Lead acid 2x 6v Battery Venting - inside coach to outside - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:26:AM Thread Starter
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Lead acid 2x 6v Battery Venting - inside coach to outside

Yes, I'm cheap. I'm running two 6v Interstate Deep Cycle Golf Batteries in my setup ($160 for both). I have a decent amount of experience with these types in a Class A that I lived in for 16 months and I just couldn't complain about the price / amp hour. Given the maintenance requirements for these, I didn't feel comfortable putting them under the chassis so they are in the van with me.

I wasn't really worried about the Hydrogen given the space in the van etc. However, after running these for a week (they are still breaking in and haven't hardened yet) I find the hydrogen sulfide fumes just too much for me both while charging on shore power and while using the B-B charger.

I built a top to my box and am running a 1 1/4" powered vent hose from the top of the box through the wall and down under the back bumper area - all without drilling any holes in the body itself. I hooked up a 12v monitor that kicks the fan on automatically when they are receiving charge voltage (currently setup at 14v) and turns off automatically. While sitting and charging, while driving at freeway speeds, while driving with the windows open, this setup appears to be venting very well - I no longer smell any sulfur while charging.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/EASTMAN-1-5...ing/1000180583
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076896HH1/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07929Y5SZ/
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Last edited by jkft; 04-18-2019 at 08:41:AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 01:21:AM
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Flooded lead acid golf cart batteries can be a very good choice provided that, like any battery, they are installed correctly. I use two of them in my Transit van, and had plenty of experience using them with electric vehicles in the past. They are an inexpensive, proven technology that is very durable and widely available. The downsides are weight, maintenance, energy density, and out gassing. If there was a perfect choice for a battery, we would all be using it...

Battery technology is changing rapidly. Currently, lithium gets most of the attention. There are safety issues to consider with any form of energy storage. In the future my golf cart batteries may well be replaced by lithium as the cost of lithium decreases. The chargers that I installed take this into account. For now, flooded lead acid meets my 12 volt needs at a reasonable cost.

The hydrogen produced by the cells during charging is a serious issue. I knew someone who had an electric vehicle damaged when the hydrogen was not allowed to dissipate properly and it flashed. It is very important to properly vent these types of batteries. My flooded lead acid golf cart batteries are mounted under the van in an open rack to provide plenty of air circulation. If installed inside the van (not recommended), a means to provide both air in and exhaust out of a sealed battery box is required.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:21:AM
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My flooded lead acid golf cart batteries are mounted under the van in an open rack to provide plenty of air circulation.
Geo - how do you water the batteries with this setup? Thanks
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:10:PM
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Geo - how do you water the batteries with this setup? Thanks
Seconded! Inquiring minds want to know!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 01:11:PM
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 01:29:PM Thread Starter
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I ran the flow rite ones on my class A - however, I found the one way valves cheap and they quit working after a few months. Overall I was pretty disappointed. The trojan brand might be much better.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 01:57:PM
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Geo - how do you water the batteries with this setup? Thanks
Access to the battery rack is through a floor hatch between the floor frames. An section of steel angle was added to the one side of the floor cutout that was not abutting a floor frame. The hatch in the floor is used to install the batteries and cables, as well as for general maintenance such as watering and checking the connections. I made the hatch from the same exterior plywood as the floor, but with thick waterproof plastic attached to the underside. The coin cam locks secure the hatch to the floor. Because of the rack location between the frame rails, and my interior design layout, part of the hatch extends outside the cabinet. Opening the cabinet doors provides easy access. My old Roadtrek had a similar battery hatch completely inside a cabinet, but we are limited by the way Ford made the van.

I have used remote battery watering systems in the past with electric vehicles. My experience, like Jkft's, was that they did not work very well. For the electric vehicles, which had a large number of batteries, I would use a 2 gallon pump spray jug to water the batteries. Since the Transit just has two batteries to water, I use a turkey baster from the $1 store. It is also important to check the electrical connections and battery tie downs as part of any regular battery maintenance.

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Last edited by Geo; 04-18-2019 at 02:23:PM.
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