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Pudsey Bear

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Reply with quote  #1 
We had lunch with friends today, and he showed me this picture of what happened to his LB, luckily the LB was stored in a canvas bag inside a plastic tub or the damage could have been much worse.


The van sits most of the time on EHU.

Lizs battery.jpg 


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Kev [comp] 

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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'd put money on the reason for that carnage was, the battery was gassing quite heavily and a source of ignition (spark) ignited the hydrogen gas .

I've seen it a few times and that's what they look like.


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Gerty

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Reply with quote  #3 
I thought it was safe to leave it plugged in, we have the Navajo connected all winter, shouldn't we do that then. Isn't there something in the charger that automatically cute off the supply when the batteries are full. Hans used to have batteries from the caravan plugged into the charger in the garage permanently waiting to be put back in the caravan for summer.
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tugboat

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Reply with quote  #4 
Theoretically that might be OK, but components can fail with nasty results. Personally I'm pretty wary of electrickery.

From Spring till Autumn I rely on solar to keep my van batteries up to snuff, with the occasional drive to check things are OK.

Rest of the year, I stick the mains charger on for a few hours now and then, but I don't leave unattended for long periods.

My scooters are kept in good fettle with a charger/conditioner that does it's own little tests and even that is only left on for a few hours at a time.

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Gerty

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Reply with quote  #5 
I´ll go and unplug it then.
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Pudsey Bear

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Reply with quote  #6 
They reckon getting a CTEK charger is the best thing you can do, it turns itself off after a while, then checking the LBs to see if they need a top up, clever bit of kit.

I had one on my self build, a simple 5 amp one as I had solar as well and the only time it was on EHU was after a drive when they should be full anyway so only needed a float charge.


https://www.ctek.com/products

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Kev [comp] 

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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #7 
When charging a flooded cell battery by whatever power source, it will produce hydrogen gas, the volume of which will depend on the state of discharge and the volume of charge being delivered.
Unless it is very old or has malfunctioned, battery chargers if specified correctly for the job they must do, will deliver and control the amount of charge being delivered to the battery to ensure the health and long life of the battery to which it is connected.

Leaving your van on EHU is safe so long as nothing malfunctions.
As Kev says the modern "smart" chargers are very good at keeping your battery in good condition. 
If your van was built after Noah stopped production, chances are that the system within your van is safe to use as intended.

As I said in my earlier reply, that battery has surely been destroyed following an explosion, what led up to that is of course unknown, but hydrogen is highly flammable and when ignited in a confined space very explosive.
When a battery is on charge it needs to be vented, if fixed in position that will normally be via a tube attached, venting to atmosphere.

Perhaps a clue as to why or how is in Kev's original post "was stored in a canvas bag inside a plastic tub" 

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Gerty

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Reply with quote  #8 
I think the Autotrail Navajo is young enough to have a safe charger John, 2014 model.
Howsomever, I have unplugged it because it sunny the panel should keep it topped up, I will check it is in a few days.
There are a few standby lights in there so it should be using a wee bit of leccy.

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SANDBAGSID

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Reply with quote  #9 
I have always left mine on charge when the van is at home I did fit breathers on both batteries and it vents down through the floor of the van. Had the pair of 85 amp hour varta leisure batteries about 15 years and I’m sure they have lasted so long as they are always on charge. I’m lucky enough to be able to keep my van at home so makes life easy.as said keeping the battery in a canvas bag seems a bit of a mistake to me to.
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Woody

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerty
I think the Autotrail Navajo is young enough to have a safe charger John, 2014 model.
Howsomever, I have unplugged it because it sunny the panel should keep it topped up, I will check it is in a few days.
There are a few standby lights in there so it should be using a wee bit of leccy.


We keep our Mohawk on ehu at home in the winter as well Jan. It is a 2013 model.

