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Old 04-06-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
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Painless Group 27 Battery Installation

OK folks,

Due to a comment that I made in another thread about a painless way to put a pair of group 27 batteries into Airstream's tongue mounted battery box, I decided to post a photo of an upgrade that I just finished. Don't know if anyone has posted this before, but it was one of those 'OMG' moments when it hit me a couple of days ago.

No more cutting, painting or sweating it.

Just look at the photo below and all will be revealed....

In fact, the threaded rod and spin-on retainer still work as there is room to move the batteries fore and aft against their respective walls, leaving enough space to replace the rod.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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I'll be the first to ask the dumbest of questions (everyone else can thank me later :-) )

1) so you're going east/west instead of north/south in the box?

2) totally missed how the threaded rod can fit - looks like the batteries are touching with no space for that rod.

3) how do those get wired? My non-agm batteries have the full post and a threaded post - those Lifelines don't seem to have the added posts.


Yes - I am clueless but willing to learn. Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:04 PM   #3
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There is room to move the batteries apart to fit the threaded rod in, as they slide under the front and rear lips. Plenty of room for the rod. I had just dropped them in for this shot to see if they fit. THEY DID!!!

The raised posts on these Lifelines (hidden under the colored caps) are even with the top of the batteries. Most other battery brands are a bit shorter and have raised posts, but the overall height of the posts is the same.

The orientation is transverse rather than longitudinal along the front/back axis. Side to side in plain English.

These Lifelines accept the automotive style clamps on the posts and also have a bolt in the top of the post for use of eyelet type cable ends. In fact, I remove the post extenders and drop the eyelets to the actual surface of the connection area.

I'll try to get a shot from the client tomorrow and post it here.

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:31 PM   #4
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Very nice. Any drawbacks to adding a single up there to augment my existing rear mounted battery? I plan to do a 2X6V system when I refurb the Sovereign but plan to double up the 12V on the Argosy...
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmhays View Post
Very nice. Any drawbacks to adding a single up there to augment my existing rear mounted battery? I plan to do a 2X6V system when I refurb the Sovereign but plan to double up the 12V on the Argosy...
Not a problem 'physically', but electrically as all batteries in a given battery bank should be of the same size, manufacturer and even date code, placed as close as possible. Charging problems always result from using different batteries of varying ages in the same bank.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:20 AM   #6
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Are two Group 27s a better combination or two 6 volts?
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:22 AM   #7
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Almost the same capacity, but 6VDC golf cart batteries have displayed their durability and extended life over time.


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Old 04-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #8
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I install 6VDC batteries over 12VDC batteries about 20:1


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Old 04-07-2015, 09:46 AM   #9
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But the 6V's weight more.

I didn't do the above method. but have flooded 27's: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...al-131188.html

Then there is the Trojan 31Xhs : flooded 260 amp hours, less weight than two 6V's

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Old 04-07-2015, 09:58 AM   #10
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That is how my Grp 27 Interstates are arranged when I bought my preowned AS. I thought that was the standard orientation. I'm able to slip the rear most battery between the threaded hold down rod and the rear of the box by inserting the battery at an angle. I find removing the propane tanks gives me more room and I'm able to keep the door open more easily.

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Old 04-07-2015, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Not a problem 'physically', but electrically as all batteries in a given battery bank should be of the same size, manufacturer and even date code, placed as close as possible. Charging problems always result from using different batteries of varying ages in the same bank.
I will be purchasing the 2 at the same time, so no issue with that. I plan to run 6 ga wire from the tongue mounted battery and do a direct ground at the tongue on the negative side.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:49 AM   #12
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Far better to use 4 AWG for both battery leads and have them go direct to the bus bars, then ground the negative bus bar to the frame. Less problem potential this way.

Even though I never see this on an Airatream, the positive battery lead should be attached to a fuse/circuit breaker within 18" of the positive battery terminal.


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Old 04-07-2015, 12:12 PM   #13
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Got it. 4 AWG it is. 8 was my original battery wire, so I figured 6 was a step up. I did add a circuit breaker between my dist. block/coverter input and the battery.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:07 PM   #14
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I am impressed with the double-27 mount. That is certainly an easier upgrade than going to the golf batteries. The golf batteries do have greater capacity than the double-27's.

I went with the golf batteries and had to do several items:
1. Replace the 3/8" threaded rod (I think I went from an 8" to a 10", or a 10" to a 12", can't quite remember). Rod replacement is not easy because it is threaded through a nut which is welded on the outside bottom of the box, and then the rod is seal welded to the nut. You have to grind off about half of the nut in order to be able to unscrew the existing rod. (With the "undercoating" on the bottom of the battery box this was not evident, so thinking that you could unscrew the existing rod took a lot of time. I called the AS factory and the technicians went out on the floor to examine the bottom of the battery box, but still didn't know that the rod was welded. You cannot use a 3/8" rod coupler to extend the rod, as there is insufficient room for the larger gap required between batteries.
2. The size 24 batteries sit in a plastic shell at the bottom of the battery box. My local AS dealer just removes it and leaves it out, if they do the conversion. For me, I removed it, then cut out both ends of the plastic shell so that the golf batteries would sit on plastic in the bottom of the box.
3. The battery box has to be heightened. This was not a problem for my AS, but if someone has a forward storage outside door, they would have to have the box extended down, instead of up as I did it. I had some 1"X3" oak, so i just made a 2 1/2" extension on the top of the box, and moved the lid up, and it was fine.
4. The two new 6-volt batteries have to be wired in series, instead of in parallel as the 12-volt batteries were.
5. I had to use a "nibbling" tool to enlarge the propane tank cover cutout to fit the taller battery box (i.e. trim away 2 1/2" of aluminum to make the propane tank cover slip over the two propane tanks and fit properly)
6. The golf cart batteries don't use automotive type posts, so I had to cut off the ends of the battery cables, buy a heavy lug crimper (on ebay about $25), and crimp on some lugs to fit the new battery studs.

Notes: I didn't re-weld the battery hold-down rod, I just used lock nuts on the bottom outside. Also, I took advantage of having the batteries removed and scraped the corrosion out and reprimed and painted the inside of the battery box.
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