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-   -   Batteries and Inverter (http://www.montanaowners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13546)

bobgay 01-29-2006 08:34 AM

Batteries and Inverter
 
We don't do much dry camping, but we occasionally spend a night without electrical hookups. I am considering installing a small inverter so we can use small appliances (electric blanket, TV, etc). I am also thinking about replacing my battery with two golf cart batteries for extra reserve power. I have plenty of room in the forward compartment where the battery is now, but am wondering how to ventilate them. The single battery I have now is covered with a shroud with a tube duct running up to a louvered vent. Has anyone seen this setup adapted to handle 2 batteries?

My second question is where to locate the inverter. Since the compartment is not otherwise vented, I would think it would not be safe to put it in the same compartment with the battery, even though the battery fumes are presumably ducted outside the compartment. I guess I could drill holes in the wall into the adjoining compartment and mount it there. I'd appreciate any thoughts you knowledgeable people may have.[?]

carlson 01-29-2006 10:30 AM

It is hard to find a battery box the size of a 6volt battery.
I actually put in (4) 6 volt batteries in two boxes
I made mine out of plywood and painted them with auto undercoating spray.
Drilled a 1 1/2" hole into the bottom and through the bottom of the compartment.
Then I picked up hose 1" for a sump pump and fillings, I ran the hose from the orginal vent into a "Tee" that I put into the top of the first box then hose to a second "Tee in the second box and then ran the hose to the outside in the bottom of the compartment.
We put in a 2500 watt inverter into the front comapartment next to the batteries.
I ran two runs of 10-3 wire from the front to the compartment where the panel is to feed both the inverter wihth power and power back to the panel.
With the inverter you need to look what is powered off which circuit that you want to have power when on the road.
We really love the set-up for stopping overnight and when we stop to see friends we do not have to worry about power or where we have to park.
It is nice to have the freedom

padredw 01-29-2006 12:08 PM

Every time a discussion similar to this comes up I am reminded of my very first query on the Montana Forum. No need to repeat all that, but just to say that as a result I installed two Trogan 6 volt golf cart batteries wired in series to produce 12 volts and have been extremely satisfied. Got the help I needed right here.

Here is the way my installation looks in my 2955RL.

http://www.dw4u.net/bb1.jpg

This is a BlueSea battery box specifically for 2 golf cart batteries which I modified for the compartment with venting.

bobgay 01-29-2006 03:44 PM

Thanks for the input, guys. I hadn't considered putting both batteries in one box, but it sounds like a good idea. Carlson, it sounds like you have a very nice system, but my plans are much less ambitious.
Padredw, two questions. Where did you put your inverter, and where did you find the battery box?
Thanks again for the ideas.

padredw 01-29-2006 04:28 PM

Bob, I do not have an inverter. We do very little 'boondocking' (is that the word?). We just wanted a better margin of 12 volt power.

The 2 batteries just exactly fit in that BlueSea battery box as it is specifically designed for them. Here is the home page:

http://www.bluesea.com/product.asp?P...62&l1=7462&l2=

And here is the source from which I purchased:

http://www.iboats.com/mall/index.cgi...&view_id=14589

Let me know if you have any questions about installation.

padredw 01-29-2006 04:39 PM

It might be simpler to just repeat this document I posted once more:

http://dw4u.net/box.doc

It is in DOC format. Let me know if you need it in a different format.

bobgay 01-29-2006 11:55 PM

David, thanks for the links. That is a real clean-looking installation. How did you attach the vent hose?
























dsprik 01-30-2006 12:21 AM

BobGay, just wondering that myself.

padredw 01-30-2006 02:13 AM

Bob, that is the original vent hose from the single battery box that came on our Montana. We left it attached at the top of the compartment. We cut a hole with a "hole saw" in the top of the box lid and simply put the hose through and used some silicon to hold it in place.

When I lift the box to service the battery I just leave the hose attached and put the whole lid to the side--no problem.

