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Old 09-23-2021, 07:05 AM   #1
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Battery installation

Getting things ready to replace the coach batteries in my 1992 Landyacht motorhome. Decided to replace the existing pair of 12V Group 24 batteries with 2 new 6V GC2 deep cycle flooded golf cart batteries. Trying to get things sorted out before the batteries arrive. Decided to go with the 6V batteries in order to gain a huge capacity increase (235AH v/s 130AH).

The batteries are located in the front, right behind the curb side headlights next to the chassis battery. Wondering if any of you guys have done this swap in this configuration. I know I have some things to work out. Obviously the wiring will have to go from parallel to series at the batteries, but it also seems like the battery hold down bar will have to change as well. Just looking for any suggestions that would make the installation go easier.

Questions:

1: Will I need to remove the chassis battery to remove and install the new coach batteries?

2: Any ideas on how to hold down the new batteries?

I know that the new batteries are a tad taller than the group 24 batteries but length and width are either close or smaller. Looks like I have plenty of room once they're installed. Just concerned with how to get them in location. They weigh approximately 66lbs each. Any information on what to expect would be greatly appreciated.

On a side note, I did pick up a battery watering system to help with maintenance. I just want to do this once for a few years.
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:50 AM   #2
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Hi

When you put two 12V batteries in parallel you add the amp hours. If you buy a pair of 100AH 12V batteries, the net result will be 200AH ( and 100AH usable capacity).

When you put two 6V batteries in series, the amp hours do not change. If you buy a pair of 220AH 6V batteries, the net result will be 220AH ( and 120 AH usable capacity).

Bob
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

When you put two 12V batteries in parallel you add the amp hours. If you buy a pair of 100AH 12V batteries, the net result will be 200AH ( and 100AH usable capacity).

When you put two 6V batteries in series, the amp hours do not change. If you buy a pair of 220AH 6V batteries, the net result will be 220AH ( and 120 AH usable capacity).

Bob
I do understand how the capacity works. That's why I decided on two 235AH 6 volt batteries. The total cost for two was under $300 and provided me with almost double the capacity I had. Two 100AH 12V batteries would have cost quite a bit more and couldn't fit into the area I have since it was designed to house group 24 batteries and still not provide me with the same capacity.

If you can give me some advice on how the installation should proceed, that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Just looking for any suggestions that would make the installation go easier.
.
I don't own a Land Yacht but I do have 2 6 volt golf car batteries in my MH so I'll offer what little I can, and help to keep your post active. First, my batteries (Napa, made by Deka)don't have a carrying/lifting strap so if yours don't either then be sure to pick one up. I have the kind that hooks onto the terminals and it works real nice. Secondly, mine are 10.5" tall and I believe they all are so check your clearance ahead of time. I was surprised when I lifted one out at how much taller they are than the 12 volt batteries I am used to. Not owning a Land Yacht that's about all I can offer but I will say that I am very pleased with the performance considering they are lead acid, they do the job for us.
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:40 AM   #5
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I'm thinking that I'll have to remove the chassis battery in order to get the coach batteries out. The real issue I'm concerned with is related to the battery hold down posts for the coach batteries. I can't remember how they're mounted and can't see how they are mounted without removing the chassis battery first. What I'm afraid of is that I won't be able to get the new batteries into the area that houses the coach batteries without cutting off that post since they're that much taller. I guess I'll find out once the new batteries arrive and I start on the installation.

Thinking of upgrading the battery cables from #4 cable to #2 or even #1 wire. Can't hurt to have some extra current capacity since I have to have a couple cables made anyways.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:09 PM   #6
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Decided to replace the ground and jumper battery cables with 1/0 pure copper extreme cables. Seems to match the positive cable that came stock. Also allows me to change from top post battery mount to 5/16" stud mount for an easier assembly and disassembly. Found a great place to make custom cables:

BatteryCablesUSA

What do you guys think of the idea of adding a cutoff switch inline with the positive cable?

Also thinking of picking up a Renogy "briefcase" solar panel to assist with battery maintenance between generator usages. Assuming it would play nice with my IOTA DLS converter/charger. I do have an email in to IOTA tech support to verify this. Figure the charge/controller would just see the other charger as a voltage source and act accordingly. The idea is to simply connect the solar panel (with controller) in parallel with the converter/charger using jumper wire battery clamps to the battery posts. Of course it would have an inline fuse between them.

Given the issues I had in the past with sealing the roof, I don't like the idea of mounting the solar panels to the roof. No additional screw hole penetrations please. That's why I'm not looking at a permanent installation.
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:00 AM   #7
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Battery installation

Strong believer in external battery switches that actually turn everything off in case of emergency or maintenance work on electrical stuff.

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Blue Sea Systems battery switch inside a carefully modified dual duplex outlet cover.

New 4 gauge cables and an 80 amp MRBF fuse holder on the positive battery post.

