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Old 04-09-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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Relocating batteries

This has been bugging me: our battery is open to the inside of the trailer. It appears it was always that way, at least it didn't have much of a vapor barrier. Now it's more so. It's located under the airline bath unit, inside the back hatch door. I had what feels like a minor epiphany: can I relocate them to the front hitch area. There is a space behind the tanks, under the front window on the V part of the frame, where it looks like there had been a spare tire (you can see the circle worn in the clear coat). I use the tire carrier under the coach, so the space is free. Can I relocate the battery (or two) to the front area, run a cable along the frame and inside the belly pan to the rear, where all the rest of the electrical is? This also frees up space in the bath for mods I'd like to make in the near future.

The photo is rotated when i post it here, not in my files. Go figure.

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Old 04-09-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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The tongue would be a good spot for a battery. You could fit 2 or 3 batteries and even use taller ones if you wanted to stretch things a bit. That'd be something like 50 to 150 pounds and that shouldn't create difficulties. Many of the newer trailers put a battery box in that location.

As for wiring to the distribution and fuse panel, you should have an existing charge line from the umbilical that could handle that duty. The existing 12v in the trailer shouldn't present very significant electrical loads, especially if you upgraded your lighting to LED's, for example. That means that the link between battery and panel with 10 or 8 gauge wire should do (and that is what the charge line is in my '75).

You can also mount a converter and an inverter on the inside near the batteries as well.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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If you mount an inverter or a more powerful converter, you'll need to run a bigger battery cable. A 1000W inverter will draw 80+ amps - hefty wire/cable needed.

Our original batteries were under the rear gaucho in our Tradewind; I made an aluminum battery box and routed the vent underneath the trailer to protect us from any off-gassing.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:34 AM   #4
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You also need to consider the converter is going to be charging the batteries... whatever you do, don't splice cables... and use proper grommets in any cut outs the wire has to go through. If you are going the length of the frame, I'd go with at least 4 gauge. ~20 feet is a long run.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
This has been bugging me: our battery is open to the inside of the trailer. It appears it was always that way, at least it didn't have much of a vapor barrier. Now it's more so. It's located under the airline bath unit, inside the back hatch door. I had what feels like a minor epiphany: can I relocate them to the front hitch area. There is a space behind the tanks, under the front window on the V part of the frame, where it looks like there had been a spare tire (you can see the circle worn in the clear coat). I use the tire carrier under the coach, so the space is free. Can I relocate the battery (or two) to the front area, run a cable along the frame and inside the belly pan to the rear, where all the rest of the electrical is? This also frees up space in the bath for mods I'd like to make in the near future.

The photo is rotated when i post it here, not in my files. Go figure.

Thanks
Hi, let's try this so I don't get dizzy.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:34 AM   #6
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If you don't want to move the battery , you could use glass mat batteries . AGM's are approved for use inside trailers,otherwise your initial idea sounds OK. If you decide to use AGMs ,you must change all batteries on or in the trailer.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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Actually, I had explored the glass mat option and like that best, for off gassing and eliminating the risk of leaking acid. These are all great tips, more than tips, a huge help. I figured that if I took the existing cables from the battery and replaced them with something really big (like 4ga) to the front, everything else could remain where it is. I do like the idea of moving the inverter to the front, on the other hand, I like the idea of keeping stuff kinda the way it is, it's known, rather than opening a can of worms beyond my ability to deal with.

The batteries could go under the front gaucho, the glass mat ones and that could save a bunch of headaches- just make sure they're secured and protected, and the same for the cable to the rear. And yes, I understand about grommets to protect wires.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
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I've been contemplating the same thing. I also have room on the tongue as I won't be puting my spare there. And frankly I would like to have them out of the main cabin due to venting and space issues. I know Globie64 won't have this issue in Cali but are there associated losses of battery life in lower temperatures, say in New England...
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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I relocated the battery in my 63 to under the curbside gaucho. Used an Optima AGM , worked out great.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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The batteries could go under the front gaucho, the glass mat ones and that could save a bunch of headaches- just make sure they're secured and protected, and the same for the cable to the rear. And yes, I understand about grommets to protect wires.
I'd still put it in a battery box, just to make sure nothing falls on it or something stupid like that. They're not that expensive.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:09 AM   #11
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I've been contemplating the same thing. I also have room on the tongue as I won't be puting my spare there. And frankly I would like to have them out of the main cabin due to venting and space issues. I know Globie64 won't have this issue in Cali but are there associated losses of battery life in lower temperatures, say in New England...
I do believe that colder temperatures reduce the available capacity of a battery, although I have never heard that the life is reduced by lower temperatures......
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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re: "AGM's are approved for use inside trailers"

last I checked, code still required a properly constructed and vented battery box for all lead acid batteries including AGM's.

can you get me a cite on this 'approval'?
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:14 AM   #13
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re: "although I have never heard that the life is reduced by lower temperatures"

me neither but Battery Reliability and how to Improve it - Bombshells and the Meaning of Life seems to think so. The biggest problem for RV's though, is heat as it has a much more significant impact on battery life.

Even over nominal ranges, temperature, cycle to cycle variations, age, and use profile can each impact available energy capacity by more than 10%
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:15 AM   #14
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I do believe that colder temperatures reduce the available capacity of a battery, although I have never heard that the life is reduced by lower temperatures......
Bruce
WHere I live, the 'lower' end of the scale is -40, and it kills batteries quickly if they are allowed to discharge.
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