E-21 Battery/Box venting mod. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-08-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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E-21 Battery/Box venting mod.

The E-21 stock battery box venting set up does not work very well. The vent is on the side of the box and Hydrogen gas collects in the top of the battery box and can leak out into the trailer. AGM batteries are an fix option but I am not in a position to spend about $600 for that fix.
To cut down on water loss and vapors I changed out the battery caps to Flow System, Water Miser Medium Height Battery caps. The caps are suppose to cut down on water vapor and gas being released from the battery. I have no prior experience with the caps but I thought I would try them. https://www.flowsystemsusa.com/
100_4493.JPG The best price for these was on E-Bay.

100_4494.JPG
I added a top vent (90 Deg. electrical waterproof conduit connector) to the box top which just fits under the seat and a 1/2" hose is routed to the rear of the trailer and I installed a 5/8" Perko boat gas tank vent behind the spare tire. The vent line is level and above the battery box top. I did have to shorten the horiz. seat support and scab on another seat support block. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:03 PM   #2
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Nice solution Eddie. I guess you'll know soon enough if it works - no propane alarm going off.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:11 PM   #3
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Only had it in a couple of days and no alarms, but it has been cool and raining. I keep my trailer closed up because I have to run a dehumidifier in it in the summer. The trailer batteries set off both the LP and CO2 alarms when it gets to about 90 deg. The real test will be with my external solar panel.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:10 PM   #4
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Eddie: Thanks for posting this. I would love an economical way to eliminate the false alarms on LP/CO detectors. I can see from your photos that they fit the Interstate GC2's, but how did you know before purchasing? The Flow Systems website doesn't seem to list Interstate when they mention fit compatibility. I ordered a set anyhow because obviously you made them work.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:36 PM   #5
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I called and talked to a person at Flow System. I was looking for a cap that the vents could be tied together by a hose and hopefully to a manifold. Kind of like the one point watering system. They said they had thought about making some like that but did not know if they had a market for them. They recommended the water miser to me. I also had issues with water on top of my batteries coming from the vents, S I figured I would give them a try.
Today with the frig. on battery for a while I took the batteries down to 80%. Then charged the batteries with my portable solar panel. The charge current was close to 5A. No odors or alarms. I did not remove the battery box top. Tonight the trailer is closed up with the converter charging the battery.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:17 PM   #6
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Nice solution.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #7
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I used the Flow Systems Water Miser shown in the photo in the original post but discovered it was difficult to see the water level in the batteries. I eventually went back to the original covers...
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elongest View Post
I called and talked to a person at Flow System. I was looking for a cap that the vents could be tied together by a hose and hopefully to a manifold. Kind of like the one point watering system. They said they had thought about making some like that but did not know if they had a market for them. They recommended the water miser to me. I also had issues with water on top of my batteries coming from the vents, S I figured I would give them a try.
Today with the frig. on battery for a while I took the batteries down to 80%. Then charged the batteries with my portable solar panel. The charge current was close to 5A. No odors or alarms. I did not remove the battery box top. Tonight the trailer is closed up with the converter charging the battery.
Eddie
Eddie: Thanks. Do you happen to know how much the medium caps stick up above the top of the battery posts, if at all? I just realized that with my battery box I only have about 3/8" clearance to spare. I don't want the top of the box resting on the water miser caps.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:11 AM   #9
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How much venting is required when an RV Battery is on a trickle charger? Does a battery, on a trickle charger, in an enclosed room (a basement) present a danger?
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
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How much venting is required when an RV Battery is on a trickle charger? Does a battery, on a trickle charger, in an enclosed room (a basement) present a danger?

I have a small laptop fan pushing the air out of the battery box to outside. The fan is 12 volt and is attached to the battery and trickle charger.
Probably overkill but I thought that I noticed corrosion on the tools in my tool chest and figured that the batteries could be the problem.
I have since installed a dehumidifier as well because I noticed that any cardboard was disintegrating.
So, like I say probably over kill but I feel better with the fan running than without it.

Concordia university says;
Storage of vented lead acid batteries is covered under the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1 Fire Code (section 52) and the International Fire Code (IFC, section 608). However, the IFC applies only to battery systems with more than 50 gallons (189.3L) of electrolyte, while the NFPA 1 applies to battery systems with more than 50 gallons (189.3L) of electrolyte in a room without sprinklers or 100 gallons (378.5L) of electrolyte in a room with sprinklers. The NFPA 1 and IFC state that, for vented lead acid and VRLA batteries, the ventilation system shall be designed to limit the maximum concentration of hydrogen to 1% of the total volume of the room or that a continuous ventilation shall be provided at a rate of not less than 1 cubic foot per minute per square foot [1ft3 /min/ft2 or 0.0051 m3 /(s . m2 )] of floor area of the room. Other standards that are often used to determine proper ventilation include, but are not limited to:  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 76: suggests that any battery room exhaust fan capacity in Cubic Feet Minute (CFM) should be in the room area (in sq. ft.).  American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 62: recommends 1 CFM per charging ampere to be provided, but not less than 6 air changes per hour. While all batteries will operate within a fairly wide temperature range, the life expectancy of a battery can be severely shortened at high temperatures. The optimum temperature for air around a stationary battery is 22° +/- 5°C. The reduction of a vented lead acid battery life from heat above the recommended temperature is about 2.5% per each 1°C. As these batteries contain an electrolyte in the liquid form, special spill containment systems (e.g. spill tray) (Figure 6) and the presence of an acid-neutralizing spill kit are required (NFPA 1 and IFC). An ABCtype fire extinguisher must also be present in these rooms.


in publication;
https://www.concordia.ca/content/dam...dBatteries.pdf

and it has formulas and such but, two 6 volt batteries are way smaller than I think the formulas are for.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #11
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Every time my Progressive Dynamics Wildcat goes into equalization at 14.7 volts my alarm starts to sound. The voltage is higher than advertised. I thought it was going bad and ordered a new alarm. I finally figured out what was happening. I think I'll try improving the foam seal around the top. I have a shutoff switch for now.

