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Old 03-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
1982 31' Airstream 310
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Where to add additional batteries

I'm looking to expand my onboard energy storage to allow for more extended unplugged ventures in my '75 sovereign center bath. I have a single Lifeline GPL-31T AGM battery which is located in the center of the trailer between the door and wheel well (under kitchen sink). There is not room in the current battery compartment for a second battery so I'm looking for alternate battery locations.

I'm trying to find a location for the second battery or figure out if I need to find a new place for both batteries. All of my electrics (converter, fuse box, breakers, etc) are also in the sink cabinet.

Anyone have suggestions or experiences with the same layout?

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Instead of a second battery, what about a larger battery with more amp-hours in place of the Group 31 battery you have now? Assuming the battery box you already have is big enough, of course.

The typical Group 31 battery is rated for 105 amp-hours, and measures 13󬱙0 inches. Weight is about 70 pounds. This is about what you've already got.

A Group 4D battery is rated for 200 amp-hours, almost double what you have now, but dimensions only increase to about 20󭅅0 inches. Weight goes up, too, to 130 pounds.

A Group 8D battery, if you have room for it, increases your rating to 250 amp-hours, and the dimensions increase to about 211111 inches. Weight goes up to about 160 pounds.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by demondeacon3 View Post
I'm looking to expand my onboard energy storage to allow for more extended unplugged ventures in my '75 sovereign center bath. I have a single Lifeline GPL-31T AGM battery which is located in the center of the trailer between the door and wheel well (under kitchen sink). There is not room in the current battery compartment for a second battery so I'm looking for alternate battery locations.

I'm trying to find a location for the second battery or figure out if I need to find a new place for both batteries. All of my electrics (converter, fuse box, breakers, etc) are also in the sink cabinet.

Anyone have suggestions or experiences with the same layout?

Thanks,
Ron
You can add 2 battery boxes underneath the wing windows, just like Airstream did on some later models.

All of those parts are still available.

The wiring connecions can easily be done too.

Andy
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
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Thanks, the group 31 is pretty tight in the box, but I'll have to look and see if I can steal a few inches for the other batteries. Every little bit helps.

If I were to move the batteries elsewhere and not the rest of the electrical is there any concen over a longer run between the battery and the distribution box?
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Thanks, the group 31 is pretty tight in the box, but I'll have to look and see if I can steal a few inches for the other batteries. Every little bit helps.

If I were to move the batteries elsewhere and not the rest of the electrical is there any concen over a longer run between the battery and the distribution box?
There would be no problem, as long as you used adequate sized wire.

Andy
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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Okay. After reading through the suggestions here and doing a lot of other research and considerations. I think I'm going to go with two Lifeline GPL-6CTs. With a few slight modifications to my battery box I should be able to get them into the same spot and not have to worry about moving them elsewhere and adding battery boxes. I also will have almost tripled my battery storage capacity without loosing anymore space.

Now onto solar to keep these new batteries topped off.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:23 AM   #7
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I have the same model Aristream and the same problem. I am thinking we have similar ideas for solutions too. I am thinking, if I remove the plastic part of the battery box, I can fit 2 AGM batteries side by side. I plan on installing them from the inside. I think I will need to move the converter and fuze panel up to the shelf that sits below the sink. That should free up enough room. Have you actually put the 2 AGM batteries in yet? Challenges? Surprises ?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:48 AM   #8
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kos221. I haven't begun the adjustments for the batteries yet. We're thinling similar things though. Left to right there is enough room for the two batteries. Depth is going to be close, I think ny removing the plastic surround will allow enough room for it to fit the required depth. The height needs about 2-3 inches. I was thinking of removing the plastic battery box cap and replacing it with a wood box allowing the extra needed height.

