ECO issues - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-15-2006, 07:12 PM   #1
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I just bought a '73 ECO and rehabilitating it is proving, ahh... Problematic

The PO had the battery balanced across the tounge and bungieed down I'd like to move it inside, so I'm wondering if I should get a sealed marine type battery box, or will it be ok to leave it strapped down in one of the storage compartments??
Also, the only means of charging the battery right now is through the 110v/12v converter/inverter. I've heard that some of the old inverters really cooked the battery, is this really a problem, and what's a good solution?

The propane furnace has a little metal tank on the front, behind the grate, looks like a gasoline tank, with one small copper tube leading down into the works of the furnace, any ideas what it does? It's a Suburban model.

There is no dirty water tank for the sink, it just drains right onto the ground. Does anyone have some pics/diagrams of a greywater system for a 13'er?

Finally, how difficult is it to mount a roof rack to the top? Good idea, or am I just crazy?

More questions later, I'm sure

Matt
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:49 PM   #2
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The mighty FiberglassRV Search tool will disgorge solutions to almost all problems. For instance: Sink drain valve, When you don't have a grey water tank.
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:00 AM   #3
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Another great discussion about gray/grey water tanks:
M.O.A.T.

Just shows that no stone is unturned in the serach for excellence and another way to do it....

As for the battery, I have been led to believe that the AGMs will not emit bad gasses, so can be safely placed inside the trailer. That is where mine is, under the far-front seat from the door. I made a long tether that fits either the hoool-up to the 12v system, or the battery charger, without unhooking from the battery terminals, so I can switch out without having to climb upside down to reach the battery. Eventually, it will also tie-in to the car for recharging while driving.
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:59 AM   #4
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And we have an active Roof Rack discussion going on right now. Click here: Roof Rack for a 13 or 16 foot Scamp

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Old 02-16-2006, 07:19 AM   #5
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About the batteries. My Eco is a 72 and I have been upgrading it since my first trip with it last year to southeast Utah. I chose an agm battery(absorbed glass matt) and located it in the left rear compartment to help keep tongue weight down. The torsion axles on my trailer have only about one and a half inchs and that correlates in to a very rough ride. Because of this I chose the agm battery. With the agm's, being completely sealed, which ever way you decide to charge it, you must make sure that the voltage is kept at no greater than 14.1 to 14.4 volts. I use a 64 watt solar panel which mounts on the outside over the right rear window only at camp and I store it on the bed when enroute. This year I upgraded my ice box with an ac/dc refrigerator and I too would like to find out more about how to get the battery to charge off the tow vehicles alternator when enroute.


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Old 02-16-2006, 07:21 PM   #6
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Thanks guys (and ladies). I'm finally figuring out the keywords to make search work for me.
Still need to get the furnace working, but not tonight, with a -22 windchill

Matt
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:18 AM   #7
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If you put a lead acid battery inside, you'll need a vented battery box. They're not that expensive.

Because my battery is so hard to get to, I did replaced it with an AGM. Before doing so, I upgraded my converter to a PD 9145 with charge wizard. Absolutely one of the best mods I ever did.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:22 PM   #8
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The PO had the battery balanced across the tounge and bungieed down I'd like to move it inside, so I'm wondering if I should get a sealed marine type battery box, or will it be ok to leave it strapped down in one of the storage compartments??
Also, the only means of charging the battery right now is through the 110v/12v converter/inverter. I've heard that some of the old inverters really cooked the battery, is this really a problem, and what's a good solution?


Matt
Matt, I've had batteries both inside and outside in various trailers, and just don't see the value of storing a battery in the living compartment; especially in a 13' trailer. They take up valuable storage space and have the potential to do goods packed around them serious harm. The trailer tongue is a perfect place for it; it vents to atmosphere unimpeded, it adds desireable weight to the tongue, and the electrolyte gets stirred, not shaken. A battery under the rear dinette gets bounced around substantially more. Get a marine battery box and a battery bracket and mount it to the tongue. It's easy to do and makes the battery easy to service. Here's a shot of the Burro I had when I swapped it to a dual LP tank system and re-mounted the battery box:


Click image for larger version

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Regarding the 'old' DC power converter/chargers... yes it was possible to fry a battery if you stayed plugged in for several days continuously. Considering how many of them were in service, and how few batteries actually fried though, it's not a problem you ought to lose any sleep over. When you get the opportunity, upgrade to a "smart" charger and then you won't have to worry about it at all.

Roger
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:37 AM   #9
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I think Roger has some good points regarding battery placement; however, I have found in our Boler that some of the interior spaces in the corners are so hard to reach that it would be more useful to put the battery there and put an accessible storage box of similar (loaded) weight on the tongue.

Of course, I can think of a few considerations for any battery compartment:
  • venting provision (which I think you should still have for an AGM in case of overpressure venting)
  • access (less important for batteries needing less maintenance, or with remote monitoring)
  • electrical isolation (avoid risk of stored items hitting live electrical connections)
  • chemical isolation (with flooded-cell batteries - not AGM - allow for possible spashed electrolyte containment
  • thermal management (warm batteries work better in cold weather, but excessive heat is bad for a battery, too)
  • cable run lengths (better to be near the distribution panel and charging power source)
  • mass (weight) distribution (fore/aft, side-to-side, and height)
There are probably many more factors. The box on the tongue does a good isolation job and the other electrical gear is usually close by - just because that's where the battery and the cable to the tow vehicle are located.

I understand the issue of vibration, but if the rear of the trailer rides much more harshly than the tongue area, doesn't that mean our trailer suspensions are not very good? That's another topic...
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:07 PM   #10
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I understand the issue of vibration, but if the rear of the trailer rides much more harshly than the tongue area, doesn't that mean our trailer suspensions are not very good?
No, it just means that the rear bumper is cantilevered over the rear axle and it's only dampening IS the suspension on the trailer, and it's at the end of a lever that starts with the hitch coupler. Movement on the tongue will be amplified by leverage over the distance to the rear bumper. That's typically why 'stuff' tends to stay put better in the front of the trailer than the rear. The front, on the other hand, is dampend both by the suspension on the trailer and the suspension on the tow vehicle.

Roger
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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I'm quite familar with the leverage-at-the-rear effect, having ridden in school buses for years - it can be quite the ride over bumps. Most of our trailers are quite short compared to something like a school bus, and the hitch is in the same situation as the rear of the trailer - hung out past the axle. While the tongue postition is better, I still think that anywhere in a short trailer could be okay if only our trailer suspensions were better. Come to think of it, school bus suspensions are pretty bad, too...

Of course the reality of a typical trailer is that the ride is likely bad back near the bumper, so Roger has a good point there.
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