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Hi. After emergency help.
Ive lived in a caravan for the last 4 weeks. I am hooked up to 240 always. And always had the 12v on too.
I went away for a week. I came back. And the rotten egg smell was horrendous. At first i fort the waste tank as i didnt empty it. So cleaned that out. The bathroom prior smelt fine. The smell was still so potent. I investigated and found the leisure battery was extremely hot and the smell was very strong in that area. And all around the fuse box and back of the battery and 240 input box. I removed the battery and have got rid. And aired the caravan all day today and also spraying air fresheners and cleaning. The smell is no were near as bad. But is still around that area. (Which is also were i sleep) should i be worried i have inhaled a lot of hydrogen sulfide? Is it a danger to be sleeping here. This is my only option though. Also as i was cleaning i found some change in a drawer. Like pennys and 10p’s had all turned black. So then noticed all the copper piping had also turned black.
I have no gas in the caravan. And nothing else that can emit gasses. I’m just concerned that its in the air although ive removed the battery. Or could it be the charger or mains input giving off this smell.

I’m just confused to how it happened whilst i was away. And hasnt happened whilst ive been living here doing the same things?

Please help
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hydrogen Sulfide is flammable and poisonous and heavier than air. If your battery was the source then removing it was a good move. The gas should disperse via your floor vents and opening windows and doors.

The smell could also have come from your cassette as I’ve know sewage treatment plants at sea go astray and generate H2S. Which requires instant evacuation of the locale and forced ventilation reconfiguration. But that’s a bit more extreme than a caravan cassette 😂
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Searches for information on the internet often pick up American sources, with American spelling - in almost all cases the difference in spelling is irrelevant to the question being asked.
I agree totally, cannot understand why there’s a need to be so pedantic, or demonstrate superior knowledge. I used the word “sulfide” to stay aligned with the OP.

 
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Hydrogen Sulfide is flammable and poisonous and heavier than air. If your battery was the source then removing it was a good move. The gas should disperse via your floor vents and opening windows and doors.

The smell could also have come from your cassette as I’ve know sewage treatment plants at sea go astray and generate H2S. Which requires instant evacuation of the locale and forced ventilation reconfiguration. But that’s a bit more extreme than a caravan cassette 😂
Ive jus returned to the caravan from being out today. And the smell was strong again. It seems to be very strong wen i stick my head in the battery compartment. (Although no battery) seems to be strong at the input wer the wires come in the connect the battery connectors.
 
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Any H2S should by now have been well ventilated away. All I can suggest is that fumes from the battery may have permeated the furnishings just inside from the battery box although the box should have grommets or sealant to prevent battery gases going inside the van via cables. Just keep venting and the smell should reduce. Try wiping the battery box out with some water and detergent.
 
Jul 25, 2023
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Any H2S should by now have been well ventilated away. All I can suggest is that fumes from the battery may have permeated the furnishings just inside from the battery box although the box should have grommets or sealant to prevent battery gases going inside the van via cables. Just keep venting and the smell should reduce. Try wiping the battery box out with some water and detergent.
Hi. Thanks for the reply. Just took everything apart and seems its now may also be the mains lead from the fuse box to the 110 connection. As this is smelly too. Unless the whole overheating/charging has caused the initial rotten smell. Which i suspect as started to burn the mains lead out.
 
Aug 12, 2023
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Our 2003 caravan came with old stuffed battery which we knew at time of purchase. After a night on power noticed battery was hot and making same smells.

No issues with new battery.
 
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Wipe and ventilate to continue to reduce the smell, which should eventually go, but I cant say how long it will take.

The old battery is definitely past it and you did the correct thing removing it.

I suspect your problem has arisen for two sequential reasons.

Firstly, the charging systems fitted into caravans around the turn of the century tended to use a fixed 13.8V output but they also had typically 12 to 16A dc. current capacity. This meant if there were no 12V items being used the battery would approach its fully charged state, but the charger was still churning out 13.8V.

With a battery in good condition, it should withstand 13.8V with no problem, but the second reason you have suffered the problem is, as batteries age over time, and with the number of charging cycles it may have gone through their ability to accept continual high charge rates deteriorates, resulting in out gassing. This boils off the electrolyte and exacerbates the problem so the battery can be seriously damaged. Under some extreme circumstances they can explode with very serious consequences.

What you can do is if you are going off for a few days and leaving no 12V systems running, turn off your charger.

As I mentioned earlier, it's most likely your 2003 caravan will have a Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) fitted. These are highly efficient and will produce a steady 13.8Vdc and will probably have a 12 to 16Amp output rating. If yours is one of these, then you might find you can run all the 12V appliances you need , including the water pump just from the SMPS without the battery being connected. If you have a caravan mover then you would need t ensure the battery is charged before you move the caravan.

Alternatively consider getting a modern multi stage charger (there are several makes on the market, and use it instead of the built in charger. These are designed for indefinite connection to a battery, and will be far safer and better at looking after the battery. I suspect you would need one with a minimum of 5Amp capability, One model which I know from personal experience that would fulfil your needs is the Ctek MXS 10.
 
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Hi. Thanks for the reply. Just took everything apart and seems its now may also be the mains lead from the fuse box to the 110 connection. As this is smelly too. Unless the whole overheating/charging has caused the initial rotten smell. Which i suspect as started to burn the mains lead out.
I am unsure of your reference to 110 unless it was a typo?
 
Jul 15, 2008
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......I would check out your whole electrical system.

Your battery would have had one or more faulty cells and could no longer tollerate a charge.
The pungent gas given off and a hot battery are the tell tell signs and incidentally the gas will set off a Carbon Monoxide alarm.....do you have one?
They are essential in a caravan.

Check the whole system because overheating wiring can cause the plastic insulation to give a similar pungent smell albeit a more fishy smell.
 
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I am unsure of your reference to 110 unless it was a typo?
Hi. Sorry. I mean the main power lead from the mains fuse box to the connector which you use to hook up.
 

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Wipe and ventilate to continue to reduce the smell, which should eventually go, but I cant say how long it will take.

The old battery is definitely past it and you did the correct thing removing it.

I suspect your problem has arisen for two sequential reasons.

Firstly, the charging systems fitted into caravans around the turn of the century tended to use a fixed 13.8V output but they also had typically 12 to 16A dc. current capacity. This meant if there were no 12V items being used the battery would approach its fully charged state, but the charger was still churning out 13.8V.

With a battery in good condition, it should withstand 13.8V with no problem, but the second reason you have suffered the problem is, as batteries age over time, and with the number of charging cycles it may have gone through their ability to accept continual high charge rates deteriorates, resulting in out gassing. This boils off the electrolyte and exacerbates the problem so the battery can be seriously damaged. Under some extreme circumstances they can explode with very serious consequences.

What you can do is if you are going off for a few days and leaving no 12V systems running, turn off your charger.

As I mentioned earlier, it's most likely your 2003 caravan will have a Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS) fitted. These are highly efficient and will produce a steady 13.8Vdc and will probably have a 12 to 16Amp output rating. If yours is one of these, then you might find you can run all the 12V appliances you need , including the water pump just from the SMPS without the battery being connected. If you have a caravan mover then you would need t ensure the battery is charged before you move the caravan.

Alternatively consider getting a modern multi stage charger (there are several makes on the market, and use it instead of the built in charger. These are designed for indefinite connection to a battery, and will be far safer and better at looking after the battery. I suspect you would need one with a minimum of 5Amp capability, One model which I know from personal experience that would fulfil your needs is the Ctek MXS 10.
Hi. Thanks for your detailed response. They’ll be an engineer coming out this week. So will show him this too
 

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