If that doesn't work then I will look at something like this.
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:04 AM   #12
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Seal

Before installing the vent I had replaced the ETI seal with a flexible rubber air filled seal. It was one of the versions of the improved Scamp door seal. You could see where the top was fully seated with new the seal. I also built up the butyl tape seal area. No help with the new seal. It has been over a week since the vent mod. and no alarms even with several solar charges. Waiting for it to heat up to over 90F to see how it does.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elongest View Post
Before installing the vent I had replaced the ETI seal with a flexible rubber air filled seal. It was one of the versions of the improved Scamp door seal. You could see where the top was fully seated with new the seal. I also built up the butyl tape seal area. No help with the new seal. It has been over a week since the vent mod. and no alarms even with several solar charges. Waiting for it to heat up to over 90F to see how it does.
Eddie
Eddie: Thanks for the update. Just received my water miser caps yesterday. They will be put on soon and I will post an update after some use.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:21 AM   #14
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Eddie: Thanks for the update. Just received my water miser caps yesterday. They will be put on soon and I will post an update after some use.
Hi rubicon327, I know it has only been 3 weeks, and you may not have had a chance to test, but I am looking for an easy fix also. Any luck with just the Water Misers?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #15
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Hi rubicon327, I know it has only been 3 weeks, and you may not have had a chance to test, but I am looking for an easy fix also. Any luck with just the Water Misers?

Thanks
Steve: Haven't installed them yet, but it will happen soon. Some camping coming up, but the real test is with the trailer closed up and sitting. I'll report back near the end of the month when I feel I might have some good data.
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Old 09-08-2017, 12:41 PM   #16
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Steve: Haven't installed them yet, but it will happen soon. Some camping coming up, but the real test is with the trailer closed up and sitting. I'll report back near the end of the month when I feel I might have some good data.
Great, and Good Luck!
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elongest View Post
Before installing the vent I had replaced the ETI seal with a flexible rubber air filled seal. It was one of the versions of the improved Scamp door seal. You could see where the top was fully seated with new the seal. I also built up the butyl tape seal area. No help with the new seal. It has been over a week since the vent mod. and no alarms even with several solar charges. Waiting for it to heat up to over 90F to see how it does.
Eddie
Eddie,

What's your final verdict on your vent mod?

With respect to the hose to the rear, why couldn't you have jogged left at the seat's (original) vertical support and then straight out the back? It looks to me that you'd have a straight (horizontal) run to the outside.

Does your external fitting have a screen?

Thanks.

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Old 09-28-2017, 10:51 PM   #18
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Well it's been a month and a half. The alarm did not sound while the trailer was stored in the barn. The batteries were charged by the converter and some days with my portable solar panel in boost mode. My thermometer recorded temperatures of above 95F in the trailer and no alarms. My wife had noted a slight chemical odor in the camper before the mod., she no longer can detect the odor. My trailer is shut up tight in storage because I have to run a dehumidifier in the trailer since we live near the Ches. Bay and we have real high humidity.
Last week I hooked up to the trailer and drove 10 mi. to the tire shop to get tires. I went to unhook the truck and heard an alarm. Before I could open the trailer door the alarm stopped, never to sound again. It was in the 90's that day. That was the only time that alarm has sounded since the mod.
I installed the detector with spade connectors so I can easily install a switch which I plan to do now.
(questions)The vent does have an internal screen. With the height of the battery box a horizontal run was the best I could do to get rid of the lighter than air Hydrogen gas. I tried running the top vent out the side of the trailer but there always seemed to be wood supports in the way.
Moving the detector to the other side of the trailer may keep the alarm from going off but it does not get rid of the Hydrogen gas. What is needed is a properly sealed and vented battery box or AGM batteries ($500+) A side vented box with a non sealing top like we have is not the answer. My modification does not completely solve the problem but it is a vast improvement over the current configuration.
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Old 09-28-2017, 11:28 PM   #19
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Had a lot of propane alarms this last trip; previously it wasn't so bad. Either our detector is a problem- and we vacuum it regularly- or the batteries are a problem. Like you, our batteries are forward under the passenger side dinette cushion. Perhaps this is why the location was changed to the rear corner- had always thought it due to better storage configuration.
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:39 AM   #20
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I doubt moving the batteries back a bit would help. Mine are under the back bench of the U, passenger side corner, I can still smell the fumes that folks say have no scent. My alarm goes off occasionally, maybe 3 or 4 times since I got it, seems to have to do with the solar has going into Equalize but it's to intermittent to pin down.
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