For the bottom vent we were able to use the existing hole in the bottom plate, but for some models a new hole might have to be cut. See my notes in the DOC file above.


bobgay 01-30-2006 03:46 PM

David, after looking at the box on the website and your picture and studying your writeup on the installation, I think I finally understand the installation. I'm a little slow, but I do get there. Looks like I need to do some measuring and lots of thinking before I start the project, but it looks doable. Thanks for the help.

ols1932 01-30-2006 05:53 PM

I have two D8 Lifeline AGM batteries (12V). They don't need any special ventilation since they are sealed. My inverter is mounted in the same compartment against the back wall.
Orv

dsprik 01-30-2006 07:30 PM

Can you expalin a "D8", Orv?

HamRad 01-31-2006 06:21 PM

dsprik,
This is not Orv -- but D8 is a type of battery. It is a large, deep cycle, sealed type battery. Very good battery for an RV and especially nice since they require no maintenance. They are relatively expensive and require a good charger. Gypsy had them in her rig. She has a nice solar array that she charges them with. Perhaps she'll read and respond too.

Unless you use a sealed battery you should NEVER place your inverter and battery(ies) in the same compartment. Even if your batteries are in a box and vented! There is simply too much danger of an explosion or fire.

HamRad

bobgay 02-01-2006 12:54 AM

HamRad, how expensive are they? Are they greater capacity than golf cart batteries? What is the downside to them (other than cost)? Twenty questions??:D

HamRad 02-01-2006 06:28 AM

Bobgay,
I'm sorry Bob I do not know but they are more expensive than regular types. When I replace my current set of batteries I will replace with the gold cart type. I like the extra amp hours you get at a relatively low cost. I will install a total of 4. And I'm going to get the caps that help conserve the water. Hopefully I'll get another year out of the current batteries.

We just spent 2 weeks boondocking at Quartzsite and I would have felt much more comfortable with the extra amp hours I would have had with the golf cart type.

Bob there are some excellent posts on here about this issue. A search might show them to you. Lots of really good info in addition to what you've already gotten.

Good luck. A good strong set of batteries will make any and all of your travels more enjoyable.

HamRad

ols1932 02-01-2006 11:15 AM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by dsprik

Can you expalin a "D8", Orv?
Dave,
Hamrad did a pretty good job of describing the D8. They are heavy--about 150 lbs each and I have two. Gives me 510 ampere hours of storage. I know they are pricey, but you really get your money's worth.
Orv.

dsprik 02-01-2006 02:45 PM

Wow, Orv... 300 # for two? Or do you only need one? Thanks for the info, I have never heard of these before.

OntMont 02-01-2006 02:56 PM

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by ols1932

Quote:

quote:Originally posted by dsprik

Can you expalin a "D8", Orv?
Dave,
Hamrad did a pretty good job of describing the D8. They are heavy--about 150 lbs each and I have two. Gives me 510 ampere hours of storage. I know they are pricey, but you really get your money's worth.
Orv.
Maybe it is obvious, but keep in mind that the battery group D8 etc. (actually it is 8D) is mostly a size specification, it does not have anything to do with the quality, chemistry, or amp hour capacity of the battery. 8D should have a high capacity, simply because of its size, but there will be variations among different brands and types of batteries.

If anyone is interested here is a list of battery classes: (probably more information than anyone really wants).

