Point is scared myself a lot because I could have been the Hindenburg battery explosion right next to my propane tanks.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:29 AM   #18
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Two comments.

1) Early Parkliners came with two Optima blue AGM batteries strapped to the floor of a storage bin. No box. Also in the space was the converter. On at least one occasion the batteries overheated and vented sulfuric acid.

2) most trailers come with hard wired detectors producing a parasitic load on the battery. Even though the load is small, mine is about 35 mA, you still will get a spark when connecting or disconnecting your battery.


My AGM battery sits on the tongue in a battery box because I think that's the safest place for it.
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Definition of hyperbole....
Comparing 200,000 cubic feet of hydrogen struck by a hundred million volt lightning strike to a couple of cubic inches of diluted hydrogen exposed to a 12V spark. Quote]


Get a battery box anyway.

Thank you. Yes.

Of course, if you overcharged your battery and produced all that hydrogen, just think of the fun you could have with a new fiberglass lighter-than-air craft to float around in and see the view or cross vast oceans! Hmmmm. Maybe we're on to something here. Just make sure you have long enough extension cord to keep charging the battery and producing all that hydrogen!

I wonder if the Hindenburg had a simple flooded cell battery mounted inside with a battery charger to fill the gas bags?

I don't remember seeing an extension cord dangling all the way back to Germany though.
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
Two comments.

1) Early Parkliners came with two Optima blue AGM batteries strapped to the floor of a storage bin. No box. Also in the space was the converter. On at least one occasion the batteries overheated and vented sulfuric acid.

2) most trailers come with hard wired detectors producing a parasitic load on the battery. Even though the load is small, mine is about 35 mA, you still will get a spark when connecting or disconnecting your battery.


My AGM battery sits on the tongue in a battery box because I think that's the safest place for it.

that spark is from charging the capacitors in various devices especially including the DC output side of the power converter, there's an inrush current when you first connect the battery.
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