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Old 10-29-2009, 07:17 PM   #1
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Battery Tray Repair

I knew our battery tray was deteriorating but I guess I didn't realize just how bad it was until I crawled underneath to take a peak. From the pictures you can see what I'm talking about.

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I removed the battery tray this evening to start prepping it for some much needed repair. Plans are to remove the remains of the floor, sandblast all exposed and rusty areas, fabricate a new floor, paint and then reinstall in the coach.

On a previous post by a forum member they mentioned that when they repaired the floor of their battery tray they made it a couple of inches deeper. I'm looking into doing the same thing. I'll make a sketch of what I would like to do and have a local fabricator bend up the pieces for me and I'll weld them in place.

One thing I'm wondering about is the large 2" diameter holes in the bottom of the tray. Are those really necessary? I would think they would allow a lot of road grime to enter the compartment.

While the tray is out I'm going to go through all of the electrical connections in the area as they were all looking a little cruddy.

I'll post again as progress is made.

Brad
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:42 AM   #2
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Now that is one of my next projects but I have not had the nerve to crawl under and Look !!!!

The Holes may be ??? For venting battery's acid gasses and also for draining fluid purposes ???? Venting, Cooling and fresh air would be my Number 1 guess !!!
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
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Brad,
Good idea to deepen the tray. This should allow you to install golf cart batteries should you ever wish to. I relocated my chassis battery and squeezed 4 marine/deep cycle (Costco grp 27, I think) house batteries into the battery drawer. I would have used golf cart batteries but they were too tall.

On my rig there are cutoff switches, solenoids and terminals mounted on the inboard side of the battery drawer. I'd love to see a picture of how your 310 wiring is configured.

When I repaired the floor of my battery drawer I covered the large holes and just drilled a couple of 1/2" drain holes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
I knew our battery tray was deteriorating but I guess I didn't realize just how bad it was until I crawled underneath to take a peak. From the pictures you can see what I'm talking about.

Attachment 89945 Attachment 89946

I removed the battery tray this evening to start prepping it for some much needed repair. Plans are to remove the remains of the floor, sandblast all exposed and rusty areas, fabricate a new floor, paint and then reinstall in the coach.

On a previous post by a forum member they mentioned that when they repaired the floor of their battery tray they made it a couple of inches deeper. I'm looking into doing the same thing. I'll make a sketch of what I would like to do and have a local fabricator bend up the pieces for me and I'll weld them in place.

One thing I'm wondering about is the large 2" diameter holes in the bottom of the tray. Are those really necessary? I would think they would allow a lot of road grime to enter the compartment.

While the tray is out I'm going to go through all of the electrical connections in the area as they were all looking a little cruddy.

I'll post again as progress is made.

Brad
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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ooh 4 batteries!...i wish we had welded up ours to be deeper
the handles scrape the top and it's still hard to close. those terminals are a little too close to the frame

the slides you can get at mcmaster carr
and we coated the interior with truck liner rubberized spray

and yesh.. i would be very very interested also at your wiring at the back of the battery box

i have a bicycle tire intertube wrapped around one of the solenoids that i cant find a replacement for ...anywhere
i'm gonna have to try a p-30 scrapyard
that contraption is shorting if it touches the frame....but on a light note the bike tire works well
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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i have to warn you guys...the PO of my 310 dragged the batteries and box a few feet 'cause the box rusted out.
hence my weird wiring and electrical nightmares
...ohh halloween is right around the corner
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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Mary, I noticed our batteries hanging part way out of the box on our return trip from Chicago this past weekend. Hence the desire to fix it ASAP!

Fortunately there is nothing wrong with our drawer slides. I do need to clean and lube them but they should be fine. Only the very bottom of the box is bad. The sides and the bottom flanges appear to be ok.

As for the holes and venting. I wouldn't think venting would be an issue since the top of the tray is open and air flow should be sufficient. Personally I'm inclined to make small holes like Guy did. It would be easier to add holes later if need be than it would be to try and plug them .

We've been considering golf cart batteries. I guess I'll pull the seat on our Ezgo and do some measuring tomorrow just to see how much depth I would have to add.

Guy, to where did you relocate your starting battery?

I was also considering using the rubberized liner for inside the box but have heard horror stories about the rubber trapping moisture and rusting out anyway. I would imagine its all in the prep work.

Here is a picture of the wiring on the backside of our drawer: Click image for larger version

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We only have one solenoid on the back of ours and I think it is for when you need a temporary boost from the coach batteries to start the engine. Which reminds me, that didn't seem to work the last time I tried it. That's one of the many reasons I want to go through all of the connections while they are exposed.

Tomorrow (weather permitting) I'll take some pictures of the tray area with it out. You can easily see all of the wiring right now.

Brad
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haggard View Post
Now that is one of my next projects but I have not had the nerve to crawl under and Look !!!!

The Holes may be ??? For venting battery's acid gasses and also for draining fluid purposes ???? Venting, Cooling and fresh air would be my Number 1 guess !!!
John,

I drove right buy your place about 20 times in the past year. We moved from Jefferson Ar to Richmond Ky late last fall and I spent the last 11 months moving everything that was in my shop. The movers moved the house and garage for us but I had to deal with the shop, all the tools and our collection of vehicles by myself.

The Cumberland Parkway is a beautiful drive and was pretty much the one part of the trip that I actually enjoyed.

Brad
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryContrary View Post
i have a bicycle tire intertube wrapped around one of the solenoids that i cant find a replacement for ...anywhere
i'm gonna have to try a p-30 scrapyard
that contraption is shorting if it touches the frame....but on a light note the bike tire works well
some other nice member posted this place for switches/solenoids.

