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Old 08-16-2014, 05:48 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1991 29' Excella
Rockwood , Ontario
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 36
Propane Gas Detector Went off Last Week-Turns Out NOT the Propane

Hi Everyone that helped me out last week, with my alleged propane leak, and hot kill switch.

Just picked her up yesterday from the dealer and the verdict is inů.
it was the batteries! They were boiling so much that they emitted a very sulphuric like smell that built up and the propane alarm went off. This is why I thought it was a propane leak, along with the gas like smell.

The batteries remained hot for a few days, because they still were hot when the technician removed them. Thankfully they were an AMG glass mat so they did not boil over into the trailer.

I had both batteries replaced, the unit was checked for a propane leak, which there actually was, a small leak coming from the 'pigtails' outside at the tanks.

I had noticed the old batteries were not of the same age, one from 2009, the other 2011. So now they are both July 2014.
Just out of curiousity, how long should these new AMG's last on average, and what can I do during winter storage to make sure they last.

Thanks again everyone

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Old 08-16-2014, 06:46 AM   #2
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1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,099
Images: 51
Just because they look pretty doesn't mean they are...

I failed to properly check my batteries and had the same situation.
Interstate Battery rep told me max 2-3 years for deep cycle, mine were 7 years old when they went bad, but they looked real nice and the water level was good...then bam

Use a trickle charger in winter to keep them charged and from freezing.
1. Water level ( use distilled water only to top)
2. signs of "bulging"
3. signs of boiling
4. Temperature
5. excessive smell of sulfuric acid
6. voltage of each battery individually
7. Date imprinted on top of most batteries
8. signs of acid corrosion around your battery compartment

1983 310 Classic Motorhome
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:01 AM   #3
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2012 Interstate Coach
Metairie , Louisiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 9,085
Originally Posted by breezyway View Post
They were boiling so much that they emitted a very sulphuric like smell that built up and the propane alarm went off.
At the risk of stating the obvious (but when has that ever stopped me?) you HAVE also checked your battery charging system to make sure it's working properly, right?
WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:36 AM   #4
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Currently Looking...
Durango , Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,093
On another RV forum, there was some speculation that there was a bad batch of detectors that was later confirmed by a manufacturer. Had the same problem and disconnected the unit. I've RV'ed for 45 years without one and still kicking.
If you don't go first class, your heirs will!
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:56 AM   #5
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1999 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Round Rock , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,472
Images: 2
Glad u got the problems fixed! Now you can learn about charging system!

I wonder why if charging system "ok" it must have been a problem with one of the batteries.

Pull batteries and put where they won't freeze. Put each on its own trickle charger.. Or alternate the same charger weekly thru winter.
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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