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I added a fuse and some #10 wires today to feed my ham radio install. I connected them straight to the van battery. (should have taken pictures!)

While I had the battery cover off, I looked for a vent tube for the van battery and could not find one. I'm thinking about adding a battery or two for the cargo area and the topic of venting comes up all over the place. Seems like the vent should be at the top of the battery "case", but in the van, I didn't see anything near the top edge of the battery, except some foam to seal it off when the cover is secured.

I really don't want to cut a vent hole in the side of the PM, and was wondering why the built in battery doesn't seem to be vented....hmmmm

Not interested in AGM, just want to add two basic 6V golf batteries, with a relay to charge, as others have done on the PM.

Any thoughts?

Ed
 

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Don't waste your time unless its going to be in a very tight confined area (and even then I wouldn't worry). If you open your door to get in you let fresh air in. People worry about theoretical stuff that might happen way to much!

Others will scream up and down how you're going to blow yourself up for sure but have you ever heard of this actually happening? No, because it's extremely rare.
 

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Don't waste your time unless its going to be in a very tight confined area (and even then I wouldn't worry). If you open your door to get in you let fresh air in. People worry about theoretical stuff that might happen way to much!

Others will scream up and down how you're going to blow yourself up for sure but have you ever heard of this actually happening? No, because it's extremely rare.
Nothing happens for sure, but it does occur occasionally. I've been present for two unrelated battery explosions caused by gases being ignited by near-by sources. It's not that big a deal other than it startles the **** out of you and leaves ears ringing. Neither started fire or anything like that.
 

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....cut....

Any thoughts?

Ed
Ed, my only comment is to take corrosion into account. Many applications I've seen involving "basic" batteries often had significant corrosion around the batteries after a few years. That's been the case with older cars, RVs, and golf carts too.
 

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I've had a fair bit of experience with batteries and I do worry about the fumes. I've had battery caps blown off from a spark and screw up the cells. In my last service truck, I was using 4 6v deep cycle batteries to run an inverter for my compressor, grinder, etc. I would equalize the cells with the charger once every few months and the fumes from that was pretty strong. My latest service truck doesn't have the batteries installed yet and I will be building a rack to put them under the floorboards with an autofill system.

Ed, I would think that the battery used for starting the van isn't vented because it's only used for starting the vehicle and the alternator takes over after that. A deep cycle battery would be used to about 50% of it's charge and then recharged which would create a larger volume of fumes, if that makes any sense.
 

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Are there any deep cycle batteries that are sealed like an AGM or a dry cell? I work in the motorcycle industry, mostly in the dual sport (on/off road street legal) segment and there are very few applications that use a battery with actual caps and a vent. These bikes get tipped over and sometimes flipped over! A battery with caps and a vent would spill constantly.

Surely there must be a sealed marine battery out there.
 

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Sealed batteries really aren't sealed, just harder to open.

I've run a bank of four flooded lead 6V golf cart batteries in my campers for years, Always hidden away in a closed space, usually under the bed. The only complaint I have ever had about them is the extra weight and the corrosion they cause. This is the reason (and the only reason) I decided to go with one AGM 12V in my Promaster. I bougt the biggest one I could find at Sam's Club Duracell HD AGM Item #: 347647, BCI Group Size:31CA at 32 degrees F, 1000CCA at 0 degrees F, 800 Reserve Capacity 200 . It was $200 and two lead acid 6V GC batteries would have been about $160. To me it was a no brainer for the extra $40! I'll most likely add a second one in the Spring, especially if I add solar.
 

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Are there any deep cycle batteries that are sealed like an AGM or a dry cell?

.....cut......
Take a look at the specs on the new Transit starting batteries when equipped with dual battery option. If I recall correctly they are listed as both deep-cycle/dual-purpose and AGM.

For RV use there are also lithium-based batteries that have excellent performance potential but are extremely expensive and require different charging equipment. Some brands claim they can be charged off vehicle alternator system but many people question that.

Roadtrek has an electric option with lithium batteries. Again, batteries are very expensive but may make sense if they can eliminate cost and weight of a diesel generator if van has diesel fuel.

The Roadtrek ProMaster video shows trays of these batteries that may fit under PM floor easier than a generator. And these are sealed in that they don't give off gas as far as I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sealed batteries really aren't sealed, just harder to open.

I've run a bank of four flooded lead 6V golf cart batteries in my campers for years, Always hidden away in a closed space, usually under the bed. The only complaint I have ever had about them is the extra weight and the corrosion they cause. This is the reason (and the only reason) I decided to go with one AGM 12V in my Promaster. I bougt the biggest one I could find at Sam's Club Duracell HD AGM Item #: 347647, BCI Group Size:31CA at 32 degrees F, 1000CCA at 0 degrees F, 800 Reserve Capacity 200 . It was $200 and two lead acid 6V GC batteries would have been about $160. To me it was a no brainer for the extra $40! I'll most likely add a second one in the Spring, especially if I add solar.
KOV,

How are you charging the AGM battery? That seems to be the issue. Everything I read says its hard to charge off the alternator without a $200+ DC to DC charger.

I'd prefer AGM, but tough to charge....

Ed
 

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My AGM ($170) house battery is 100 amp hours and I charge it with a solar panel, 110v house current, and a DC-DC charger that works off the cigarette/power plug while driving.

It can also be charged off the (amazing 220a) alternator, but opted not to do that because it sends so much juice so fast that it can harm the battery.