Cole Hersee Co.
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Old 10-31-2009, 07:33 AM   #9
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
John,

I drove right buy your place about 20 times in the past year. We moved from Jefferson Ar to Richmond Ky late last fall and I spent the last 11 months moving everything that was in my shop. The movers moved the house and garage for us but I had to deal with the shop, all the tools and our collection of vehicles by myself.

The Cumberland Parkway is a beautiful drive and was pretty much the one part of the trip that I actually enjoyed.

Brad
How about that Brad, we have some friends in Richmond that have boats in our marina. State Dock marina, Jamestown is off SR-127 south of the parkway that you traveled. there is a lovely Ky Park camp ground and state lodge here also if you would ever like to camp and Boat we could fix you up.
sounds like you get good use out of your airstream and enjoy her. we get up 75 every week, sometimes 2 to 3 times and Bob Evans or steak and shake are our stops. Lots of new growth there in Richmond
I hope you enjoy the Area Brad
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
...

Guy, to where did you relocate your starting battery?

...

Brad
I rigged a battery tray and supports just forward of the battery drawer. It is a pain to get the battery in and out (you have to lay on your back and lift/slide it into place) but it did give me room for four house batteries.

I only have one solenoid on my battery drawer too (its for the boost function you describe) but I also have two switches, two power posts, and a shunt.

I have mostly "0" and "00" wiring so its pretty crowded.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:48 AM   #11
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Could the Tool Box, just behind the battery tray be used for the engine, start battery. Leaving the tray for House batteries ???
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haggard View Post
Could the Tool Box, just behind the battery tray be used for the engine, start battery. Leaving the tray for House batteries ???
I imagine it could although I would put in beefier drawer slides.

In my case, I use that tool box for my 30 amp extension, pneumatic hoses, and fresh water hoses, filters, and spare parts.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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Battery Box

Brad,

Once you get the new battery box fabricated take it to the local LineX dealer and have it sprayed. I used to get rust around the exposed storage boxes water connection box and aft sliding drawer on my Classic and the LineX put a stop to it.

By the way welcome to the Bluegrass State!! There are many beautiful things to see and do within easy reach of Richmond. If you have ever thought about becoming a WBCCI member the Kentucky Unit is very active and a great group of people to hang out with. You can view their web site at www.kentucky.wbcci.net
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I imagine it could although I would put in beefier drawer slides.

In my case, I use that tool box for my 30 amp extension, pneumatic hoses, and fresh water hoses, filters, and spare parts.
on my 345 there is a small storage area in front of the Coach door and behind the battery tray. No slide out drawer

I think the one you mention is the one I have behind my coach door

It looks to be just right for a small tool box or maybe a battery ??? and close to the existing cables
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Haggard View Post
on my 345 there is a small storage area in front of the Coach door and behind the battery tray. No slide out drawer

I think the one you mention is the one I have behind my coach door

It looks to be just right for a small tool box or maybe a battery ??? and close to the existing cables
The 310's and 345's have different drawer/bin configurations. On my 310 the battery drawer is on the street side. Right behind it is a full size drawer with a hinged cover.

On my rig the slides for the battery drawer are MUCH beefier than the slides on the other drawers.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:42 PM   #16
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If yer willing to remove the front barrel chair, you should be able to put in a couple(at least) AGM batteries...no fumes, and you could turn them sideways without leak...they would be over the battery drawer, so wiring would be a minimal problem...that's for the 345...I believe the 310 has the battery compartment under the floor just inside the door.
When we had our solar panels installed, the folks there said the extra weight of more than 3 batteries would cause the slide to fail, eventually...mike
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:54 AM   #17
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...I believe the 310 has the battery compartment under the floor just inside the door....mike
On my 84 310 the battery drawer is street side just aft of the driver's seat.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrapIrony-2 View Post
If yer willing to remove the front barrel chair, you should be able to put in a couple(at least) AGM batteries...no fumes, and you could turn them sideways without leak...they would be over the battery drawer, so wiring would be a minimal problem...that's for the 345...I believe the 310 has the battery compartment under the floor just inside the door.
When we had our solar panels installed, the folks there said the extra weight of more than 3 batteries would cause the slide to fail, eventually...mike
I like the Idea of removing the front barrel chair any way Mike ! and this way I can give my Wife a good excuse !!! ( Mike said to do it this way )
The thing is useless as far as I am concerned anyway.

I think we could build back a box, ledge, Raised floor the same height as the driving helm area and tie the ares together for more efficiency when turning the Co-Captains chair around for a conversation area.

This could Lighten up the load on the under tray and Open up some room for battery assessor y tools like jumper cables and testers, distilled water. ?
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:22 AM   #19
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We pulled out both barrel chairs, the tv, and the tv cabinet and put in a treadle sewing machine for a computer desk...left an area for two more batteries behind the passenger seat...works great for us...mike
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:22 AM   #20
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How about that Brad, we have some friends in Richmond that have boats in our marina. State Dock marina, Jamestown is off SR-127 south of the parkway that you traveled. there is a lovely Ky Park camp ground and state lodge here also if you would ever like to camp and Boat we could fix you up.
sounds like you get good use out of your airstream and enjoy her. we get up 75 every week, sometimes 2 to 3 times and Bob Evans or steak and shake are our stops. Lots of new growth there in Richmond
I hope you enjoy the Area Brad
John,

This was our year for moving and we're hoping next year will be a year where we can play! Susan and I will have to stop by your marina one of these weekends and relax for a change. It's been a busy year for us... so some relaxation would be nice .

Do you take your 345 on your trips up I-75?

For the next 15 years or so Richmond should see some decent growth due to the project that we work at expanding its work force. We'll have to have lunch or dinner with you one of these days.

Brad
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