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Old 02-15-2003, 04:37 PM   #1
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battery compartment mods

Can anyone tell me of successfull attempts to enlarge the forward battery compartments to fit golfcart batteries (I'd even be interested in unsuccessful ones that arrive with 'whynots')
Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-15-2003, 05:22 PM   #2
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Doesn't look easy on mine... but I want something more than the 85AH Interstate SRM27 Group 27's in there.

Here's the Trojan 27TMH which in parallel would give slightly more AH than a pair of T105 in series. The Trojan 31XHS at only 1/4" longer also may fit, and give a little more capacity.
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Old 02-15-2003, 10:46 PM   #3
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That's why I posed the question... it doesn't look easy on mine either. Yet, the available space IF the compartment/access door mod is possible would produce an elegant solution to a problem that Airstream should already have solved. The perception that any future buyers are just going to 'plug in' anyway, keeps the redesign off their CAD screens. Hmmmmm.
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Old 02-16-2003, 01:40 PM   #4
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Adding golf cart batteries

Adding golf cart batteries to the front end creates a number of problems.

Adding two of them will increase the tongue weight to about 1400 pounds.

The "only" way that additional weight can be handled, is to modify the A-frame by adding a "center" section. It would have to run within the underbelly and extend rearward at least to the second frame cross member. The second cross member would also have to be beefed up with steel framing, such as a tube.

Of course if you are using your spare tire carrier , it will no longer be able to be used.

There is a limit as to how much tongue weight that can be used.
The A-frame that is standard, will not, over an extended period, carry 2 golf cart batteries.

We have modified a trailer to carry the golf cart batteries in the front, a long time ago, and it is still functional, without any problems.


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Old 02-16-2003, 03:26 PM   #5
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Even though it might increase my 1100 lb tongue weight to 1200 lbs, I wouldn't recommend putting two golfcart batteries on the tongue to work with two Group 27 batteries in the compartments, but not so much because of the weight. If you're gonna run batteries in series, keep them all the same.

I wouldn't think it would be a big deal to replace one 62 lb battery on a Safari tongue with two 62 lb 105s. Given the leverage, that might increase tongue weight by 55 lbs.

For Classics with two internal Group 27 compartments, I'd strongly recommend sticking with two batteries in those compartments, and working around that, even if it means discharging the batteries down to 20-25%. I'm hopeful that two 130AH Group 31 batteries will fit in those compartments. Even if they don't, I'll work around two 115AH 12V Group 27 Trojans, which have slightly more AH capacity as two T105s, if not the number of cycles of life. There's a lot of advantage to having batteries in warm internal compartments.

The only thing I've considered would be to try to add two more factory compartments and run four Group 27 or 31 batteries. If I could do that, even if I had to relocate the converter to one side of the couch, I might... if I were convinced the converter still had enough cooling air under the couch.

IMHO, Airstream only provides half the battery capacity needed for decent boondocking, and their solar prewire is piss-poor.
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Old 02-16-2003, 03:43 PM   #6
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Maurice.
Your proposed change, if properly installed, will work OK.
Have a separate fuse for each battery, and most importantly, make sure the running gear is properly balanced.
Heavy tongue weights can cause other damage, faster, if vibration is not eliminated or greatly reduced.


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Old 02-16-2003, 03:45 PM   #7
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After reading all of the different threads on batteries and solar panels, I'm sold on a generator.

Fire it up on peak demands and life will seem much easier!!

John
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:03 PM   #8
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John, that's probably why I'll buy a 2000 with the income tax refund.

Andy, one of these days I may try four factory compartments with an Inteli-Power charger mounted outside the couch supports on the arm (and maybe an inverter on the outside of the couch frame on the other arm).

For now, the Honda 2000 really makes life easy.
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:17 PM   #9
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Good discussion... my aim was to convert std boxes to something that would hold two golfcart batteries (and get rid of the Grp27s). Maurice, the four compartment idea has merit. I am prewired, they say... what is the objection you have (I might as well know now!)
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Old 02-16-2003, 10:49 PM   #10
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There's not a lot of room for air under the couch back behind the drawer. My current compartments are inside the couch frame supports with the inverter between them.

Frankly, I'm not sure if there's room for 4 compartments between the couch supports on the inside and the rock guards on the outside even if the inverter is relocated.

And I'm not sure that if you moved the inverter over between a couch support and an arm if it would get enough air flow over there.

I guess my main worry is that it would get too hot for the inverter down under the couch with more battery compartments taking up space.

I really haven't looked at this area in great detail.

But I'm not planning to replace the Group 27s, since I can get ones that have more capacity than T-105s. They may not have as many cycles in their life, but if one fails, you can at least operate on 1/2 capacity instead of being totally out of power if one in a series fails. And I'm not sure that even if you could get compartments for T105s that they'd fit under the couch with their taller height.
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Old 02-16-2003, 11:41 PM   #11
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Maurice -- good point about the 6V series Achilles heel. Those using the setup don't seem vulnerable to failure of one battery... would the likely belief be that the system is bulletproof and has such longevity that risk exposure in acceptably low?
I've not done any measuring either... my general sense was that I have a good deal of (unused and unneeded) space under my couch. The logical next step was to find out if anyone had accomplished a battery box mod... sounds like 'no'.
What's your thought on the prewire -- why no good?
Brian
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:48 AM   #12
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In my case, the routing of the cable is too long for 10 gauge because the frig is on the curbside and way back from the batteries.

In your case, with a 25' Classic, the refrigerator is on the streetside, up front next to the credenza. Length should be okay for a couple of panels.

The wiring goes from the solar panel, down the refrigerator vent and hooks into the prewire there.

The only advantage to T-105s is that compared to the 27TMH, the T-105s will have 34% more charge/discharge cycles if both batteries are discharged to the depth. There's no difference when it comes to daily performance. Look at the specs.
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:30 PM   #13
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Many thanks, Maurice. I'm getting close to our 'final solution'.
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Old 02-18-2003, 07:46 AM   #14
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If you don't have room for two KC120 panels mounted longitudinally (not side by side), could you get 3 KC80 panels mounted sideways (38" wide) on the roof?
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