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Old 12-06-2011, 09:31 AM   #1
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Name: Fred
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Battery location ...

My old trillium had its battery located inside, under the front bunk. I've read that it might not be a good idea to have the battery inside. I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:
* Is it unwise to have the battery inside?
* What are the options for housing the battery outside on the tongue?
* Any tips/tricks for running the wires?
* Anyone had any theft issues with external items like this?
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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If you can keep it inside it can be better for several reasons. Theft, ease of maintenance,better for the battery being out of the elements. The negative is it should be vented or if not, a AGM battery. It takes up valuable space and you may need the extra weight on the tongue for better towing results.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
My old trillium had its battery located inside, under the front bunk. I've read that it might not be a good idea to have the battery inside. I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:
* Is it unwise to have the battery inside?
* What are the options for housing the battery outside on the tongue?
* Any tips/tricks for running the wires?
* Anyone had any theft issues with external items like this?

If the battery is a flooded cell lead acid battery hydrogen is released when the battery is charged. Therefore it needs to be vented to the outside with the vent higher than the top of battery. Otherwise hydrogen could accumulate and could make a nice boom sound.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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I recently had a battery explode on a big diesel generator and it scared the crap out of me! It was in an enclosed but ventilated area on the large diesel generator. I have heard stories of batteries exploding throughout my life but never witnessed it until recently. Fortunately the door on the generator kept it from getting acid on me. It actually sounded like a bomb going off!

My battery is mounted on the tongue of my camper, but thats just the way it came. If you mount it inside, vent it good, and avoid making sparks as best you can when hooking anything to it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
My old trillium had its battery located inside, under the front bunk. I've read that it might not be a good idea to have the battery inside. I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:
* Is it unwise to have the battery inside?
* What are the options for housing the battery outside on the tongue?
* Any tips/tricks for running the wires?
* Anyone had any theft issues with external items like this?
I just moved the battery from my tongue to the inside today. Batteries don't like extremes of temperature. They lose performance in cold weather. If you move it outside, just a regular plastic battery box with a hold down is all you need. Be mindful of making good weatherproof connections and splices. Anything outside can be stolen, and it does happen.

David
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:30 PM   #6
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Gee whiz, I had no idea about this. When I bought my burro the battery was in a tray that was bolted under one of the front dinette seats, and that' where I've left it.

It's one of those marine/starter batteries and I think it has about zero life left in it anyway...once I get a new battery it will likely be an AGM per advice here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:

* Anyone had any theft issues with external items like this?
I just had the battery stolen from a locked METAL battery box on the tongue of my Compact Jr. (they stole the locks, too) and I plan to move the new one to a vented battery box inside.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:47 PM   #8
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The battery on our 78 Trill is on the tongue. The folks we bought it from told us it had been under the dinette and under the bunk in previous lifetimes. It is easy to get to on the tongue in a plastic box and there are fewer explosion issues outside. With a 13' trailer the real estate inside is precious and with years of camping with a tongue mounted battery in an unlocked case we've has no theft issues. Luckier than Fredrick, I guess. The wires going to it are in a plastic loom and strapped to the frame to keep them from moving around. Seems to work fine.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jen b View Post
Gee whiz, I had no idea about this. When I bought my burro the battery was in a tray that was bolted under one of the front dinette seats, and that' where I've left it.

It's one of those marine/starter batteries and I think it has about zero life left in it anyway...once I get a new battery it will likely be an AGM per advice here.
My next battery will be AGM too. I love them. The conventional wisdom is that flooded batteries should be vented to the outside. The amount of hydrogen produced though is extremely low. It could only explode if confined and hydrogen is extremely hard to confine. Is it possible that an explosion could happen with a non vented battery? Yes. Is it likely? NO. I owned a 1969 VW Beetle and the battery was under the back seat. The Beetles were pretty tight little cars, and small obviously. Have you ever heard of one exploding due to hydrogen build up?

