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Old 12-22-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
AnEyeForTexas
 
1962 26' Overlander
Lockhart , Texas
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Very Shallow Battery Box

I'm a first time Airstreamer living in an old 62 Overlander. The battery box (which is mounted below the front window) is about 4" deep, 10" tall, and 18-24" wide. A tractor battery would fit there (I believe) but I think I need a deep cycle battery. Is there anything on the planet that will fit in this strange battery box?

TIA - Gary
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:02 PM   #2
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Many have asked, but few have answered.

You're looking for a size 3EE battery, but I have never seen one with more than 55 amp hours. I think they were pretty exclusively cranking batteries for small tractors.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:05 PM   #3
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Although your profile also says you have a 66' Airstream...the battery under the front window would suggest a 62'.

Since I have a 62' with an extended battery box maybe a photo will help. This box was increased in size by the previous owner (po) They used fairly heavy gauge stainless sheet metal to reform the bottom carrier box and I had a new top lid made from aluminum. bottom metal was riveted with large stainless rivets that are much stronger than aluminum. This allows me to use a regular size deep cell battery.

For the extra width I placed some wood blocks inside to steady the battery for travel.

Top has rv chest type latches on each side.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnored View Post
I'm a first time Airstreamer living in an old 62 Overlander. The battery box (which is mounted below the front window) is about 4" deep, 10" tall, and 18-24" wide. A tractor battery would fit there (I believe) but I think I need a deep cycle battery. Is there anything on the planet that will fit in this strange battery box?

TIA - Gary
A new battery box will be necessary, so that you can install a much more common type battery.

That narrow box, contained a battery that the auto industry used many many years ago.

That battery had a very low amp per hour rating.

Andy
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #5
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I, too, had one of those narrow battery boxes on my '61 Safari. The "fix" was to build a bigger box. I made mine large enough to hold a couple of deep cycle batteries. If you have a fairly large vise, some short boards, a block or two of wood, a framing hammer, and a rivet gun you can make your own, as I did. Of course, if you have or have access to a bending brake it can be a fairly easy job. I used .o4o aluminum. You can see a few photos of mine under "photos" and search for "battery box" . Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:07 AM   #6
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1962 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the help. Not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear. Guess I'll have to find someone to mod the box -- I'm certainly not capable of doing it. As a stopgap, I may try to find a waterproof plastic box I can mount to the frame somehow ...
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
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As mentioned above, your battery box will accomodate a Group 3EE type, 12 volt battery.

This group is still available from a battery specialist, if you just want to run some lights, etc.,, before you have the box modified for regular RV deep cycle batteries.

There is also a Group 3ET that has the same 'footprint' as the 3EE, but is about 1-1/2 inches taller - it has taller plates so it will also have a larger amp hour rating.

These batteries are indeed 'starting' type batteries, and as such will not give as long a life in your AS as 'deep cycle' type batteries...deep cycle batteries have thicker plates, and a different kind of separater to help them last longer in RV applications.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:58 PM   #8
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Ray,

Thanks for the info. Our '61 Bambi has the same box.

We'll try to locate the batteries. Do you know how long (approximately) we can run some lights in the trailer using the batteries?

We look forward to seeing you soon!
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the comments. I thought I'd asked a bit more, but turns out you cannot reply to a thread via email...

I looked up some 3EEE batteries and they were too deep (the box is 5" deep with a 1/2" lip).

I found a battery at Lifeline that is thin enough to fit -- it's deep cycle, 12V 55 amp hours. If anyone is interested, here's the URL: Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

Now I'm wondering what the freight is going to be on a box of lead filled with hazardous chemicals...
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnored View Post
Now I'm wondering what the freight is going to be on a box of lead filled with hazardous chemicals...
I just bought a battery from Randy @ BestConverter.com. It was drop shipped by truck. No shipping charges. Shipped very quickly.

Speaking of that battery, it is a Universal AGM. Its a 4D size which is a big, heavy mother, about 130#. I assume I don't need the same mounting precautions as you would with a flooded battery because it won't spill, leak or off gas. I am mounting it just aft of the wheelwell. Any suggestions on mounting this sucker so it does not shift or jump around on the road?
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:20 AM   #11
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnored View Post
Thanks for all the comments. I thought I'd asked a bit more, but turns out you cannot reply to a thread via email...

I looked up some 3EEE batteries and they were too deep (the box is 5" deep with a 1/2" lip).

I found a battery at Lifeline that is thin enough to fit -- it's deep cycle, 12V 55 amp hours. If anyone is interested, here's the URL: Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries

Now I'm wondering what the freight is going to be on a box of lead filled with hazardous chemicals...
I looked high and low for a battery to fit the narrow box. I ended up with a 3ET size that fits perfectly. Keep us posted on how this fits and how it performs.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gnored
. . . . I found a battery at Lifeline that is thin enough to fit -- it's deep cycle, 12V 55 amp hours. If anyone is interested, here's the URL: Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries. . .
That looks like a 33 amp-hour battery to me.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:59 AM   #13
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Lumatic...those 4D batteries are real 'beasts'...and the wider model 8D's are even worse, had to schlep two of them out to a customer's house this week and lift the old ones back into my old Bronco!!! My achey breaky back!!!

To keep your battery from 'shifting', etc, I'd recommend maybe mounting some angle aluminum extrusion strips to the floor around the battery to form a 'ridge' to keep it from moving - then mount some sort of bands or straps over the battery so it won't 'hop' out in case you hit a bad 'bump' in the road, etc.

You might be able to use some heavy nylon strapping with those buckles so you can get them nice and tight...I know West Marine has that kind of banding.

While it's true, those sealed batteries don't 'vent' during normal operation, they can still emit hydrogen gas if they are subjected to overcharge due to high charging voltages...I assume you have a converter/charger that will accommodate AGM, sealed batteries.

You are going to have some detractors saying you should 'always' mount batteries in an outside vented compartment...but if it was my trailer, I most likely do as you are doing...I remember the old VW bug's had their batteries mounted under the rear seats, without any outside vent piping (as is used today)...it was just a 'normal' unsealed battery sitting there...I owned two of those Bugs, and never had any problems...so you take's your chances...

One final thought...be sure to cover the battery terminal connections in some manner, so you can't accidently drop or store some metal item across them to cause a 'short' and a really BIG and dangerous spark flash...OUCH....
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #14
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1962 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the Group 3ET battery suggestion. That is the exact size I need! Now to fine one locally ...
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