I use a battery box* with a 6 stage charger and inverter. I like how versatile it is.

I leave on a month long boondocking expedition tomorrow.

*llnk to battery box https://www.arkportablepower.com/ArkPak
 

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KOV,

How are you charging the AGM battery? That seems to be the issue. Everything I read says its hard to charge off the alternator without a $200+ DC to DC charger.

I'd prefer AGM, but tough to charge....

Ed
Ed here is a brief description of my setup.

I have a #1 AWG welding/battery connected to the Promaster battery under the floor with a 175 amp Mega fuse.

this in turn runs to the side of the drivers seat in a conveniently already in place plastic channel

where it continues along the inside of the van wall to my closet. In the closet I have a simple on/off switch (so I can disconnect it whenever I wish to) which feeds to the battery isolator/combiner and then goes to the AGM battery under the bed. I have a dp/dt toggle switch that controls the 120 VAC power either from the inverter or the grid power receptacle on my rear bumper (I can connect it to my house, campground or generator source). The inverter runs the refrigerator & microwave and two 120 VAC GFI outlets in the van.


I also have a dedicated AGM battery charger connected to receptacle in the rear bumper so that it is continually powered when the van is connected to AC power and charges the AMG battery only. One reason for the on/off switch is so the charger doesn't try to charge the vans starting battery as it is not an AGM type and visa versa. When I'm driving for any distance like camping, I'll switch the on/off switch on and the alternator will charge the AGM battery and while plugged into AC I shut it off so the AMG battery charger charges the battery

If I had solar I would wire it up a little differently, of course, but so far it works well for my purposes they way I have now.

BTW, the AGM charger was about $77 on[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EKY20K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame] I can run the AGM house battery for quite a while if I'm not powering the inverter and if it drops below 12.5 VDC I simply either plug it in at night or juice it up a bit by switching the alternator on while I'm driving for awhile. The problem with using the alternator to always charge (so I understand) is the fact that AGM's don't like a constant 14+ volt charge after they reach a fully charged state and it shortens their life cycle. I can tell you the alternator will charge the AGM with no problem other than that.
 

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I see Harbor Freight has that 2kw inverter on sale for $124.99. Seems cheap. Happy with it?
 

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.....cut...... The problem with using the alternator to always charge (so I understand) is the fact that AGM's don't like a constant 14+ volt charge after they reach a fully charged state and it shortens their life cycle. I can tell you the alternator will charge the AGM with no problem other than that.
I don't know how Ford does it but it would be nice to find out. The alternator that comes with dual AGM battery option may have a different voltage setting, or perhaps it uses an external regulator. I don't know. Direct charging off alternator would be nice to have as option.
 

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I see Harbor Freight has that 2kw inverter on sale for $124.99. Seems cheap. Happy with it?
That's what I paid for it. It's ok, nothing special but for the money you can't beat it. It runs my fridge and micro fine but sometimes the coffee maker makes it whine a little. I don't have any sensitive electronics I run off of it. It also will run my Skill saw and a small electric heater I keep in the van but I haven't tried much else

I may very well upgrade it if and when I add solar. I guess I'd rate it a c+ Or maybe B- because of the coffee maker. It does run the fridge with no problem and is pretty quiet and that's about the most important thing for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
KOV,

Thanks for the pictures and info. Very helpful. I'm used to seeing grey metal when I take a cover off, but the white makes it easier to see the details! My van is Graphite.

I'm guessing theat the black box next to the red switch is the isolator. With the red switch, do you really need that?

I like the idea of AC charge unless away from AC, then charge off alternator even if it is not perfect.

I also haven't looked under the driver step up. Good place to route the wire!

Thanks,
Ed
 

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KOV,

Thanks for the pictures and info. Very helpful. I'm used to seeing grey metal when I take a cover off, but the white makes it easier to see the details! My van is Graphite.

I'm guessing theat the black box next to the red switch is the isolator. With the red switch, do you really need that?

I like the idea of AC charge unless away from AC, then charge off alternator even if it is not perfect.

I also haven't looked under the driver step up. Good place to route the wire!

Thanks,
Ed

No, you could get by without it but is cheap insurance (for $75) that your starting battery will not run down. [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OTIPDQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

I also have a led voltmeter and an led indicator light wired in to my dash on the left side just above the fuse box that constantly monitors the voltage of the AGM battery only. The led indicator light is connected to the batter isolator and indicates whether or not they are combined.
 

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I added a fuse and some #10 wires today to feed my ham radio install. I connected them straight to the van battery. (should have taken pictures!)

While I had the battery cover off, I looked for a vent tube for the van battery and could not find one. I'm thinking about adding a battery or two for the cargo area and the topic of venting comes up all over the place. Seems like the vent should be at the top of the battery "case", but in the van, I didn't see anything near the top edge of the battery, except some foam to seal it off when the cover is secured.

I really don't want to cut a vent hole in the side of the PM, and was wondering why the built in battery doesn't seem to be vented....hmmmm

Not interested in AGM, just want to add two basic 6V golf batteries, with a relay to charge, as others have done on the PM.

Any thoughts?

Ed
Part #2 in this pic is called the "Battery Vent Tube" (Stock Code 4727608AA).

Does this mean the PM starting battery is in fact vented?

 

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Motorcycle batteries have a similiar vent/overflow with a hose that reaches below the bike's frame.
 
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