Clear part was carefully heated with a heat gun and bulged enough to clear the knob. Yep, neatly drilled 2 sets of four holes for the stainless steel screws to properly mount it all.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:44 AM   #8
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Talking

I don’t have a land yacht, no idea what your mounting location looks like, but I did a relocation of my batteries and had a similar hold-down issue to solve in the process. I got a couple inexpensive plastic trays off Amazon, they came with straps, all I had to do was screw the trays to the floor of my trailer. I did a brief check for a tray option for the GC2 battery, found this. There might be other options. Hope that helps you.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QJ2MBRD...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Renogy suitcase is a good option. I also had same concerns about roof holes, but I mounted some permanent panels (Zamp solar) to my roof. I used 2 sided VHB tape, and some sikaflex to seal up the bonding surface gaps. Been about a year now, so far very very secure, but I also keep an eye on that. The main benefit of portable is you can place them in more optimal sunlight when needed, the burden of that is you have to be around your campsight at the time in order to identify that and perform the move. I’m pretty confident your wiring approach is a valid one, to achieve the alternative battery charging you seek.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:43 AM   #9
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Thanks for your input guys. Battery cutoff switch will be in the plan and the solar panel will be ordered as soon as the new batteries arrive and are installed. Ill post pics of the install once I get it all together.

The response I got back from IOTA Technical Support was a little less than I would have expected. Basically they said that they were not "Solar experts" and referred me to one of their distributors.

Quote:
Our expertise is on our DLS units, unfortunately we don't have a lot of experience on setting up solar systems.
I would recommend contacting our distributor below who would be able to help with your questions.
So I now have an email into their distributor:

NORTHERN ARIZONA WIND AND SUN
https://www.solar-electric.com/

We'll see if their going to help or just try to sell me one of their systems.

The irony is that I may be looking at some solar assistance at the house and I would consider using them as a source but it depends on how they end up treating me. They do sell the entire IOTA converter line at OK prices.
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Old 09-25-2021, 07:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Thanks for your input guys. Battery cutoff switch will be in the plan and the solar panel will be ordered as soon as the new batteries arrive and are installed. Ill post pics of the install once I get it all together.

The response I got back from IOTA Technical Support was a little less than I would have expected. Basically they said that they were not "Solar experts" and referred me to one of their distributors.



So I now have an email into their distributor:

NORTHERN ARIZONA WIND AND SUN
https://www.solar-electric.com/

We'll see if their going to help or just try to sell me one of their systems.

The irony is that I may be looking at some solar assistance at the house and I would consider using them as a source but it depends on how they end up treating me. They do sell the entire IOTA converter line at OK prices.
Hi

You would not normally run both the converter / charger and the solar at the same time. It would be one or the other as you describe your setup. The solar will be ok with the converter. It's unlikely that IOTA did something nutty that would make it incompatible. Pretty much every other outfit on the planet makes converter chargers that are ok with solar.

One thing to understand: Any time you *do* have two chargers hooked up they will "decide" which one does the charging. The other one likely will back off to float mode and not do much. In the case of solar + converter /charger that normally is not a problem.

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

You would not normally run both the converter / charger and the solar at the same time. It would be one or the other as you describe your setup. The solar will be ok with the converter. It's unlikely that IOTA did something nutty that would make it incompatible. Pretty much every other outfit on the planet makes converter chargers that are ok with solar.

One thing to understand: Any time you *do* have two chargers hooked up they will "decide" which one does the charging. The other one likely will back off to float mode and not do much. In the case of solar + converter /charger that normally is not a problem.

Bob
Thanks for the input Bob. You've basically verified my take on it. The two will play nicely but it's more of a one or the other working at the time depending on which decides it needs more than float and which has the higher output voltage. Just wanting to make sure I don't have to disconnect one when the other is in operation. My plan is the be able to run the gen when needing 120V operations or when sun is not available but otherwise let the solar keep the batteries up to charge when the MH is idle. Helps to minimize the generator use.

Right now I keep the MH plugged in at the house when not in use just to keep the batteries at full charge. I even have a Battery Tender on the chassis battery to keep it charged. Having solar would allow me to not be plugged in. Right now the MH is on a surge protector but I have had a lightening strike take out the surge protector and cause me some damage in the MH and the house. Took out the engine ECU and distributor module in the MH and several electronic devices in the house. Ended up costing me a ton just to get it sorted out and get the MH repaired so I am a bit gun shy. With solar, there would be no hard wiring between the house and the MH. Much less chance of having a lightening strike take out a surge protector and cause much damage again.

On a side note: The surge protector warranty was completely worthless. Progressive Industries made it so difficult to file a warranty claim and what they would cover was so useless that I just gave up.

