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Old 09-30-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
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I checked the liquid level in the two batteries a few days ago and noticed some cells were very low. I refilled with distilled water.
After driving a bumpy road, some frosty liquid is dripping out of the battery bays.

What to do?

Thanks!

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Old 09-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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I do not believe that is frost. I believe that is a residue of battery acid and lead sulfate. Don't touch! Cover it in baking soda, let it sit for a while, then hose off. Baking soda will help to neutralize the acid.

Chances are, your batteries are leaking, which may be due to a cracked casing or some similar damage. Or you're trying to recharge a battery with one or more dead cells, and causing the remaining cells to boil over.

After you've cleaned up the mess, open the battery compartment, disconnect the batteries, and lift them out. Carefully! Eye protection and rubber gloves at a minimum, preferably a shop apron as well.

Set the batteries in a plastic tray covered with a layer of baking soda on the bottom to take them to a dealer for replacement.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks.


We just had the batteries replaced last December. I assume its not normal to last less than a year?
We have been living in the AS full time since April with a lot of boondocking so the batteries get used extensively. The AS has a solar panel to recharge them constantly during the daytime.

One thing I noticed - not sure if this is a coincidence - is that both times when the batteries died, it happened while camping in places with little sunlight.
Both times were under cloudy skies and thick tree cover (think rainforest on the Pacific Northwest) and boondocking for 2-3 days in these conditions. Towards the end of our stays, we received the low battery warning which we otherwise never hear.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:23 PM   #4
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Question

What converter are you using, has the trailer been on shore power lately?

What is the output of your solar?

More likely...batteries went dead while 'dock'n and converter boiled them dry while on shore-power.

BE CAREFUL!!

Bob
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:28 PM   #5
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Another thing nobody mentioned is that you need get all that liquid and residue off your aluminum!! Acid is not your friend here.
Make very sure no residue is hiding in seams etc.
When you reinstall after cleaning place the batteries in inexpensive battery trays available at any big box store to catch future mishaps.
tim
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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If some of the residue has dried, it is OK to sprinkle a little water on the Baking Soda powder (Arm & Hammer is good solid choice..) and brush it around with old toothbrush.. Any bubbling or fizzle sound indicates acid residue remains.. Flush with a lot of clean water <and for EPA benefit - be very careful about where watery acid residue goes after you flush it out of the battery boxes..>. Solar panels are also capable of over-cooking battery if not well regulated, and killing batteries dead can harm their ability to accept future charges... Sigh...
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Are there any recommendations on what batteries to buy? I just called Autozone and they carry 4 different kinds of deep cycle marine batteries.
Bigger/more expensive batteries = better in the long run?

Also, I know very little of electricity. Is there an easy way for me to test the solar & converter, to see if they can be responsible for killing the batteries prematurely?
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jornvango View Post
Are there any recommendations on what batteries to buy? I just called Autozone and they carry 4 different kinds of deep cycle marine batteries.
Bigger/more expensive batteries = better in the long run?

Also, I know very little of electricity. Is there an easy way for me to test the solar & converter, to see if they can be responsible for killing the batteries prematurely?
Two considerations:
1 - Get batteries that will fit your battery box (usually the same Group number as your old ones), with a little bit of room left over on all sides for ventilation; and
2 - As long as the batteries fit, get the most amp-hours you can get.

Price is not always a direct indicator of quality. You may want to look on the Internet for reviews on the different brands they carry, and go for the one with the best reputation for reliability.

Unless you've got a very large solar panel array, solar is unlikely to cook your new AGMs. Solar is best as a trickle charger or even a float charger in most cases. My Interstate only has a single dinky little 50-watt panel, and it will only produce a full 50 watts on a bright summer day with the sun at its zenith, with no shade at all. Morning sun and afternoon sun, clouds, or shade all cause the panel to produce less power. Ditto for low sun angles in winter. The solar panel is enough to keep the batteries topped off, but not really enough to run any appliances except for my MaxxFan.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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I have had very good luck with Interstate Deep Cycle RV/Marine flooded cell.

Heres a quick overview of what folks are using.

I now use two Lifeline grp27 AGM's along with an IOTA DLS IQ4 55a Converter up-grade to maintain the proper charge cycle when on shore power for extended periods.

Bob
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #10
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We installed two new batteries yesterday. Everything worked fine. We plugged back into shore power yesterday evening and this morning, upon visually checking the battery bays, 1 battery cooked over again ...

Not sure what's going on. Time to call in some professional help?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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We installed two new batteries yesterday. Everything worked fine. We plugged back into shore power yesterday evening and this morning, upon visually checking the battery bays, 1 battery cooked over again ...

Not sure what's going on. Time to call in some professional help?
2 new batteries and one boiled over already? The first thing I'd check is the converter in this case. What make/model/age is it? A new converter isn't much more than a single decent wet-cell battery, and less than an AGM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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2 new batteries and one boiled over already? The first thing I'd check is the converter in this case. What make/model/age is it? A new converter isn't much more than a single decent wet-cell battery, and less than an AGM.

^
X2!!!


Again...be careful, clean-up real good.

Bob
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #13
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I'm not sure but expect that the converter is still the original one ('95 Sovereign).
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I'm not sure but expect that the converter is still the original one ('95 Sovereign).
I think it just may be time to consider a replacement.

I replaced the Parallax 7455 in our Classic with this IOTA. It's the only one I have direct experience with. Was an excellent choice and works great with the Lifeline AGM's.
Give Randy a call at Best Converter, let him know what your dealing with, he won't steer you wrong.

Bob
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