Around here, one can have pretty grey days & not a lot of sun. It makes sense to make sure that one has a big enough storage for all that 'free' solar when you can get it. I wasn't too impressed with the performance of the stock 12V
deep cycle batteries. My on-line research seemed to show that 6V GC batteries were inclined to perform better in this application. I considered AGM batteries but I wasn't sure that the extra cost was justified. (A debatable point perhaps.)
A local marina had very good prices on 230 Ah Interstate Golf Cart batteries at $130 each. I bought two of them knowing that the stock battery box was too small to accommodate these...these sit about 1 3/4" taller than the stock batteries (piece of cake I thought, I'll just raise the sides of the box 2" & I'll be fine...)
I bought the batteries & then started looking for aluminum stock to raise the box. Home depot didn't have any C-channel & to use Square 1 Inch tubing was going to cost me almost $80+ just for the aluminum & bolts etc.
I was kicking myself a bit when I was prowling around looking for alternatives. I came upon some powder coated aluminum fence posts (for decking) & realized that this 4 inch square material could be ripped in half to make C-Channel & would be a lot cheaper. (~ $27-)
So here is what worked for me:
The stock Battery Compartment. (One of my sons already claimed one battery for his Delica van.)
I decided to re-orient the lid to open the opposite way but I'm not sure this was a good idea in the end. There is enough space to still have the hinge forward and still clear the front wall of the unit.
Here some homemade C-channel & 1 inch square tuning setup as base for hinge and lock edge.
Side pieces go on:
From the other side:
From Curb side (Keyed Lock not yet installed)
The batteries in place: ( I have since used a collar nut ground down to accommodate a washer & attach to the buried threaded rod - to hold the batteries down.) It's a snug fit & may not be necessary, but better safe than sorry.
A key lock completes the install:
So after all this...does it work?
I go out to the trailer in the morning & see this:
Full charge even after sitting all night.
With cloudy overcast skies, I am seeing this:
I have yet to see what the whole system can crank out under demand but have seen as much as 8 amps with partial sun coverage on the roof.
We are planning a 4 week trip in the near future & should have a good idea of what it's capable of at the end of this, but I am overall pleased with the final results.
If you've read this far, thanks for your interest. Your tenacity is commendable
Any comments or questions cheerfully entertained.