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Old 04-21-2007, 07:17 AM   #1
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2005 22' International CCD
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Upgrade to 2 x 6V Batteries on 2005 Intl' 22'

I have been working on setting up my 2005 International 22' for long-term boondocking. My first dilemma was replacing the single 12 volt battery setup to a two battery setup. I decided on two 6 volt golf cart batteries based on the recommendations of several here and other battery articles posted here and elsewhere on the net (thanks rseagle for pointing me in the right direction). The batteries I purchased are the GC45G 244 aH batteries from Deka (http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/scrubber.pdf).

The first major hurdle was finding a way to mount the batteries on the tongue of the trailer. There is limited space on the tongue and most battery boxes were simply too big to fit. A local battery shop had a box similar to the ones here Boxes, which were just large enough to hold the two batteries yet small enough to fit on the tongue without interferance.

Took the battery box to a local welding shop to fabricate a bracket, which they welded onto the tongue as shown in the pics below. The propane cover is still able to be removed with the battery box in, though it does scrape against the threaded rods. Another option would be to have the threaded rod hold-downs mounted on the outside of the rack, which would allow the propane tank cover to be removed without any interferance. I decided to remove the cover completely as I plan to upgrade to 30# tanks anyways (plus it is much simpler to service without having to remove the cover every time).

I know there has been alot of interest in upgrading the single battery setup on these trailers so I thought I would post one solution. I spent alot of time looking at different options (even looking at having a custom built aluminum box which would have looked great but was not cost effective). In the end the solution was pretty simple and relatively cheap (about $500 for everything, including batteries and the cable extensions for the extra distance).

Next step is upgrading the current converter to one with 3 stage charging, followed by a propane generator and swapping some of the cabin lights to LEDs, which are getting pretty good reports these days.

Hope this helps anyone trying to decide how to increase battery power on the 22' Internationals....
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:51 AM   #2
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Nice work, looks great.
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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I have a fabricator working on a custom battery box for my 2 6V batteries as I type. And it will be pricey. I'll post pictures when I get it set up. JK3500, tell me about your cable extensions. Is it a simple project with parts from an auto parts store? Jamie
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Old 04-21-2007, 01:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle
I have a fabricator working on a custom battery box for my 2 6V batteries as I type. And it will be pricey. I'll post pictures when I get it set up. JK3500, tell me about your cable extensions. Is it a simple project with parts from an auto parts store? Jamie
Jamie,

I am interested in seeing your battery box when you get it done. Please post some pics when you get it done. I talked to a fabricator about building an aluminum box but it was well over my budget.

The cable extensions were easy. Had the battery shop I bought the batteries from put them on. All they do is clamp on the end of the battery cables. You need a heavy duty crimper to put them on though. I would say a battery shop vs an auto parts store for finding them. jk
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:19 PM   #5
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The best type of battery box is exactly what you have. Battery acid will corrode aluminum in very short order unless the aluminum is painted with bituminous paint, or a high quality poly
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:29 PM   #6
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What if the batteries are sealed AGMs? Will it still corrode an aluminum battery box? Jamie
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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Nice work man.
Being as lazy as I am, what % increase in capacity can you expect over two group 24 12v batteries?
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:58 PM   #8
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Nice work. I switched my SOB 5th wheel to that arrangement, and added a 2000 watt AC invertor, to watch TV and small loads w/o running the generator. Worked great. Haven't upgraded the AS yet, but will follow your example. Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle
What if the batteries are sealed AGMs? Will it still corrode an aluminum battery box? Jamie
Most likely not but I would still put the batteries into a poly box first and then drop that whole assembly into the aluminum box just to play it safe
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Old 04-25-2007, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle
What if the batteries are sealed AGMs? Will it still corrode an aluminum battery box? Jamie
Sealed AGMs like Lifelines do not out-gas, except in extreme overcharging circumstances, which are rare. That said, there should be no problems with an aluminum battery box that is caused by the batteries. Other forms of corrosion possibly, but not from the batteries.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK3500
My first dilemma was replacing the single 12 volt battery setup to a two battery setup. I decided on two 6 volt golf cart batteries based on the recommendations of several here......
hi jk3500

great looking setup, thanks for sharing.

haven't read all the juice box threads,

but quite a few...

i still have not seen sound justification for 2x6 volt over 2x12 volt.

or 4x6 volt vs 4x12 volt...

who wants to go first?

