Do you have your battery on your trailer tongue? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2016, 07:44 PM   #1
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Do you have your battery on your trailer tongue?

What is the advantage of putting your battery there? Did you build a special platform for it?

How do you secure it from theft?

Do you keep other things in your battery box or is it best to get a box that is for your battery size and nothing else?
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
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37 looks with no replies... I'll give it a shot...

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Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
What is the advantage of putting your battery there? Did you build a special platform for it?
Full disclosure: Both of my trailers have their batteries in boxes within the body of the trailer. Propane and spare tire is all that's out on the tongue.
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Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
How do you secure it from theft?
My Compact Jr. had a metal box that locked with padlocks when it's battery was on the tongue. No deterrent at all. When I rebuilt it I moved the battery to a vented battery box inside the trailer.
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Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
Do you keep other things in your battery box or is it best to get a box that is for your battery size and nothing else?
I have a solar panel charge controller inside the box with the battery since the controller was small and there was room for it in that particular box.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:07 PM   #3
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I have a battery box bolted and strapped to the tongue (factory). Never worried about battery theft.

Camping is supposed to be relaxing and getting rid of stress, worrying about theft etc. is stressful, so why worry build up your stress even more. If you fuss about things camping doesn't do you any good, you might as well stay home.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:10 PM   #4
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Do you have your battery on your trailer tongue?

Mine's on the tongue because that's where Scamp puts it. It's in a box the same size as the battery because that's how Scamp installs it.

I am inclined to leave things as they are because...

No worries about venting.

Easy to remove for storage, since there is no power where I park, and solves the theft problem (with Byron I don't worry when camping).

Preserves limited inside storage.

Weight on tongue is good, since I sometimes carry bicycles on the back.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
Full disclosure: Both of my trailers have their batteries in boxes within the body of the trailer. Propane and spare tire is all that's out on the tongue.

My Compact Jr. had a metal box that locked with padlocks when it's battery was on the tongue. No deterrent at all. When I rebuilt it I moved the battery to a vented battery box inside the trailer.

I have a solar panel charge controller inside the box with the battery since the controller was small and there was room for it in that particular box.
Is your battery box the standard size for your battery (eg group 24 battery with group 24 box) and still had room for the controller, or did you have to upsize the box?

Was your battery stolen even though it was secured with a lock? Is that one of the reasons you moved it inside?
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:51 PM   #6
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You could always hide the battery inside the BBQ on the picnic table. Not sure it will fit in the Q with the camp chairs inside as well.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
What is the advantage of putting your battery there? Did you build a special platform for it?
How do you secure it from theft?
Do you keep other things in your battery box or is it best to get a box that is for your battery size and nothing else?
Have to agree with others about not worrying about theft. Most of these trailers don't have a battery box on the tongue any bigger than what it takes to hold the battery. Some trailers do have a larger tongue box that hold the battery and LP tank and have room for some additional items. Some folks have built custom boxes to fit their needs. They look real nice but everyone knows what's in there. I see no advantage of having it on the tongue, to me, it depends on where it was originally designed to go. I have trailers with batteries in both locations. Moving it to the tongue can give you extra inside storage but you have to consider the extra tongue weight. Don't think there is any special platforms, you'll see many different designs. I've seen a couple trailers that only had bungie cords holding the battery.....dumb.
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:17 AM   #8
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My battery is on the tongue. Lead acid batteries can produce hydrogen gas which is explosive and contain sulfuric acid which can burn you. For those reasons I prefer not to have it inside my trailer. Also being on the tongue makes it easy to attach my solar panel or battery charger. The battery is in a battery box which you can buy at any RV dealership. I think Tractor supply also sells them, $10-15. . My first trailer had a shelf composed of two pieces of angle iron spaced to fit the battery box. My current trailer has a sheet metal shelf. Both do the job. In both cases the propane tank sits next to the battery. I don't worry about theft when camped in a camp ground. Raz
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:46 AM   #9
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Battery on tongue

I have a Captain from Poland (called "Freedom" in UK) and it comes with a big fiberglass compartment (with a lock) on the tongue. It has the propane tank and the battery and a lot of other stuff like boards to put under the feet, crank handle for the feet, maybe even the wheel chocks, kinda whatever fits.

