summer holiday

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
:eek::whew: Buy some new underwear, those stains will take forever to remove by the sounds of what happened !! Glad you remained safe though, exploding batteries can cause fires :wasntme:
 

Willum

Active Member
It was a very rude awakening from sitting, watching the F1GP rerun. We had turned the front seats and Pat was about to put her feet up on the bench seat where the battery is housed.
The bang was like a shotgun being let off in the motorhome and there was a cloud of acrid smoke. I grabbed the extinguisher, all the CO and smoke alarms were howling and we opened every window and door and turned off everything, even unplugged the EHU, even though there's an isolator.
The smoke cleared, so reasoned there was no fire and carefully lifted the seat. The top of the battery was blown off, not the sides burst (probably 'cos it was a Varta and well built) so the acid spill was bad but could have been much, much worse.
I donned glasses, a face mask and the big rubber gloves I use for the loo and mopped up the acid with lots and lots of water and then a strong bicarbonate of soda solution. Repeated that exercise a few times, including a mist with a washing soda solution everywhere that showed splashes. It took a lot of care and grunting (39Kg battery) to get the wreckage out from under the seat without spilling more acid. There were two inch-wide braided straps holding the battery in and the force had shattered both of the buckles on them. The rest of the upward thrust of the battery lid was taken by the hardwood seat rail, so I guess that saved us a lot more damage. Frankia hardwood seat rails turn red when you get sulphuric acid on them. :(

It left us without power, so I jury rigged the new starter battery I'd just bought (another story :think:) and everything returned to normal - ish!

The irony was that when all the panic had stopped, we'd disconnected everything we could above the battery box and made sure there were no fires - the telly was still happily showing the GP. It's 12 volt and the battery was still producing 11.5 volts without a top on it!! :eek::eek:

It would appear that even though the battery was vented outside the motorhome, there's still a significant amount of gas inside the battery and if the battery fails and shorts internally, the result is pretty catastrophic. Ours could have been much worse than it was.

The thing I've learned from that little episode is that if your battery starts showing abnormal charge current for no sensible reason, turn it off, isolate it completely, don't use it until you know why ;)
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
Glad your both ok after that ordeal....
Been there got the t-shirt and iconically it was also in Scotland .
One battery out of two exploded on my Transcontinental, I thought it was a blowout...... took the top off along with the battery box.
That must have been some noise inside.
Never been to Scotland without rain and kamakasi midges. Loverly country though.
We are trundling over towards Norfolk for a little trip before hospital appointments for both of us.....we are fine ,just checks for Sally and they hope to put my feet right.....we'll see
 

Dunroamin

Well-Known Member
batteries dont explode without a reason i.e abnormal load. Inverter.microwave etc.Can either of you give us a clue as to why ? What kind of charger is normally fitted in a moho ? Voltage controlled or intelligent.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
batteries dont explode without a reason i.e abnormal load. Inverter.microwave etc.Can either of you give us a clue as to why ? What kind of charger is normally fitted in a moho ? Voltage controlled or intelligent.
No idea whatsoever why mine went bang, I just fitted a new one the next day after driving from Scotland to South Wales with the exploded one disconnected... everything was working. It was a long time back....
 

Willum

Active Member
batteries dont explode without a reason i.e abnormal load. Inverter.microwave etc.Can either of you give us a clue as to why ? What kind of charger is normally fitted in a moho ? Voltage controlled or intelligent.
It appears mine had probably developed an internal short. I've no real idea how old the battery was (a Varta LFD140) before it blew. It was properly vented to the outside (thank heaven, or who knows how much more damage might have happened) it only had a rarely used 400 watt inverter, no big loads, microwave, or anything of that sort but we had seen a few odd charge indications. The only reason I knew anything about it was because I'd fitted a solar charger with a shunt wired load monitor and ammeter as part of it. The original installation only has a voltmeter. Every so often over the previous few days I noticed a briefly higher than expected charging current, no reason, no charger fault, no solar reg fault, no short circuits, nowt! There had also been one instance of a fairly rapid drop in voltage.
The irony is that after seeing the unusual ammeter readings and beginning to get suspicious of it's state, I'd decided to replace it, tracked down a new one (not easy) then, Sod's Law, the night before I was due to pick the new one up, Bang!
The only thing I do know about the motorhome is that it had a less than easy life before we bought it two years ago and there was much evidence of hammer and chisel maintenance. The charger is part of a Schaudt EBL 264-9 unit with a 'IUoU' charging profile which is reckoned to be the best possible. I guess you'd call it intelligent when you read the description of how it goes about sampling and charging the battery.
Although a small part of The EBL had been damaged by a fridge fault, a substantial and more robust workaround has been installed for that part. The charging side was/is unaffected and working properly.
One thing is for certain. Since I replaced the battery, there have been no more unexplained charging indications - and you can well imagine I've been watching it like a hawk...................
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
does seem like summers finaly arrived .
lots of campers , caravans etc on the roads in cornwall.
many campsites do seem to be getting fuller every day.
lots of m,homes on the a30 today heading down through near me.
should bring some cash for local shops etc .
have a good one .
 

Willum

Active Member
We had summer early last week, Alan. On Friday it threw it down (39.6mm of rain), then cold and damp over the weekend, cool yesterday and Baltic today with a biting north wind.
That's summer sorted out, autumn soon, then back to winter............................. :thumb:
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
lovely round here today ,sun shining great. already been out on a 20mile run around on my little dax.
feel the sun even getting through a t shirt and denim jacket.
might have to get out on another one later this afternoon.
roads quiet on the little back roads but when going over the a30 its a continual line of traffic both ways .
 