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:38 PM   #12
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What you did looks great, and doesn't take away from any storage on the trailer. This may be a stupid question, but would it be possible to just add a sealed battery box inside the trailer? My factory battery box has an opening on the side of the trailer with a plastic battery box that fits under the couch. I've read that deep cell batteries emit some gas. Would adding another plastic battery box with a lid (like Walmart sells) under the couch be safe?
Charlie
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
would it be possible to just add a sealed battery box inside the trailer?
sure charlie...

as long as only using agm batteries

Lifeline Marine Batteries - AGM Marine Battery & AGM RV Battery

cheers
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:55 PM   #14
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What if you're just using a regular deep cell marine?
When I look at what I have from the factory it doesn't seem that different. The box still comes in under the couch. I've never noticed any issues with it. I'm putting in a temp. control charger converter, so I shouldn't ever have an overcharge issue. Is the concern with the gas due to corrosion, or is it a safety issue from being toxic?

Thanks: Charlie
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK3500
I have been working on setting up my 2005 International 22' for long-term boondocking. My first dilemma was replacing the single 12 volt battery setup to a two battery setup. I decided on two 6 volt golf cart batteries based on the recommendations of several here and other battery articles posted here and elsewhere on the net (thanks rseagle for pointing me in the right direction). The batteries I purchased are the GC45G 244 aH batteries from Deka (http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/scrubber.pdf).

.
I figure you added about 140lbs to the tung weight with the batteries in that position. Do you have any concerns about the added weight? Did you box in the frame for added support?
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
What if you're just using a regular deep cell marine?
When I look at what I have from the factory it doesn't seem that different. The box still comes in under the couch. I've never noticed any issues with it. I'm putting in a temp. control charger converter, so I shouldn't ever have an overcharge issue. Is the concern with the gas due to corrosion, or is it a safety issue from being toxic?

Thanks: Charlie
ANY liquid cell battery WILL gas during the charging cycle. AGMs have no free liquid, hence no gassing. If you use an interior battery box, as I have seen often in smaller class 'C's it MUST BE SEALED AND VENTED TO THE OUTSIDE to assure that no hydrogen sulfide can escape to the interior of the coach.

This type of box is readily available.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet's Husband
I figure you added about 140lbs to the tung weight with the batteries in that position. Do you have any concerns about the added weight? Did you box in the frame for added support?
It was a consideration. Actually though, I added a bit under 100# as I replaced the single 12 volt (50# +/-) for the 2 x 6 volts. Also, the new design Internationals and the other current models are pretty much all running 2 batteries and 30# propane tanks. Others, like Rseagle have added similar weight to the tongue with no problems. Also, the rack itself is quite a bit stronger than the factory battery rack, which sat between the frame rails as now the weight of the batteries is directly on top of the frame rails. I do plan to weigh the tongue soon to see where I am at, especially as I intend to replace the 20# propane tanks with 30#.

As far as the question asked earlier about 2 x 6 volts vs 2 x 12 volts, I too read all the debates and articles on batteries and talked to a number of battery shops. The general consensus I got was, for the $ the golf cart batteries are a better choice over 12v, as they provide more amp-hours and typically will last longer than standard 12 volts. I know alot here are using the AGMs, which have alot of advantages over standard lead-acid batteries but for me the cost was too high.
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
What you did looks great, and doesn't take away from any storage on the trailer. This may be a stupid question, but would it be possible to just add a sealed battery box inside the trailer? My factory battery box has an opening on the side of the trailer with a plastic battery box that fits under the couch. I've read that deep cell batteries emit some gas. Would adding another plastic battery box with a lid (like Walmart sells) under the couch be safe?
Charlie
I actually thought about that, as ideally I would have liked to have a 4 battery set-up. Thought about a sealed box with 4 AGM batteries mounted under the bed and vented to the outside. From talking to folks I think it is completely doable and would keep the weight farther back from the tongue. In the end the cost of such a set-up, along with the fact the wife did not like the idea of batteries (AGM or not) right under the bed kept me from pursuing it. jk
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacerized
What you did looks great, and doesn't take away from any storage on the trailer. This may be a stupid question, but would it be possible to just add a sealed battery box inside the trailer? My factory battery box has an opening on the side of the trailer with a plastic battery box that fits under the couch. I've read that deep cell batteries emit some gas. Would adding another plastic battery box with a lid (like Walmart sells) under the couch be safe?
Charlie
People are doing this but it is not recommended for the reason that Lew mentioned. If for whatever reason the pressure rises to a point where the relieve valve opens (> 2 PSI) the Lifelines (and other AGMs) will out gas into the living area. Normally this would only happen from overcharging, particularly using a non-regulated charger. AGMs must be stored in a vented compartment just like regular lead acid batteries. You could fabricate a sealed box that vents to the outside however.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:44 AM   #20
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Who is the vented box that Lew and Randy are talking about available from?
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