Batteries under the bed

MarkJ

Full Member
I read somewhere a comment like “never, never put batteries under your bed. They’ll give off fumes in the night and you’ll all die.”

What batteries, if any, need venting? Do people use battery boxes and vents?
 

Millie Master

Full Member
Any and all of the batteries I have fitted to 'Millie' or my cars that have vent holes, I have vent pipes fitted to them all which I run to the outside.

In my cars, I had noticed quite bad damage to the paint and metal which I washed down, cured and painted and since fitting the vent pipes no further damage has occured.

The LB installation in 'Millie' is under our bed/sofa and in both cases the batteries have vent points that I have inserted polythene pipes in, which I have run to the outside via holes drilled in the floor. (in each case they are gel batteries)

Phil
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
After a Battery fire, Murky had a new home outside made for the replacement batteries. Fortunately burning through the water pipes put it out.
Betty will have four six volt batteries technically under the bed, but around 2 metres below. Vented to the outside and in a steel lined box.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
The worst of it was we have no idea how it started and when it was as we were not in it. The top had burnt away on one of the batteries. The water was pressurised and put it out. Very very lucky.
 

Millie Master

Full Member
Correct me if wrong
Robert I don't know the answer, all I do know is that the gel batteries fitted to 'Millie' and my classic car are all technically sealed (in as much as they don't need topping up), however they all have vent holes which, when delivered here new, had red push in plugs along with instructions that they should be installed in a ventilated space.

Phil
 

wildebus

Full Member
In an SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) battery, they are more "pressure release" vents as opposed to ventilation outlets. Sealed Batteries do not require ventilation in the traditional sense and any gasses will only be expelled if they are charged incorrectly.
 
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Nabsim

Full Member
I was surprised when Del showed me his Banner LA battery directly under the pillows in his Adria Twin. That’s a factory build, didn’t seem right to me but I assume it wouldn’t have gotten type approval if it wasn’t.
 
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SquirrellCook

Full Member
I do wonder as to the qualifications of those that do it and the so called habitation checks. I've seen houses not fit to live in and people not fit to live in houses. (not qualified in either, just experienced)
 

trevskoda

Full Member
Batteries should be in a explosive or gas prof box so if they do go bang the acid will stay in the box or run out the bottom drain/gas hole if there is one which there should be if open vent lead acid type,gel are safe if not over charged,think of this,how many cars had the battery inside,why, danger if not sorted right.
 

Nabsim

Full Member
Batteries should be in a explosive or gas prof box so if they do go bang the acid will stay in the box or run out the bottom drain/gas hole if there is one which there should be if open vent lead acid type,gel are safe if not over charged,think of this,how many cars had the battery inside,why, danger if not sorted right.
I guess there must be some out there but I haven’t seen this done in any car, van or motorhome as they are sold new Trev, or bike come to that. It seems o be something that’s ignored. Original battery location on my van was an outside locker lined in metal but not sealed and cold in winter so I suppose they did try. Lots of van batteries and a few cars are mounted under seats but not sealed and rare for dropouts.
 

trevskoda

Full Member
I guess there must be some out there but I haven’t seen this done in any car, van or motorhome as they are sold new Trev, or bike come to that. It seems o be something that’s ignored. Original battery location on my van was an outside locker lined in metal but not sealed and cold in winter so I suppose they did try. Lots of van batteries and a few cars are mounted under seats but not sealed and rare for dropouts.
True as my iveco came with the service battery in pas front foot well with no drop outs,even so called coach builders get it wrong,just remember in ww2 german u boats had battery sets inside and when they gave of gas many of the crew died.
 

Nabsim

Full Member
True as my iveco came with the service battery in pas front foot well with no drop outs,even so called coach builders get it wrong,just remember in ww2 german u boats had battery sets inside and when they gave of gas many of the crew died.
I don’t argue with the recommendation Trev just saying it’s one that is rarely followed by manufacturers or consumers. I have had a couple of new cars in the last ten years or so where starter battery is mounted under rear seat. They do weird things to get weight and space saving in new cars these days, not sure why they chose that location though.

in my van I have always had battery’s inside under a sofa, I swapped out the originals for sealed Powerframe bank which I changed to Lifepo4 when they died. Less chance of gas on either but you make valid points 👍
 

wildebus

Full Member
I think a German U-Boat might have been a little more airtight than a campervan? if it wasn't, then far more German sailors would have died from drowning than being gassed. They also had a hell of a lot more batteries and of much less safe design so it is hardly a relevant comparision for all sorts of reasons TBH.

I don't think it is a matter of manufacturers "getting it wrong" when it comes to 'suitable' i.e. plastic battery housings, it is more a matter that there is really not a real requirement for it, otherwise it would be done. I would be interested if anyone could name a single factory-product motorhome where the leisure batteries have been contained in a plastic housing.

As far as under seat installations and venting, it is actually not uncommon to fit vent-tubes to wet-cell batteries and have them fed outside under the seat and it is very easy to do as most floors under seats (VWs certainly do) have rubber bungs to accomodate wiring looms and you just push the tube through the bung. If it is an SLA battery, then it does not need venting, simple as that, as long as you have proper charging facilities.
If I fit a cheap battery (say an Alpha Xplorer Wet Cell) to a VW under the seat, it will be vented externally. If it is a SLA (inc AGM or GEL) then it will not be vented.

Adding a vent to an SLA battery does not mean it is ok to mischarge it and won't stop a problem, it might just mean you find it a touch later (and maybe too late? Remember Natural Gas has no smell. they add a chemical so a leak can be detected by the human nose. What would happen if people couldn't say "I smell gas"? (which they don't. they smell the additive)).

Finally, surprised there is no drop out for the service battery in the Iveco? In the Sevel vans which have the batterys under the passenger (RHD) footwell there is definately a hole there open to the outside world for the wet cell starter battery to vent out to.
 

Millie Master

Full Member
True as my iveco came with the service battery in pas front foot well with no drop outs,even so called coach builders get it wrong,just remember in ww2 german u boats had battery sets inside and when they gave of gas many of the crew died.
And that is exactly why U boats had to surface when charging their batteries.
 

wildebus

Full Member
And that is exactly why U boats had to surface when charging their batteries.
We are going a bit off topic here, but they had to surface to recharge the batteries as the diesel engines needed air to run in order to recharge the batteries (and this is why the Snorkel was invented, so they could sit just below the surface and still suck in air for those engines to allow them to run)
 

Squiffy

Full Member
Batteries only produce excess hydrogen if the charge voltage is too great or the battery internals have a problem, in general it will be quite obvious if they are gassing off to any great extent by a really odd ion smell, but I have to say that batteries under the bed without venting to the outside would be a bit of a no no. Mine are under the sink cupboard non vented and lead acid never yet had a problem 🤞Phil
 

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