My Chemical Engineer husband even uses a ‘trickle charger’ for the quad bike. (Which we don’t use daily). In his working days one of his roles was Safety Manager for a company everyone on here would know if I mentioned it! He is ‘risk adversed’ and would never leave the van on ehu if the risk outweighed the benefits. I am sure the Navajo is fine.

Here’s hoping you have a good visit with Hans today. 😁

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peejay

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Reply with quote  #11 
I do a similar thing to Geoff.

The van lives on the drive and stays hooked up in the winter months.

In the summer we just leave the solars to do their work so it doesn't need plugging in, however, when off mains the vehicle battery is not charged by the solar/charging system, only the leisure batteries.

To counter this we have fitted a Vanbitz battery master so the leisure batteries automatically top up the vehicle battery if it drops below a certain voltage.

https://www.vanbitz.com/product/battery-master/

Works for us.

Pete

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Gerty

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Reply with quote  #12 
I think out panel makes sure the vehicle battery is topped up first then switches to the leisure. Lin will be here in a minute to confirm or deny that [biggrin]
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coppo

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eurajohn
When charging a flooded cell battery by whatever power source, it will produce hydrogen gas, the volume of which will depend on the state of discharge and the volume of charge being delivered.
Unless it is very old or has malfunctioned, battery chargers if specified correctly for the job they must do, will deliver and control the amount of charge being delivered to the battery to ensure the health and long life of the battery to which it is connected.

Leaving your van on EHU is safe so long as nothing malfunctions.
As Kev says the modern "smart" chargers are very good at keeping your battery in good condition. 
If your van was built after Noah stopped production, chances are that the system within your van is safe to use as intended.

As I said in my earlier reply, that battery has surely been destroyed following an explosion, what led up to that is of course unknown, but hydrogen is highly flammable and when ignited in a confined space very explosive.
When a battery is on charge it needs to be vented, if fixed in position that will normally be via a tube attached, venting to atmosphere.

Perhaps a clue as to why or how is in Kev's original post "was stored in a canvas bag inside a plastic tub" 



Although in our previous Hymer brochure it specifically stated not to leave it plugged in for extended periods, I know some do though.
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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerty
I think out panel makes sure the vehicle battery is topped up first then switches to the leisure. Lin will be here in a minute to confirm or deny that [biggrin]


Jan, think you've got that back to front, leisure first van second.



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BurtSner

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Reply with quote  #15 
Mine is on solar only these days, although I will double check in the depths of winter, the setup charges the leisure’s first and any excess power goes to the engine battery
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Pudsey Bear

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Reply with quote  #16 
The van concerned in the OP was bought used and was only 6 months old so must have been done by the original owner, an odd thing to do though unless they found it easier to remove/carry the LB
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Kev [comp] 

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Don't force it, use a bigger hammer. Semper ubi, Sub ubi. 

Link to self build pictures 


http://tinyurl.com/nzyry9n

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Woody

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerty
I think out panel makes sure the vehicle battery is topped up first then switches to the leisure. Lin will be here in a minute to confirm or deny that [biggrin]


Yes Jan, you are correct. Our Auto Trail vans have something that I think is referred to as a ‘smart charger’.....or words to that effect. I believe maintains the van battery as a priority, then automatically switches over to the leisure batteries. (We have two. - We added an extra one, as we don’t use campsites).


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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #18 
I had a look on line and could only find reference to what I was looking for in the Tracker and Frontier series manuals, from what I read it seems that the system needs to be told what to do.

From the Tracker manual fitted with the EC325 controls quote: When a battery is selected this battery will be used as the power source and will also be charged by the on-board charger. Please note that the charger will only select an individual battery as a power source or charging, it cannot charge both batteries simultaneously.

From the Frontier series fitted with EC480 control unit quote: 
When the 12 volt power is turned on the leisure battery is automatically selected as the power source for the vehicle when no mains supply is present. If a mains supply is available then this is the battery that will be charged by the on board battery charger. Pressing the battery select button will change the selected battery from the leisure battery to the vehicle battery. The ‘active’ battery level is shown on the LCD screen – the letter ‘L’ indicates leisure battery, the letter ‘V’ indicates vehicle battery.

