Converter/battery location - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2014, 08:11 PM   #1
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Converter/battery location

Alrighty, kind of along the same thing I've asked earlier...

Here's a pic of where I'm thinking of putting my new power centre and battery.

X's are lights, F is the fan.
C1/B1 is where the converter and battery currently are. 2 is where I'm thinking of moving them.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
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Is there a reason you wish to keep the battery inside the trailer? Most bolers have the battery up on the tongue where it is a lot safer and gives you back much needed storage space.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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I don't have any room on my tongue. For some reason, the PO mounted the propane tank an awkward distance on the tongue. Doesn't leave much room behind or in front of.


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Old 08-18-2014, 08:38 PM   #4
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Converter/battery location

Having to keep it inside is one of the reasons I want to change it to an AGM battery.

Arg! And I see about the storage. I'd take up both hatches under the sofa with electrical.


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Old 08-18-2014, 08:57 PM   #5
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Errr... what's Safer about a battery on the tongue?

When it's mounted on the tongue:

It's easier to freeze when you live in Nova Scotia
It' requires longer wires to the Converter/charger and to loads, resulting in voltage drops.
It's much easier to grow legs and walk away
It may be adding tongue weight that isn't wanted
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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The propane tank is an easy move to make room for a battery
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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How? It's the only cross piece on the tongue and it looks like it was made for the tank as it has tie downs on either side of the base. And I'm daring but not enough to learn to weld! It's going to have to stay inside until I can afford a tongue box. My husband has now put me on a budget so my funds are limited.


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Old 08-18-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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A piece of angle iron, a drill, nuts and bolts. You can move it anywhere.
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:32 PM   #9
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Sounds like you may have the same tongue situation I do.

My Scamp came with 12 volt (when plugged into TV) but no battery, propane supports are too close to trailer to add a battery behind it AND if one moves the propane forward (trailer shop said about $50) then the crank handle for the jack mounted on the side of the tongue would hit the propane tank. Because crank handle rotates horizontally

I figure I have two choices if I want to move the propane tank forward enough to put a battery on the tongue.

Replace the hitch with a modern style that has the jack mounted through a metal plate that is part of the hitch. Then purchase a jack with a vertical crank. Advantage to this is max room on tongue and I can change hitch to be for a 2 inch ball rather than the old stock 1 7/8 inch. Don't recall the price but it was obviously more money for more welding and the parts.

Or I could jus have them move the tank, then cut the crank handle a little shorter so it does not hit the tank, drill a new hole in the crank arm and move the handle, less leverage but it does not take much to crank up a Scamp 13 eh? Advantage is I get my battery tray and am probably only out $50 for the work of moving the tank and adding a couple of angle iron pieces for the battery.
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Old 08-18-2014, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Errr... what's Safer about a battery on the tongue?

When it's mounted on the tongue:

It's easier to freeze when you live in Nova Scotia
It' requires longer wires to the Converter/charger and to loads, resulting in voltage drops.
It's much easier to grow legs and walk away
It may be adding tongue weight that isn't wanted

Not venting gasses or exploding inside your trailer. Battery explosions are very impressive. I had one bend 1/8" steel like nothing, it sounded like a 12 gauge in my ear.

Voltage drop? Negligible. I have a 13' run between my battery and converter, the drop was two hundredths of a volt by my fluke meter.

Nothing you mentioned is a safety issue.

Easier to freeze? Unless the trailer is always heated inside, it's still going to be freezing when not in use.


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Old 08-18-2014, 10:36 PM   #11
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I thought AGM batteries were specifically designed not to off gas?


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Old 08-18-2014, 11:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Errr... what's Safer about a battery on the tongue?

When it's mounted on the tongue:

It's easier to freeze when you live in Nova Scotia
It' requires longer wires to the Converter/charger and to loads, resulting in voltage drops.
It's much easier to grow legs and walk away
Yes a battery can grow legs but to be honest how many batteries have been reported here to have grown them? Seems to me about as frequently as whole trailers.

I suspect that the difference in tongue weight with the battery sitting in the extreme front hatch vs a foot or so further forward outside on the tongue is going to be marginal as it would be well ahead of the axle in both locations.

As far as freezing in Nova Scotia goes it is on the south coast on Canada and it is historically *much* warmer than say Winnipeg where there are thousands of Bolers with the battery on the tongue. Even so the battery could be removed in the winter & stored in a garage as many people here do - even some folks who live in sunny Oregon do that ;-)

If the OP was to mount their converter on the inside wall of one of the forward hatches rather than the floor they would gain a lot of storage space back in the second hatch as well and the run to it would be only a couple of feet of wire. My Scamp has the battery on the tongue and converter in the extreme rear of the trailer as do most other Scamps and voltage drop is not an issue that I have ever lost any sleep over.

I just know that for me it would be well worth spending $50 having someone move the propane tank mount forward and gain a storage hatch and not have to worry about the outgassing that go with having an inside battery. Its a good bet that the battery housing and piping that would be needed to bring the venting of the battery up to the current safety standard on the inside of the trailer would cost as much if not more than moving the propane tank. Highly recommend that the OP reads all the information from the battery manufacture in regards to venting requirements for the AGM battery. If speeding the $50 on moving the tank is a problem then I would ask myself why and if I really need that expensive AGM battery? Seems that the vast majority here get by just find with a basic deep cell group 27 battery and have done so for years.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by morgynm View Post
I thought AGM batteries were specifically designed not to off gas?


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Kinda sorta. If they happen to overcharge, etc., there is a check valve that will vent the hydrogen gas out under pressure.


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Old 08-19-2014, 12:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by morgynm View Post
I thought AGM batteries were specifically designed not to off gas?


Morgyn
1981 13' Boler
Nova Scotia
You are correct that AGM do not off gas typically if they are sealed batteries UNLESS overcharged. Because they still have a vent for gasses the manufactures of batteries state not to put them in a sealed container so some venting is required.

Now in a perfect world the converter would never overcharge but if it does, or some other charging method is used there is a risk of a hydrogen explosion. It's a low probability high impact risk.

Had a friend that left a charger on 50 amp boost for too long. When he removed the clamps from battery the charger was still plugged in. I can tell you his wounds from exploded battery pieces covered in acid hurt a lot and did not heal well. He made two mistakes he would not normally have (low probability) but when the potential risk became reality it was high impact.

Now if you plan on doing 4 season camping where having the battery not outside in the cold is more important and are willing to do some venting of the compartment an AGM inside can be a viable option. Otherwise tongue is where vast majority of towed campers have their batteries. No venting issues at all and you can use any battery including less expensive flooded battery or even jumbo 6 volt deep cycles.

If you need to run heavier wire from converter to battery you can. This need seems unlikely because if you are plugged in to shore power your converter should have no problem running your 12 volt appliances and putting a charge on your battery in most cases. If converter is coming up short it's probably not going to be solved by shorter or heavier wire unless converter is really just a tiny bit short of being up to the job.
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