Moving Battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-22-2003, 08:05 PM   #1
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Moving Battery

I've thought about moving my battery to the tongue for quite some time. The primary reason is because it is so hard to get to. I am giving a lot of consideration to an AGM battery, so that it doesn't requrie maintenance, but that's a topic for another thread.

What I want to know is if there is any danger puting it next to the propane bottle? Since I recently had a spare tire rack built for the tongue, I would have to remove one of the propanes and put a battery box next to the other one.

I thought I could build a cover (open bottom) with a wall in between. Of course, a propane leak would find it's way over into the other compartment if there was one.

Is there any danger of putting a propane bottle and a battery that close together. Something about the gas being in close proximity to something could spark scares me.

The other thing that I'm concerned about is weight distribution on the tongue. Replacing a 20lb propane weight with a 50 - 60 lb battery might mess things up - especially since it won't be centered.

Am I being a worry wart or is their reason for concern?
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:15 PM   #2
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Some of the newer trailers come with the battery beside the propane tanks. I've especially noticed this on tent trailers. So one would think it must be safe? Ours have been side by side on our trailer for 4 years and we've never given it a thought. Maybe we should!

Our tank is on the side where the icebox is. I figure the weight of the food plus the tank is usually equal to the battery.
Nancy
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:19 PM   #3
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Battery placement

I would keep it on the same side of the trailer, but it would be coming from the back to the front.

So, Nancy, yours is right beside the propane? Is it to the side or centered in front of it?
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:22 PM   #4
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Hi Suz
The battery is to the side of the tank. The battery sits where the second propane tank would.
Nancy
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:48 PM   #5
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moving battery

Suz, I work part-time (retired) at a Coleman camper dealership. Propane tanks and batteries have been side by side for years. Since they are out in the open and not together in a case or compartment any gas that might leak would not be contained and wouldn't pose a hazard. A battery by itself should not be inside a living space for a different reason. Under certain circumstances they can give off fumes that can be unhealthy. They should be properly vented if they must be enclosed but should be preferably outside.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:05 AM   #6
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propane vs battery weight

If you do replace a propane tank with a battery the weight difference won't be as much as you might think. A full propane tank weighs aprox 38 pounds, and the battery you replace it with won't exceed that by much. John
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:43 AM   #7
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Howdy, I don`t think there is any reason for there to be a source of ignition on the tongue area of the trailer if the wiring is properly secure..and also even if your propane is on there should not be any gas floating around...If there was a source of ignition which would blow first...the propane bottle or the battery???? The tongue is probably the best place for both....Benny
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Old 07-23-2003, 05:36 AM   #8
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Battery placement

Suz,

If you switch to an AGM battery, it will be completely safe under the bed. What Jim said concerning fumes is true for flooded batteries, but the AGM is completely sealed; they're even safe for air shipment.

There are two arguments for leaving it under the bed. It is in the living space and protected from temperature extremes and the weight distribution is probably better. You also get to keep your dual propane tanks.

I know you're planning to add a solar panel and the charge controller for the panel should be near the battery. It adjusts the charge based on battery temperature. Most charge controllers just sense ambient temperature, so they need to be in the same compartment with the battery. You can get charge controllers with a remote temperature sensor, but they're much more expensive and require additional wiring.

Should you decide to put the battery next to the propane tank, you're concern for an ignition source is valid. However, the only time there should be sparks (for a healthy battery) is when you connect or disconnect wires. Just turn off the propane when doing so.

FYI: I'm in the process of moving my AGM battery from the tongue to the compartment under the bed. I'll put my PV charge controller right beside it. I'll be laying the battery on its side and you can't do that with a flooded battery.
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:32 AM   #9
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Thanks

Thanks to all of you for the great responses. I think my two main concerns have been eased some what. Balance and explosiveness. I will definitely give it some more thought.

My battery is currently in a vented battery box, so I'm not really that concerned about the gases. It's just the maintenance issue.

Morgan, you brought up a good point about the weather. Keeping it from extreme temps and adverse conditions would not hurt it one bit. Since our winters are not the extremes that some get, I can leave it in place (as long as it is kept charged) over the winter months. Makes it easier to hitch up and go during the winter season.
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Morgan Bulger

Should you decide to put the battery next to the propane tank, you're concern for an ignition source is valid. However, the only time there should be sparks (for a healthy battery) is when you connect or disconnect wires. Just turn off the propane when doing so.
Actually, the only time there'll be sparks when connecting or disconnecting wires is if there's something on the other end of those wires that wants electricity so bad it's willing to suck it through thin air. If you turn all 12V appliances or devices off, then you won't get any sparks when you connect the wires. The sparks are electricity jumping across a 'spark gap' when you get the wire just 'close enough' to the terminal and the electricity has somewhere to go.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:13 AM   #11
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Thanks, Herb. I'll remember that.
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:32 AM   #12
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battery on the tongue

Suz:

Run 10 ga wire and put a 20amp fuse within the battery box. :)
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3f1eb86dcaa43Casita battery on hitch fuse.jpg/>
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:36 PM   #13
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The really good thing about putting the battery inside is that the closer it is to the converter/fuse distribution panel, the less power is lost to wire resistance.

On my 91S13, the battery is located on the tongue behind the single propane tank. That meant that the power had to travel from the front of the trailer to the back (fuse panel) and then to the load. I supplemented the original wiring with some heavier stuf so I am heating bulb filaments, etc., instead of wires...

Pete in the RatHaus

Please be sure to read up on charging AGM batteries before installing one, as they are different from flooded lead-acid batts. One really nice thing about AGMs is you can mail/internet order one and have it delivered by UPS right to your house or campground.
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Old 07-23-2003, 06:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Pete Dumbleton

Please be sure to read up on charging AGM batteries before installing one, as they are different from flooded lead-acid batts. One really nice thing about AGMs is you can mail/internet order one and have it delivered by UPS right to your house or campground.
Pete and the Ladies,

That was true of earlier AGMs (and maybe a few today). Mine is a Concorde SunXtender and has the same charging profile as a flooded battery. I also looked at Optima and the same was true.
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