Moving battery, tongue weight, explosions ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-19-2014, 01:43 PM   #1
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Name: John Michael
Trailer: Scamp 13
Madison, Wisconsin
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Moving battery, tongue weight, explosions ?

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We picked up our 2014 front bath Scamp 13' Deluxe Oak Jan 9 in Backus. ($15k) A truck stop certified scale showed 1460 pounds on the tires and 230 pounds on the tongue making the total 1690 pounds with one full propane bottle and a group 27 battery. Pretty much all the options except awning and AC. No cargo or water aboard. Salesman said the deluxe wood adds 3-4 hundred pounds. Our 4cyl Outback performed very well towing.
Today I played a bit with moving my Group 27 battery around. The tongue weight is 230 pounds fresh from the factory as above. After removing the battery the tongue weight went down to 210 pounds. This small change surprised me even though its placement is between the ball and the axle. I then moved the battery to the back of the trailer under the rear dinette table to simulate placement behind the hot water heater and the tongue now weighed 195. All these weights are without any water or cargo in the trailer. Still only a 35 pound difference between fore and aft placement. I think I will make the move permanent since I will no doubt add a lot of weight to the front closet when traveling. Shifting the battery has the added advantage of shorter wire runs from the converter and better cold weather performance since the battery will be warm. A downside is a greater distance to the tow vehicle's alternator. Now to figure out how to vent it properly and keep the Hydrogen gas away from the hot water heater flame (probably straight out the back). Any mixing of gas and flame could get problematic. ;-) I will check into vented battery boxes and see if they seal as well as I need. Have any of you looked into such boxes? Would you trust their seals? I would prefer no power vent, but with the fantastic fan exhausting at full speed there will be some negative pressure in the Scamp. A poorly sealed batter box might leak gas.

Thanks and cheers, john
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:51 PM   #2
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What is the weight of the battery?
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:08 PM   #3
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Solve the problem by purchasing a battery that does not out gas when charging.
Run a large 10 or 8 gage copper charging wire from the tow connection to the positive side of the battery. Be sure to have a Fuse in line should it short out. I like to run these wires underneath in a PVC water pipe that is attached to the underside of the camper.
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:25 PM   #4
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What batteries do not release gas while charging?
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Old 01-19-2014, 02:39 PM   #5
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John I would wait if you haven't already weight it with the battery on the tongue once you have everything loaded in the trailer. The infrequently used heavy items could go to the rear under bed hatch. Most of your kitchen items will be behind the axle and it all adds up weight wise and changes things greatly. Adding a little water to the tanks will also change it up fast.

I have a 16' that I pulled for 6 years with a Subaru (switched to something with more capacity recently) and had no problems once loaded up to get the tongue weight to 200lbs by simple moving items around & no water in the tanks. With the 16' I actually liked it/needed it at about 240lbs for a solid tow, so I kept a large tote box full of hoses, electrical cables, jacks and plugs etc and carried it in the trailer and would just move it right forward inside the trailer when I wanted to add to the tongue weight. I didnt carry anything in the rear of the car or more than one passenger though to compensate for the fact I was over the Subaru spec on the tongue when running at 240lbs.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
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Google optima battery.
That is one type. They are expensive but worth not having to worry about blowing yourself up with a battery that expels hydrogen gas.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:55 PM   #7
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Name: Eddie
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John
I you decide to move the battery to the rear, when you run your charge wire follow your shower drain line to the rear of the camper and you can secure it to the shower drain brackets. As Darwin suggested use some type of conduit for your wire.
Eddie
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Google optima battery.
That is one type. They are expensive but worth not having to worry about blowing yourself up with a battery that expels hydrogen gas.
uh google ParkLiner optima batteries...lol all batteries can outgas don't fool yourself. If your moving the batteries inside then they need to be vented to the outside safely..otherwise you take the risk of fire/death ... your choice.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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Name: John Michael
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In my previous Scamp I ran #8 wires from the battery underneath the trailer to the distribution panel in the rear dinette seat thru a flexible plastic electrical conduit. It worked well. I know #8 was overkill but its what I had on hand. I think I would choose #10 if I were buying new wire.

Casita puts the battery inside where I am thinking. I wonder how they vent theirs.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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This is from the Optma Battery site:

Does an OPTIMAŽ battery ever gas?
When used with a properly regulated constant voltage charging system (such as an alternator), the OPTIMA will not emit hydrogen gas. However, gassing can occur when charging at excessive voltage levels or in extreme high-temperature conditions. In automotive applications, this typically will not happen if the alternator/regulator stays below 15 volts.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:06 PM   #11
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things do have a habbit of happening
Custom Battery Box
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