Where to put the battery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2006, 09:42 PM   #1
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Hi, it's me again with the 1972 Minit and lots of questions.

My Minit currently has a tiny battery attached to the tongue. I just bought a big deep cycle marine battery. Problem is: there's no room for it on the tongue. The propane tank takes up all the space. If I want to use the battery, I have to pay someone a LOT of money to weld a battery holder onto the side of the tongue.

So here's my question: Why can't you put the battery inside the camper? I'm sure there's a reason why no-one does... but can someone fill me in? Because if I can do it I'd save a LOT of room!
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:07 PM   #2
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Brian, batterys give of Hydrogen gas while discharging and charging so if it's located inside you have to take this into consideration and figure out a way to vent it outside. Is there room to put it on the back bumper ? Jerry
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:51 PM   #3
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read this thread on wiring and take a look at my pics on Webshots
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=21182
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:52 PM   #4
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This is a time to consider an AGM battery like Optima -- They can vent H2 under extreme circumstances but generally won't , so they can be put inside -- Also, they don't need to be upright and can be installed in any position except upside down.

Also, there are LP bottles available in smaller sizes (and smaller 'footprints') which might make sufficient room on your tongue for a standard battery.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:56 AM   #5
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pay the extra $$ (around $150 USD) for the AGM battery like Optima and save $$ on the additional welding / new gas tanks / etc and place it anywhere.

Look in Sam's club, BJ's, Walmart first for the best prices.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:13 AM   #6
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All Fiber Stream trailers came with the battery inside, under one of the bed benches. In my case, the original steel box corroded, so I replaced it with a properly vented battery box, cost less than $10 Canadian all in. See my photos at:

http://good-times.webshots.com/album...ABqdPX?start=0

Bottom of Page 1, top of Page 2, top of Page 7, and top of Page 11

It is easy to do, the trick is getting the box, and finding the proper hose.

Vic
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:21 AM   #7
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Brian,
Does your Minit have brakes? If it does, the small battery may be required to power the brakes if there is a break-away switch. If that is the case, the small battery can be removed and the wiring attached to the larger one. You'll probably just have to "bite the bullet" and spend the money to have some welding done. Could the propane tank be off-set to one side and the battery on the other? Or, if the trailer tongue is long enough and a jack is not in the way, the battery might fit in front of the propane tank.
Hope these alternatives help,
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Hi, it's me again with the 1972 Minit and lots of questions.

So here's my question: Why can't you put the battery inside the camper? I'm sure there's a reason why no-one does... but can someone fill me in? Because if I can do it I'd save a LOT of room!
ha ha ha I have my full size battery inside now and am going to put it in the tongue!
To answer the question, you can put it inside but you will have to by a sealed-vented box and vent to outside.
I put one in last spring, and unfortunately the only place it will fit on my 13 foot boler is under the rear bench seat and because it requires to get latches from both ends of the box, it has to be in the center of this storage area so I lost all that room for packing other things.
It required that I drill a 2 inch hole un floor to accept box vent spout (did not use the plastic hose that came with box.
I also made sure that the battery box was placed so it was sitting over the frame because of the weight of the battery and secured this to the floor with 2-3/8 bolts and large 2 inch fender washers.
The box I got, came with a vent that is suppose to screw into the wall and the plastic hose (unused becuse it is too short) will vent but I just placed the vent inside the battery box over the hole in box and then built up teh remaining floor of the box with 1/4 strips of cedar so battery will sit level and above vent and head of bolts.
As I said, it took up almost the whole area due to the need to center it in access hole so all I could pack in was verious hoses and wires but it seamed such a waste of space.
I am going to place the box on tongue.
My trailer jack is in the front of tongue, and the gas bottle is there but if I hold build the battery rack right there should be 1/2 inch clearance from tongue and bottle.
Gerry
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:35 AM   #9
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If I want to use the battery, I have to pay someone a LOT of money to weld a battery holder onto the side of the tongue.
Would it be a better idea to consider a tray that goes all the way across the tongue, next to the trailer body, that would hold both the tank and the battery...side-by-side? It wouldn't even need to be welded...or made out of metal. A thick piece of plywood (painted and sealed against the elements), fastened using long "U" bolts could bolt it to the top of the frame. Using a battery box that also bolted through the plywood and the propane bottle held on to the plywood using sheet metal straps.

