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Old 02-25-2020, 11:48 PM   #1
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Scary stuff

DW and I were sitting in our new coach today 3 weeks into a snowbird trip to Florida. We both smelled something nasty and caustic. After a good while I discovered that one of the two 12V house batteries was literally boiling and smoking noxious white fumes. The case was hot enough that some of the wiring insulation was beginning to melt. Got everything disconnected and apart. The hot battery had just over 10V but itís connected mate that was still cool was only showing 5V. Best guess is a dead shorted cell and the converter was trying its darndest to get the voltage up, cooking the bad battery. Iím no expert but looked to me to be on the razor edge of a catastrophe! Batteries had a date code of 18 months ago and and Interstate warranty of just 12 months. Argh! 2 new batteries and all seems to be well again. Maybe the coach builder (SOB) will reimburse me since weíve only owned it for 4 months. I think it sat on the dealers lot for over a year so probably their neglect damaged it or it had a manufacturing defect. DW was very, very alarmed! Never a good thing....
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Old 02-25-2020, 11:54 PM   #2
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I recognized the smell before my batteries got that far, but they were headed there.

In my thread I have info on automatic fire extinguishers. I'll order two more for the battery compartment.
I hadn't thought to put any there.
Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:08 AM   #3
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Wow that is scary stuff. Boiling battery is off gassing hydrogen gas. In a confined space like a battery compartment it can explode.

I know first hand about exploding a battery. In the mid 70ís I had a Plymouth Valiant brought into the garage flooded out and the battery dead. Put the battery on high amperage or as we called it a hot charge. While pulling the spark plugs to dry out my air ratchet bumped the positive post, sparked and the whole top of the battery blew up in my face! Iíll never forget as it happened on my 21st birthday. After several hours in ER getting my eyes rinsed and neutralized my buddies took me to the tavern for my 21st birthday with my eyes wrapped in gauze bandages!
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:34 AM   #4
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Batts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
DW and I were sitting in our new coach today 3 weeks into a snowbird trip to Florida. We both smelled something nasty and caustic. After a good while I discovered that one of the two 12V house batteries was literally boiling and smoking noxious white fumes. The case was hot enough that some of the wiring insulation was beginning to melt. Got everything disconnected and apart. The hot battery had just over 10V but itís connected mate that was still cool was only showing 5V. Best guess is a dead shorted cell and the converter was trying its darndest to get the voltage up, cooking the bad battery. Iím no expert but looked to me to be on the razor edge of a catastrophe! Batteries had a date code of 18 months ago and and Interstate warranty of just 12 months. Argh! 2 new batteries and all seems to be well again. Maybe the coach builder (SOB) will reimburse me since weíve only owned it for 4 months. I think it sat on the dealers lot for over a year so probably their neglect damaged it or it had a manufacturing defect. DW was very, very alarmed! Never a good thing....
Our 2019 Bay Star was built in August of 2018 and the house batteries died a few months ago. Interstate wouldn't give us the time of day since they were over one year old. Newmar told me that it was a dealership responsibility as to how the batteries were cared for. Dealership paid me for one new original battery ($120?) which I used toward two AGM 6 volts. Glad you were okay.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:52 AM   #5
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Our 2019 Bay Star was built in August of 2018 and the house batteries died a few months ago. Interstate wouldn't give us the time of day since they were over one year old. Newmar told me that it was a dealership responsibility as to how the batteries were cared for. Dealership paid me for one new original battery ($120?) which I used toward two AGM 6 volts. Glad you were okay.


Mines a Bay Star Sport with just about the same build date! My dealer (500 miles from home) had a terrific price on the coach but was a dismal disappointment in every other way. Iíll try Newmar and probably that dreadful dealer but $273 is not worth getting an ulcer over. Iím feeling glad it did t happen in the dead of night or while we were away from the coach. Itís always something.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I recognized the smell before my batteries got that far, but they were headed there.



In my thread I have info on automatic fire extinguishers. I'll order two more for the battery compartment.

I hadn't thought to put any there.

Thanks.


