Battery Box Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-22-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Avion 30P and 1979 Scamp 16
Michigan
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Battery Box Question

I am installing a battery box on my Scamp 16 as it was 120V only when I purchased it.

Can some one tell me how it is attached to the tongue?

Pictures I have seen looks like it sits on two pieces of angle iron.

If so, how is it attached to the angle iron?

Does any one drill weep holes in the battery box?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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My battery boxes are thru bolted to a pair of angle irons with carriage bolts. I did drill weep holes in the bottom, one in the outside corner of each recess. Even if you have 'weather proof' vents, water will get in, or condensation will settle in the bottom.

When I got my trailer, the one battery box that came with it didn't have weep holes and after a heavy rain, the space between the box and the battery was full of water. No shorts, as the posts are higher than the box walls.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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Is the angle iron welded or bolted to the tongue?


Also, is it mounted to the bottom or top?


Dave
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:19 AM   #4
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Name: rick
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Dave,
My 04S16 came with 2 pieces of angle iron welded to the bottom of the tongue at the correct interval to support the battery box. Scamp then screwed the battery box down to the angle iron with screws that quickly rusted out and were impossible to remove when the time came to replace the battery box. I now have a larger battery box to accommodate two 6 volt golf cart batteries supported by 2 pieces of angle aluminum riveted to the top of the tongue. So, my advice is; it depends on what you want to do. Both work. Incidentally, the angle aluminum only works because the box is very rigid and so big that it spans the tongue to both sides.
Rick/Arvada,CO
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:34 AM   #5
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Thanks Rick!


I know there is probably no right or wrong in this situation but can you tell me how far behind the ball the first piece is welded? The goal here is to have it look fairly stock with the conveniences of modern upgrades.


Dave
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave Frazer View Post
Thanks Rick!


I know there is probably no right or wrong in this situation but can you tell me how far behind the ball the first piece is welded? The goal here is to have it look fairly stock with the conveniences of modern upgrades.


Dave
Dave, being there is only a short distance to work with between the coupler/jack and LP tanks just install it where it leaves the tank cover easy to remove. As millions of trailers have batteries on the tongue, to me it's a stock location. Install it where it works best for you. I won't use a tape measure to check if you're a couple inches different make it your's.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:42 AM   #7
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But, as not mentioned, be sure to use stainless steel screws and washers for attachments made inside the battery box. As was mentioned, rusted out screws can be a PITA not to mention, if not seen in time, can lead to a floating battery box.


BTW: Don't be concerned about looking "Stock". In the world of FGRV's, even finding two built entirely alike is a task in itself, and to quote valley girl Ima Toen, "Like Whatever".....!
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:53 AM   #8
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Dave, mine is centered and almost touching the fiberglass (too close). I agree with all the above. Put it where you can get at it. Mine collected water after driving through a heavy rain as well, so drilling drain holes is a good idea.

Tom
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:12 AM   #9
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Here you go. I took a picture as I was removing the battery for winter storage. I wanted to make sure I had the correct polarity when I hooked it back up. I'm used to black and red, not yellow and white. Remember to allow for the lid clearance, as it is bigger than the box itself. Tom
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:10 AM   #10
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Mine is mounted in the same location as Tim's - right up close to the trailer and centred on the tongue. So close that one needs to be careful as to which way the battery box lid is placed - as it will not fit on if you try and put it on with with the side that has two protruding tabs facing the trailer.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #11
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On the older ones that did not have a battery box or mount (my 77) the only 12 volt came through the trailer plug connection with the tow vehicle.

If you have a crank on the tongue that is in a horizontal position when cranked (welded on the side of the tongue) there may not be room between the front of camper shell and the tank for a battery box. Moving the tank forward and clearance of tank to crank handle becomes an issue.

In my case considering shorten the crank handle by an inch or so, move the tank forward just a bit and I think I can squeeze a battery box resting on angle iron on top of the tongue.

Alternative suggested by trailer shop is replace the 1 7/8 hitch on the tongue with a new 2 inch hitch that has a hole to mount the jack, get a jack with a vertical crank that won't hit the tank if I move tank forward to make room for a battery box. New hitch would be like this one http://www.carid.com/images/pro-seri...e338050303.jpg

Not my trailer but has the same sort of jack welded to the side. Pretty sure it is stock. http://i.oodleimg.com/item/371152487...60f?1406037278

Back when the engine compartment had a decent amount of empty space it was not that uncommon for people to mount the second camper battery under the hood and just connect it through the trailer plug so my old set up makes some sense. Now days there is so little empty space under the hood it is hard to find a spot to mount the circuit breaker for a brake controller.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:37 PM   #12
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I had about the same problems with both a Tent trailer I rebuilt for my son as well as on my Hunter. My suggestion would be to:
1) Replace the existing coupler with the one shown so you can mount a standard trailer jack through the holes provided.
2) Build a "deck" of some sort between the front of the trailer and the new hitch plate. I have used Diamond Plate Aluminum and Aluminum channel stock for this
3) Mount the battery box and the LP tank to the deck where they will both fit and clear everything. Here's one that I did:
P1010596_zps3874ea44.jpg Photo by advocateone | Photobucket
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:14 PM   #13
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I'm always a little skittish about using aluminum and steel in contact with each other due to the way they can accelerate corrosion in each other. I know lots of folks use it without problems on campers, and aluminum having less weight is I'm sure a consideration.

Nice looking tongue in that photo that Bob posted a link to, and others have mentioned using aluminum angle with good results so I certainly won't say it is a bad idea since it clearly worked. Just something I tend to avoid out of habit. Think in a salt water coastal area it would be more of a problem. But hey the great lakes are fresh (and shark free I might add)
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #14
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We stock the coastal waters with sharks for the sole purpose of keeping people out of the water during the FHHSRB (Fresno to Honolulu High Speed Rail Bridge) construction project.


Aluminum to ferrous metal electrolysis is a well known problem in some environments but, in many, many years, I have yet to see any problems beyond rust staining when used for utility purposes on RV's. But I haven't lived within close proximity to salt water in a long time either.


And an isolation strip between the surfaces is always good insurance.... just in case the RV Gods forget to smile on us that day.
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