Thinking out loud here....
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:51 AM   #10
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Would it be a better idea to consider a tray that goes all the way across the tongue, next to the trailer body, that would hold both the tank and the battery...side-by-side? It wouldn't even need to be welded...or made out of metal. A thick piece of plywood (painted and sealed against the elements), fastened using long "U" bolts could bolt it to the top of the frame. Using a battery box that also bolted through the plywood and the propane bottle held on to the plywood using sheet metal straps.

Thinking out loud here....
Hi: We had a dp. cyl. batt. inst. by an R.V. dealer. They moved the gas bottle slightly to the side and welded a frame for the batt. box b/side the bottle. Batt., box, frame mod. and charge wire fuse link from the car was $250.00 txs inc. Well worth it I think!!! We now have water 12v. pump and 12v. lights + propane so we might even try Boondocking next year Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:16 PM   #11
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Brian, I moved my propane bottle over and welded on a tray but could have gotten away without welding I think....I welded because it was easy to do but could have used bolts and/or u-bolts to do the same job .....welding the steel case that more or less frames the plastic case helped somewhat.....have one photo on my web shots site below.....Benny
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:33 PM   #12
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After posting above, I too thought about the tiny battery on the tongue being only for the breakaway switch for the brakes -- Are you SURE you don't already have a battery somewhere inside contained in a metal box?
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:46 AM   #13
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slow discharge batteries are stored in non-vented lockers on boats and i've never heard of a single instance of fire or explosion or whatever the fears expressed here about hydrogen gas. i really wonder if there are any accounts of the dangers of storing a small battery in a seat locker as long as it is strapped down in an upright position. i'd be very interested in a real life account of this. gel batteries are sealed, and while somewhat pricey will not leak even in a knockdown and are good for a long life if treated properly. personally, i would avoid adding to tongue weight and the unsightly battery box outside and stow a battery indoors without a qualm.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:07 AM   #14
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Boats with inboard engines have a fan to ventilate the engine compartment before they start the engine. This vent's all possible explosive gasses out of the engine compartment first. If they do not do this, they risk blowing up the boat.

As far as the battery down there, the place to ask that question would be on a boat site.

A person that wants to remain safe will not cut corners or take that chance that it might be safe. Safe is safe, not maybe safe.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:43 AM   #15
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For no other reason, the battery inside a trailer takes up valuable space that may better better used for something else. Cupboard space for storage always seems to be a valuable commodity in a small trailer.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:08 PM   #16
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Captain Ron:

You're a boat person, what is the rule conserning lead acid batteries in boats?
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:53 PM   #17
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Don`t know if they still do, but 70`s Chevy Corvettes used to keep the battery in a box in the passenger compartment behind the driver`s seat with a lift up cover and a hose thru the bottom of the case to the outside of the floor pan for ventilation and possible acid leaks.........in my boat the battery was in the engine area at the stern and I would run the fan for about a minute to exhaust any fumes , be they gas or hydrogen, before starting the motor....a friend of mine didn`t do this and blew the rear section of his boat to pieces....luckily no one was seriously hurt.....your choice where you put your battery......mine is on the tongue of the trailer, where it was the best place to put it for me..... .....Benny
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:56 PM   #18
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My old inboard/outboard boat had its battery inside the engine compartment, but as mentioned, there was a blower to clear fumes (primarily gasoline fumes) -- I don't know what current boat standards are.

I believe current RVIA and automotive standards call for hydrogen-producing batteries to be stored in a vented area.

It's not really the normal battery that produces large quantities of H2, but a battery being heavily charged or overcharged -- Still, unlike a Volkswagon (example often brought up), the battery inside is not sharing space with open flames from a range.

I doubt that there will be many examples of exploding batteries mounted inside RVs because the vast majority of them are either outside, in vented boxes sealed off from the inside or don't produce H2.

My cousin's ex-husband works as a claims investigator for an insurance company and he said exploding automotive batteries are quite common in automobiles, usually during jumpstarting... Personally, I prefer to keep acids and the possibility of explosion outside in the plastic box.

A friend's Jaguar has the battery mounted in the trunk (why they put the battery as far from its heaviest drain {starting} as possible I don't know) but the battery is special and has a vent tube leading thru the floor -- Likewise, Volvo mounts the same style battery in the trunk.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:03 AM   #19
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I'm with Pete on keeping the battery outside. I had a neighbor kid with VW bus. He came home one afternoon, got out of his bus and before he got to the door the battery exploded. One crispy crittered VW resulted. I know it doesn't happen that often, but why tempt fate in this case?
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:10 AM   #20
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My suggestion is to go with a small propane tank. I recently went with the smaller size. I am saving lots of weight and space. New one is 8 in. in diameter and 12 1/2 in. high.
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