Storing Lipo Batteries in an RV

Wildman13

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Hey all,

There are a ton of articles on storing Lipos I've found but none that cover doing so in a small RV (Travel Trailer). Traveling full time I have very limited options.

I will be using the outside plug to charge the Lipos, def NOT in the RV.

I need to make my set up the safest possible. I will have 4 gensacearespammers 5000mAh batteries that need to be stored. I will storage charge them before putting them away. It seems I should also store them separately as if one goes off it will ignite the others.

I've seen Ammo Cans, Batsafe nags etc. My places I can store them are. The only places I can think of to store them is:
- "Oven" which I read about but that sounds like a bad idea if you forget they are in there.
- Buy a metal storage box for the tongue of the RV but that is right behind two 30lb propane cylinders. $200-$300 fro the box plus the batsafe, bags etc. Not a cheap option.
- somewhere in the RV where it will definitely catch on fire if there is a fire or suffer smoke damage at the minimum with a bat safe etc.
- In the truck with us. Once again same result as the RV except now were trapped next to it if driving.
- Bed of the truck, we have a topper. But we have 2 expensive mountain bikes back there. Smoke won't bother them but it gets really hot back there as it's a black metal topper with no windows and I'm in Arizona right now.

Any suggestions are welcome.

TIA
 

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Put them in the oven and tape a massive sign to it saying “Batteries inside, do not use!”
 

Wildman13

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Put them in the oven and tape a massive sign to it saying “Batteries inside, do not use!”

yeah we do store other stuff in there and have only used it a handful of times. would have to use small battery sleeves
Put them in the oven and tape a massive sign to it saying “Batteries inside, do not use!”
yeah we do store a few things in there already so use to that.
Not much room though so probably would have to do small battery fireproof sleeves vs a bag

image.jpg
 

quad_rocket

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my 2 centz: storage charge lipos are not nearly as volatile as fully charged lipos. make sure they stay dry, have a decent average temp. and check on them once and a while for peace of mind. hobbyking aka OG of America lipos has a lot of good articles on lipos.
 

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Hey all,

There are a ton of articles on storing Lipos I've found but none that cover doing so in a small RV (Travel Trailer). Traveling full time I have very limited options.

I will be using the outside plug to charge the Lipos, def NOT in the RV.

I need to make my set up the safest possible. I will have 4 gensacearespammers 5000mAh batteries that need to be stored. I will storage charge them before putting them away. It seems I should also store them separately as if one goes off it will ignite the others.

I've seen Ammo Cans, Batsafe nags etc. My places I can store them are. The only places I can think of to store them is:
- "Oven" which I read about but that sounds like a bad idea if you forget they are in there.
- Buy a metal storage box for the tongue of the RV but that is right behind two 30lb propane cylinders. $200-$300 fro the box plus the batsafe, bags etc. Not a cheap option.
- somewhere in the RV where it will definitely catch on fire if there is a fire or suffer smoke damage at the minimum with a bat safe etc.
- In the truck with us. Once again same result as the RV except now were trapped next to it if driving.
- Bed of the truck, we have a topper. But we have 2 expensive mountain bikes back there. Smoke won't bother them but it gets really hot back there as it's a black metal topper with no windows and I'm in Arizona right now.

Any suggestions are welcome.

TIA
Lipos are most volatile when they're being charged or discharged. The Ammo cans, lipo bags and Batsafes are meant as safety measures while charging. I would buy two inexpensive flat lipo bags and keep then in the cab of the truck where you can see them. If you properly storage charge after each use, there's very little chance of anything out of the ordinary happening, unless the batteries are visibly damaged. I completely understand your concerns though and appreciate that you want to be as safe as possible. You can put the bags in the bed of the truck at night while you're sleeping, as I imagine it's much cooler at that time.
 

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I will not store them with a fox
I will not store them in a box
I would not store them here or there
I will not store them anywhere
Storing lipos is not my jam
Not even at 3.8 in a metal can

The thing is, lipos are not full of nitroglycerine, nor are they as sensitive as the detonator on a long-buried bomb. I've strapped them to quadcopters and airplanes and run them into the ground repeatedly without a release of energy. They're pretty tough. Just don't puncture them. Very little will happen spontaneously if you're even slightly careful.
 

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Your best bet to just haul them in their own trailer away from everything else.
BE1BE8E2-91AB-480B-8CDD-7DF4E919DCDA.png

This way if they explode it will just take out the smaller trailer in the rear.
 

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Batsafe, Storage charge, then put them in the basement, under the dinette, or anywhere you have room. Bed of the truck would not work long term just because of heat.

Lipo fires can happen, but they are rare. Propane fires can also happen, but when was the last time you stressed over that? Follow safe practice, and you will be 99.99% fine. If you worry about that .01%, there are a lot worse hazards with RVing to worry about. :)

As a side note, Lipo batteries for powering RV's is a big thing these days. And no, they never use any kind of fire safe, and almost always put the lipos inside the RV instead of on the tongue.
 

