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Old 09-06-2009, 09:14 AM   #15
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acid neutralizing battery mat

This is a smidgen to the side, but I'd also recommend an acid neutralizing battery mat. (I used to be able to get them only from my MG parts place, but now they're available over EB.)

Acid Neutralizing Battery Mat, Recyclable:eBay Motors (item 280392747432 end time Sep-09-09 22:02:53 PDT)


Lynn

On edit, I just discovered that my MG place -- Moss Motors in Goleta, CA -- sells these for lower price than the EB distributor.
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:35 PM   #16
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Just because you have an AGM battery, do NOT assume that you are safe! While I was at Ft. Huachuca, in 2007, I awoke to a hissing sound and the smell of rotten eggs at 2:30AM. Assuming that I had a propane leak, I quickly rushed outside and shut the propane tanks off. I then opened every window in the Sovereign and let the smell vent. The problem was that the hissing noise was still going strong. I found the source of the problem in the battery compartment...the Optima Blue Top had blown the solid little gray pumice-like vent cap(?) clean off, and the battery was actively venting from that hole. I disconnected the battery, which was blazing hot, took it out of the rig and chucked it on the ground. I lived on shore power the rest of the time.

When I got to Texas a month later, I bought a new Optima Blue Top. The battery is again dead and hot as hell. This leads me to believe that, either I keep getting crappy Optima batteries or my Iota DLS-45 converter is crap. I was better off with the Univolt!
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StingrayL82 View Post
Just because you have an AGM battery, do NOT assume that you are safe! ...the Optima Blue Top had blown the solid little gray pumice-like vent cap(?) clean off, and the battery was actively venting from that hole. I disconnected the battery, which was blazing hot, took it out of the rig and chucked it on the ground...

Good point on the Optima - there are those within the Forum who would recommend the use of the Optima in the interior of the trailer without a fully sealed battery box venting to the exterior - in other words, just putting the battery somewhere inside the trailer, such as under a seat or the bed. What happened to you justifies NEVER installing an unvented battery OF ANY TYPE in the trailer interior.

Think of the problems which may have ensued with the off-gassing had you not heard the battery self-destructing.

Just to muddy the battery selection thought process I downloaded the following specs from the internet today - all are for type 27 batteries:

Battery Mfg ....... C/20 capacity ............ Weight (lbs)

Lifeline AGM ....... 100 .............................. 65
Optima Blue Top ... 66 ............................. 54
Interstate RV ........ 80 .............................. 55

I think that the C/20 capacity has to do with a combination of a 20 hour discharge rate (amps) which draws the battery down to 10.5 volts. Please, if there are any battery techs out there, correct me if I presented any wrong info with the above synopsis.

No surprise that the Lifeline battery with the heaviest weight has the greatest C/20 capacity - I AM surprised that the Optima is so close to the weight of the wet cell Interstate. Not at all surprised with the C/20 capacity difference between the Optima and the Interstate due to the construction differences.

The above does not in any way indicate the discharge/lifecycles of the various batteries, I just threw it up to point out how important it is to compare "apples to apples" when purchasing batteries.

Batteries, like most things in life, follow the addage "you gets what you pays for..."

Important info on the Optimas off-gassing to the interior - thanks to StingrayL 62 for bringing out this important safety point - NO BATTERIES in the interior unless in a sealed and vented battery box.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #18
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What brand of converter was it?
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:08 PM   #19
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The ironic part of all of this is that the guy, who did the "restoration" on our Sovereign, threw away the original battery box and sealed off the vent hole, below the license plate light. Makes me sick.

I can think of a major problem that would have ensued....I'd be dead!!! I'm pretty sure that breathing sulphuric gas in enclosed areas kills. If it hadn't been for my dog barking like a maniac to wake me up, I would not be here today.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:10 PM   #20
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What brand of converter was it?

Iota DLS-45... IOTA Engineering DLS-45 12VDC Battery Charger and Power Converter - 45 Amps I'd never heard of them before the guy, who did the "restoration", put it in our coach.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #21
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Just a point to note.

If you decide to move your trailer without coach batteries installed, I think that the feed from your tow vehicle battery will make the battery cables in the trailer live so you need to isolate them so they don't short out inside the battery boxes and blow fuses.

I learned that on my last trailer!

After learning my lesson, I used to stick the battery cables/clamps into rubber gloves inside the battery boxes if ever I had to move the trailer with only the tow vehicle battery.

