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Old 09-21-2015, 03:08 PM   #1
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Bigfoot 17CB batteries moved....

I noticed on my last trip that the trailer was riding low on the left side.... then I remembered breaking a spring last fall...you guessed it, left side.....getting under there with a measuring tape confirmed that I was way overweight on the left side...

one sure thing was the the PO installing two GC batteries (they weight a ton!) under the left dinette seat didn't help at all....I have my suspicions that with the big fridge and bathroom on the left side BFs generally are probably overweight left side out of the factory... but that's just a guess

so I made a new battery box and installed it under the RIGHT dinette seat forward....looked at a lot of other possibilities like further back and over the axle area but all other options presented their own problems

batteries moving will not solve all my weight problem....from now on all the light stuff will go on the left and all/any heavy stuff will go right....
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:15 PM   #2
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and more on weight....

ok, so in a BF17CB you have that big honking fridge...the heater as well as the six gallon water heater, and the bathroom (holding tank).....all on the left side......and on the right waddya got???? the stove...that's it...no wonder
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:00 PM   #3
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I have always intended to get a scale weight on the left and right wheels separately. I'll do that first chance I get.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:10 AM   #4
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Another solution.
More storage space too.
I hope I've added the picture properly. This forum works very differently that others I use.

Walt
Guess I need some help here. When I click on the "Add Image" button I'm asked for a url instead of an image file on my computer. I don't know how to work with that.

Anyway, what I want to display is the inside of my front cowling with two propane tanks and two batteries.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:01 AM   #5
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like to see it Walt....

to post pictures I click on the red circled icon below....window opens up...follow along...(takes a while but my pics finally load)...then preview...
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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Thanks. Here it is.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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My '89 BF 17 sat slightly lower on the left side as well, even after I replaced the entire suspension and axle. I tried loading the heavier stuff under the right dinette and gaucho plus keeping the fresh water tank full and it did nothing. The kitchen and bath are heavy, that's all there is to it.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd either have a 1/4-inch spacer made to put between the top of the leaf and the bottom of the axle, or I'd take the left leaf to a spring shop and have them re-arc it to give me a little lift on the left side. The spacer would probably be easier, you'd just have to figure out how to extend the index pin on the leaf. A good spring shop probably has a solution.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:30 PM   #8
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nice tight fit Walt....

that's 2 x 12V in parrallel...right?....I have a sneaking suspicion that my two GC batts would not fit in there....and then there's the extra tounge weight....glad it works for you though...in my case what ends up at the front of that propane locker is all my parking/leveling gear...and I do find it pretty handy there...

ain't it amazing Junkie that BF paid so little attention to the weight distribution.....at first I thought that in my CB the problem would be even worse than yours because of the bigger fridge...but then I realized you got the stove/sink combo on that left side as well !!!...probably the same

"Yeah sure we'll put ALL the hardware/systems on the same side...it'll make it real easy to wire/plumb everything.....weight? wassat?"....LOL

I looked, briefly at moving/shifting the fresh and grey water tanks to the right (both could go a further in that direction)...but that looked like a real "major"...with new holes to cut through the floor....and super lousy access of course

gonna think real hard on what I can move to my kitchen area (right isde)....and from now on NOTHING that weighs anything is going left side that's for sure

like beer supply right....empties left....
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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Yes, two 12v in parallel. I'm thinking of switching to two 6v in series next time but as of yet I know absolutely nothing about size and weight, so I don't know if that's a reasonable change. I need to get some info on that.
Right now tongue weight is not a problem. I'm running approximately 3100 lb axle weight and 410 lb tongue weight, a nominally good ratio, and my TV is rated at 600 lb tongue weight. That gives me some margin on weight for 6v batteries but I don't know about sizes.
I will look into that, but having the batteries out of the cabin is so nice, I'd stick with the 12v units before I switched them inside.

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Old 09-22-2015, 01:40 PM   #10
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you could measure Walt....

two GC batteries together are 10.25 inches by 14.25 inches...and are 11 and change high....

material I used for the box was 3/4 inch pine shelving (the laminated strips product) for bottom and sides and a thinner plywood for the lid.....so box ends up being 12" X 16"....and 12 and 3/8 high
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:10 PM   #11
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Thanks, that's quite helpful.
My two 12v form 24s measure 11 x 13 3/4 and there's definitely space for the two GCs.
Mine are only 9 3/4 high, but there's also plenty of space for 11".
Looks like I'm in good shape for the GCs. Do you have a favorite brand/model/vendor?