Here's a rundown on exclusions:
  • Improper installation of a hard wired unit. We strongly recommend that a competent electrical professional perform the installation of hard wired units.
  • Products installed or used in an application other than an RV
  • Products operated outside systems compatible and compliant with RV surge protectors
  • Products used in a manner inconsistent with the operating instructions
  • Use of replacement parts or accessories that are non-compliant with Progressive Industries specifications
  • Damage to the surge protection unit, such as burnt, charred or melted components resulting from
  • products connected to poorly maintained power sources, power cords or adapters
  • Improper use including, but not limited to failure to disconnect upon departure from power source
  • Failure to ensure electrical plugs and receptacles are clean and all connections maintain a snug fit when plugged in
  • Failure to provide continuous maintenance in accordance with the maintenance instructions provided by Progressive Industries
  • Any unauthorized modifications or repairs
  • Maintenance of hard wired units performed by anyone other than a qualified RV dealer
  • All acts of God and/or natural disasters including, but not limited to lightning damage, hurricanes,
    floods and earthquakes

Obviously they don't trust their own product to protect your equipment.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Thanks for the input Bob. You've basically verified my take on it. The two will play nicely but it's more of a one or the other working at the time depending on which decides it needs more than float and which has the higher output voltage. Just wanting to make sure I don't have to disconnect one when the other is in operation. My plan is the be able to run the gen when needing 120V operations or when sun is not available but otherwise let the solar keep the batteries up to charge when the MH is idle. Helps to minimize the generator use.

Right now I keep the MH plugged in at the house when not in use just to keep the batteries at full charge. I even have a Battery Tender on the chassis battery to keep it charged. Having solar would allow me to not be plugged in. Right now the MH is on a surge protector but I have had a lightening strike take out the surge protector and cause me some damage in the MH and the house. Took out the engine ECU and distributor module in the MH and several electronic devices in the house. Ended up costing me a ton just to get it sorted out and get the MH repaired so I am a bit gun shy. With solar, there would be no hard wiring between the house and the MH. Much less chance of having a lightening strike take out a surge protector and cause much damage again.

On a side note: The surge protector warranty was completely worthless. Progressive Industries made it so difficult to file a warranty claim and what they would cover was so useless that I just gave up.

Here's a rundown on exclusions:
  • Improper installation of a hard wired unit. We strongly recommend that a competent electrical professional perform the installation of hard wired units.
  • Products installed or used in an application other than an RV
  • Products operated outside systems compatible and compliant with RV surge protectors
  • Products used in a manner inconsistent with the operating instructions
  • Use of replacement parts or accessories that are non-compliant with Progressive Industries specifications
  • Damage to the surge protection unit, such as burnt, charred or melted components resulting from
  • products connected to poorly maintained power sources, power cords or adapters
  • Improper use including, but not limited to failure to disconnect upon departure from power source
  • Failure to ensure electrical plugs and receptacles are clean and all connections maintain a snug fit when plugged in
  • Failure to provide continuous maintenance in accordance with the maintenance instructions provided by Progressive Industries
  • Any unauthorized modifications or repairs
  • Maintenance of hard wired units performed by anyone other than a qualified RV dealer
  • All acts of God and/or natural disasters including, but not limited to lightning damage, hurricanes,
    floods and earthquakes

Obviously they don't trust their own product to protect your equipment.
Hi

You are not the only one who has taken a hit to the wallet due to lightning. There are lots of others out there who have as well. I've tried to point this out to the "plug it in all the time" folks. They don't seem to be very worried .....

Every surge protector "guarantee" I've ever seen is worded just about the same way. If you get a lightning hit, even a very good device that is correctly installed may not save you. If you dig into all of the grubby details, there is a *lot* that gets done to protect something like a hill top cell site.

One option ( and it's only an option) would be to put another small solar on the chassis battery. It doesn't take a lot of panel or a lot of sun per day. Come Black Friday Sales Nonsense Day, I'd bet you can get a 100W portable for not much money at all ....

Bob
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:00 PM   #13
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Cut off switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Decided to replace the ground and jumper battery cables with 1/0 pure copper extreme cables. Seems to match the positive cable that came stock. Also allows me to change from top post battery mount to 5/16" stud mount for an easier assembly and disassembly. Found a great place to make custom cables:

BatteryCablesUSA

What do you guys think of the idea of adding a cutoff switch inline with the positive cable?

Also thinking of picking up a Renogy "briefcase" solar panel to assist with battery maintenance between generator usages. Assuming it would play nice with my IOTA DLS converter/charger. I do have an email in to IOTA tech support to verify this. Figure the charge/controller would just see the other charger as a voltage source and act accordingly. The idea is to simply connect the solar panel (with controller) in parallel with the converter/charger using jumper wire battery clamps to the battery posts. Of course it would have an inline fuse between them.

Given the issues I had in the past with sealing the roof, I don't like the idea of mounting the solar panels to the roof. No additional screw hole penetrations please. That's why I'm not looking at a permanent installation.

I usually install Ground cut-off switches.
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Old 09-26-2021, 06:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by schmaco View Post
I usually install Ground cut-off switches.
Yes, I understand the reason for ground cutoff vs positive cutoff. Ground cutoff makes good sense to avoid possible shorting. Would like to see some pics of how people have implemented cutoff switches on their coaches.
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Old 10-01-2021, 07:56 PM   #15
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Batteries are installed and everything is in working order. Turned out to be an easier install than I originally expected. The two GC2 batteries fit like a glove. Not have a solid 235AH@20HR system with a good 4 stage charging system. Next step is adding solar.
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