As far as moving the converter and fuse panel. I actually replace those electric with a progressive dynamics converter - ac/dc panel combo. It will still fit in the space on top of the new battery box.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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So one concern I have is over the additional weight of the batteries and whether or not I need to add more structural support to cover the additional weight. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #10
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I also have the progressive dynamics 3 stage charger 9200 series I think. That probably saves 40 pounds compared to the univolt so I am not really concerned about the additional weight of another battery on the curb side. Since it is so close to the axle, I doubt that it will increase tongue weight by much at all. Now about the actual battery mounting: I think if I take out the plastic battery box, I will not gain much depth because the sub floor is not cut out much deeper than the plastic battery box and I think the frame is not too far from that. (not enough room to mount a battery in there sideways) so.... I am thinking about not really using the battery door at all and mounting the 2 batteries sideways from the original mounting, on the sub floor. I will put them in from inside and fabricate a battery box for them. If the original plastic box is removed, part of the new batteries will sit over the opening (where the battery box was) and that should aid in venting. some pictures will follow to describe what I am saying. I have not yet purchased the new batteries yet. Still in the air on the exact battery I want. Hmmm I wonder if 4 will fit...?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #11
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I have three Group 27 AGM batteries. All of them are under the couch.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:05 PM   #12
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Cat, where is your converter, what size wire did you use?
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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Just to make sure all the bases are covered, don't forget about addressing the venting issue for any additional batteries.

Dan
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #14
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Just to make sure all the bases are covered, don't forget about addressing the venting issue for any additional batteries.

Dan
How much ventilation is necessary? Our trailer has the battery in the rear compartment, which vented into the bath area. I'd like to move the battery to a tall clothes closet next to the stove, but wondered how I'd vent the battery, if there was a problem with it on the floor next to the stove etc. Can the vent be something like pex going through the floor, with the battery in a battery box? I want to add shelves to the cabinet so the battery location would be isolated from storage. Is it bad to have the battery accessible only from inside the coach? Thanks
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:49 AM   #15
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Dan,
First, let me say that I am no expert. Ok, from the knowledge I have gathered, a flooded cell battery is not the safest bet in the trailer because you would need a sealed box and both top and bottom vents and there is always the possibility for some kind of leakage. An AGM battery is supposedly sealed and would not require any venting. I think that a vent as you describe through the floor would be a pretty good idea for an AGM battery anyway. The best place to add weight is as close to the axle in my opinion.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:58 PM   #16
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Globie

I know very little about battery ventilation requirements. Charging the battery makes hydrogen gas and it is very explosive. The more that the battery is charged, the more hydrogen gas is made. I believe that a 3 stage converter is important so the battery is not over charged. Hydrogen gas is lighter than air, so the vent needs to be at the top. One is also needed at the bottom to let air in. I don't know how large the vents need to be. We will need to wait for more help on that one.

Dan
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:11 PM   #17
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Go with the sealed AGM ... no venting required ... a bit more pricey, but longer life and can be used to a lower voltage without permanent damage.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #18
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Update time!!!
The project is underway pictures to follow after the weekend.
Parts list: in the stock midship location, 2 6v lifeline batteries 220 amp hrs @ 12 volt, 0/1 gauge jumper, #1 gauge to inverter, 1500 watt cobra inverter with remote switch, progressive dynamics 9260 with charge wizard wired with #4 gauge, stock fuse block wired with #4 gauge, xantrex pro meter, 16' 4"multi color LED lights in living room, 32' 8" blue LED ground effect lighting under the trailer with dimmer mounted in cabin. Let's see if I can put it all together... Any suggestions or tips?
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:34 PM   #19
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Ok here is a teaser of the interior LEDs as they cycle colors
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #20
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kos, you beat me to it.

I had plans on getting everything done by the end of March. I'm actually combining the battery expansion along with the install of 300w solar. I was able to install the two 150w panels on the roof and run the line into the interior, but then the weather was warm and I just had to go out and camp. Spent the last two weeks in the Smoky Mountains. It was great.

My next step is to remove in the sink cabinet to gain access and have room to work around the battery box and rest of the electrical. I still have hope at fitting the (2) 6 volt AGMs in the battery compartment area. I plan on keepin the door, but anticipate having to enlarge and reframe the compartment. While AGMs are sealed, I feel more comfortable with some venting via the exisiting battery door and sealing the battery compartment from the interior of the trailer.

In addition to the battery expansion; I am connecting the 300w of solar, installing the solar charge controller, solar charge monitor, and battery monitor. All of which will be going in the sink cabinet and, by the way, will be protected from potential water intrusion from the sink or leaks. I also have the Progessive Dynamics 4560: 60 amp converter and AC/DC distribution panel in the same cabinet, so space is getting a little tight.

I'll do my best to post updates along the way.
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