If someone really wanted to break in, they could do it with a long screwdriver or crowbar I suppose and break the fiberglass. But then they could do the same with the door to the trailer. Or the windows. Roof hatch might be a little harder, but if it is open, they could smash that too. The roof hatch is big enough to get in and out (unlike North American trailers which are tiny). Safety feature for escaping (but then you can get out the windows too).
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:50 AM   #10
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Here's a pic showing my battery/box factory mounted from Scamp. I'd build a metal box and weld it to the frame complete with a lock if I was paranoid of someone stealing my battery. I can tell you one thing, if they get mine, they're going to get a 6+ yo WELL worn battery

FWIW, I would not and WILL not keep a "car" battery (wet cell) inside my camper.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50351683@N08/13991859062/
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
My battery is on the tongue. Lead acid batteries can produce hydrogen gas which is explosive and contain sulfuric acid which can burn you. For those reasons I prefer not to have it inside my trailer. Also being on the tongue makes it easy to attach my solar panel or battery charger. The battery is in a battery box which you can buy at any RV dealership. I think Tractor supply also sells them, $10-15. . My first trailer had a shelf composed of two pieces of angle iron spaced to fit the battery box. My current trailer has a sheet metal shelf. Both do the job. In both cases the propane tank sits next to the battery. I don't worry about theft when camped in a camp ground. Raz
I'm going to follow Raz's logic. no gas risk, no need to poke a vent hole, easy access for solar (need to have battery box big enough for battery and solar controller), more free space inside trailer, easier to remove for long term storage, and easy access for servicing.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:42 AM   #12
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The front cowling on the tongue contains two propane tanks and two form 24 12v batteries. Others have mentioned the benefit of keeping the hydrogen discharge out of the cabin, but another is having more storage available inside. More storage space is always good.

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Old 04-26-2016, 09:43 AM   #13
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Razzy is da man!

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Originally Posted by Ransom View Post
I'm going to follow Raz's logic. no gas risk, no need to poke a vent hole, easy access for solar (need to have battery box big enough for battery and solar controller), more free space inside trailer, easier to remove for long term storage.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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Battery Location

We have had trailers with internal (Casita) and external (Scamp) batteries. We find the external battery easier to service.

We put nothing else in the battery box, it's just not the best of environments. For most pieces of electronics i prefer inside the trailer, our solar panel controller and our rear camera are both inside the trailer even though the rear camera is designed for outside.

We absolutely never worry about battery theft, or actually theft at all. Those might be a concern for an empty house left behind but not a campground (Though there has not been a theft at the home in 30 years).

I suppose there are campgrounds and their are campgrounds. So far we've stayed in a few thousand campgrounds without an issue. Usually making a statement like that means the next place we stop we'll be robbed blind......

SAfe travels
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:54 AM   #15
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We have had trailers with internal (Casita) and external (Scamp) batteries. We find the external battery easier to service.

We put nothing else in the battery box, it's just not the best of environments. For most pieces of electronics i prefer inside the trailer, our solar panel controller and our rear camera are both inside the trailer even though the rear camera is designed for outside.

We absolutely never worry about battery theft, or actually theft at all. Those might be a concern for an empty house left behind but not a campground (Though there has not been a theft at the home in 30 years).

I suppose there are campgrounds and their are campgrounds. So far we've stayed in a few thousand campgrounds without an issue. Usually making a statement like that means the next place we stop we'll be robbed blind......

