I need some help to trace an unusual smell in our BT

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 19, 2009 at 23:10
ThreadID: 125572 Views:2145 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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We have a rouge smell in our van that I can’t trace. It’s a strong smell of soap powder & is only present in the cargo hatch & under the bed.

I have completely removed all items & cleaned out both the cargo hatch, & under the bed. When you leave the bed down & the cargo hatch doors closed, the smell returns.

We have our battery pack with the four original batteries under the bed. These batteries are now five years old & are still in good condition, with enough grunt to run the microwave & a 240v TV. The battery box is also in good condition, with the gasket & vent hose as they should be. The batteries, once the thin layer of dust was removed still look like new, with no obvious signs of any leakage. I have leaned over to smell the batteries, & can’t notice any smell. (I’m not that sensitive to smells, but it affects my wife. She cannot use perfumed soap powders in the washing machine)

By the way, we have a washing machine installed behind the ensuite, & soap powders stored on a shelf above the machine at the other end of the van.
We have never stored any soap powder up front, & closely examining all of the bits & pieces that normally live up there, I could not see or smell any evidence of soap.
This is a new problem, which only became noticeable after a short trip last month.
Batteries are the most suspect cause, any ideas?

Neil & Pat
A Bushtracker (or BT) is a "Boys Toy"

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Reply By: Uncle Dodgy - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 03:24

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 03:24
Greetings Neil & Pat

That is certainly a curly one.

All I can think of is, have you checked the vent hose from the battery box to the outside of the BT for holes or separation at a fitting or mud wasp deposit in the pipe.?

You say there was dust on the batteries. The seal in the box may not be as good as it looks.

Do you have an inverter or charger mounted under the bed, that could be about to have a melt down?

Can't offer any suggestions other than that. I'm probably not being much help. Sorry.

Cheers and hope to catch up on the road sometime.
John & Sharyn
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Follow Up By: Turist - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 03:32

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 03:32
Dust in the battery box indicates that there is a "flow through" of the fresh air.
Air and dust come in the bottom vent, exit the top vent.
If one vent is blocked then no air flow.
No air flow = no dust.

Bob
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Reply By: Uncle Dodgy - Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 07:45

Monday, Apr 20, 2009 at 07:45
Greetings Bob

Agree re the entry method of dust in the battery box under such cirmustances.

I have fitted a tap to the battery box drain to prevent water getting into the battery box when fording, figuring that if the drain is needed to be operable it only requires it to be turned on. Hadn't bothered to consider that others may not have done so. Silly me.

I have also fitted a tap to the shower drain for the same purpose if required, except it remains open unless needed.

I still haven't thought of any other source of Neil's problem.

Cheers
John
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