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Old 09-23-2003, 07:26 PM   #15
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Re: Stacking the deck...

Quote:
Originally posted by argosy20
Just a thought, since you have the stuff required to fab up a battery box, maybe you could build a battery box that would allow two batteries to be stacked one on top of the other, with, oh, say step grating on the bottom of the top battery compartment for ventilation? They wouldn't be as tall as the new propane tanks, and stacking them would take up a lot less real estate on the tongue.
Maybe you could mount the spare tire in the location you were going to put the second battery.
Does this sound doable, or should I stick to playing Solitaire on my computer?
Terry
(in Florida)


I have looked at that option as well. Several problems, mostly the tanks and batteries trying to occupy the same space. If I move the tanks as far foward as I can and raise the battery about 4 inches off the tounge is the best bet that doesn't involve cutting off the tounge. The tanks would be right up against the jack. The battery would have about 1/4 inch between the body and tanks. That's the battery with no battery box. Still have to fabricate a battery hold down that would have to go lenght wise.

It has to be raised off the tounge to allow room for the leveling bars hardware. If I go with Two batteries on top of each other with enough room to work on the connections on the top of the bottom battery will put the top battery to the bottom edge of the window. Now to really fowel things Up also have Dual cam sway control and the tank mount will be sitting on the place the U-bolts go for it. So I would have to work through that as well.

I may still go this route. I'm going to play with the spacing a little before I take the body off. I'm running into a big time crunch and messing with the frame lenght will really mess me up. Problem is if I'm going to lengthen it, now is deffently the time. If my work to prevent future deck rot works I should be long in the grave before that thing comes off the frame again.


Ohh on the spare tire. It was on the back bumper. I have signs that even with a short 22ft it was not doing the frame any good. I'm looking at hanging it under the front like the new units have it.
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Old 09-23-2003, 07:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by 74Argosy24MH
How far will it be from the outside of the hitch A frame to the main rails doing that? I would run the gusset the width of them; that should really tie the whole front together.

John
I need to get some measurments to figure it out and see what a new Hitch will require for the angle that they meet.

To be honest If I lengthen it I think I'm far better off cutting it all the way back too just before the rails become parrallel The more I think about it the more it will be a problem to make a good tie in by leaving the existing frame and adding on. It would be less hassel to make new ribs and cut down the out riggers. That will only add about 20lb and get the length I want.
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:02 PM   #17
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Ok, how about this to lengthen the hitch and add a battery box. Cut the hitch flush with the front. Build a battery box out of tube. Let the batteries hang beneath the tube, kind of half in and half out. Use a hinged plate for the lid and the propane tanks can sit on it. Weld the box to the front crossmember and the hitch to the box. You can run the batteries parallel to the front if you only want to add a few inches, turn them the long way if you want to add more.

John
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:20 PM   #18
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It's easier to draw than describe.
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:44 PM   #19
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Just heard from one of my online buddies. He builds and repairs trailers for a living and is a certified welder In Surrey B.C.

I sent him the link from Gregs post where greg and Mark both had pictures of the bare frames. Asked him how he would lengthen the frame.

Here was his reply

Quote:
I think the best plan is to go back to where the frame bend starts and redo a couple of outriggers and cross members. Two things I like about that plan is that it gets the splice farther back where it'll have less leverage on it and secondly it gets you away from having to deal with the angularity issue.

I would source some similar box tubing for the new front frame section that is the same as the existing tube. At the splice I would tack some flat bar on the inside of the tube so the new tube slides over that like a slip joint. This will help align the splice and provide some 'backing' for the weld. With the flat bar in there you can leave a 3/32" gap and burn right into the flat bar backing when you weld it. This will give you 100% plus penetration at the joint.

After cleaning up the sides of the tube after welding I'd then fit up a fish plate about 8-10" beyond either side of the joint. I'd make the fish plate out of the same thickness as the wall thickness of the tube. I'd have 4 fish plates total, one on each side of the tube (inner and outer) on each frame tube.

