Battery Box Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-22-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
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Name: Dave
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Battery Box Question

I am installing a battery box on my Scamp 16 as it was 120V only when I purchased it.

Can some one tell me how it is attached to the tongue?

Pictures I have seen looks like it sits on two pieces of angle iron.

If so, how is it attached to the angle iron?

Does any one drill weep holes in the battery box?

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:15 PM   #2
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My battery boxes are thru bolted to a pair of angle irons with carriage bolts. I did drill weep holes in the bottom, one in the outside corner of each recess. Even if you have 'weather proof' vents, water will get in, or condensation will settle in the bottom.

When I got my trailer, the one battery box that came with it didn't have weep holes and after a heavy rain, the space between the box and the battery was full of water. No shorts, as the posts are higher than the box walls.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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Is the angle iron welded or bolted to the tongue?


Also, is it mounted to the bottom or top?


Dave
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:19 AM   #4
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Dave,
My 04S16 came with 2 pieces of angle iron welded to the bottom of the tongue at the correct interval to support the battery box. Scamp then screwed the battery box down to the angle iron with screws that quickly rusted out and were impossible to remove when the time came to replace the battery box. I now have a larger battery box to accommodate two 6 volt golf cart batteries supported by 2 pieces of angle aluminum riveted to the top of the tongue. So, my advice is; it depends on what you want to do. Both work. Incidentally, the angle aluminum only works because the box is very rigid and so big that it spans the tongue to both sides.
Rick/Arvada,CO
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:34 AM   #5
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Thanks Rick!


I know there is probably no right or wrong in this situation but can you tell me how far behind the ball the first piece is welded? The goal here is to have it look fairly stock with the conveniences of modern upgrades.


Dave
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Frazer View Post
Thanks Rick!


I know there is probably no right or wrong in this situation but can you tell me how far behind the ball the first piece is welded? The goal here is to have it look fairly stock with the conveniences of modern upgrades.


Dave
Dave, being there is only a short distance to work with between the coupler/jack and LP tanks just install it where it leaves the tank cover easy to remove. As millions of trailers have batteries on the tongue, to me it's a stock location. Install it where it works best for you. I won't use a tape measure to check if you're a couple inches different make it your's.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:42 AM   #7
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But, as not mentioned, be sure to use stainless steel screws and washers for attachments made inside the battery box. As was mentioned, rusted out screws can be a PITA not to mention, if not seen in time, can lead to a floating battery box.


BTW: Don't be concerned about looking "Stock". In the world of FGRV's, even finding two built entirely alike is a task in itself, and to quote valley girl Ima Toen, "Like Whatever".....!



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Old 01-23-2015, 07:53 AM   #8
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Dave, mine is centered and almost touching the fiberglass (too close). I agree with all the above. Put it where you can get at it. Mine collected water after driving through a heavy rain as well, so drilling drain holes is a good idea.

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Old 01-23-2015, 08:12 AM   #9
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Here you go. I took a picture as I was removing the battery for winter storage. I wanted to make sure I had the correct polarity when I hooked it back up. I'm used to black and red, not yellow and white. Remember to allow for the lid clearance, as it is bigger than the box itself. Tom
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:10 AM   #10
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Mine is mounted in the same location as Tim's - right up close to the trailer and centred on the tongue. So close that one needs to be careful as to which way the battery box lid is placed - as it will not fit on if you try and put it on with with the side that has two protruding tabs facing the trailer.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #11
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On the older ones that did not have a battery box or mount (my 77) the only 12 volt came through the trailer plug connection with the tow vehicle.

If you have a crank on the tongue that is in a horizontal position when cranked (welded on the side of the tongue) there may not be room between the front of camper shell and the tank for a battery box. Moving the tank forward and clearance of tank to crank handle becomes an issue.

In my case considering shorten the crank handle by an inch or so, move the tank forward just a bit and I think I can squeeze a battery box resting on angle iron on top of the tongue.

Alternative suggested by trailer shop is replace the 1 7/8 hitch on the tongue with a new 2 inch hitch that has a hole to mount the jack, get a jack with a vertical crank that won't hit the tank if I move tank forward to make room for a battery box. New hitch would be like this one http://www.carid.com/images/pro-seri...e338050303.jpg

Not my trailer but has the same sort of jack welded to the side. Pretty sure it is stock. http://i.oodleimg.com/item/371152487...60f?1406037278

