ALERT: 'Rotten egg' smell in trailer [what to do]

b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
I'm guessing many of you experienced people around here would be able to guess the source of this, but for those of us new to RVs, thought I'd post this as an important FYI. 
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If you ever have an odor in your rig that smells like rotten eggs, it is likely the batteries overheating. Your CO2/smoke alarm may go off (mine did). If this should happen, I would suggest you:
  1. Immediately shut everything off;
  2. turn the battery switch off;
  3. start to ventilate;
  4. disconnect the batteries and preferably remove them from the trailer; and
  5. try not to breathe the gases (hydrogen sulfide).    <----- [probably should have led with that one, lol]
Turning the battery switch off did nothing for me, they only started to come down in temperature after they were disconnected (physically). Also, pulling them out was a bit more eventful than it should have been, as they were 'stuck together' from heat, and I had to carefully pry them apart without poking a hole in the casing (I used a plastic scraper). I was able to reveal the model/manufacturer of the battery; "Bright Way Group EVGC6 - 6V 220AH Deep Cycle Golf Cart Battery" (was underneath the Harris batteries sticker).



This is in regard to 6v AGM batteries in my 2020 [email protected] w/solar (pertains to regular flooded lead-acid, as well), and I'll provide more details as I have them. Hopefully this is a simple one-off from a bad battery cell.

-Jeff
2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
Jeff --Front Range of Colorado

Comments

  • jgram2jgram2 Posts: 1,281Member
    Thank you for this. Hopefully you’ll be able to give us some more details like the ambient and indoor temperature etc. I’m glad they didn’t blow up! And if there are ramifications for your solar and controller, replacement under warranty etc.
    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘06 V8 4Runner 


  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    Whoa!  That’s a new one - and an AGM yet!
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
    Whoa!  That’s a new one - and an AGM yet!
    Yes it is, sounds like a first for nuCamp.

    It's been flippin' hot here, 90 outside, probably 106 in the trailer.
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    Just thought of this - for those with batteries in the tub, do you think some Reflectix over the tub would help keep the temperature down?
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • webers3webers3 Posts: 63Member
    @Sharon_is_SAM Do you really think that the temperature in the tub, in full sun is greater than that under the hood of a car  stuck in a summer traffic? I really doubt the temperature is an issue for these batteries.
    2017 [email protected] 320s   2019 Jeep Cherokee
  • VernaVerna Posts: 5,151Administrator
    Actually, I have an thermometer sensor in my front  diamond plate tub and in the glove box of my truck. The front tub is much cooler than the inside of my truck, year round. 
    Verna, Indianapolis, IN, living full time in my 2019 [email protected] 400 Boondock Lite white/red, towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost; [email protected] Administrator




  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    @webers3, so just a bad cell in the battery is enough to cause the overheating?  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • ColoradoJonColoradoJon Posts: 350Member
    @Sharon_is_SAM - Absolutely.  Internal shortage between cells will overheat a battery in no time!  AGM's are really no different from flooded lead acid batteries, except they have the fiberglass mat between plates.
    Jon & Angela | Florissant Colorado | 2017 Outback S
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    So as far as ambient temp is concerned, it will only effect battery life duration?
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
       
                                           
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 317Member
    edited July 12
    @Sharon_is_SAM @webers3 ; The OP lists a 2020  400 boondock lite as his trailer type.     that might reduce the ambient temp issue.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator  Timbren SES suspension
    2020 320s Boondock lite
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
    So the battery distributor has said that there is virtually no way this can happen without the battery being overcharged, so now they are looking toward the converter (trailer was mostly plugged into shore power when this started).
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,039Moderator
    That's certainly a likely possibility, but I wouldn't buy it out of hand without further diagnostics. While it's unusual, batteries can and do fail even when they are brand new.

    Regardless, if I was the battery distributor I'd blame the charger as well.  ;-)
  • 4ncar4ncar Posts: 528Member
    WFCO is really good with their trouble shooting & warranty replacement policy. the unit has a 2 year warranty. Mine went bad(320S), and the replacement was simple, tedious, but simple. I would contact WFCO, they can talk you through the trouble shooting process. It will require a multimeter.  In doing this you can assuredly determine if it is the charger or not.
    TV- '16 Chevy Colorado LT Crew Cab-DuraMax
    2018 320S Outback
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
    They want me to bring the trailer to the dealer, but I have to be honest, not sure I'd trust the work they'd do compared to me winging it with a multimeter. Maybe I'll call WFCO.
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • davel4wadavel4wa Posts: 74Member
    New versions of the WFCO converter have an amber LED indicator that is lit in 'bulk charge mode.' If this indicator stays on when you think the batteries should be charged then you definitely have a problem. I don't think that necessarily would isolate a converter/charger or a battery problem but it does indicate some problem.


  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 317Member
    The first time I saw the picture I knew it had been over charged.   See it fairly frequently at work.   

    A question to the OP do you leave your trailer plugged in all the time?   Or was it plugged in for an extended period?   Any idea what the voltage was on the charger before you disconnected the battery?

    I measured mine and it was 14 volts on a fully charged battery and no load, beyond the parasite drain.    Seemed a bit high to me especially since it had been plugged into ac for a couple of days.

    I would hope the float voltage would drop to 13.6 and after 2 days it should well be through absorption charge

    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator  Timbren SES suspension
    2020 320s Boondock lite
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 2,490Administrator
    For “two” batteries to fail at the same time would seem to point to the converter.  Scary event for sure and thank God you found it before a fire occurred that would have been devastating.  Most people think about the detrimental effects of winter on a battery, but warm temperatures are actually a battery’s worst enemy.  
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2015 [email protected] Max S
    Attached Image
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
    edited July 15
    @Cbusguy, it was plugged in for a couple of days after returning from a trip, as I was in and out, and it was hot and I wanted to be able to vent when I was in it. I don't know what the voltage was, as I was scrambling trying to get the batteries disconnected and removed. I do have the solar controller data (history), but not sure if the relevant info would be included?
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
  • CbusguyCbusguy Posts: 317Member
    @Michigan_Mike they were both over charged so they would both fail at the same time......from the pic it only looks like one is really swollen
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter with added tranny coolerPower Bastards 250 amp alternator  Timbren SES suspension
    2020 320s Boondock lite
  • b407driverb407driver Posts: 75Member
    One was definitely worse (the one connected to the neg wire), but the other was also bulging out, and in fact had a couple of small cracks near the negative terminal.
    2020 [email protected] Boondock Lite w/solar, TV is 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRD
    Jeff --Front Range of Colorado
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