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Propane fires can also happen, but when was the last time you stressed over that?

The comparison with nitroglycerin earlier in this thread is believe it or not actually more apt, as both nitroglycerin and LiPo batteries contain everything they need to 'go off' while a propane fire needs a leak, mixing with air and an ignition source. You can make nitroglycerin detonate or deflagrate by subjecting it to shock, and the reaction is self sustaining: you get a blast or a fire that consumes all the material whether it's in the open or an enclosed space. A LiPo thermal runaway is similar in that it will usually dump all the stored energy in the pack whether it's in the open or an enclosed space and potentially set nearby flammable materials alight even if it's not producing any flame itself.

In some ways a LiPo pack can actually be more insidious than nitroglycerin, as nitroglycerin is storage stable if chemically pure and needs impact, friction or other heat source to initiate, while a LiPo thermal runway can be delayed as in this video. Damage from a crash can be subtle and a short inside a battery can take hours to generate enough heat to initiate thermal runaway. In such a scenario if you've stored it in your house or RV and don't happen to be sitting next to it with a fire extinguisher like in the video, you better have good insurance.

LiPo fires are in fact quite rare, but that doesn't mean we should downplay the risks and make faulty comparisons.

Any suggestions are welcome.

You should have a Bat-Safe (or multiple depending on how many batteries you have) at minimum regardless of where you're planning to store your batteries; it's one of those must-have items for the hobby like a gun safe is for a firearms enthusiast. If you use it according to the rated storage capacity you'll overwhelmingly reduce the chances of both a catastrophic structure fire and smoke damage.

You'll have a hard time meeting the Bat-Safe storage recommendations (12 inches from any flammable surface or items) while living in an RV, but try to find a reasonably temperature controlled spot that will allow the filtered smoke to vent without obstruction in case of a fire. If you find it has gone off, open all windows and doors to vent the smoke. Most of the soot will be contained by the box and filtered out by the insulation material in the lid so long as the box seals remain intact, so post-fire cleanup should be minimal. Be careful and avoid breathing the smoke as it will contain some amount of carbon monoxide and hydrogen fluoride, and probably other toxic gases I'm forgetting from the paper I read.
 

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I'm all about safety, don't get me wrong. But nobody charges their 5000mAh cell phone battery in a bat safe. Instead, people plug them into the charger, throw them on the dash of their car on a hot summer day, and drive around like that all care-free. We carry them in our pockets mere inches from our family jewels. They are dropped and occasionally thrown in rage. Why are there millions of people running around with these little bombs in their pockets, but as soon as the conversation turns to RC they have to be stored in a time-delay security vault to protect against sudden and spontaneous meltdown? Full disclosure, I charge in a bat safe, but I store in a simple lipo bag on my bench top. Serious question, who has experienced a lipo fire that did NOT involve a heinous collision that damaged the cells? Who has woken to find an ash pile where your batteries used to be? All of the youtube vids of lipo "hazards" seem to feature hammers, nails, axes, guns, knives, and one even showed overcharging to double voltage. Just saying.
 

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People usually aren't strapping their cell phone battery to a 5kg object, launching it up into the air and smacking it down on hard ground as part of normal usage either; that's why I draw a distinction. I don't worry about my cell phone pack going off because it's inside a hard phone case with an additional layer of rubberised plastic around it, and it would be difficult to puncture or crush the electrodes during anything resembling normal use. On the other hand I see plenty of pictures of mangled R/C LiPo packs on the web that people hold up as evidence that see, they're not really as unstable as often claimed, which is really evidence to the contrary. I personally crushed one during a moderately hard landing within a month of owning my Kraton and had no good way to know if I had just created a time delay incendiary device. Hard case packs do mitigate this to some extent but the risk is still significant.

In short, it's not that these batteries are intrinsically unstable, it's that in this hobby we do something similar to hitting a puddle of nitroglycerin lightly with a hammer hoping it won't go off, and I'm just saying we should have blast shields up while doing so.
 

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Lipos are not dangerous.
It's the people that treat and handle them that make them dangerous.:rolleyes:

Edit.
Properly storage charged and placed in any safe area, they wont become a hazard.
Examining them closely before storage is a good habit to get into. Leave nothing to chance after a bash session. Need a lipo checker on hand always.
A great idea to cover the discharge leads to prevent a dead short. Especially in a moving vehicle over a long haul..
Covers are available for all types of connectors if you are so inclined.
 
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Monster Dork

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A battery that is visibly damaged should be clipped, neutralized, and discharged. Also a good reason to charge in a bat safe, in case damage exists but isn't detected. I just want to dispel with the notion that a lipo pack is somehow like twice it's weight in TNT, or more sensitive than a hand grenade with its pin removed. Yes, you can travel with them. You can fly with them in a carry-on. You can certainly bring them along for fun in your RV. Uncle Dave got tired of telling the story of how he lost his fingers, so he just says it was a lipo incident. Now everybody's up in arms. Uncle Dave's an idiot.
 