Willum

Active Member
lovely round here today ,sun shining great. already been out on a 20mile run around on my little dax.
feel the sun even getting through a t shirt and denim jacket.
might have to get out on another one later this afternoon.
roads quiet on the little back roads but when going over the a30 its a continual line of traffic both ways .
Happily it looks as if summer has made a reappearance, even if only briefly. Watching what the jetstream is forecast to do, it may not last beyond the end of the month.
Better make the most of it for now.
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
Very wet this last week in North Wales :cry: Moving South back to the sunshine in England on Sunday:thumb: then 3 weeks on Monday it is ferry back to Spain and daytime temperatures of 30+ degrees and hot sticky 24 degrees at night, bring it on:cool:
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
It had been a long time in the planning getting to this stage of our lives, but now we can work within the Brexit EU travel restrictions and our other retirement travel plans, we just hadn’t planned for Covid :eek: Working in semi-retirement on the campsites wasn’t about the ‘minimum wage’ incomes, but about the retirement benefits at the end, for when we have to be back in the UK.;)
 

Willum

Active Member
It had been a long time in the planning getting to this stage of our lives, but now we can work within the Brexit EU travel restrictions and our other retirement travel plans, we just hadn’t planned for Covid :eek: Working in semi-retirement on the campsites wasn’t about the ‘minimum wage’ incomes, but about the retirement benefits at the end, for when we have to be back in the UK.;)
I remember when you first embarked on the plan, Eric, about the same time I took to full timing. I (now we) have followed a different route and will probably end up in the same place, though I have to say you did better than us reference the Brexit side of things. Circumstances left us much more tied up with bricks and mortar in the UK to the extent that it would have been a bit silly to dump that side of it as far as pension income is concerned.
Life's little foibles.
The only wish I have is that this whole Brexit/Covid business doesn't altogether screw up our wanderlust but I'm not going to wish and hope too much 'cos it doesn't look very good at the moment.
The other thing I've noted is that the Poole - Tangier ferry business has gone very quiet ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, sadly.
Maybe they've discovered it just isn't viable but it cheered us up for a while in the midst of the Lockdown.
Even if it only made Brittany Ferries sweat a bit about their rip-off prices to Spain, then it did something useful.
I just so wish it had happened.
 

chrisjones18

Well-Known Member
Very wet this last week in North Wales :cry: Moving South back to the sunshine in England on Sunday:thumb: then 3 weeks on Monday it is ferry back to Spain and daytime temperatures of 30+ degrees and hot sticky 24 degrees at night, bring it on:cool:
It has been said to get paperwork at the port for the ferry .... not me Eric, it was on a site......
Currently on the ferry from Plymouth to Santander
Passenger locator form is a paper form
very confusing on website as it’s says you need a qr code YOU DONT
Originaly I tried filling it online and it asked for flight number
Brittany Ferries sent the paper form to us and they the have them in the port
Many thanks to Pauline lee who helped us on our way with lots of helpful advice
Please don’t criticises for travelling (you do you and I will do me)
I just wanted to post this for assistance for people who want to travel

Lucky buggers.... :D
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
I remember when you first embarked on the plan, Eric, about the same time I took to full timing. I (now we) have followed a different route and will probably end up in the same place, though I have to say you did better than us reference the Brexit side of things. Circumstances left us much more tied up with bricks and mortar in the UK to the extent that it would have been a bit silly to dump that side of it as far as pension income is concerned.
Life's little foibles.
The only wish I have is that this whole Brexit/Covid business doesn't altogether screw up our wanderlust but I'm not going to wish and hope too much 'cos it doesn't look very good at the moment.
The other thing I've noted is that the Poole - Tangier ferry business has gone very quiet ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, sadly.
Maybe they've discovered it just isn't viable but it cheered us up for a while in the midst of the Lockdown.
Even if it only made Brittany Ferries sweat a bit about their rip-off prices to Spain, then it did something useful.
I just so wish it had happened.
I have always said that their is no right or wrong way, people have to do whatever suits their own personal circumstances :thumb:
 

BigMomma

Well-Known Member
It has been said to get paperwork at the port for the ferry .... not me Eric, it was on a site......
Currently on the ferry from Plymouth to Santander
Passenger locator form is a paper form
very confusing on website as it’s says you need a qr code YOU DONT
Originaly I tried filling it online and it asked for flight number
Brittany Ferries sent the paper form to us and they the have them in the port
Many thanks to Pauline lee who helped us on our way with lots of helpful advice
Please don’t criticises for travelling (you do you and I will do me)
I just wanted to post this for assistance for people who want to travel

Lucky buggers.... :D
We filled in the paper form last October when we went across, downloaded it on-line, completed it and handed it in as we departed the ferry, no problems. We have again downloaded the form, exactly the same as it was last year. We will also take hard copy documents that confirm our vaccination status, if you download these off the NHS App these do have QR Codes on them and the QR Codes are only valid for 28 days. However, if you get confirmation of your vaccination status from NHS in a letter format their is no expiry date on them. We will also take hard copy documents of our return ferry booking (in case they ask for proof). We have documented proof of our ownership of our bolt hole. Currently there are no quarantine requirements for UK citizens entering Spain, however, we continue to watch what is happening in case things change.
 
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