Battery Box on Back Bumper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-28-2011, 11:08 PM   #1
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Battery Box on Back Bumper

I'm thinking of having a metal box welded onto the back bumper of our 13' Boler, to hold two 6 volt golf cart batteries, instead of having a 12 volt battery on the tongue.

Has anyone done this type of mod before?
Any thoughts as to pros and cons?

My wife wonders about problems that may occur in the event of a rear end collision.

Thanks,
Noel & Grace
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #2
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I would wonder, worry, about that much weight so far behind the axle.
It will probably counter act any and all tongue weight and put you in a very dangerous situation.
John
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:10 AM   #3
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Probably not the best idea. Golf cart batteries are really heavy but they do work well. If you crush the case in an accident you will have acid leaking. I think I would build a pretty secure tube cage to protect them. As mentioned though make sure your hitch weight bias is not going to be upset.
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Red-Dwarf View Post
I'm thinking of having a metal box welded onto the back bumper of our 13' Boler, to hold two 6 volt golf cart batteries, instead of having a 12 volt battery on the tongue.

Has anyone done this type of mod before?
Any thoughts as to pros and cons?

My wife wonders about problems that may occur in the event of a rear end collision.

Thanks,
Noel & Grace
It's simple, reduce your power needs then the small battery on the tongue will work just fine.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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Byrons right, reduce you power needs.
I should have suggested for less that $300.00 dollars including battery you can put a 50w solar panel on the roof, hook it to a deep cycle group 27 battery you should have all the power you need.
I've installed this same system on 3 trailers now and have never ran out of power.
John
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:29 AM   #6
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I believe Escape put the battery on the rear bumper on the 17' to reduce tongue weight.

You could measure your tongue weight with a bathroom scale and then add weight to the bumper to see what happens. Bear in mind your trailer is like a see saw with the axle the fulcrum. You don't want the tongue leaving the ground. Raz
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:19 AM   #7
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I believe the rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue. 2,000lb trailer needs 200 on the tongue. Indiviual trailers may need some adjustment. It's better to err to the heavy side though. Being a little heavy just loads the tow vehicle more. Being light can produce an unsafe towing condition.

The need for more battery is dependant on the situations you camp under. I'm a power miser with LED lights, and no heavy draw items. I could definitely use dual batteries primarily for the furnace in winter and fans in the summer. Solar panels in the Pacific Northwest aren't very efficient most of the year. You could probably install them upside down and not know difference . Parking under shade in the summer doesn't do much for them either. My only holdback on the second battery is that I hate to add weight to the trailer. I carry the little 1000w Honda generator to keep things going.

David
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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I believe the rule of thumb is 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue. 2,000lb trailer needs 200 on the tongue. Indiviual trailers may need some adjustment. It's better to err to the heavy side though. Being a little heavy just loads the tow vehicle more. Being light can produce an unsafe towing condition.

The need for more battery is dependant on the situations you camp under. I'm a power miser with LED lights, and no heavy draw items. I could definitely use dual batteries primarily for the furnace in winter and fans in the summer. Solar panels in the Pacific Northwest aren't very efficient most of the year. You could probably install them upside down and not know difference . Parking under shade in the summer doesn't do much for them either. My only holdback on the second battery is that I hate to add weight to the trailer. I carry the little 1000w Honda generator to keep things going.

David
True on the solar panels in Pacific Wet Coast. However, there's more sunshine than is often thought. I made a frame for my solar panel and have several extension cords (not house old cords) so I can usually find a place in the sun for the panel. Earlier this year I went for about 3 days without recharging a group 24, 80 amp hour battery with the temperatures in the low teens to single digits. A bit warmer and LED lights I can go longer.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #9
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Raz,
Comparing a 17' to a 13' is apples and oranges. My 17' Casita tongue weighs 400 lbs, so I can get away with a lot more weight on the stern than any 13' trailer could ever add without poor handling consequences. First, my axle is situated further back from the tongue than a 13 footer, which serves to lessen the moment arm, (or fulcrum point, from the axle to the hitch.) Think of it as a 13 footer being a well-balanced see-saw. The 17' will definitely be more weight biased towards the tongue due to the already greater distance between the tongue and the centerline of the axle. The 13' has a much shorter wheelbase making it much more susceptible to handling problems attributable to any front-to-rear weight shifting than a heavier and longer 17' trailer.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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Raz,
Comparing a 17' to a 13' is apples and oranges. My 17' Casita tongue weighs 400 lbs, so I can get away with a lot more weight on the stern than any 13' trailer could ever add without poor handling consequences. First, my axle is situated further back from the tongue than a 13 footer, which serves to lessen the moment arm, (or fulcrum point, from the axle to the hitch.) Think of it as a 13 footer being a well-balanced see-saw. The 17' will definitely be more weight biased towards the tongue due to the already greater distance between the tongue and the centerline of the axle. The 13' has a much shorter wheelbase making it much more susceptible to handling problems attributable to any front-to-rear weight shifting than a heavier and longer 17' trailer.
I wasn't comparing anything. The original post asked if any one had put the battery on the back bumper. I was answering his question. Please read my post again as I think I mentioned the see saw fulcrum analogy when I suggested he measure his tongue weight.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
I believe Escape put the battery on the rear bumper on the 17' to reduce tongue weight.

You could measure your tongue weight with a bathroom scale and then add weight to the bumper to see what happens. Bear in mind your trailer is like a see saw with the axle the fulcrum. You don't want the tongue leaving the ground. Raz
My Escape 17B has a pair of 6V batteries on the rear bumper (factory installed along with a 90 watt solar panel). The dual propane & exterior storage bin on the tongue still provide plenty of tongue weight.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info - I guess I'm gonna have to do a bit more thinking about power needs and tongue weight.

I've been thinking about going the solar charger route, so perhaps that's money better spent.

Noel & Grace
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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Marv & Mary Watson have a battery box on the rear of their Trillium 1300 and I think Karen K also has one on the back of her 13' Companion.

Neither seem to have any troubles towing due to the box and batteries back there.

I have seen both and they are both amazingly heavy duty welding jobs and are well done it seems.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
Marv & Mary Watson have a battery box on the rear of their Trillium 1300 and I think Karen K also has one on the back of her 13' Companion.

Neither seem to have any troubles towing due to the box and batteries back there.

I have seen both and they are both amazingly heavy duty welding jobs and are well done it seems.
Due to the nature of these little trailers, it must be said that a battery will have a rougher ride on the rear bumper than on the tongue.
While that may not be your deciding factor, it does effect battery life.
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