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Old 10-12-2017, 07:47 AM   #1
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Hot battery, fairly new

I noticed a slight odor near my battery so went to investigate and noticed the battery box was pretty warm/hot. I opened the battery box and the battery was hot. I could touch it, but it still seemed excessively hot. It is an upgraded battery that is only 14 months old and rarely used except for the tongue lift and the occasional LED light inside. I am connected to 30 amp service.

Hereís a little more info. The previous owner is a family friend and has taken great care of the camper as he is mechanical engineer and stays on top of maintenance. He did install a small solar panel that slowly charges the battery. During that install he decided to get a larger battery:
Optima High-performance AGM battery
Battery part #: BLUED27M
Camper: Jayflight 264 BHW

The previous owner told me one of the solar cells is damaged and so the solar panel system is not functioning, but it has still been hooked up to controller and the battery. Once I noticed the hot battery I decided to remove the solar panel wiring from the battery (as per previous ownerís suggestion) and take that out of the system since that seemed like the most logical fault in the system. So I did that and let it sit all night to cool down (with the normal battery wires still connected, and the camper still connected to 30 amp service). This morning I go out to check it and the battery is still hot.
Attached is a photo of the system BEFORE I removed the solar panel charging system from the battery. I did this by removing the small brown wire with the translucent yellow connector from the Ė terminal and then by removing the small red wire with translucent yellow connector from the + terminal. All 3 other wires remain connected to battery while camper is plugged into 30 amp. The clear box on the left side of the photo is the solar charging controller. It along with all the solar panel system is now disconnected. After all night of sitting as described the battery never cooled down. So this seems to tell me itís not the solar panel system but rather something more internal?
What should I do and check next? I am not good with electricity so please explain things simply. I assume at the least I can unhook the battery until a professional itís figured out. I really donít need the battery in the near future since Iím connected to shore power. However I would like to safely troubleshoot the issue.

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Old 10-12-2017, 08:04 AM   #2
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Unplug from 30amp , let battery cool and remove it. Either your battery is bad (likely) or you converter has failed.

The battery is boiling and off-gassing hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell)

A spark with the gas in a confined area could cause it to explode.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:10 AM   #3
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I think that's what I will try. What would cause a relatively new battery to go bad? If it is a bad battery then I don't want to buy a new one just for it to fail again.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:14 AM   #4
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Also, take note that it appears you have a black wire (purple crimp spade) hooked up to the positive terminal of the battery. Black normally would go to ground.. but that's what happens when you let a mechanical engineer work on electric systems..

It's likely correct but could cause you a problem when reinstalling the battery if connected to ground.

(If my color perception is off from the photo forgive me...)
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:17 AM   #5
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I missed the part where the battery was AGM. I don't know a lot about them. I have read reports of them not being capable of taking the abuse that a conventional deep cell battery can take. And that unless the converter is a three stage converter they will fail prematurely.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustysocket View Post
Also, take note that it appears you have a black wire (purple crimp spade) hooked up to the positive terminal of the battery. Black normally would go to ground.. but that's what happens when you let a mechanical engineer work on electric systems..

It's likely correct but could cause you a problem when reinstalling the battery if connected to ground.

(If my color perception is off from the photo forgive me...)
In RV's if the wiring was not changed by the previous owner, the BLACK wire should go to the POSITIVE terminal and the WHITE to ground (FRAME BOLT)

Check where your WHITE wire is connected to.

Don

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Old 10-12-2017, 09:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang65 View Post
In RV's if the wiring was not changed by the previous owner, the BLACK wire should go to the POSITIVE terminal and the WHITE to ground (FRAME BOLT)

Check where your WHITE wire is connected to.

Don

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You are absolutely correct in respect to how a RV is wired and in the back of my mind I knew that... I got stuck on the aftermarket solar panel being added.

Rather what I intended was a poor attempt at humor... and that the OP's focus should be on making sure (regardless of color) that the wires are connected to their respective locations prior to the install of a new battery. I went down this road myself and it can be very confusing to sort out, especially if someone else has done any work on the system.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rustysocket View Post
I missed the part where the battery was AGM. I don't know a lot about them. I have read reports of them not being capable of taking the abuse that a conventional deep cell battery can take. And that unless the converter is a three stage converter they will fail prematurely.

Does anybody else know or think that this could be true? Not my expertise
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:46 AM   #9
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Check the polarity from the Factory Jayco had wired the plug for the solar panel in reverse!
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:54 AM   #10
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Check the polarity from the Factory Jayco had wired the plug for the solar panel in reverse!
I'm sorry but can you elaborate? I don't understand because I'm ignorant when it comes to electricity and their circuits
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