So unless the manuals I've looked at are different to yours it would suggest that with an unmodified set up only one or the other battery will be charged.
It does go on to mention the solar installation if fitted quote:
The solar panel ammeter shows the current in amps that is being provided by the solar panel if fitted to the vehicle. The battery ammeter shows the current in amps that is going into, or discharging from the selected or ‘active’ battery. A positive reading indicates that the battery is being charged and is shown by a green bar. A negative reading indicates that the battery is being discharged and is shown by a yellow bar - indicating a low discharge, or red indicating a high discharge

Doesn't seem as though Auto Trail have moved on much since the last one I owned which was in 1988, had to select which battery you wanted to use then.

If your van has been fitted with an aftermarket solar set up, it was most likely done so with the capacity to charge both batteries but that will almost always give priority to the leisure batteries.

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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #19 
As an aside to that, don't think a lot of the battery industry would agree with the figures AutoTrail give to voltage level interpretation, quote:
Less than 10.9 volts will show red, indicating a poor battery condition.
Between 10.9 volts to 11.8 volts will show yellow, indicating a battery in a fair condition.
Between 11.9 volts to 14.4 volts will show green, indicating a battery in good condition.

I'd hardly call a figure of 10.9 to 11.8 to be fair.

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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #20 
Perhaps Lin and Jan were thinking of when driving, the vehicle alternator will charge both vehicle and leisure batteries but will of course favour the vehicle battery.
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Pudsey Bear

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Reply with quote  #21 
I always think anything less than 12v is virtually flat John.
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Kev [comp] 

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If you're not the lead dog, your view never changes.

Don't force it, use a bigger hammer. Semper ubi, Sub ubi. 

Link to self build pictures 


http://tinyurl.com/nzyry9n

2002 Bessacarr E745 Ducato
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peejay

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Reply with quote  #22 
Cant remember where I got this from but would this be a good general guide to battery condition to keep in the moho?

Battery_charge_state.jpg

Pete


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powerplus

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Reply with quote  #23 
hi all


my thoughts on the battery are 

its a battery that needs regular maintenance as can be seen by the screw tops 


there are habitation batteries that need regular topping up and if neglected would get dry and potentially hot

i see in the picture that the battery had a vent pipe to the outside hopefully


kev

that tray looks like the battery box on modern swifts like mine

barry
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eurajohn

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerplus
hi all


my thoughts on the battery are 

its a battery that needs regular maintenance as can be seen by the screw tops 


there are habitation batteries that need regular topping up and if neglected would get dry and potentially hot

i see in the picture that the battery had a vent pipe to the outside hopefully


kev

that tray looks like the battery box on modern swifts like mine

barry


If you look closely at the picture you will see that the battery has been literally blown apart, if it had melted the edges of the damaged portions would be rounded and smooth not jagged and torn apart, and what remains of the internal and external walls of the battery would no longer be straight.

I also noticed the vent tube but in the OP it was stated that the battery had been quote:
"stored in a canvas bag inside a plastic tub"
So my thoughts on that was whoever entombed the battery had also disconnected the vent tube to allow the encapsulation. 

The only thing I don't have a theory on is what the source of ignition was or could have been.

I'm not trying to say that my theory is factual, but in my years have seen many batteries that have been destroyed by their gases being ignited and they always looked like that one.

Just as an afterthought I looked on Google for perhaps some corroboration of my thoughts and views and found amongst others this  https://automotivesbattery.wordpress.com/tag/why-do-car-batteries-explode/

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Pudsey Bear

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Reply with quote  #25 
It is a Swift Barry.
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Kev [comp] 

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If you're not the lead dog, your view never changes.

Don't force it, use a bigger hammer. Semper ubi, Sub ubi. 

Link to self build pictures 


http://tinyurl.com/nzyry9n

2002 Bessacarr E745 Ducato
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