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Old 03-21-2012, 07:49 AM   #15
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Dan,
First, let me say that I am no expert. Ok, from the knowledge I have gathered, a flooded cell battery is not the safest bet in the trailer because you would need a sealed box and both top and bottom vents and there is always the possibility for some kind of leakage. An AGM battery is supposedly sealed and would not require any venting. I think that a vent as you describe through the floor would be a pretty good idea for an AGM battery anyway. The best place to add weight is as close to the axle in my opinion.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:58 PM   #16
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Globie

I know very little about battery ventilation requirements. Charging the battery makes hydrogen gas and it is very explosive. The more that the battery is charged, the more hydrogen gas is made. I believe that a 3 stage converter is important so the battery is not over charged. Hydrogen gas is lighter than air, so the vent needs to be at the top. One is also needed at the bottom to let air in. I don't know how large the vents need to be. We will need to wait for more help on that one.

Dan
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:11 AM   #17
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Go with the sealed AGM ... no venting required ... a bit more pricey, but longer life and can be used to a lower voltage without permanent damage.
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:22 PM   #18
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Update time!!!
The project is underway pictures to follow after the weekend.
Parts list: in the stock midship location, 2 6v lifeline batteries 220 amp hrs @ 12 volt, 0/1 gauge jumper, #1 gauge to inverter, 1500 watt cobra inverter with remote switch, progressive dynamics 9260 with charge wizard wired with #4 gauge, stock fuse block wired with #4 gauge, xantrex pro meter, 16' 4"multi color LED lights in living room, 32' 8" blue LED ground effect lighting under the trailer with dimmer mounted in cabin. Let's see if I can put it all together... Any suggestions or tips?
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #19
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Ok here is a teaser of the interior LEDs as they cycle colors
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #20
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kos, you beat me to it.

I had plans on getting everything done by the end of March. I'm actually combining the battery expansion along with the install of 300w solar. I was able to install the two 150w panels on the roof and run the line into the interior, but then the weather was warm and I just had to go out and camp. Spent the last two weeks in the Smoky Mountains. It was great.

My next step is to remove in the sink cabinet to gain access and have room to work around the battery box and rest of the electrical. I still have hope at fitting the (2) 6 volt AGMs in the battery compartment area. I plan on keepin the door, but anticipate having to enlarge and reframe the compartment. While AGMs are sealed, I feel more comfortable with some venting via the exisiting battery door and sealing the battery compartment from the interior of the trailer.

In addition to the battery expansion; I am connecting the 300w of solar, installing the solar charge controller, solar charge monitor, and battery monitor. All of which will be going in the sink cabinet and, by the way, will be protected from potential water intrusion from the sink or leaks. I also have the Progessive Dynamics 4560: 60 amp converter and AC/DC distribution panel in the same cabinet, so space is getting a little tight.

I'll do my best to post updates along the way.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #21
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Okay, so I'm going to get an AGM battery to replace the one I have now, which is a sealed lead-acid thing. Anyone have a preferred manufacturer?
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:16 AM   #22
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Before adding a second battery you should consider both replacing all your bulbs with LED bulbs and at least getting a portable solar panel. I have done both in my 20' Safari and can go for at least a week in warmer [no furnace] weather without needing to fire up my Honda 2000 generator.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:01 PM   #23
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I would love to have a pv setup to charge my battery(s). I'm being counciled by Lewster on replacing the Univolt, and I want something that will allow for solar charging when I can afford to add the panels. At the moment, I want a safe battery set up since I don't have good separation between the battery compartment and the interior, and I want to replace the Univolt before I have some kind of breakdown on the road. I am exploring LED replacements- I am an architect and I specialize in lighting design, so the lighting quality is important to me and I'm kinda obsessive anyway. The one bulb I purchased is 4000 kelvin, sorta white, while I'd rather have 3000 kelvin (more like incandescent or warm white). LED technology and availability seems to change weekly.. I use LEDs more and more in residential applications, but I want reliable ones especially considering the cost. Feedback from the Airstream community is a huge help.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:19 AM   #24
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I have had great luck with bulbs from Star Lights Inc. There quality and customer service is great. I replaced all of my internal bulbs at this point. They also have a wide range of light temperatures. As for my solar i went with Goal Zero. Have used it a couple of times and it has fairly high efficiency even in very low light levels. I have the portable 30 folding panel and it kept my batteries topped off for an entire weekend including running of the furnace.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #25
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Thanks. I'd like to find a good solar charger that could keep up my battery, to keep it up to run the fridge igniter, the water pump and perhaps charge my laptop to watch videos. I really want to be able to use minimal campsites, rather than full hookups, and our trailer has pretty minimal power and fuel requirements. I had looked at doing the full solar-monty, but I can't afford it at this point, and want to figure out how little power we really to keep it comfortable.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:29 AM   #26
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Goal Zero has a great line of portable back ups with their own AC/DC converter; I have the "Big Power" kit Large Solar Kits - Goal Zero. I use this to charge devices. If you want to watch TV this will work also. RUn pretty much everything in the camper except the AC & the toaster!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
Okay, so I'm going to get an AGM battery to replace the one I have now, which is a sealed lead-acid thing. Anyone have a preferred manufacturer?
There are a lot of people who go for Lifeline, which is American. Universal. which is Chinese, is a little cheaper. Randy at Best Converter sells them. He is also a good source of information on Inverters and electrical.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:13 PM   #28
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Ok it looks like I will be doing this project over a couple of weekends. Here is the first part. I gutted all of the old plastic battery box. This leaves a width of 16 1/2 inches. My new wooden battery box sits about 4 inches higher than the old box this gives me about 3 inches of additional depth resulting in a total depth of 12 inches. This allows the two new batteries to sit side-by-side 90 from the original battery orientation. As you can see in the pictures I used pieces of a 2 x 4 to elevate the battery box and support it. It is a very tight fit, but it is the only way to get enough depth to put the batteries in the original location. First I put the new battery box in place. I then installed the batteries in the wooden crate / box. I had to put the batteries in from the inside of the trailer and can no longer remove them from the outside access panel. Those batteries are pretty heavy and it is a little difficult to get them placed. Hopefully when they eventually need to be replaced they will weigh less ha ha.
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