Would Century N70 Deep Cycle batteries...

Submitted: Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 19:16
ThreadID: 106034 Views:4162 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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... be okay in this scenario:

- 2 x Century N70 Deep Cycle batteries connected in parallel
- installed in a 2002 Jayco Swan Outback camper, with solar panels
- solar panels used only while free camping or to keep batteries topped up during storage
- 7 phase 15amp battery charger for 240v charging before/after camping

I am not asking whether this would meet my power needs, just asking whether it's okay to use these particular batteries in a Jayco Swan Outback, as they aren't "sealed" batteries as such, and would be located under the lounge within the camper.

I am basically looking for the most cost-efficient way to achieve a 200ah 12v system for our camping needs.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Reply By: Brian 01 - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 19:39

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 19:39
Even though the Swan could hardly be considered air tight or draft proof, flooded batteries such as these must be vented to atmosphere, not just to the van interior.
You could enclose them in a sealed box and have a hole in the base and a second hole in the side up high and ducted to outside to allow cross ventilation, but it must be sealed from the inside of the van.
Or you could have the second hole also in the bottom and preferably diagonally opposite the intake hole with a brushless fan drawing air out of the box.
Don't have it drawing air into the box as you need to create a negative pressure in the box so that seals don't leak.
Hydrogen is lighter than air, so you need the fan to draw it off the top. A short piece of duct either on top of the fan, or under it to raise its height to that of the top of the batteries will suffice.
The fan can run continuously, or you can fit a simple voltage comparator that turns the fan on only at voltages where gassing is going to occur.
This keeps it a bit quieter at night.
AnswerID: 525528

Reply By: The Bantam - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 23:11

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 23:11
Putting batteries under a bed...regardless of the type is shoddy in my opinion....though plenty of manufacturers seem to do it.

Putting flooded screw top batteries under a bed is asking for trouble.

There was a caravan explosion, documented with pictures in this very forum not long ago.
It was the considered opinion that what you are proposing is exactly what was the cause.

Fitting ANY battery without good ventlation is not clever, fitting a non sealed battery without good ventilation is just asking for trouble big time.

Sealed batteries will release small amounts of explosive gasses and corrosive fumes under certain circumstances, non sealed batteries will produce considerable amounts of explosive gasses and corrosive fumes every time and the whole time they are on charge

As for the idea of a hole here and a hole there.

Use "Bantam's fart test".....if you where to fart in the place where you propose fitting these batteries, how long will the smell linger.....that is how long explosive gasses will linger.

Adequate ventilation means a lot more than most people thnk.

IF you must fit batteries in places like under the bed, you need to make pretty danm sure that it is one of the better sealed batteries, and that the rest of your system is right on.

BTW, there is no such thing as a totally sealed battery, they will all vent some gass and some corrosive fumes under certain circumstances...plenty of people will try and tell you otherwise.

AnswerID: 525541

Reply By: Monomeeth - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 09:29

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 09:29
Thanks Brian/The Bantam

I guess you guys have confirmed what I suspected, both in terms of the suitability of the Century N70T in this scenario, and the scepticism I have towards even "sealed" batteries.

So, here is the inevitable follow up question:

Am I better to use:

"sealed" batteries, such as a Ritar or Ultimate etc


one of those batteries with a hole on the top of each side designed to have a "hose" plugged in to one side and a bung into the other, the idea being the hose can then be run externally to the camper for venting purposes. I've seen these once at an Exide outlet and they sell the "kit" comprising the hose and bung.

Obviously the first option seems like the easier one, but maybe the second option is a much better alternative for this type of camper? (Though I'm not sure whether a hose connected to a battery in this manner would open up some sort of unintended consequence down the track, e.g. ants or something else travelling "up" the hose etc).

What are your thoughts?

Much appreciate your help.
AnswerID: 525559

Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 12:17

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 12:17
I have witnessed a battery exploding and from that experience I would never have batteries under seats or bed. Mine went off under the car bonnet and required substantial repairs to metal components.

FollowupID: 807473

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 14:52

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 14:52
Just to Introduce a little reality into the hype that is going on here.
Vented batteries do not explode unless an ignition source is applied in the vicinity of the battery, and only then if there is the right mix of H2 and O available.
This will be pretty hard to achieve in a sealed and ventilated box, and provided the ventilation is adequate then the gas concentration will never be high enough to create an explosive atmosphere.
As for rupturing due to overcharging, that is the exclusive domain of sealed batteries, vented ones just do not do it.
Venting to either under the van or to the side will not create a danger of explosion provided the air change rate is adequate for the volume of gas being produced.
For a normal RV installation, a small computer fan will be more than sufficient for this purpose.

FollowupID: 807483

Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:18

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:18
Doesn't happen often but it only needs to happen once. The advice was in my situation that there was a poor connection within the battery. Was band new vehicle and went to start (after just arriving after 300klm drive) then one almighty explosion.

My thoughts are if it can happen once it can happen again.
I am not taking the risk.

FollowupID: 807496

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 00:03

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 00:03
The battery does not even need to be enclosed for an explosion and ignition sources are plentifull.

One regular poster on another forum was working on a petrol powered cement mixer that had a cowel over an unenclosed battery.

there was sufficient gass build up under the cowel ( hydrogen rises), an ignition from the engine electrics and BOOM.

Fortunately the only damage was a loss of facial fair and brown trousers.

There are numerous reports, going back decades of gasses exploding directly over batteries when people do silly things.

The great thing about batteries is that they produce hydrogen and oxygen in exactly the right proportions for an explosion.

Remember too, flash fires can occur when the ratios are not quite ideal for an explosion.

Serioulsy non sealed batteries should be vented very well to outside air....the explosive fumes hazzard is very real and seriuos accidents do occur.

FollowupID: 807521

Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 13:22

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 13:22
Thousands of caravans have their batteries (AGM’s or Gel cells) situated under beds and seats in caravans without special venting. Wouldn’t advise this with a flooded battery.
AnswerID: 525576

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