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RC Lipos fires not caused on purpose for YouTube are very rare. When they do happen, they tend to get posted on almost every message board as a "I told you to be scared" thread. But, really, how many people here on Arrmaforums have had an un-wanted lipo fire? I bet less than a half dozen. Change that to "lipo fire in the last 5 years" and the number will go down even more (modern lipos are safer than lipos from 10-15 years ago). Go to a big board like RCTech.com and you will have a bunch of people that "Know a Guy" but, again, only a handful of people that actually have had an issue. - and a few of those are probably the same people here (because we are all on a bunch of boards.)

If Lipo fires are something that worries you, buy good lipos, always balance charge them, always storage charge them, and get rid of them if they swell or get damaged.
 

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People usually aren't strapping their cell phone battery to a 5kg object, launching it up into the air and smacking it down on hard ground as part of normal usage either; that's why I draw a distinction. I don't worry about my cell phone pack going off because it's inside a hard phone case with an additional layer of rubberised plastic around it, and it would be difficult to puncture or crush the electrodes during anything resembling normal use. On the other hand I see plenty of pictures of mangled R/C LiPo packs on the web that people hold up as evidence that see, they're not really as unstable as often claimed, which is really evidence to the contrary. I personally crushed one during a moderately hard landing within a month of owning my Kraton and had no good way to know if I had just created a time delay incendiary device. Hard case packs do mitigate this to some extent but the risk is still significant.

In short, it's not that these batteries are intrinsically unstable, it's that in this hobby we do something similar to hitting a puddle of nitroglycerin lightly with a hammer hoping it won't go off, and I'm just saying we should have blast shields up while doing so.

Umm… Cell phone batteries and most other daily use products that contain lithium batteries have lithium ion batteries, not lithium polymer, like in hobby grade RC cars. Lithium ion is more stable.
 

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^^^ Lion considered a bit more stable only because they are packaged better. More safely. Better protected. Just my spin.
18650's were or are the norm for many EV scale vehicles. Lipos are rarely considered for EV's. Maybe because of less energy density or more volitility or less cyclability??? IDK.
 

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Umm… Cell phone batteries and most other daily use products that contain lithium batteries have lithium ion batteries, not lithium polymer, like in hobby grade RC cars. Lithium ion is more stable.

Lithium polymer batteries are lithium ion batteries (lithium ion polymer); they use the same or similar electrode materials and both operate on lithium ion migration through an electrolyte. The main difference is the non-polymer cells use a liquid electrolyte rather than a polymer one, and are usually built as a metal case with the electrode layers wound inside rather than a thin plastic pouch with layers of electrodes stacked inside. As SrC said, this is a more robust construction and they're less prone to getting damaged by impacts and going off. They're also not so common in electronic devices these days. Crack open a modern laptop or phone and you're likely to find lithium ion polymer pouch cells, although older electronics including the laptop I'm typing this on do use metal cylinder cells. A pouch cell mounted inside the chassis of a laptop or phone with the chassis materials supporting it and protecting it from the sort of minor to moderate impacts such a device is likely to experience in its life is generally fine, much different from a soft pack velcro strapped in a heavy truck hitting the ground from 10m up.
 

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I agree that lion and lipo are the same chemistry. Modern phones and laptops have flexible lipo gel packs that have more in common with a RC lipo cell than they do with a solid polymer 18650 cell. They swell, they put out heat, and they catch fire when punctured. But nobody keeps their phone and laptop in an ammo can when charging, let alone when discharged and powered off. My point still is, they can be dangerous but they are not always dangerous all the time.
 

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We have learned from the Samsung Note 7 to not cheap out on good batteries and good safety features…
 

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Lithium polymer batteries are lithium ion batteries (lithium ion polymer); they use the same or similar electrode materials and both operate on lithium ion migration through an electrolyte. The main difference is the non-polymer cells use a liquid electrolyte rather than a polymer one, and are usually built as a metal case with the electrode layers wound inside rather than a thin plastic pouch with layers of electrodes stacked inside. As SrC said, this is a more robust construction and they're less prone to getting damaged by impacts and going off. They're also not so common in electronic devices these days. Crack open a modern laptop or phone and you're likely to find lithium ion polymer pouch cells, although older electronics including the laptop I'm typing this on do use metal cylinder cells. A pouch cell mounted inside the chassis of a laptop or phone with the chassis materials supporting it and protecting it from the sort of minor to moderate impacts such a device is likely to experience in its life is generally fine, much different from a soft pack velcro strapped in a heavy truck hitting the ground from 10m up.

So basically like I said. Thank you for that 😂
 
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