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Old 09-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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will gr27 batteries drop in to 27FB?

After two years without batteries we're interested in some limited boondocking. By limited I mean only a few days at a time, but in a remote location with no hookups. I've just ordered the Zamp 200 watt portable solar charger and need to buy some batteries. I've read that people have upgraded from the group 24's that came with the trailer, to group 27s for slightly more storage.

I see there is a battery tray in the battery compartment of this 27FB. Will the gr 27 size batteries fit in that same tray, or does that need to be replaced to use larger batteries?
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:01 PM   #2
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Hola Gringo,

The answer is yes, but there is a chance that you may have to modify the battery box. Let me see if I can find my photos of an installation.

Drat

Edit: I lied! These are Group 31s, in a 25' FC. The mod that was needed was to reposition the hinge for the box lid. The owner told me that the dealer in LA charged less than $100 to do the mod and install. They had the Lifeline batteries drop shipped to the dealer.

BTW, I hope you negotiated with the dealer who is installing your solar. My dealer wanted twice what other RV places in our area were asking, but did the job for the going rate in the region.

Edit: I just noticed you asked about the tray, not the box itself. My guess is that you will need to remove the tray. If they don't make one for larger batteries, a rubber mat below the batteries would probably be just as good. Block the batteries so they don't move.

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Old 09-02-2014, 02:36 PM   #3
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I think others have said that the #27's will "shoehorn" into the original battery box but may be very difficult to get in and out. They are the same width, but longer than the original #24's AS supplied.

On mine, I removed the #24's and put two golf cart type 6 volt batteries in series in their place. The golf cart ones are the same size as the original #24's but about an inch and a half taller, so the top of the battery box must be raised, or the bottom lowered. I raised the top of mine with a metal C channel and it worked out well.

The original #24's had a capacity of about 75 amp hours each, 150 total for the two. Two golf cart batteries will have a capacity of about 220 amp hours. I am not sure about #27's but think they are around 95 to 100 amp hours each, or 190 to 200 total.
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:01 PM   #4
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We're either in the trailer, or it's in storage and we're thousands of miles away from it. There's no convenient time for it to undergo modifications. So I was looking for the most batt I could fit into the stock box without mods.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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Lewster installed a pair of group 27s in our 2013 25FB Flying Cloud. I was not there that day to see it happen, but he says that to put them in, he:

--Drilled out the pop rivets that attach the hinge to the box
--Cut away part of the lip on the hinge side
--Inserted the first battery, and slid it to the other side
--Inserted the second battery
--Re-installed the hinge & lid with new pop rivets.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:25 PM   #6
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thanks. I'm inclined to give that a try. Do you know what he used to trim the sheet metal?
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
thanks. I'm inclined to give that a try. Do you know what he used to trim the sheet metal?
On the trailer that I referenced, I was told the dealer used a sawzall with metal cutting blade.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:43 PM   #8
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How to trim the battery box

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
thanks. I'm inclined to give that a try. Do you know what he used to trim the sheet metal?
I don't know. You can PM him here on the forums; I'm sure he'd be happy to tell you.

You might also feel under the edge where the hinge is on yours, to find out how wide the lip is, and measure the opening on yours. I don't know how precise Airstream is about forming these boxes.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:30 AM   #9
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it looks like I need to trim it back 3/4" of an inch. I think I'm going to try a Dremel tool with the cutting disc wheels. I don't particularly want to buy a demolition saw for this one job, and I know what kind of job I would likely do with a hacksaw. A Dremel might be slower, but I'll do a neater job and can think of other uses for the Dremel. Besides, they're light and don't take up much room.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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I doubt that a Dremel tool cutting disk will be heavy enough for cutting the metal on the battery box, at least the one I have would be hard pressed at it. But they are useful for other jobs.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
it looks like I need to trim it back 3/4" of an inch. I think I'm going to try a Dremel tool with the cutting disc wheels. I don't particularly want to buy a demolition saw for this one job, and I know what kind of job I would likely do with a hacksaw. A Dremel might be slower, but I'll do a neater job and can think of other uses for the Dremel. Besides, they're light and don't take up much room.
Rent a sawzall, or take it to someone to do it for you. It will save you a lot(!!!) of frustration.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:26 AM   #12
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Okay, it's done. I bought the cheapest Dremel tool WalMart had, thirty something bucks, and two little packs of the fiber reinforced cutting discs for it. Not the ones that come with the Dremel, those are brittle and not made for cutting. Anyhow along with a new pop rivet tool I have less than $ 45 into the whole project. I did just what was suggested, I drilled out the three pop rivets holding the hinge to the battery box, used the Dremel to cut the piece of lip out, and then installed the batteries. The Dremel had absolutely no problems cutting the sheet metal, I think that part of it took less than 10 minutes and used just two of the cutting discs. I pop riveted the hinge back in place. I figured a Dremel and a pop rivet tool would be pretty useful things to have around an Airstream anyhow, so I don't begrudge the costs of adding a couple tools.

The Zamp 200 watt portable solar arrived Friday, so we're looking forward to hooking all this up.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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Funny, my 2008 Classic 25fb battery box has 2 Grp 27 and there seems to be plenty of room for the two Interstates that came with our preowned trailer.

Please post your impressions of the Zamp 200 and maybe some photos. I'm looking at getting one of these systems. I had a 60 watt panel I used on my single grp 24 in my Casita and it kept that battery charged on summer trips to Glacier Natl Park. I figured a 200 watt portable would be able to handle 2 grp 27s. We are not heavy power users nor do we have an inverter system, just a portable unit to charge phones or run the LCD TV for a movie we play from an iPad via HDMI. I've converted the lights to LED. I didn't want to install a solar system on top of the roof.

Kelvin
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:24 PM   #14
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Glad your Dremel worked out for you. Not sure what cutting disks you got, the ones I have would not cut metal like you said yours did. So, good news. I learned more today.
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