Do you have your battery on your trailer tongue? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2016, 10:54 AM   #15
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Name: Ransom
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
We have had trailers with internal (Casita) and external (Scamp) batteries. We find the external battery easier to service.

We put nothing else in the battery box, it's just not the best of environments. For most pieces of electronics i prefer inside the trailer, our solar panel controller and our rear camera are both inside the trailer even though the rear camera is designed for outside.

We absolutely never worry about battery theft, or actually theft at all. Those might be a concern for an empty house left behind but not a campground (Though there has not been a theft at the home in 30 years).

I suppose there are campgrounds and their are campgrounds. So far we've stayed in a few thousand campgrounds without an issue. Usually making a statement like that means the next place we stop we'll be robbed blind......

SAfe travels
Interesting point of not wanting to put solar controller in tongue battery box because of heat, but....if it has built in temperature compensation, not remote, it needs to be with the battery. Also, they are designed to be mounted where the battery is, probably to avoid misread voltage from drops caused by wire distance.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
My battery is on the tongue. Lead acid batteries can produce hydrogen gas which is explosive and contain sulfuric acid which can burn you. For those reasons I prefer not to have it inside my trailer. Also being on the tongue makes it easy to attach my solar panel or battery charger. The battery is in a battery box which you can buy at any RV dealership. I think Tractor supply also sells them, $10-15. . My first trailer had a shelf composed of two pieces of angle iron spaced to fit the battery box. My current trailer has a sheet metal shelf. Both do the job. In both cases the propane tank sits next to the battery. I don't worry about theft when camped in a camp ground. Raz
I agree with Raz on this. Our Burro battery was stored inside when we bought the unit, but I moved it out to the tongue because of potential leakage - rare, but it concerned me.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:35 PM   #17
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Oh, of COURSE now that some have declared themselves unafraid of theft, they'll be robbed blind. Isn't that one of the laws of the universe?

Fumes: when we had a Get-Away-Van, our son decided to make it all electric, self-sufficient, and installed SIX batteries inside under one of the dinette benches. GREAT. Heavy...actually caused the van to list slightly, AND he began poking holes in the walls and ceiling to, "Let the poison fumes and gasses out," as he put it so nonchalantly.

Leakage: one of the early things we discovered in our 1973 Amerigo was the area behind the port wheel well where the battery had been originally...after Paul scrubbed and patched and de-acidified the whole devastated area for the third time, it was no longer just ME saying, "Outside! All batteries must be outside!"

We have an angle-iron bracket on the tongue to hold two batteries in fitted boxes; Paul said they can bolt down to the frame and then he can put hasps and padlocks on them, and let the chips and battery thefts fall where they may.

We'll deal with the solar installation when we get around to it...right now all we want is to GIT 'ER ROLLIN'

Good discussion.

BEST to all!

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Old 04-26-2016, 03:50 PM   #18
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First my battery location and connection to solar and charging.
I have a factory installed Group 24 plastic battery box bolted to a tongue cross member and held down with a nylon 2" wide strap. I put a "pig tail" on the batter with Anderson Power Pole connector. Now I have easy access to the battery terminals.
I put Anderson Power Pole connectors on my wire coming from the solar charge controller.
The solar controller is mounted on the A frame I built for the solar panel. I think I have #12 AWG wire coming from the charge controller at about 20' and have another 20' of extension cable that can be used. (Needing large wire sized is myth, I used #12 AWG because that's what I had).
I use a Battery Tender at home to keep the battery in shape, again with Anderson Power Pole connectors.
I have a secondary battery that lives in the back of my truck, primary purpose is to run an amateur radio, with Anderson Power Pole connectors. It can and has been used to augment the house battery by simply plugging it. (another myth, you need to batteries of the same type and age. wrong you need have batteries with the same voltage rating, nothing else)
With the way I have thing set up I can follow the sun with solar panel and charge either battery.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
Interesting point of not wanting to put solar controller in tongue battery box because of heat, but....if it has built in temperature compensation, not remote, it needs to be with the battery. Also, they are designed to be mounted where the battery is, probably to avoid misread voltage from drops caused by wire distance.
I don't worry about voltage drop, it's secondary to the charging current. Our solar controller is located a few inches from the trailer's roof. The length of the wires is approximately 8 feet, maximum current 8 amps. Personally I have never known anyone to locate their solar controller in the battery box. We'll soon know if people do.