Only time I did that was when I forgot to take the coach batteries when going to collect the trailer which was stored away from our home!

Brian.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #22
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Battery temperature sensors

The incidents mentioned with batteries cooking, etc. is another reason that "converters" are bad news for batteries.
We have used both 120V and solar multi-stage charging systems that incorporate a battery temperature sensor in their circuitry. The temperature sensor is attached to the battery terminal. If the battery temp goes above the pre-set limit (don't remember exactly what that is), the charging system is disabled.
Yes, this is an added expense & well worth it as exploding/overheated batteries are definitely a health hazard.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:06 PM   #23
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whitelight, do you happen to remember the name of the temp sensor brand? That is definitely something on my "to get" list. I'm tired of paying $200+ for Optimas that last 2 yrs.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:33 PM   #24
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For Optima the blue top there are 2 popular models - D31M and D34M. The D31M is the larger of the 2 and has more stored capacity. I have run a D31M in my land rover for 3 years now without issue.

I like the fact that these are zero maintenance - having not to mess with water is a plus. I am going to have the dealership test my charging system - I don't have voltmeter for that... We'll see... Need to determine root cause before I stick in new batteries of any sort...
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:38 PM   #25
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Just a point to note.

If you decide to move your trailer without coach batteries installed, I think that the feed from your tow vehicle battery will make the battery cables in the trailer live so you need to isolate them so they don't short out inside the battery boxes and blow fuses.
Yup thanks and makes sense. I did a dump/fill run today and isolated the cables so as not to ground out the hot lead.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:12 PM   #26
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agm versus flooded

many people are misled by the claim of "...maintenance free..." AGM batteries are in reality, maintenance proof...If an AGM battery is overcharged or overheated (as in a metal bldg in Arizona) they will "burp" gasses from inside the container. These gases actually, in normal circumstances, recombine into...water! (Hydrogen and Oxygen). These batteries (AGM) are also known as a battery with recombinant technology (innards). If these gasses escape, then they cannot recombine into the small amount of water that a AGM does have. Once they lose some of their gasses, they lose their ability to withstand charging, and heat. If charging at a high rate continues, the battery will experience the same result as the battery you have already melted. Please, no offense meant. The AGM batteries can overheat, bulge, internally short circuit, and if continually overheated/overcharged, they can explode. Now that I have scared you, relax-they are still a very good technology, and the explosion is an extreme situation-but it can happen. So, like most everyone else responding to your query, find the problem-a different battery is not going to fix the problem-your existing battery was most likely overcharged. Check your charger, check the incoming voltage to the charger. then, which ever battery you choose will be happy.
As an aside, Drag racers do not usually operate with alternators to recharge their batteries. they use a separate charger (kinda like most RV's). They discovered that a non-deep discharge battery was better for their applications because they did not "deeply discharge" the battery before recharging. Actually this caused the deep cycle batts to have a short life because their rechaging cycle was so short they lost the abilty to deeply discharge-so drag racers found that a regular battery was best for their frequent small discharge-and then a 10 amp recharge right afterward. I mention this because if you go boondocking and deeply discharge your battery(ies), then a deep discharge batt is best for you. if you only slightly use the batts when driving, etc, and then end up in an RV park and a shoreline and subsequent recharging, then a regular truck battery would be more suitable.
well, that's my 2 cents.
ol' bill the newbie AS'r (who worked with batteries for 36 years)
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:11 PM   #27
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RE: battery temp sensors

PHP Code:
do you happen to remember the name of the temp sensor brand
Stingray, the temp sensor is an option only for those battery chargers that have the circuitry built into the electronics to read the temperature of the battery and respond to this input. The battery charger uses the temperature sensor's data to compensate for charge voltage, if required. If the batteries reach a certain temperature, the charging voltage is shut down.
For a 120V charger, we have had much success with the Ample Power charger. We have used this charger on 2 different boats & one trailer. Note the temp sensor option on this web page:
Ample Power Smart Chargers

For our solar charger, we use AM Solar's HPV-22 solar controller. Heliotrope HPV-22 Series of Solar Charge Controllers. Note that this controller employs temperature compensation, achieved with a temp sensor as well.

We have a temp sensor for each charging source.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:54 PM   #28
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My Iota has the IQ-4 Smart Charger...I can only assume that it has that feature, then. When I put the VM on the battery, it read 13.94v. As soon as I take the Iota out of the equation, the voltage drops down to 8.62v.
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