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Old 03-11-2015, 04:01 AM   #1
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12v Inverter in Battery Compartment

Looking to install my new Projecta INTELLI-WAVE INVERTER(12V) IP600 model(600watts output) with remote meter in my new Coachmen Apex 22QBS.
I am looking for places to install but limited inside the TT/Caravan, one place i want to install is in the rear carrier box which is aluminium but installed in here is the house battery, it says not to install the inverter in the same compartment as the batteries as the gasses from the house batteries could ignite, if I fitted fully sealed RV deep cycle batteries then there would be no gasses to ignite, this sounds quite safe to me what do you think chaps.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:19 PM   #2
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Are you an Electrical Engineer ?
Do you want to go BOOM ?
If the answer to both is NO then I would do what the directions / warnings say.
Is it worth the risk?
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:17 PM   #3
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Not worth the risk. Should anything happen, you may have issues on an insurance claim due to the decision to install in a space the MFG clearly said not to.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:41 PM   #4
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As I understand it, sealed batteries can release hydrogen. Normally, gases are retained within the battery. If the pressure exceeds a certain level, it will open a pressure release valve and hydrogen will escape.

I'm not an electrical engineer. My comment is based upon research I've done in trying to decide where to install an inverter in my Lexington 235.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:13 PM   #5
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If you are talking about AGM's then you shouldn't have a problem as long as you allow for adequate air spaces. Even in the rare chance that an AGM will off-gas it is such a miniscule amount and quickly dissipates. Adding a 1/2" air exchange hole near the top of the compartment.. or several smaller holes, it shouldn't be a problem.

My setup is not at all uncommon. My batteries are stored in the underbed storage area.. along with my solar controller and inverter/charger. To be 'safe', you might want to try and install your inverter as low as possible (Hydrogen rises).
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:44 PM   #6
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IMHO, you need to rethink the size if your inverter as 600 watts won't power even your coffee pot. I tried 3,000 watts and even that was not enough. Went to 5,000 watts and I'm a happy camper.
I also installed a 12vdc muffin fan, like in a computer, to vent out the hydrogen gasses to the outside of the unit. Those gasses will corrode anything metal, not to mention your lungs. The fan also keeps the inverter cooled down.
Also, the inverter needs to be as close as possible to the batts with BIG cables. Lots of 12vdc amps to feed the inverter and your batts will not last long.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:54 PM   #7
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The user manual for my Xantrex ProSine 3.0 inverter states "Do not install the inverter/charger in the same compartment as vented (non-sealed) batteries or in any compartment capable of storing flammable liquids such as gasoline", leading me to believe that sealed batteries would be fine.

IMO, Simply venting the carrier box would be fine too (should have vents at the top AND near the bottom to allow air flow).

Another possible option that would be cheaper than new sealed batteries would be to install a sealed battery box within your carrier and vent it to the outside. Many if not most trailers are done at the factory this way.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00buck View Post
As I understand it, sealed batteries can release hydrogen. Normally, gases are retained within the battery. If the pressure exceeds a certain level, it will open a pressure release valve and hydrogen will escape.

I'm not an electrical engineer. My comment is based upon research I've done in trying to decide where to install an inverter in my Lexington 235.
This is what I have researched,
Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid or VRLA, including AGM and Gel
(Absorbed Glass Mat) battery designs, can be substituted in
virtually any flooded lead-acid battery application (in conjunction
with well-regulated charging). Their unique features and
benefits deliver an ideal solution for many applications where
traditional flooded batteries would not deliver the best results
How it works
A VRLA battery utilizes a one-way, pressure-relief valve
system to achieve a “recombinant” technology. This means
that the oxygen normally produced on the positive plate is
absorbed by the negative plate. This suppresses the production
of hydrogen at the negative plate. Water (H
2O) is produced
instead, retaining the moisture within the battery.
It never
needs watering, and should never be opened
as this would
expose the battery to excess oxygen from the air. In addition to
damaging the battery, opening it also voids the warranty.
The difference between VRLA and traditional
flooded batteries
Flooded electrolyte batteries do not have special one-way,
pressure-relief valves, as they do not work on the recombination
principle. Instead, flooded designs utilize a vent to
allow gas to escape. They contain liquid electrolyte that can
spill and cause corrosion if tipped or punctured. They
should not be used near sensitive electronic equipment.
They can only be installed “upright.”
So what it says above is Flooding sealed batteries have a vent to
let the gases out but the VRLA don't so 100% sealed and no gases can escape, this is why these VRLA batteries can be installed upside down if needed, so this still makes me think I can install only the VRLA(GEL or AGM) batteries in my rear box but not flooded ones, does this change your views, Cheers

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Old 03-12-2015, 06:58 AM   #9
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Inverters come with lots of warnings. Besides of which you speak, mine also says not to mount on a combustible surface as the inverter gets too hot...
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:39 AM   #10
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Good Info I have an 800 watt inverter I was planning on using in a similar manner for small electrical items during setup or for lighting for late day setup.
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