Iím going to have to look into those things. My absorption fridge is dead too, at the moment.....
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:26 AM   #7
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My inverter has a battery temp circuit that kicks off the inverter and charger. With your good/bad battery temperature combo I don't know if will Do anything.

But

I think I've seen an aftermarket battery temp cutout circuit....
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:52 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
My inverter has a battery temp circuit that kicks off the inverter and charger. With your good/bad battery temperature combo I don't know if will Do anything.

But

I think I've seen an aftermarket battery temp cutout circuit....


Thanks. Iíll look into that. I suppose Iím lucky the thing didnít explode in my face while I was disconnecting everything.
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:58 AM   #9
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Batteries

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Mines a Bay Star Sport with just about the same build date! My dealer (500 miles from home) had a terrific price on the coach but was a dismal disappointment in every other way. Iíll try Newmar and probably that dreadful dealer but $273 is not worth getting an ulcer over. Iím feeling glad it did t happen in the dead of night or while we were away from the coach. Itís always something.
The deal with batteries and these situations comes down to what we have read in many of these threads. The batteries get severely abused before they are sold to us.... dealer lots, sometimes RV shows, etc. I don't care if you like Interstate batteries or not, they just can't handle this abuse. For the little cost of the original batteries, it would be worth it to tell the dealer to put brand new batteries in before the deal is signed. By the way, I am dumping my original Ford chassis battery because it just corrodes the positive battery terminal too much and I have always hated adding water and cleaning battery terminals. A new AGM goes into it tomorrow.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:26 AM   #10
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Pete,
Very scary stuff. Glad you guys are ok. My opinion of the stock batteries is to replace them with the first problem. The price of new batteries is small compared to fighting with the dealer and the street and headaches that go with it.

Jerry
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:16 AM   #11
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Pete,
Very scary stuff. Glad you guys are ok. My opinion of the stock batteries is to replace them with the first problem. The price of new batteries is small compared to fighting with the dealer and the street and headaches that go with it.

Jerry


Yes indeed. I expect my Ford starting battery was neglected as well and Iím going to give some thought to replacing it when we get home next month. Such scary failure must be somewhat unusual or youíd hear more stories like mine - or worse.
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:22 AM   #12
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Yes indeed. I expect my Ford starting battery was neglected as well and Iím going to give some thought to replacing it when we get home next month. Such scary failure must be somewhat unusual or youíd hear more stories like mine - or worse.
I wouldn't replace it "just because," if you have or had a problem then yes


I'm still on my original batteries. Almost four years old. I dont do much dry camping so that helps them a lot

Jerry
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:57 PM   #13
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Was the bad battery dry inside or seriously low?
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:00 PM   #14
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Was the bad battery dry inside or seriously low?


Interestingly, it was still full. The white ďsmokeĒ smelled like acid (rather than rotten eggs). Not really sure what was happening inside but whatever it was it was pretty cataclysmic. Wish I knew....
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:10 PM   #15
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My battery was ambient temp, full, and when I pulled a cap to see if it was low, it was boiling. I didn't think to touch it to ascertain a chemical boil from a thermal boil, but I don't remember any heat at all from it.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:12 PM   #16
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I wouldn't replace it "just because," if you have or had a problem then yes


I'm still on my original batteries. Almost four years old. I dont do much dry camping so that helps them a lot

Jerry


Jerry, itís ďmagic eyeĒ shows yellow even after 24 hours on the charger. Still starts things fine but Iím going to keep my own eye on it and perhaps buy a better one when I find a good sale.
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Old 03-04-2020, 09:50 PM   #17
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Went to pickup our new Thor Hurricane 34j at Camping World Gander Rv of Bartow Florida. It had been sitting on their lot for almost a year. They found one of the Lead acid batteries boiling over. They replaced the one bad battery. The first time we took out the motor coach we smelled the Oder inside the coach. When we took it back for additional repair work I had them replace both house batteries with DEKA AGM Deep Cycle batteries. They credited me the cost of the two original house batteries. I did not want The hassle of filling batteries and having bad smell. They work great.
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Old 03-04-2020, 10:22 PM   #18
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Replaced our house batteries with AGM toward the end of last summer. Plan to do the same with chassis/engine battery this season.
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