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Old 10-22-2017, 09:48 PM   #1
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1997 30' Excella
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Battery connectors popped off terminals

Tonight we heard a loud pop by battery compartment, smelled a burning smell and opened battery compartment. We found one battery with some smoke coming out and connectors had popped off terminals. Any advice? 1997 excella 30'
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:13 PM   #2
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I don't see how they popped off.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:10 PM   #3
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They burned off.

Iím thinking none of the 12v works right?

Either way, if I was you I would unhook the other battery in case there is a dead short somewhere.

Turn off the inverter and the charger too.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:28 AM   #4
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Unplug from shore power ASAP if you have not done so already. Disconnect all remaining wires from the battery terminals.

Did your batteries run out of water and get overcharged?

Please post more details, including status of shore power before the incident, age and condition of batteries, and whether you know what the water levels were.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:46 AM   #5
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Iím thinking none of the 12v works right?

Either way, if I was you I would unhook the other battery in case there is a dead short somewhere.
No the 12v and everything still was working fine. We were hooked up to 110 30 amp service at the time. When we turned off converter, the 110 was fine but the 12v lights were dim.

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Iím thinking none of the 12v works right?

Either way, if I was you I would unhook the other battery in case there is a dead short somewhere.
Where is inverter? We turned off converter.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:49 AM   #6
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Unplug from shore power ASAP if you have not done so already. Disconnect all remaining wires from the battery terminals.

Did your batteries run out of water and get overcharged?

Please post more details, including status of shore power before the incident, age and condition of batteries, and whether you know what the water levels were.

Thanks,

Peter
We were hooked up to shore power. No idea of water levels. Batteries seem newer but we've only owned it for 2.5 years. We've never checked water levels. Only one battery affected. The connectors are not attached to terminals. We turned off all power to trailer.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:22 PM   #7
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You should read the owner's manual in order to understand all the systems and terminology. There should be some info on checking the water levels in the batteries. If you have not done that in over 2 years, you probably fried one battery, and the other battery is likely compromised IMO. If you do not have a printed manual, please advise and one can be located online.

Here is a good general source on RV batteries:

http://www.batteriesnorthwest.com/batteryschool.cfm

Your 1997 AS may not have an inverter, see what the manual says.

I would advise having an RV mechanic or electrician diagnose your electrical system. You might want to buy two new batteries first, in order to get all the systems online when this diagnosis is done.

Others here, more expert than me, may be able to walk you through a step-by-step process of diagnosing things, but given your failure to check the battery water for 2+ years, I would advise against a DIY solution here. You have have narrowly missed a much more serious situation, with a modicum of good luck IMO.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- In addition to new batteries, you should also replace the OEM converter/charger, assuming it is a single-stage unit. The newer multi-stage chargers/converters will protect you from overcharging your new batteries.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:41 PM   #8
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Hi

What you describe is a pretty typical "cell short" in one battery. That drops the voltage of that battery down by about 2V. The energy from the other battery in parallel dumps into the defective one. This adds to the current from the charger. All that current rapidly heats the battery up. You have seen the result. There is no magic charger that will prevent a shorted cell battery from having this rather exciting problem. Shorted cells are one common way that batteries die. Running them in parallel is what makes us "notice" the fact that they have died this way. In a typical automotive single battery setup, you would not have the same excitement.

The answer right now is to replace both batteries. One of them is (obviously) dead. The other one didn't get any better from the event. You need to have both batteries in the set same / same or you will simply destroy the newer battery very quickly.

You will spend a bit of money on the new batteries. Don't go cheap, get good ones. AGM's are a better bet than flooded cells. The Lifelines that AS uses are pretty good. Swapping out the converter at the same time is fine. It may give you an extra year on your new batteries. It also might put 10% more energy into them.

If any of this does not make sense, head over to an RV shop and let them sort it out.

Bob
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:52 PM   #9
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My experience with AGM batteries is twice the money for the same lifespan, especially if subjected to a accidental discharge or two. (It happens)

Your experience may vary, but that is my take. Buy flooded batteries, the sting is half as intense when they go bad.

A point, never ever have I heard of battery terminals popping off a battery because of a short, but I have seen a three battery bank start a hell of a fire when the main cable became shorted.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:35 AM   #10
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My experience with AGM batteries is twice the money for the same lifespan, especially if subjected to a accidental discharge or two. (It happens)

Your experience may vary, but that is my take. Buy flooded batteries, the sting is half as intense when they go bad.
Hi

For most people the AGM's last about 50% longer.

Bob

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A point, never ever have I heard of battery terminals popping off a battery because of a short, but I have seen a three battery bank start a hell of a fire when the main cable became shorted.
Hi

The pop out is a function of heat on the case. The sort generates a lot of heat.

Bob

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They burned off.
Hi

Actually the terminals pushed out.

Bob
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:57 AM   #11
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We were hooked up to shore power. No idea of water levels. Batteries seem newer but we've only owned it for 2.5 years. We've never checked water levels. Only one battery affected. The connectors are not attached to terminals. We turned off all power to trailer.
Water levels should be checked periodically no matter what kind of converter you have.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:00 AM   #12
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Hi



The pop out is a function of heat on the case. The sort generates a lot of heat.



Bob


I would like to see a photo of that.

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Hi



For most people the AGM's last about 50% longer.



Bob


Which costing twice as much or more up front would make them pretty much an even money investment up front, with twice the time to be accidentally discharged and ruined.

Once there was a time when I really wanted AGMs to be worth my money, but they just werenít.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:24 AM   #13
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I would like to see a photo of that.
Hi

I've seen it happen. No photos though.

Bob
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:26 AM   #14
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Which costing twice as much or more up front would make them pretty much an even money investment up front, with twice the time to be accidentally discharged and ruined.

Once there was a time when I really wanted AGMs to be worth my money, but they just werenít.
Hi

Toss in lower maintenance and less likelihood of random failure. Most AGM's also give you a bit more capacity.

Bob
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