Walt
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:28 PM   #12
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I just went to Costco (in disgust)....

I wasn't very happy about buying two replacements for the two batteries that my PO had turned into boat anchors.....I tried to "rehabilitate" them with the epson salt yada yada treatment...but then I gave up and just drove to Costco.....so no research at all....and I'm keeping a very close eye on these so I'm not planning on buying another set for, hopefully, a long long time...(it is a fair chunk of change as far as I'm concerned)
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:43 PM   #13
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I've heard two sides to the "move the battery inside" issue. Mine is on the outside, and we're right at the edge of our tongue weight unless we pack very carefully inside. I've thought about moving the battery in, but have also been told that's dangerous to have it charging inside. So what's the story?

Also (sorry for the question but) what is the advantage of two 6v as opposed to two 12v?
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
I've heard two sides to the "move the battery inside" issue. Mine is on the outside, and we're right at the edge of our tongue weight unless we pack very carefully inside. I've thought about moving the battery in, but have also been told that's dangerous to have it charging inside. So what's the story?

Also (sorry for the question but) what is the advantage of two 6v as opposed to two 12v?

When charging Lead Acid batteries let off hydrogen. What happens when hydrogen gets close to a spark. https://youtu.be/CgWHbpMVQ1U Watch the video to find out.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
I've heard two sides to the "move the battery inside" issue. Mine is on the outside, and we're right at the edge of our tongue weight unless we pack very carefully inside. I've thought about moving the battery in, but have also been told that's dangerous to have it charging inside. So what's the story?

Also (sorry for the question but) what is the advantage of two 6v as opposed to two 12v?


There is no advantage. Lots of myth no real advantage.
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:48 PM   #16
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If the battery is nowhere near anything propane, are there any other considerations?
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
I've heard two sides to the "move the battery inside" issue. Mine is on the outside, and we're right at the edge of our tongue weight unless we pack very carefully inside. I've thought about moving the battery in, but have also been told that's dangerous to have it charging inside. So what's the story?

Also (sorry for the question but) what is the advantage of two 6v as opposed to two 12v?
I think if there was a great danger, you wouldn't see so many manufacturers mounting them inside.

There are advantages to either battery type. With two 12v in parallel when one goes belly up, you still have 12v available in the other.
By comparison, a 6v battery has only half the cells of a 12v in the same space, and the plates can be heavier and longer lasting. But if one dies you are left without any 12v source, (except for your TV).

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Old 09-22-2015, 04:44 PM   #18
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myths...

I love watching that Hindenberg video every time the subject of batteries comes up....always good for a laugh

lead acid batteries can/will produce hydrogen when charged or discharged at a very high rate....neither situation is likely in a small trailer application....and one would need a spark very near the battery to ignite the gas

propane has nothing to do with it...most trailers have a single battery mounted right beside the propane tanks

deep cycle six volt batteries (aka Golf Cart batteries) typically have thicker plates than 12 volt batteries which translates in longer life (more charging cycles before the batteries have to be replaced)

they are heavier...they cost more....people/manufacturers spend the money because you can store more power with a dual 6V set up than you can with 12V batteries....and replace them less often
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:47 PM   #19
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and speaking of You Tube videos....

explains 2 GCs versus one or two 12V....even three!

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Old 09-23-2015, 01:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
I've heard two sides to the "move the battery inside" issue. Mine is on the outside, and we're right at the edge of our tongue weight unless we pack very carefully inside. I've thought about moving the battery in, but have also been told that's dangerous to have it charging inside. So what's the story?

Also (sorry for the question but) what is the advantage of two 6v as oppos two 12v?
I'd like to join Ellpea's question - what is the advantage of two 6v as oppos two 12v? I know I want two batteries because I will be doing a lot of boondocking, but I don't ha e a clue which system is better. I will also have at least 100 watts of solar for charging. Thanks
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