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Old 03-04-2009, 12:31 AM   #1
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Adding a Second Battery

I would like to add a second battery on my '76 25 ft. Tradewind. I have three questions. Is there any reason I can't place it on the tongue between the propane tanks and the trailer body? Since there will be approximately 12' between the two batteries, what size wire will I need? Lastly, can I run the wire on the exterior of the bottom of the trailer?

If anyone has a better idea for the location of the battery I would love to hear about it.
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:55 AM   #2
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The hardest part of adding an additional battery is finding the place for it. The battery compartment needs to be ventilated, and there's no problem that I see with installing it on the tongue as long as it doesn't interfere with the hitch or propane bottles. The wires should be large, like # 6 or bigger, and if run under the trailer, I would put them in at least PVC conduit to protect them from road debris damage. I would also fuse the wires at the battery with a 50 amp or larger fuse to protect the wires should a short develop.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #3
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Considering the length of the wire I would fuse both ends. A short can be supplied by either battery so protect both. If you add a second battery then you should replace the original one as batteries should be matched not only by size but age.

Others may comment on this but I would consider putting the tap/charging point in the center of the wire between the batteries to balance the load and charging current. While you are going to use a very large wire between the batteries there will still be some difference if you tap off end.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
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If the furnace doesn't work in your Tradewind, you can pull it out and put the second battery where the furnace was. If it does work, you can put the second battery on the tongue, you can use 8 or 10 gauge wire with circuit protection.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jfuller678 View Post
I would like to add a second battery on my '76 25 ft. Tradewind. I have three questions. Is there any reason I can't place it on the tongue between the propane tanks and the trailer body?
That sounded like a good idea (BTW my SOB is done like that) so I walked outside to do some measuring on mine. Even though there is enough room between the tank bracket (w/o tanks) and trailer for batteries when I set a tank in the bracket the clearance dropped to about 6-1/2". Your TW may be different than my OL however and I suppose you could re-position your bracket.
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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This is where Airstream puts the battery box on new(er) non-Classic Airstreams. It is a great location and there is ample frame metal to attach a battery box.

Though I admit this is not a very good shot, you can see the battery box in the location you are describing that carries the factory installed dual battery box.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:39 AM   #7
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.........It is a great location and there is ample frame metal to attach a battery box. ...............you can see the battery box in the location you are describing that carries the factory installed dual battery box.
I agree it would be a great location. Out of the coach, easy to access and little worry about fumes. Therefore I made another trip to my OL. If I recessed the battery box like that it would get in the way of my spare tire bracket in the front. I haven't given up yet.

Has anyone mounted battery boxes to the outside of their A-Frame? They would probably look like saddle bags out there.
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Old 03-04-2009, 02:57 PM   #8
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You know, I am not sure if this is possible, but could you mount the spare tire in a similar manner to how the factory now mounts it. I am pretty sure you could get your hands on the spare carrier they use. I know it might involve some welding and such, but I get the sense that might not be an issue. I really and truly feel that having two 12v batteries is a great thing to have and if I were in your position, I would not hesitate to relocate my spare in a similar capacity to that which the factory is putting out there today. It really is a great setup.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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I have looked a new Airstreams but never noticed the spare. Of course mine is mounted between the A-Frame under the front floor of the trailer. I looked on Airstream Inc. website but didn't find anything.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
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... I would consider putting the tap/charging point in the center of the wire between the batteries to balance the load and charging current...
I've seen a simple fix that addresses this problem (if it really is on...)

Put the positive charger line on + battery #1 and the negative charger line on - battery #2. Put the feed wires on likewise.

Now if the batteries are at opposite ends of the trailer, ya might want to try something different
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:29 PM   #11
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Well, this too is not the best pic, but if you look closely to the front bottom, you can see what looks like a tire under the space you are referring. I think it might be a direct fit or pretty close to what you are looking at on your OL.

With the spare carrier and tire, there is ample room for two batteries and the battery box pic shown earlier in this thread.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:31 PM   #12
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As I mentioned you will have to get 2 new batteries. With that in mind there are Sealed Batteries that can be mounted inside the body of the trailer. This may be the way to go because they could be located close to the present location and thus no long wiring considerations.

Yes they are more expensive but I believe they have other advantages you may want to look into.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:05 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses. I think I will try to mount in on the tongue and I hadn't thought of it but I will also see if I can mount the spare tire under the front of the trailer. That will save me a little space in the back of my TV.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:48 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the responses. I think I will try to mount in on the tongue and I hadn't thought of it but I will also see if I can mount the spare tire under the front of the trailer. That will save me a little space in the back of my TV.
Be vary careful with the mounting of the tire and ground clearance. Where you are considering is the midpoint between the rear tv axle and the trailer axle and will be the point closest to the ground as you crest any high point.

If your trailer axles are old and sitting low this may be a problem.
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