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Old 03-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2007 27' Safari FB SE
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 27
installing 4 6 volt batteries on Safari 27 FB


I went to an RV show with my crack mechanic last weekend and inadvertantly bought 4 6 volt batteries. I am now trying to figure out where to put them. Currently I have a box in the A frame at the front that holds two Group 24 batteries, the 6 volts fit length and width wise, but the box will need to "grow" 2 inches in height to allow 2 of the 6 volts to fit there. I was thinking for the other two batteries, I could build a box that would sit on top of the A frame but under the propane tanks, effectively lifting them by 12 to 13 inches.

Brett, my crack mechanic, wants to cut the battery box from the frame, adjust its height, then "bolt" this taller box back into the same location it was taken out of. so my questions are:

Should i let him cut the box out, modify it, and bolt in back in place? Or should i insist on have the box welded back in place?

My other question is, are there any issues with raising the propane tanks up by approximately one foot? I know i will also be impacting the tongue weight and was wondering if that would create any problems? (I am contemplating using smaller propane tanks to offset the additonal weight of the batteries).

They are lead acid (wetcell) batteries so i can't put them inside the trailer due to venting issues. Any and all advise is welcome.


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Old 03-07-2012, 10:57 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,157
Inadvertently? Sorry - couldn't resist...

Are these 4 golf cart batteries? If yes, then you'll have a good amount of power for dry camping.

I would be concerned with raising the propane tanks that high. Supporting the tanks in the raised position above the batteries is also a concern. What size tanks do you have now, and what size would you go to?

Another concern is how will a battery box that far forward on the tongue affect the turning radius of your trailer/TV combination? Will the battery box now be in the way of making a tight turn?

Do you have room to install a wider battery box in the same location? I assume that they are located behind the propane tanks currently. I
m thinking a box that would hold all 4 batteries, rotated 90 degrees, so they are sitting next to each other with the smaller dimension sideways, and the longer dimension front to back. Even if you end up moving the propane tanks forward a bit, that might work out better.

Regarding bolting vs welding, I've bolted a box on the tongue of an SOB trailer using u-bolts that wrapped around the frame. No issues with it ever coming loose.


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Old 03-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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1989 29' Excella
1974 Argosy 26
Youngsville , North Carolina
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 149
I had a 79 31' Soverign that had 2 12v in standard AS boxes. I added 2 6v golf cart batteries that I mounted in a single battery battery box I bought online from a company in Oregon. I was able get a welder build a mount that let new box drop down in the middle of the A-Frame about 8" to support the new battery box , it just fit between the original AS battery hatches. I also had the Propane mount moved forward about 4" and everything fit. I was not able to use a propane tank cover. Wiring for the added 6v batteries was run up through the univolt air vent.

I remember another Forum member doing the same thing and posting a thread with pictures, you should be able to find it. I did not take any pic's of my setup, sorry.

Good luck

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
crack mechanic or mechanic on crack? (the 6v myth business does make me wonder)

You can get battery boxes to put the batteries inside - they have vent tubes so as to meet code (these should be used for any lead acid battery, including AGM's) that are installed inside).

The biggest problem in raising the propane tanks is likely to be interference with the front window- the FB's may not be hassled this way so much. You'd also have to make sure you have a solid mounting as the weight that far up can be subject to interest resonance and torque issues.

Bigger and more batteries are nice but you need to figure that the available energy capacity is about 12 watt hours per pound and there isn't much to start with. It takes a lot of battery weight to make much difference.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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check this thread:
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:39 AM   #6
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 27
thanks for the feedback everybody. Minno, yes after a beer or two, all my purchases are inadvertant. with regards to a box under the propane tanks, it would basically be the same foot print as the propane tanks have already so i dont believe it would affect the turning radius, I am worried about the height of the propane tanks and associated stability even with a welded metal box supporting it.

The current battery box is located within the A frame and there is barely enough room for that, the bottom of the box will need to be modified as I have a storage portal that opens in the front of the A/S that I need to be able to continue to access. so I can't put another box on top of the current one. I have 30#( I think..they're standard sized A/S tanks) propane tanks now and go through a little over one tank per summer. so I was thinking I could go with 2 common grill sized tanks, so even with a box under them I still wouldn't be raising the profile that much. I will investigate possibly moving the tanks forward to see if that provides more space within the a frame.

Bryanl, its all about increasing the size of the gas (electric) tank, I know it adds weight but the intent is to be able to stay out longer, and not drain my batteries as consistently as I do now, I don't know how but I consistently use about 60-80 amp hours/day, which, with 2 group 24's is about 2 days, 4 6volts is about 5

We'll see what my crack mechanic comes up with, and yes he's on crack!

Thanks again,
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:59 AM   #7
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
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re: "Bryanl, its all about increasing the size of the gas (electric) tank" -- I understand. My caveat is simply to not get your hopes up too much. There just isn't that much energy in lead acid batteries.

You're going from 90# of batteries to 250# which is almost a 3 times increase in energy storage (1 kWH usable to 3 kWh). The consistent 1 kWh per day no matter how long the day and no matter how cold the night is a remarkable achievement. My refrigerator has trouble keeping up with that.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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2015 30' Flying Cloud
Ventura , California
Join Date: May 2008
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Battery box

Pat, I installed two 6 volt golf cart batteries in the stock battery box on my 2005 Safari 28W. I cut hardwood and bolted them around the lip so the lid sits about 1 inch higher. I painted the wood grey. It looks pretty clean and clears the posts. I don't know where you will mount the other two. It might be better to get a Honda 1000 generator. That will take care of a day's battery use in less than two hours. It works great for us. (I use a Honda 3000 in the pickup bed now, but the charge rate is the same because batteries can only take so much amperage, especially when down only a day).
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:08 AM   #9

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
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We boondock almost exclusively, two 100ah grp 27 AGM's have worked out very well for us, no mod's necessary. Generator charging 1 1/2 hrs every couple day's.

CCC something else to consider...lowering it substantially was not a viable option for us. 425Lbs not practical for the way we use the trailer.

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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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12 volt

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