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Old 09-04-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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Fire in the Hull

Yes, literally. Making my way up a nasty road to Funnel Lake, I managed to grind my house battery into the body so hard that the positive terminal contacted the ground, igniting a fire, which I was VERY fortunate to extinguish before causing too much damage. I was literally in the middle of no where, and at one point, thought I was going to stand there and watch my rig burn to the ground. My fire extinguisher ran out, and I ended up getting it out with water. I guess the myth of not putting water on an electrical fire is just that. It worked, so that's all that I cared about! So my littany of parts in need of replacement are as follows:

House Battery
House Battery Support Cage
Nerf Bar on Passenger Side

So, my questions are as follows:

What are the best house batteries out there, from experience. Having worked in auto parts for some time, I am partial to Interstate Batteries, they have performed exceptionally over the years for me, but this is a completely different application that I am not familiar with. What brands/models have performed the best for you?

The support cage, do I need to have the one repaired that I damaged, or are those readily available from SMB, or do I need to have one custom made? The one I have could be repaired, if necessary, but after my experience, wondering if something beefier might be in order.

What is a good source for new nerf bars, should I go to someone local (I am in Southern California, Orange and Riverside Counties) to have one made, are they offered generically in certain lengths?
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Glad it worked out ok bro

reminder to us ALL to keep the extinguishers full and handy !!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Never mind I see your question was about house batteries
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:11 AM   #4
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
Yes, literally. Making my way up a nasty road to Funnel Lake, I managed to grind my house battery into the body so hard that the positive terminal contacted the ground, igniting a fire, which I was VERY fortunate to extinguish before causing too much damage. I was literally in the middle of no where, and at one point, thought I was going to stand there and watch my rig burn to the ground. My fire extinguisher ran out, and I ended up getting it out with water. I guess the myth of not putting water on an electrical fire is just that. It worked, so that's all that I cared about! So my littany of parts in need of replacement are as follows:

House Battery
House Battery Support Cage
Nerf Bar on Passenger Side

So, my questions are as follows:

What are the best house batteries out there, from experience. Having worked in auto parts for some time, I am partial to Interstate Batteries, they have performed exceptionally over the years for me, but this is a completely different application that I am not familiar with. What brands/models have performed the best for you?

The support cage, do I need to have the one repaired that I damaged, or are those readily available from SMB, or do I need to have one custom made? The one I have could be repaired, if necessary, but after my experience, wondering if something beefier might be in order.

What is a good source for new nerf bars, should I go to someone local (I am in Southern California, Orange and Riverside Counties) to have one made, are they offered generically in certain lengths?
Pete, the Same thing happened to me...fried everything 12 v in the van including the inverter and took out my alternator as well. There is (depending on the mount) not much room between the van body and the terminals of the batteries. But each battery is different on their lug height. I got rid of the Deka's and went back to Lifeline which have lower lugs. I also tied down the batteries and don't rely on those plastic marine battery box tops for an insulator. SMB made my cage but I'm sure you can have one made or find something aftermarket. SMB uses channel iron and marine battery boxes and I now have a ratchet strap holding them down.
Don't know anything about nerf bars.

BTW water on a 12vDC short is fine if a fire is going...120vAC is a different story and can kill ya if you don't know what you're doing.

Dave

Good luck
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #5
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Re: Fire in the Hull

I'm not familiar with SMB's installation of the house batteries, but I gather they are under the van and it sounds like they have the terminals facing up towards the underside of the van floor.

AGM batteries can be used in any orientation. Would having the terminals face sideways put them in a more protected position?
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Old 09-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: Fire in the Hull

http://www.thetanksource.com/index.p...d=0&Itemid=830
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:17 AM   #7
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Sounds like you have the house batteries mounted along the frame rail on the passenger side. A lot of us have them mounted right behind the rear axle.

