Bigfoot Battery Bodge - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-17-2016, 12:23 PM   #15
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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The real hazard is in overcharging this goes for any battery, my AGM batteries have never in 7 years been vented.

Many people drive on old tires they can blow common knowledge but it does not stop a lot of owners from heading out.

If a charging system is not functioning properly that is not the fault of the battery. Sorry batteries just don't for no reason decide to melt down there needs to be a fault somewhere.

The bigger issue with our fiberglass trailers is that because they can last so long many people never look at upgrading the electrical systems even when they know there is a problem and the reason most give is I don't want to spend the money so I can do some backyard handy work and save the money.
My 1991 Bigfoot has had the electrical system upgraded two years ago at a cost of close to 1000.00 dollars but I know it works properly.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:07 PM   #16
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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Originally Posted by Daniel A. View Post
The real hazard is in overcharging this goes for any battery, my AGM batteries have never in 7 years been vented.

Many people drive on old tires they can blow common knowledge but it does not stop a lot of owners from heading out.

If a charging system is not functioning properly that is not the fault of the battery. Sorry batteries just don't for no reason decide to melt down there needs to be a fault somewhere.
Yes indeed! Overcharging will cause some significant problems. I have seen several lead acid batteries "boil over" from a charging system that was out of control. The rotten egg smell (hydrogen) was atrocious. The danger of explosion was great. In all cases the charging voltage was somewhere north of 18 volts. The batteries ware ruined and the collateral damage from spilled acid added to the repair cost. One of the batteries exploded and it sounded like a large caliber rifle had been fired. Gel batteries are a little more forgiving but will still be subject to problems when overcharged. The battery was not the problem, It was the voltage regulator malfunctioning.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:09 PM   #17
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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I've seen a 2005 17.5 footer but didn't think to look under the front cowling to see what's there and how much space. My 2002 17 footer has two form 24 batteries under there with the propane tanks, which I really like. All I'd ever need for boondocking, and not stealing any storage space from the cabin.
Was it necessary on the later model to move the location inside and lose all that storage space? If it were me, and there's enough space, I'd move them back to the front cowling, recover all that lovely storage space and render moot any venting questions.

Walt
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Old 04-17-2016, 05:08 PM   #18
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
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Originally Posted by Daniel A. View Post
The real hazard is in overcharging this goes for any battery, my AGM batteries have never in 7 years been vented.
Yup thats the problem with not venting ANY type of battery - no one knows with 100% certainty that their converter or solar controller is not going to malfunction and over charge the battery. As I said previously it has happen with AGM's on a few fairly new trailers here. On all of the trailers burn marks were left on the bottom of the hatches the batteries where in - as well in one case toxic smoke in the trailer a child was sleeping in.

In this case the OP question the reason why manufactures suggest the AGM's be vented although folks on the internet say otherwise. They now have the answer and will have to decide what level of risk they wish to take in leaving a battery unvented - regardless of the kind or make.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:17 PM   #19
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 17.5'
Alberta
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Your talking about a weight distribution hitch,yes I have the Reese it keeps everything level, as long as you set your brake controller properly it works like a charm.
No, I don't have a weight distribution hitch. The sway control bar just dampens the side to side movement.

It's been used that way by the former owner for ten years...I guess i'm asking if I need a WDH as well.

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Old 04-17-2016, 10:22 PM   #20
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 17.5'
Alberta
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Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
I've seen a 2005 17.5 footer but didn't think to look under the front cowling to see what's there and how much space. My 2002 17 footer has two form 24 batteries under there with the propane tanks, which I really like. All I'd ever need for boondocking, and not stealing any storage space from the cabin.
Was it necessary on the later model to move the location inside and lose all that storage space? If it were me, and there's enough space, I'd move them back to the front cowling, recover all that lovely storage space and render moot any venting questions.

Walt
I'm guessing a larger tray would have to be fabricated? But there should be room if you did it on an '02.

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Old 04-18-2016, 06:46 AM   #21
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SW Virginia
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First, of course a form 24 is smaller than the others mentioned, but we are talking about two of them.
When I got the trailer in 2013 it had the two batteries on a plywood tray. I'm all but certain it came from the factory that way. That tray was getting pretty frayed and I replaced it with a steel one.

Walt
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:23 PM   #22
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 17.5'
Alberta
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As a followup to this thread, in case anyone is interested....
The batteries turned out to be (2) GC2 6V golf cart batteries, wired of course in series. Unfortunately they had been run dry, so i replaced them with a couple of Trojans. Ran a very small (1") vent hose (just because I had it from another project) from a 1" plastic soffit vent installed in the side wall of the trailer to a 1" PVC 90 elbow that I epoxied into the battery box lid. There wasn't room for much else anyway, with barely 2" clearance between the battery box lid and the dinette seat. Added a 1500w inverter just because I got a great deal on one, put it on a swingdown panel in the end of the storage compartment behind the dinette seat. Intend to add a remote switch and a power bar to it because of the awkward location.

Interestingly, the battery monitor built into the stove vent continued to tell me that the batteries were fully charged...even after I had removed them! Then I realized that it was reading the power coming from the solar panel. So much for that being of any use! I guess the only way to get "real" battery condition info is to install a proper battery condition monitor with a shunt. Maybe someday, I've spent enough money for now...<_<

Oh, and I decided against moving the batteries back out to the tongue...I know people have managed it, but I just couldn't see fighting to get the propane tanks in and out past 2 batteries. I like that it moves a little bit of weight further back towards the axle, and it gave me plenty of room to install an RF trailer brake module inside the cowling

DT
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:33 PM   #23
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I suppose your Trojans are a bit larger than my 12v Form 24s, but I have no problem removing either batteries or propane tanks out of there.

Walt
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:45 PM   #24
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Name: Mike
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 17.5'
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I suppose your Trojans are a bit larger than my 12v Form 24s, but I have no problem removing either batteries or propane tanks out of there.

Walt
And your point about recovering storage space was certainly valid. But the GC2's are quite a bit higher (and heavier!). In any case, I think I'm happy with them where they are (for now, at least). Took it out for a minor shakedown cruise 2 weeks ago to an archaeological dig, and was very happy with it. My wife will be taking it to a dog trial over the next couple of weeks, so we'll see how that goes.
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