I certainly don't worry about heat in the battery box, my trailer definitely gets hotter in warm weather.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
Is your battery box the standard size for your battery (eg group 24 battery with group 24 box) and still had room for the controller, or did you have to upsize the box?
The Fiber Stream trailer's factory battery box has 3" more width than the group 27 battery in it needs. Lengthwise it can hold a group 31.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
Was your battery stolen even though it was secured with a lock? Is that one of the reasons you moved it inside?
I found My Compact Jr's metal battery box (an old salvaged army surplus tool box) on the tongue had the 2 padlocks as well as the battery missing when it was in a public storage facility.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:57 PM   #21
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There are plenty of good reasons to take theft into consideration when camping. Most notably because: it happens. I personally don't take a "I'm camping therefore I shall worry about nothing" attitude. I have fun, no doubt. But I'm aware.

I have heard of people having their batteries stolen from the tongue, but more often in town, in their driveway. Not many people are going to walk off with that heavy thing. I know people who have portable solar panels are very conscious of them being stolen.

My battery is on my tongue (ouch! ). The benefits have been stated already: in the worst case scenario of a battery explosion, it's outside, not inside; you don't need to worry about venting; you have more storage space inside; if you go with portable solar rather than rooftop solar, it's easier to access the battery to connect the solar.

But there are also good reasons to have it inside. I'd say unless you have a special need that requires one over the other, keeping it wherever it was put by the trailer manufacturer is probably best. I would only let theft determine it's location if I knew that I was camping in areas with theft issues.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
There are plenty of good reasons to take theft into consideration when camping. Most notably because: it happens. I personally don't take a "I'm camping therefore I shall worry about nothing" attitude. I have fun, no doubt. But I'm aware.

I know people who have portable solar panels are very conscious of them being stolen. .
No one will every steal our solar panels unless they have a few hours. They are taped to the roof with double sided tape, very hard to get off.

I love the fact that they are always on the roof and virtually always charging, driving or parked.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I don't worry about voltage drop, it's secondary to the charging current. Our solar controller is located a few inches from the trailer's roof. The length of the wires is approximately 8 feet, maximum current 8 amps. Personally I have never known anyone to locate their solar controller in the battery box. We'll soon know if people do.

I certainly don't worry about heat in the battery box, my trailer definitely gets hotter in warm weather.
It not the heat that concerns me with solar charge controller mounted inside the battery box, it's corrosive nature of the gases output during charging from the battery.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:20 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
No one will every steal our solar panels unless they have a few hours. They are taped to the roof with double sided tape, very hard to get off.

I love the fact that they are always on the roof and virtually always charging, driving or parked.

Each situation is different, different needs or desires of each trailer owner. I have a very strong alternator which charges when towing along with a very small electric demand, warm weather almost no demand. I also have a secondary battery that I want to charge, for ham radio use. I often park in the shade, so the ability to move the solar panel again is important to me.
As a side not I ran across a couple Big Bend a few years ago that had solar panels mounted on the roof. To keep their battery charged they were reduced to camping in dusty site that was open to sky. We camped on the other side of bunch of trees with grass and sun patches that moved, and solar panel moved.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:51 PM   #25
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"My battery is on my tongue..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachO View Post
There are plenty of good reasons to take theft into consideration when camping. Most notably because: it happens. I personally don't take a "I'm camping therefore I shall worry about nothing" attitude. I have fun, no doubt. But I'm aware.

I have heard of people having their batteries stolen from the tongue, but more often in town, in their driveway. Not many people are going to walk off with that heavy thing. I know people who have portable solar panels are very conscious of them being stolen.

My battery is on my tongue (ouch! ). The benefits have been stated already: in the worst case scenario of a battery explosion, it's outside, not inside; you don't need to worry about venting; you have more storage space inside; if you go with portable solar rather than rooftop solar, it's easier to access the battery to connect the solar.

But there are also good reasons to have it inside. I'd say unless you have a special need that requires one over the other, keeping it wherever it was put by the trailer manufacturer is probably best. I would only let theft determine it's location if I knew that I was camping in areas with theft issues.




OK, hilarious, best laugh of the day for me, thanks!
"My battery is on my tongue." JUST what one wants, eh?

Good discussion, lots to think about. Meanwhile, Paul is wiring today, at
long, long last, and we both realize now that he's never done anything quite
like this and while not entirely lost, it's going to be a bumpy night. (Or is it a bumpy ride? Well, probably both.)

BEST.
Kai
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Old 04-26-2016, 05:21 PM   #26
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I mounted mine to the tongue, welded on 2 small pieces of c channel, and then strapped the battery to it. Why there? it fit easily and boosted my tongue weight (pulling with a truck) Dual tanks also help keep the weight on the tongue where it pulls better.


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Old 04-26-2016, 06:21 PM   #27
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On the tongue all locked up out of sight and out of mind: Custom "nose cone" & storage for Scamp
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:25 PM   #28
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: 1994 Casita 16 Liberty
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Battery Box on outside

Pictures of battery box and batteries shown. I find it a lot easier to access the batteries when they are outside. Also use other side of box for tools.
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