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Old 08-23-2018, 02:10 PM   #295
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His background (30+ years) is in electrical power systems for large boats, the kind folks stay on for extended periods of time. A friend of mine whose boat he had rewired recommended him to me.



His reasoning was much the same as the reasoning for why we don't use automotive batteries in Airstreams, in that their intended use is to provide a surge of power to start an engine, not to store energy. He said the golf cart batteries, although they may also serve well to store energy, are mainly intended to power big electric motors, whereas the primary purpose for a marine battery is simply to store energy.



Now, I admit that I haven't done any independent research on this, but it sounds like common sense. At least to me.



So much for batteries. Yesterday I finished putting most all of the insulation in Hal (our Tradewind's nom de plume). With the exception of that last little section in the rear, where I still need to rearrange the taillight etc. wiring by moving it to the other side south of the new electrical box.
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Old 08-23-2018, 02:44 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slats View Post
--------snip--------------
His reasoning was much the same as the reasoning for why we don't use automotive batteries in Airstreams, in that their intended use is to provide a surge of power to start an engine, not to store energy. He said the golf cart batteries, although they may also serve well to store energy, are mainly intended to power big electric motors, whereas the primary purpose for a marine battery is simply to store energy.



Now, I admit that I haven't done any independent research on this, but it sounds like common sense. At least to me.



----------snip----------------
I'm sorry, this makes little 'common' sense to my electrical engineering-trained mind. ANY battery is designed to store energy and release it as needed. Golf cart batteries are designed to store energy in fairly large quantities (Amp-hours) and put that energy out at reasonable rates, not like engine start batteries.

The other thing a golf cart battery is well-designed to handle is the violent vibration and the harsh temperature environment in an on-road vehicle. Marine batteries are not designed to handle the violent "rolling earthquake" that is an Airstream under way.

The other issue I have is that parallel 12 volt batteries are not as easy to maintain as two 6-volt batteries in series. Two golf cart batteries in series will have a greater amp-hour capacity than the typical 12 volt ones in the same space. Heck, they weigh a lot more, than a similar size 12 volt battery, which indicates a lot more lead in them--which directly translates to greater capacity.

Even in Marine systems I have worked on, the usual large yacht systems are rather huge batteries consisting of multiple cells in series adding to the desired voltage. They tend to be dual purpose, having thinner plates, and more of them, to produce the heavy surge needed to crank big diesel engines. They also have deep plates, to handle heavy amp-hour capacity for the other dc power uses on the boat. Last setup I worked on (70 footer, twin GM diesels) had two full sets of these monsters, and a setup to switch them to either engine to assure enough cranking power. GM V12-71 supercharged marine engines take a lot to crank them... Typically these batteries sit on a rather huge battery charger from shore power, the auxiliary generator and it's alternator, or an equally big alternator on each main engine. The electrical panel was a bunch of meters and switches to manage this mess...

And Yes, my Airstream has a deep and long plastic aftermarket battery box on the A-frame, with two Sam's Club GC-2 6 volt batteries in it. And they weigh about as much as I can barely lift with two hands and a golf cart battery lift strap. I just replaced those beasts over the weekend after five years of use.
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:19 PM   #297
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You certainly make a convincing argument. I am reminded of clients of mine who thought common sense was at odds with my legal advice. I guess I have more in common with them than I would like to think.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:06 PM   #298
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It all depends on your area of expertise. Legal matters that are outside my engineering experience are a mystery to me. I know where my knowledge runs out.

If we're talking home improvement, plumbing, electrical power systems, mechanical stuff, or woodworking, radios, or computers, I'm right there.

And we won't talk about my total inability to convincingly dance, or do team sports...(wry grin)
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:41 PM   #299
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I find what minimal solace I can in the fact that Wally Byam was a lawyer.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:28 PM   #300
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There has to be a engineer, lawyer, and Airstreamer joke here somewhere. Anyone want to start us out?

David
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:22 PM   #301
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So, an engineer, lawyer, and Airstreamer were invited to a party. He showed up.
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Old 08-24-2018, 05:22 PM   #302
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Geek warning!...
There is another reason for using 2x 6V batteries, probably of failure.

Let's say a cell has a 1% chance of failure after 1 year. A dual 12v setup has 12 cells and mathematically it would then have a 15% chance of one of the cells dying. A dual 6V system has half as many cells and therefore a 6% chance of failure.

Plus a 12v setup has more external connections that can fail.

Ok, the old saying "but if one battery dies, I still have the other". My experience has shown that if a parallel battery takes a dump, I never find out until the charger cooks the good battery.
Yup, I've killed many, many batteries in parallel. My '63 needs new 6 volt batteries but I'm in no hurry. They both just started loosing capacity and nothing is boiling dry.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:15 PM   #303
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Do-overs

So much for things electrical. My upcoming book will more likely be about all the do-overs in the process of rehabbing these aluminum time & money black holes.


The other day was spent in part on redoing the section of wall over the stove space. When I first had the bright idea of making that section out of shiny new aluminum, I didn't pay much attention to thickness. But after riveting an electrical box into the new section and setting it in place with clecos, I noticed a bit of warp around the electrical box. Knowing full well that my anal retentive side would obsess over the less-than-smooth appearance of the panel if I left it alone, I bought some 4040 aluminum from Airparts on my way to the trailer the other day and replaced the panel with it. Now the electrical box minds its manners. Before and after pics below.



But then I realized I will have to lightly bend the outlet cover to match the curve of the wall panel (the old outlets were not recessed). I would never be able to tolerate the slight gap between the wall and the sides of the cover. Problems, problems. Fun, nonetheless.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:12 AM   #304
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Slats

My your work is so neat.

Nice job on redoing the wall with thicker aluminum. I understand. You just had to redo it.

Dan
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:36 PM   #305
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ceiling reinstallation

Today I learned that, at least for me, reinstalling the long ceiling panels is a three person job. I learned that by approaching it as a two person job. Neither was my 2X4 sheet rock T much help. Wrestling that long slinky panel into place poses a bit of a challenge. But help is on the way. It is good to have four brothers that are willing to lend a hand when needed.
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:19 PM   #306
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I've read that installing ceiling aluminum is a bear. Same with the end cap plastics. Glad you called for help and got it.

Getting the ceiling aluminum back up is a major milestone in the reassembly of your trailer. Progress, progress, progress.

David
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:22 PM   #307
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Have been down that road before. Glad I wasn’t only one to struggle with it. Recall taking 3-4 hours wrestling with it. Managed to do it solo but 6 hands would have saved some curse words.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:00 AM   #308
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ceiling in place

Well, Jeremy, we actually used 8 hands. And not a curse word was heard (although contemplated several times). My brothers Jim and Gary and Jim's wife, Judy, pulled it off in about an hour or so.


Here are some progress pics that remind me when I get discouraged how far the Tradewind has come.
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