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Old 06-25-2014, 11:33 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 26
Manzanita , Oregon
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Questions about trailer balance with 500lbs batteries

Rebuilding in old Argosy with the ultimate plan to take the whole thing off grid. I got quite a bit of experience with these things but never in a trailer context. Because of how I intend to use the trailer need quite a big battery bank, something to the tune of 4 120 pound lead acid batteries.

That's quite a bit of weight. The convenient place for me to put them would be right behind the left rear wheel well. Tucked up as close to the wheel wells as I can. This being appropriate an spot and would make my life easy.

Question is, would this unbalance the trailer too much? In my mind and picturing it is to really fat people standing back there while I'm towing and it doesn't seem like a big deal but what do I know?

My other option is to put them in front of the wheel well. Or if I absolutely had to I could put them just inside the wheelwell right over the axles although this would be a really big pain in the ass.

Just looking for some general advice on trailer loading and how much it matters. Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:58 AM   #2
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Adding serious weight like that - building the lockers above frame rails to the inside of the wheel wells would be a win/win location no matter your grief, split the bank to two batteries on each side. Are you going 12, 24 or 48V? Are these 6V deep cycle?

That weight is equal to 60 gallons of water - you'd need to offset the imbalance somehow if you put them any other location, except maybe building symmetrical inset cradle(s) where the battery locker(s) floor is at the belly skin height and the units are sunk into the floor.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:33 AM   #3
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I think you will have serious problems.
The outriggers are not strong enough to handle that kind of weight. They will either detach from the frame or twist the frame.
I would think that kind of weight on one side would affect the way the trailer sits. Leaning to one side. And may affect the handling.
I have a 26' Argosy. It has all of the heavy stuff. Refer, battery(1); water heater and storage cabinets on the street side. Even with new axles, rated at 400 pounds heavier than the originals. The coach sits lower on the street side by about 3/4". The coach has the original floor plan, minus the closet in the bathroom.
I would look for a way to balance the load evenly between the street side and curb side. Keeping in mind the reduction of cargo capacity.
What is your plan for water, sewage capacity, food etc? Why the need for so much battery capacity?
Solar panels would be a lot lighter.
IMHO
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:24 AM   #4
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Over the axles it is then. Reason for the battery capacity is because this trailer will live mostly off grid so I'm basically sizing it like a small cabin. 650 watts on the roof 700 ah in the batteries. That gives me about 10 kW but only 3 kW if I don't want to cycle the batteries too hard. The goal is to coast through the rainy patches without firing up a generator. I've lived off the grid for 10 years and have only used a generator once! Hoping to do the same for my argosy.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:33 PM   #5
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Why not find box with wheels

Maybe big Yetti cooler dump them in there. No place on trailer for that many batts
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:27 PM   #6
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What about putting them on the A-frame up front?

Perry
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:52 PM   #7
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400#'s is a lot to add to the "A" frame. It would also add around 250#'s to the tongue weight.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:28 AM   #8
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Well he is either going to need bigger axles or carry some of that load on the tow vehicle. Maybe a mid ship battery bay with its own frame to support the batteries would work.

Perry
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:38 AM   #9
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I like the cooler idea plug it in and all the weight danger of batteries are out side the camper
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:01 AM   #10
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I added one extra battery next to the new univolt and removed the old burned our suburban furnace, so that was a wash as far as weight added vs weight removed.
I have been considering a 3rd batt but not too sure yet.
My wife is building our bed/mattress out of buckwheat hulls, about 100 lbs. this replaces the gaucho.
I connected heavy wire 10ga to the two terminal points and soldered a connector which hangs out of the batt box for plugging on my 200w solar array which is on an umbilical, park in shade, catch full sun on the solar. I checked with my Fluke and the drop is almost undetectable.
The new water tank sits farther aft than the original so the WD hitch won't be too stressed.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:57 PM   #11
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A 2000 Honda weighs 47 lbs. Maybe for a portable trailer it might make sense to use an little less battery capacity and keep a gen for deep reserve draws?
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