If you need a good description of a fish plate let me know.

Those old Air Streams are pretty cool...and prolly a hell of a lot lighter than our 1976 Coachman (21 feet).

Rene
Had him explain the "fish"
Quote:
If the box tube is 4"x2" I'd make the fish plate 3 1/4" wide by 16" long and the same thickness as the wall of the tube. Each end of the plate is not cut at a 90 degree angle though.

Much like a weld on repair kit for the Chev frames you don't want straight edges at the end of the plate. It looks sorta like a fish... 50% weld is about all you should need. 2" stitch weld, 2" space etc. I'd make sure a 2-3" stitch went around the radiused end on either end of the plate and start my stitch pattern from there.

This is major overkill in the strength and safety department but the last thing you want is the repair not holding and something terrible to happen.


The 6 holes are for plug welds (rosettes)
Here is the picture he sent along with the reply.
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Old 09-23-2003, 08:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by 74Argosy24MH
It's easier to draw than describe.
That's an interesting idea. My concern is my welding ability. At the connection at the front it's a high stress area. Much more shearing leverage the closer you get to the ball. I keep thinking about Andy's post about the frame snapped off at the front of the coach.
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:29 PM   #21
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if you are towing over the road-I'd suggest you keep the batteries and propane tanks very far apart....if an accident should happen batteries shorting against a propane tank would lead to some excitment I expect....FWIW....geof-too old to outrun a propane tank explosion.....OY!
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:15 AM   #22
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Hitch

I think Geof is right. But then the original was set up with the batteries over the propane. . My batteries are going inside in a sealed box vented to the outside. As much for temperature control and keeping the wire runs close to the inverter as anything else. I'm going with 6V golf cart batteries in series.
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:50 AM   #23
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I don't think there is any way you could get the batteries to short to the propane tanks. You would have to use something like 1/8" plate for the tanks to sit on, if the batteries broke loose they would short to that or the sides of the box before they ever got to the tanks.

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Old 09-24-2003, 08:59 AM   #24
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Batteries

I'm less worried about what happens in a crash, than what will happen when you're hooking up a battery charger or working on the wiring and create a spark by your ownself. Don't we always make sure the propane tanks are shut off and the area is completely vented and we have a stiff wind at our back before we do any work on the battery?
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Old 09-24-2003, 09:34 AM   #25
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You couldn't even work on the batteries with the propane tanks on top of them. They would have to come off first. With a setup like this it would be easier to charge inside the trailer at a distribution block.

John
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:43 AM   #26
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Hitch.

Sorry, I didn't know the propane tanks were going to be sitting on top of the battery box.
How are you going to clean the terminals and check the electrolyte?
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:01 AM   #27
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The only reason that I brought up the issue of propane and batteries is there have been an inordinate number of trailer fires having to do with the propane issue around this area and by seperating the batteries and the propane would seem like a very prudant idea.... In my opinion.....my trailer has a propane tank for the protable grill only-I'm all electric 110-220 vac...propane-sparks- accidents-shifting tanks-shifting batteries are all avoidable risks if one thinks about what might happen if......geof
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Old 09-24-2003, 11:59 AM   #28
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Unfortunatly The battery and tanks will both stay at the front. The only place I could mount the battery becides the tounge is in the very back of the coach, Next to the water heater on the oposite side of the black water tank, becide the inverter and about 2ft back from where I plan to add a gray water tank.


Just getting to much weight past that axle to hang an extra 100lb if I go with two batteries. Not to mention batteires out gas hydrogen and that's every bit as dangerious as propane. It would also mean I would have to pull my materess off the bed if I needed to get to them.

Mounting in the front I'm going with a marine disconnet and that should have a spark arrest design. Any other work on the battery all the options I am looking at for the battery are going to mean the tanks will have to be removed to get the battery(s) out.
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