Did you checkout this thread?
viewtopic.php?p=86682#p86682

Or this one?
viewtopic.php?p=47058#p47058
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by redrock
AGM batteries can be used in any orientation. Would having the terminals face sideways put them in a more protected position?
Basically a space issue but yeah, if I had the space to lay them sideways it would have been done.
If the OP Pete had his mounted on the side rails it's poossible to contact the frame as well. Nevertheless, it happened to me and the batteries should be secured better than using just zip ties (used in my build). But in my case it wasn't the batteries jumping around, it was the incorrect sized batteries rubbing through the cheap plastic battery box top. Once the 2 str copper ground vaporized, the batteries became parallel and I showed 24 volts on the system...not good. I was lucky there was no fire. Stuff got hot under the bench seat. I went with a lower profile set of batteries. In some cases the lugs may have to be modified depending on the manufacture. Sometimes that will void the warranty, so I just returned to the lifeline 4-D that fit correctly in the first place. Making sure you purchase the correct size battery is somewhat important and would have saved me a major headache.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Re: Fire in the Hull

@Pete...I think you should tell use more about your setup, location and size of your batteries. Some guys have one large battery and some use multiple smaller ones. If they are mounted under the side doors like charlie56 (good links by the way) thinks how low do/did they hang? I am a big fan of the stock Ford battery boxes in that location and I think you would break a battery or rip the box off before it would hit the post on the floor. They hang down about one inch from the frame but are well above the rocker pinch weld. The only thing I see wrong with the boxes is limited battery choices as they must be group 65 to fit inside. dhallys side mounted AGM batteries are a good idea in that location too. I would think you could have someone local to you (metal shop or custom shop) repair or build you a new battery mount so it could moiunt to the old holes and still use the existing wires.@BajaSportsmobile I like the looks of those boxes I am sure they would be better than the typical marine battery box.

I like these batteries for the stock boxes at least, but I also am a big fan of Interstate Batteries.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... rtCircular

Personally I like being able to buy a battery locally and have warranty replacement available almost anywhere I go so Sears (and now K Mart) or Interstate work well for whats important to me. I also like two smaller batteries vs one larger battery but like many things it depends on what you like whos going to install them and so on. I think most of use here would recommend AGM batteries although some are using regular wet batteries with no problems for their needs. Lifeline is a very common brand name used in this crowd with Deka also sometimes recomended but usually those are for the larger batteries.

In the end it all depends on what size batteries you need to replace yours and how much work you want to do.

Glad your fire didnt burn down your van or cause too much damage.



...Jamie
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #10
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Re: Fire in the Hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
@Pete...I think you should tell use more about your setup, location and size of your batteries. Some guys have one large battery and some use multiple smaller ones. If they are mounted under the side doors like charlie56 (good links by the way) thinks how low do/did they hang? I am a big fan of the stock Ford battery boxes in that location and I think you would break a battery or rip the box off before it would hit the post on the floor. They hang down about one inch from the frame but are well above the rocker pinch weld. The only thing I see wrong with the boxes is limited battery choices as they must be group 65 to fit inside. dhallys side mounted AGM batteries are a good idea in that location too. I would think you could have someone local to you (metal shop or custom shop) repair or build you a new battery mount so it could moiunt to the old holes and still use the existing wires.@BajaSportsmobile I like the looks of those boxes I am sure they would be better than the typical marine battery box.

I like these batteries for the stock boxes at least, but I also am a big fan of Interstate Batteries.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... rtCircular

Personally I like being able to buy a battery locally and have warranty replacement available almost anywhere I go so Sears (and now K Mart) or Interstate work well for whats important to me. I also like two smaller batteries vs one larger battery but like many things it depends on what you like whos going to install them and so on. I think most of use here would recommend AGM batteries although some are using regular wet batteries with no problems for their needs. Lifeline is a very common brand name used in this crowd with Deka also sometimes recomended but usually those are for the larger batteries.

In the end it all depends on what size batteries you need to replace yours and how much work you want to do.

Glad your fire didnt burn down your van or cause too much damage.



...Jamie
I have one large battery, mounted under the side doors on the passenger side. The use of the battery is mostly for the lights when camping, occasional use of the fridge. That is all it is used for, my rig is very basic, and doesn't have anything else that runs off the battery. Looking to basically replace what I had. It seemed to work fine, I just will likely try to put something on top of it so this doesn't happen again.
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