Like most trailers of this vintage, mine came with no 12 volt
system and an electric water heater.
In the short term I have replaced the non-functional water heater with a 6 gallon electric model and and the only 12 volt
consumer so far is the control board for the new fridge (which I am powering off a small cigarette lighter type plug). This allows me to camp now while on shore power.
To boondock, i will need to do the following:
1. Replace electric water heater with LP model. This will require a cutout in the shell for venting. Logical location is rear street side (under the rear bed). Not excited about cutting the shell nor about the ugly painted door on the Atwood water heater. I guess I will get over the fear of cutting the shell and I can paint the door silver.
2. Since i want a DSI (rather than pilot light) model, I will need to run 12 volts to the water heater. More on this later.
3. Add fresh water tank and 12 volt
pump. Logical location is under front gaucho, although plumbing runs will be long and hard to hide.
4. Add a battery, 12 volt converter/charger, and 12 volt distribution panel. This is the hard part to figure out. Ideal battery would be LiIon due to light weight and no venting but a large enough one for extended boondocking is simply too expensive ($1200). AGM battery seems like a good compromise but where to put it and do I vent it?
I understand that placing AGM's indoors is acceptable and no venting is required if they are left open to a large space to dilute any possible hydrogen produced during overcharging.
Option 1: Under the rear bed. This is close to the shore power connection and running wiring to the water heater and fridge is doable. There is no good place for the panel though and I hate to keep adding weight so far from the axle.
Option 2: Under the fridge (curb side midships). Could mount panel in forward wall near the floor and weight is directly over the axle. Concern is possibility of hydrogen gas near ignition source (fridge burner). I suppose one option is to use a sealed battery box vented to the outside but even that puts the gas near the fridge intake panel.
Anyone solved these issues on their early 50's FC?