Back when the engine compartment had a decent amount of empty space it was not that uncommon for people to mount the second camper battery under the hood and just connect it through the trailer plug so my old set up makes some sense. Now days there is so little empty space under the hood it is hard to find a spot to mount the circuit breaker for a brake controller.
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:37 PM   #12
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I had about the same problems with both a Tent trailer I rebuilt for my son as well as on my Hunter. My suggestion would be to:
1) Replace the existing coupler with the one shown so you can mount a standard trailer jack through the holes provided.
2) Build a "deck" of some sort between the front of the trailer and the new hitch plate. I have used Diamond Plate Aluminum and Aluminum channel stock for this
3) Mount the battery box and the LP tank to the deck where they will both fit and clear everything. Here's one that I did:
P1010596_zps3874ea44.jpg Photo by advocateone | Photobucket



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Old 01-23-2015, 02:14 PM   #13
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I'm always a little skittish about using aluminum and steel in contact with each other due to the way they can accelerate corrosion in each other. I know lots of folks use it without problems on campers, and aluminum having less weight is I'm sure a consideration.

Nice looking tongue in that photo that Bob posted a link to, and others have mentioned using aluminum angle with good results so I certainly won't say it is a bad idea since it clearly worked. Just something I tend to avoid out of habit. Think in a salt water coastal area it would be more of a problem. But hey the great lakes are fresh (and shark free I might add)
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #14
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We stock the coastal waters with sharks for the sole purpose of keeping people out of the water during the FHHSRB (Fresno to Honolulu High Speed Rail Bridge) construction project.


Aluminum to ferrous metal electrolysis is a well known problem in some environments but, in many, many years, I have yet to see any problems beyond rust staining when used for utility purposes on RV's. But I haven't lived within close proximity to salt water in a long time either.


And an isolation strip between the surfaces is always good insurance.... just in case the RV Gods forget to smile on us that day.



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Old 01-23-2015, 03:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
If you have a crank on the tongue that is in a horizontal position when cranked (welded on the side of the tongue) there may not be room between the front of camper shell and the tank for a battery box. Moving the tank forward and clearance of tank to crank handle becomes an issue.

In my case considering shorten the crank handle by an inch or so, move the tank forward just a bit and I think I can squeeze a battery box resting on angle iron on top of the tongue.
Not sure what Scamp may or may not have changed between the OP's 16' trailer build and my 92 but I do have the crank tongue jack mounted on the side of the tongue along with the battery up against the house and the propane tank in front of the battery. No issues with the tongue jack handle interfering with the tank. But the jacks mounting bracket is welded to the trailer as far forward as it can be on the tongue. On the older scamps with the original 1 7/8" coupler the jack would be weld on right at the point the coupler starts to slope downwards. The jack on mine is a Fulton that looks a lot like this one on e-trailer. It may or may not be original to the trailer but I suspect it is.

When in up/travel position the top section on the jack does ride parallel to the coupler but is about 3-4" or so shorter than the coupler. So one would have to do a real *serious* jack knife before there would be any danger of it connection with the tugs bumper.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #16
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David,
I can't help you right away. My trailer is stored in an RV lot several miles away and I'm busy this weekend. I could make the measurements next Monday or Tuesday [depending on which day turns out to be a ski day] if that will be helpful. I can't imagine why the factory doesn't weld those rails on as a matter of course on all their 16' trailers. I'm really amazed at some of the things they do [or don't do] in Backus.
Rick/Arvada,CO
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:59 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by rick in arvada View Post
David,
I can't imagine why the factory doesn't weld those rails on as a matter of course on all their 16' trailers. I'm really amazed at some of the things they do [or don't do] in Backus.
Rick/Arvada,CO
Rick I am pretty sure they have been for about the last 25 years or so - or a least my stock 16' which is 23 years old came with them and have seen a trailers a few years older than mine with them as well. The lack of them on the OP's 70's built trailer is as Roger has mentioned, onboard battery in that time frame was not a stock item. Scamp was not the only small trailer manufacture in that time frame that did not include one as a stock item.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:56 PM   #18
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Bob, that is the first time I've ever seen a tank that small... I was planning on a pair of 20's just so I wouldn't worry about running out. What does that service, how big is it, and how long does it last?
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:13 PM   #19
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That's an 11 lb tank, but 20 lb tanks have the same base size and could have been fitted to the same mount.


It's installed on a small Palomino tent trailer and all it feeds is a stove and future 3 way refrigerator. With that use it should last two peeps well over a week to ten days.


I also provided an adapter and two 1lb disposable cans for emergencies if they ran out on the road. For most (but not all) two 20 lb tanks & a battery is just that much more weight on the tongue part of the frame.



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Old 01-23-2015, 05:43 PM   #20
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Maybe I'm worried over nothing. I'm a tent camper 'til now. I've gone for a week on a 1 lb bottle cooking for three... Hmmm, doing the math here that would leave 39 lbs for the furnace... Anyone ever use that in a week?
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