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Old 08-27-2015, 09:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
t is not propane. It is an overcharge and probably boiled dry battery.



Pry the battery caps off and see.



If your trailer is equipped, use the "USE-STORE" battery disconnect switch to isolate the batteries from the converter.



IF you have no such switch, disconnect the positive battery lead, but wrap tape around it to keep if from shorting against the battery box.



The appliances will still function from the converter and the vehicle charge source.



You will probably need new batteries.





Regards,



JD




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Old 08-27-2015, 09:34 AM   #22
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In reply to Jdalyrimple...the batteries are new (installed in February) and sealed, so one cannot check the electrolyte level. This why my husband thought they must have a relief valve, like a hot water heater that releases if too much pressure builds in the battery. In any event, we will get them checked.


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Old 08-27-2015, 11:27 AM   #23
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Just about any auto repair shop can test a battery. The test will tell you whether or not the battery is holding a charge.

Seriously consider upgrading the OEM charger/converter to a multistage one.

Note that what looks to be a sealed battery may just need to have the strip over the caps pried off - the only really sealed batteries are AGM's, which are not OEM supplied.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:49 AM   #24
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Propane detectors loose there sensitivity over time. They are suppose to be replace between 4-5 years.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:18 PM   #25
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Propane detectors loose there sensitivity over time. They are suppose to be replace between 4-5 years.
ABSOLUTELY CORRECT - they will last longer sometimes. It's not a matter of changing the battery, you've got to swap out the alarm itself.

You could take your propane tank into the the coach, set it near the alarm and open the valve. An alternative "test" has been found by people who bring big dogs along on trips... if a dog farts next to a propane detector, it should alarm. Now THERE's a test! And yes it would seem likely that a human could lie down on the floor near one after eating 5 alarm chili and...

Paula
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:25 PM   #26
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Mine smells like that when we get low on propane. Filling tanks stops smell...is that the cause? I don't know
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:29 PM   #27
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The coincidence between the leaking fluid in the battery compartment and the smell suggest that you smelled hydrogen sulfide. That is a byproduct of battery overcharging. Check the charging voltage for your battery system with shore power plugged in and see it it is over 13.7 volts. If so, then you may have a problem with your battery charger/12 volt system. I rather suspect that if you unplug and wait an hour or so, your battery power will drop off substantially. If so then you have one or more "cooked" batteries. Get a professional check of your system before replacing the batteries or you may lose the new ones too. A new converter/charger with a multi-step battery charging system from the same manufacturer that AS uses will only run you a couple of hundred dollars.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:52 PM   #28
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From experience, the batteries are fried, boiled out the acid. Might try getting a gallon of distiller water and filling them both, cell by cell and limp home or till you can have them checked and/or replaced
There is not a smart charge for the batteries, it just keeps cooking,
A combination of driving which charges them and hooking to shore power will overcharge the batteries sometimes.
When you pull into a campground after a long drive, put the batteries in storage mode before hooking up to shore power. Then monitor battery charge with the system monitor on the wall.
We erroneously think the batteries are maintenance free but have to pry off the stupid caps occasionally to check the electrolyte
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:05 PM   #29
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I would check the batteries. We had that sulphur smell once and it was a battery going bad or being overcharged / overheated. It was quite strong!!!

Dan
We had the smell, but only after traveling so it was hard to decipher what the underlying cause was. A friend who recently replaced bad batteries took a whiff and told us to check the batteries. Sure enough ONE battery was bad so we replaced both (always replace both at the same time). So my suggestion is to remove the batteries and take them to your local automotive store for testing.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:19 PM   #30
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We had the same thing when we brought our '94 Diesel Classic home. Noticed the sulfur odor, rotten eggs, however you want to identify it. First night, we thought it might be the water at the campground. Second night, we feared our water tanks were contaminated (newbies, right?). When we got home and plugged it in, we opened the awnings and had the neighbors over to celebrate. The odor was so bad, I wanted to evacuate the neighborhood. Turned out, both the coach batteries were bad, and excreting this horrible smell when trying to charge. Our mechanic took one look at them, and replaced them. New batteries = no rotten egg odor. Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:20 PM   #31
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Easy, remove battery, put it far away from the trailer, see if smell in trailer dissipates.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #32
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Since batteries contain sulfuric acid, I would check the batteries first.

If it's a propane leak, all you hafta do is shut off the propane at the tanks and air out the trailer. If the sulfur smell is still there, then you know propane isn't the problem.

Process of elimination.

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Old 08-27-2015, 02:15 PM   #33
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It may well be a battery problem, but a bad battery isn't likely to kill you unless the Hydrogen Sulfide concentration is pretty strong. Propane leaking however can not only destroy your AS but kill you, so you need to pursue both issues at the same time. You are getting good advice from both camps. I bought a Combustible Gas Detector that has high and low settings and can be used for a wide variety of gaseous products. I use it at home around the furnace, water heater, gas dryer, stove, etc. and in the AS rather than trying to soap multiple fittings. They come with a long flexible sensor to push into small or difficult areas. Turn on your propane at the tank and go from tank fittings, regulator, etc. to the coach appliances and everywhere the propane is piped. Have the 12v wet cell batteries checked at an appropriate repair facility also. You could actually have two problems, but you definitely don't want to become a ball of flame in your AS. Rule that out, but check the batteries as well. See you down the road.
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Old 08-27-2015, 03:47 PM   #34
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if you have two batteries (like the Classics do) disconnecting one battery negative post is not enough. you have to disconnevt BOTH battery negative posts and turn off the converter circuit before going after the positive cable ends.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:06 PM   #35
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You must NEVER smell Propane!!!

You must have a battery in the AS for the emergency 'breakaway' braking of the trailer.

If I think it is battery, I would REMOVE the batteries, take and have tested. Does the smell dissipate in the trailer with the batteries out?

My "converter" actually failed.. the batteries continued to work, but were not being charged...

Please get this checked!!!! When you are back in Austin, we can arrange a get together to figure it out...
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Old 08-28-2015, 04:24 PM   #36
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Update......but first, thanks to everyone for providing input on this.
Yesterday we hooked up and moved about 150 miles to Lander, Wyoming, a much bigger place with a great RV park and some services. We experienced no problems, no smells. This morning, my husband removed both batteries and had them tested. Sure enough one was bad. The auto parts store here is getting a new one for us, to be delivered tomorrow. So the battery had to have been the source of the smell. Of course, we still haven't answered the question as to why an almost new battery (installed in February of this year) went bad. We have a call in to an RV mechanic in this area, hoping to get him to check the converter, but so far have not heard back. We called the shop in Texas that installed the batteries, and they doubt it is a converter issue because they think we would have seen other signs, like the lights dimming. They also indicated we could operate off of shore power here at the RV park if we re-installed the one good battery and taped off the leads to the other one, while waiting on the new battery to be delivered. In the end, we may just have to set off and hope the problem does not recur, but in the meantime, this is a nice place to be stuck for awhile.


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Old 08-28-2015, 06:04 PM   #37
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Most replace both batterys together.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:18 PM   #38
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It's common practice to replace batteries in pairs. Batteries develop different oersonalities the moment you begin to use them. Your old battery likely will be weaker than the new one and pose a different charging need and drain the new one.
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:21 PM   #39
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Even though it is only a few months old?


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Old 08-28-2015, 07:29 PM   #40
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Yes, you don't know how they were maintained....
If your converter cooked one, why not the other?
If the batteries were exhausted down below 12..3 volts just once you have compromised their lifespan.
Why fool around? Replace the converter and treat yourself to some nice batteries..... Doing so gives you incredible peace of mind!
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