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 > Battery relocation project - BF10.4

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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 02/18/13 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At the risk of being accused of trolling ([emoticon]) I thought those of you with a BF 10.x might be interested.

I bought my camper without batteries. The original compartment is nice and large with convenient access, right at the starboard aft corner. It seemed a shame to use it for something as mundane as batteries:

[image]

Looking around a bit there is some unused room inside for group 27s, but I wanted to use 6V golf cart batteries. There is this access cover on the port forward side with lots of unused room inside. Intended I think for maintenance of the shower P-trap and level indicators? But mainly just unused:

[image]

Looked like they would fit in there. A little measurement and sketching and I fabricated this battery tray out of some 1/8 aluminum sheet that was lying around:

[image]

* This post was edited 02/19/13 12:28am by HMS Beagle *

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 02/18/13 07:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what the inside of the compartment looks like:

[image]

There is no structure to the bottom, its just a plastic cover. The tray sits on the sill of the access opening and is thru bolted to the floor at the inboard end. That is how the tanks are mounted as well:

[image]

The batteries have to be stuck through the opening sideways and then stood up inside, little bit of a pain but not bad. You would not want to do this with flooded cells, these are Lifeline AGMs:

[image]

Both batteries installed. There is actually room in there for 4 of these!:

[image]

The batteries are now within a foot or two of the distribution panel which is just above and inboard. I will be installing a Magnum charger/inverter in place of the Parallax ferro resonant charger there. I get to use the aft compartment for something else, and a quick calculation shows I moved the CG of the camper several inches forward by moving 132 lbs from the very back to the very front. Access isn't as good (and you would have to remove the camper from the truck) but with AGM batteries you really only look at them once every few years anyway.

Sparky87k5

Lynden, WA

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Posted: 02/18/13 08:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like it. I use AGM's on my boat, a Group 24 starting battery for each engine and an 8D for the house. Been thinking of a way to install more battery power in my TC and want to use AGM's here too. Good choice for you.


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kerry4951

East Central Pennsylvania

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Posted: 02/18/13 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice job....I love the tray!! You took wasted space and made very good use out of it. Good thinking.


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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 02/18/13 11:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice. I like the custom tray you fabricated especially.

Steve.


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msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 02/18/13 11:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

VERY nice installation!!
What are your plans for a hold-down for the batteries?

I also moved my AGM's into the front of the basement and in doing so moved the camper's CG down and forward. In addition the batteries are now in a temperature controlled space. Totally worth the limited access and cramped space IMHO. Here are some links if you're interested to see what I did...
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Cheers
-Mark


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HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 02/19/13 12:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the compliments.

I do like the Lifelines. I had a 4D in my old camper, lasted only about 11 years. The ones in the boat are going on 8 years now. I've never tried the Odysseys, how are they working out? It seemed like their main claim was lots of starting current, rather than high 20 hour capacity.

I will strap the batteries to the tray. There isn't much room for them to move anyway. They would bounce around a bit in a roll over, but then I have larger concerns.

I notice you used a Mega fuse holder right at the terminal. Fairly recently Buss along with some others have made a terminal mounted high capacity fuse just for this purpose. Anyone contemplating fusing should take a look at for example the Blue Sea terminal fuse block. You can get these at West Marine (or online a lot of places). Two terminals with different sizes (I will use 200 amps for the inverter and 50 for the house circuits). I like the idea of fusing right at the terminal - the six inch wire allowed by the rules always just seemed like another point of (unprotected) failure.

msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 02/19/13 10:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

I've never tried the Odysseys, how are they working out? It seemed like their main claim was lots of starting current, rather than high 20 hour capacity.

My Odyssey batteries have been amazing. It is true that they have a little less capacity than some AGM's (e.g. Lifeline's GPL31XT), but in terms of Amp/hours per dollar they are hard to beat. The Odyssey's really shine when it comes to powering high current loads (e.g. a microwave) with little voltage sag. Like your Lifeline's, they can be charged very quickly.

Quote:

I notice you used a Mega fuse holder right at the terminal.

I have seen the Blue Sea terminal fuses and I think they're super cool! I opted for the Mega style fuses because I was already using them elsewhere in my truck & camper (including the internal fuses in my inverter), so having to carry just one type of spare is handy.... In addition, Mega fuses are available at most auto parts stores, and they cost ~$3.50 each compared to ~$16 for the Blue Sea ones (although, I have never had to replace one).
I do agree that keeping the length of cable between the battery & fuse as short and well-protected as possible is important. In my case I used a short length of solid copper bus bar and all of the terminals have insulating boots over them.

-Mark

HMS Beagle

Napa, California

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Posted: 02/19/13 11:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good point about the commonality of fuses.

Question on the Odysseys - one purported advantage is that the absorption phase continues much higher (in terms of State Of Charge) therefore the recharge time is lower. The Lifelines will take more current than you can possibly give them when the SOC is between about 50% and 80%. On my boat where I have a very large alternator they will take 250 amps for quite a while. But they start to taper back at about 80% SOC and by 90% SOC they are down to only around 50 or 60 amps. The last 20% takes quite a while to put back in. I have heard that the Odysseys continue to charge at a high rate right up to near 100% - have you observed this? Also claimed of LiFe batteries, but I am waiting for a little more proven experience with them before I dump that kind of cash.

This is particularly important because AGMs seem to require a 100% completed charge periodically or they will die young. That requires either plugging in overnight or driving for maybe 6 hours.

dakonthemountain

Crestline, California

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Posted: 02/19/13 03:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice installation! I envy those of you that can do welding and have the equipment to do it! Kudos! So what did you use the battery compartment for?

Dak


2018 GMC Denali "Extreme" and 23' EVO 2050T Travel Trailer
Escapee member #224325-Since 1992


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