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Old 04-13-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Plastic Battery Boxes

I am new to the renovation of my "new-to-me" 1978 Sovereign International Land Yacht. I started by pulling out the front goucho, carpet, curtains, and the front lower cabinet. I noticed that there was some water damage on the sub-flooring close the front of the AS. I am not sure where the leaking water originated Behind the cabinet were the battery boxes flanking what seemed to be a plastic water tank with the top cut out of it. The tank housed the univolt and an outlet for the Air Conditioner power. The twin battery boxes are badly cracked where they disappear into the inner skin wall causing the boxes to slope back into the camper leaving a visible gap. I am planning on building/buying U-dinette seating for the front of the AS. My trouble is the two black housing boxes that hold the batteries. These boxes are badly busted on the top due to the weight of the batteries and no support btwn the box and the floor. Any info concerning the replacement of these boxes or repair would be greatly appreciated, even if it involves relocating the batteries and reworking the outside doors accessing the compartments.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:24 PM   #2
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Battery boxes are available at most RV parts stores, most marine equipment stores, and I found the tall boxes for golf cart batteries at Wal-Mart, of all places.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #3
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If you just want to replace the original battery boxes my first thought would be to see if you can get them from Airstream. If that doesn't work I used 2 of these boxes when I upgraded to a 3 battery setup.
Battery Boxes Vented for Sale

They're very easy to install and can hold up to a 29 series batteries. I'd think that you could just remove your old boxes and set these in the same location. Whatever you decide you need to get a box that can be vented to the outside from the top and bottom.

Charlie
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:51 PM   #4
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1983 31' International
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I bought one for my Sovereign last fall from Shorewood RV in Minnesota 1-800-784-2505. The part no. is 200855 and was $39.39
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:25 PM   #5
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It looks a lot like the batteries' present location is a relocation! That has got to be a homemade cut above them. My AS is a 1976 31' and its battery goes in a compartment next to the fold down stairs. It only holds one battery. Yours being a 78 might be ridiculously different but that totally looks like a homemade cut.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:51 PM   #6
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1978 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for the info... A little more info. From the outside, there are 2 locking doors that have gaps on either side of the lock mechanism. Not sure if this is standard or not. I don't have pics from the O/S yet. I think this is where my water trouble is coming from.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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....Any info concerning the replacement of these boxes or repair would be greatly appreciated, even if it involves relocating the batteries and reworking the outside doors accessing the compartments.
I was faced with the same dilemma when I redid my '78 (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f219...ign-14737.html).

I built an aluminum gasket to waterproof the entrance door and sealed the edges with a rubber gasket. The vent above the univolt is for the transformer cooling - the "Buzz" from the old Univolt HAD to be stopped so I replaced it with a Xantrex unit - the newer solid state units do not require the cooling capacity of the older transformer types so I simply covered over the upper vent with a piece of aluminum weatherproofed with Vulkem.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:16 AM   #8
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.. From the outside, there are 2 locking doors that have gaps on either side of the lock mechanism. Not sure if this is standard or not...
On the '78 Sovereign (Center bath, anyway) the curb side front is the standard place for the battery. The battery door sealed to the plastic box the battery sits in, so if the integrity of the plastic box is compromised the weather and water WILL leak into the trailer from the gap around the door.

The dual battery was an option on the Sovereign, but standard on the Excella model - I removed the battery to the front tongue, but kept the door to access the huge amount of storage area behind and below the gaucho. If converting to a front dinette, the importance of the front door lessens, and the door could easily be eliminated by covering the area with an aluminum patch.
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