SAfe travels
Interesting point of not wanting to put solar controller in tongue battery box because of heat, but....if it has built in temperature compensation, not remote, it needs to be with the battery. Also, they are designed to be mounted where the battery is, probably to avoid misread voltage from drops caused by wire distance.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz View Post
My battery is on the tongue. Lead acid batteries can produce hydrogen gas which is explosive and contain sulfuric acid which can burn you. For those reasons I prefer not to have it inside my trailer. Also being on the tongue makes it easy to attach my solar panel or battery charger. The battery is in a battery box which you can buy at any RV dealership. I think Tractor supply also sells them, $10-15. . My first trailer had a shelf composed of two pieces of angle iron spaced to fit the battery box. My current trailer has a sheet metal shelf. Both do the job. In both cases the propane tank sits next to the battery. I don't worry about theft when camped in a camp ground. Raz
I agree with Raz on this. Our Burro battery was stored inside when we bought the unit, but I moved it out to the tongue because of potential leakage - rare, but it concerned me.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:35 PM   #17
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Oh, of COURSE now that some have declared themselves unafraid of theft, they'll be robbed blind. Isn't that one of the laws of the universe?

Fumes: when we had a Get-Away-Van, our son decided to make it all electric, self-sufficient, and installed SIX batteries inside under one of the dinette benches. GREAT. Heavy...actually caused the van to list slightly, AND he began poking holes in the walls and ceiling to, "Let the poison fumes and gasses out," as he put it so nonchalantly.

Leakage: one of the early things we discovered in our 1973 Amerigo was the area behind the port wheel well where the battery had been originally...after Paul scrubbed and patched and de-acidified the whole devastated area for the third time, it was no longer just ME saying, "Outside! All batteries must be outside!"

We have an angle-iron bracket on the tongue to hold two batteries in fitted boxes; Paul said they can bolt down to the frame and then he can put hasps and padlocks on them, and let the chips and battery thefts fall where they may.

We'll deal with the solar installation when we get around to it...right now all we want is to GIT 'ER ROLLIN'

Good discussion.

BEST to all!

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Old 04-26-2016, 02:50 PM   #18
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First my battery location and connection to solar and charging.
I have a factory installed Group 24 plastic battery box bolted to a tongue cross member and held down with a nylon 2" wide strap. I put a "pig tail" on the batter with Anderson Power Pole connector. Now I have easy access to the battery terminals.
I put Anderson Power Pole connectors on my wire coming from the solar charge controller.
The solar controller is mounted on the A frame I built for the solar panel. I think I have #12 AWG wire coming from the charge controller at about 20' and have another 20' of extension cable that can be used. (Needing large wire sized is myth, I used #12 AWG because that's what I had).
I use a Battery Tender at home to keep the battery in shape, again with Anderson Power Pole connectors.
I have a secondary battery that lives in the back of my truck, primary purpose is to run an amateur radio, with Anderson Power Pole connectors. It can and has been used to augment the house battery by simply plugging it. (another myth, you need to batteries of the same type and age. wrong you need have batteries with the same voltage rating, nothing else)
With the way I have thing set up I can follow the sun with solar panel and charge either battery.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:54 PM   #19
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Interesting point of not wanting to put solar controller in tongue battery box because of heat, but....if it has built in temperature compensation, not remote, it needs to be with the battery. Also, they are designed to be mounted where the battery is, probably to avoid misread voltage from drops caused by wire distance.
I don't worry about voltage drop, it's secondary to the charging current. Our solar controller is located a few inches from the trailer's roof. The length of the wires is approximately 8 feet, maximum current 8 amps. Personally I have never known anyone to locate their solar controller in the battery box. We'll soon know if people do.

I certainly don't worry about heat in the battery box, my trailer definitely gets hotter in warm weather.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:56 PM   #20
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Is your battery box the standard size for your battery (eg group 24 battery with group 24 box) and still had room for the controller, or did you have to upsize the box?
The Fiber Stream trailer's factory battery box has 3" more width than the group 27 battery in it needs. Lengthwise it can hold a group 31.

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Was your battery stolen even though it was secured with a lock? Is that one of the reasons you moved it inside?
I found My Compact Jr's metal battery box (an old salvaged army surplus tool box) on the tongue had the 2 padlocks as well as the battery missing when it was in a public storage facility.
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