Frankly, you are more likely to blow the roof off the trailer by eating cabbage soup in a confined area ..........if you know what I mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
I just had the battery stolen from a locked METAL battery box on the tongue of my Compact Jr. (they stole the locks, too) and I plan to move the new one to a vented battery box inside.
They stole the locks too? . I think that is what they call "adding insult to injury"
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
My next battery will be AGM too. I love them. The conventional wisdom is that flooded batteries should be vented to the outside. The amount of hydrogen produced though is extremely low. It could only explode if confined and hydrogen is extremely hard to confine. Is it possible that an explosion could happen with a non vented battery? Yes. Is it likely? NO. I owned a 1969 VW Beetle and the battery was under the back seat. The Beetles were pretty tight little cars, and small obviously. Have you ever heard of one exploding due to hydrogen build up?

Frankly, you are more likely to blow the roof off the trailer by eating cabbage soup in a confined area ..........if you know what I mean



They stole the locks too? . I think that is what they call "adding insult to injury"

A neighbors VW buss battery exploded. Kind mess up the VW (total loss).
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:31 AM   #11
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In my opinion a lead acid battery is one of the most dangerous things I own, right up there with my chainsaw. Explosive, the acid will burn you, and there is enough energy to weld with. On my first trailer I noticed the battery would die within 3 weeks if left connected. With everything off there was about 40 mA (0.04 A.) current draw. I traced it down to the propane detector being always on. I started disconnecting the battery but every time I did so I got a spark. Not good. I added an inline fuse in a screw type holder. This let me disconnect away from the battery. I also went with an AGM battery. The safety factor alone is worth the price. Raz
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #12
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First thing I did after ripping and tearing stuff out for the first months was to remove the battery, take it to the recycler and buy a Neptune AGM and install it under the foot of the bunk. It is wired into the large junction box right beside it and I have an intelligent battery charger hard wired in to it. My battery is divorced from the Dometic, which runs on 12 volt only when being towed a nd supplied by my Tacoma. The house battery feeds the Diode lights and will eventually supply a couple of 12 receptacles either side of the galley unit. I am a great advocate of KISS, the result of my sailboating years.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Battery location

Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
My old trillium had its battery located inside, under the front bunk. I've read that it might not be a good idea to have the battery inside. I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:
* Is it unwise to have the battery inside?
* What are the options for housing the battery outside on the tongue?
* Any tips/tricks for running the wires?
* Anyone had any theft issues with external items like this?
Very good question, multiple answers possible.

A vented location under a bunk, away from sparks is probably acceptable if you use a SLOW and AUTOMATIC / REGULATED battery charger. Fast charge or overcharging with a manual charger is far more likely to cause a battery explosion than a slow charger form 110V. If the battery is to be recharged from the towing car's power, it is essential to have it OUTSIDE in a vented box because car alternator is probably the fastest way to recharge your battery.

Following the same logic, if you only have minimal use of a battery for LED lights and low power devices, a low power charger or even a solar panel will be enough to recharge your battery. If needs for battery power is limited, fast charging is not required, so you may store your battery under a vented bunk inside. I only use a 2A maintenance charger to keep the battery topped up before I go. Ever since I changed my 12V bulbs for LEDs, It can be weeks before I run out of power.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:39 PM   #14
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Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddo411 View Post
My old trillium had its battery located inside, under the front bunk. I've read that it might not be a good idea to have the battery inside. I'm looking to relocate it to the tongue.

Questions:
* What are the options for housing the battery outside on the tongue?
* Any tips/tricks for running the wires?
Fred, I'll throw in a few thoughts about this part of your question, as I made the same change in my Boler. Here's a thread regarding some of the wiring discussion: Battery location ...

The junction box we discussed in that thread is a life saver. All said, it was a good change for me. As somebody else mentioned too, the weight being redistributed did wonders for towing.

Good luck!
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