BCI GROUP NUMBERS, AND DIMENSIONAL SPECIFICATIONS
BCI
Group
Number
Maximum Overall Dimensions footnote
Millimeters Inches
L W H L W H
PASSENGER CAR AND LIGHT COMMERCIAL_BATTERIES 12-VOLT (6 CELLS)
21 208 173 222 8 3/16 6 13/16 8 3/4
22F 241 175 211 9 1/2 6 7/8 8 5/16
22HF 241 175 229 9 1/2 6 7/8 9
22NF 240 140 227 9 7/16 5 1/2 8 15/16
22R 229 175 211 9 6 7/8 8 5/16
24 260 173 225 10 1/4 6 13/16 8 7/8
24F 273 173 229 10 3/4 6 13/16 9
24H 260 173 238 10 1/4 6 13/16 9 3/8
24R 260 173 229 10 1/4 6 13/16 9
24T 260 173 248 10 1/4 6 13/16 9 3/4
25 230 175 225 9 1/16 6 7/8 8 7/8
26 208 173 197 8 3/16 6 13/16 7 3/4
26R 208 173 197 8 3/16 6 13/16 7 3/4
27 306 173 225 12 1/16 6 13/16 8 7/8
27F 318 173 227 12 1/2 6 13/16 8 15/16
27H 298 173 235 11 3/4 6 13/16 9 1/4
29NF 330 140 227 13 5 1/2 8 15/16
33 338 173 238 13 5/16 6 13/16 9 3/8
34 260 173 200 10 1/4 6 13/16 7 7/8
34R 260 173 200 10 1/4 6 13/16 7 7/8
35 230 175 225 9 1/16 6 7/8 8 7/8
36R 263 183 206 10 3/8 7 1/4 8 1/8
40R 277 175 175 10 15/16 6 7/8 6 7/8
41 293 175 175 11 3/16 6 7/8 6 7/8
42 243 173 173 9 5/16 6 13/16 6 13/16
43 334 175 205 13 1/8 6 7/8 8 1/16
45 240 140 227 9 7/16 5 1/2 8 15/16
46 273 173 229 10 3/4 6 13/16 9
47 246 175 190 9 11/16 6 7/8 7 1/2
48 306 175 192 12 1/16 6 7/8 7 9/16
49 381 175 192 15 6 7/8 7 3/16
50 343 127 254 13 1/2 5 10
51 238 129 223 9 3/8 5 1/16 8 13/16
51R 238 129 223 9 3/8 5 1/16 8 13/16
52 186 147 210 7 5/16 5 13/16 8 1/4
53 330 119 210 13 4 11/16 8 1/4
54 186 154 212 7 5/16 6 1/16 8 3/8
55 218 154 212 8 5/8 6 1/16 8 3/8
56 254 154 212 10 6 1/16 8 3/8
57 205 183 177 8 1/16 7 3/16 6 15/16
58 255 183 177 10 1/16 7 3/16 6 15/16
58R 255 183 177 10 1/16 7 3/16 6 15/16
59 255 193 196 10 1/16 7 5/8 7 3/4
60 332 160 225 13 1/16 6 5/16 8 7/8
61 192 162 225 7 9/16 6 3/8 8 7/8
62 225 162 225 8 7/8 6 3/8 8 7/8
63 258 162 225 10 3/16 6 3/8 8 7/8
64 296 162 225 11 11/16 6 3/8 8 7/8
65 306 190 192 12 1/16 7 1/2 7 9/16
70 208 179 196 8 3/16 7 1/16 7 11/16
71 208 179 216 8 3/16 7 1/16 8 1/2
72 230 179 210 9 1/16 7 1/16 8 1/4
73 230 179 216 9 1/16 7 1/16 8 1/2
74 260 184 222 10 1/4 7 1/4 8 3/4
75 230 179 196 9 1/16 7 1/16 7 11/16
76 334 179 216 13 1/8 7 1/16 8 1/2
78 260 179 196 10 1/4 7 1/16 7 11/16
85 230 173 203 9 1/16 6 13/16 8
86 230 173 203 9 1/16 6 13/16 8
90 246 175 175 9 11/16 6 7/8 6 7/8
91 280 175 175 11 6 7/8 6 7/8
92 317 175 175 12 1/2 6 7/8 6 7/8
93 354 175 175 15 6 7/8 6 7/8
95R 394 175 190 15 9/16 6 7/8 7 1/2
96R 242 173 175 9 9/16 6 13/16 6 7/8
97R 252 175 190 9 15/16 6 7/8 7 1/2
98R 283 175 190 11 3/16 6 7/8 7 1/2
PASSENGER CAR AND LIGHT COMMERCIAL BATTERIES 6-VOLT(3 CELLS)
1 232 181 238 9 1/8 7 1/8 9 3/8
2 264 181 238 10 3/8 7 1/8 9 3/8
2E 492 105 232 19 7/16 4 1/8 9 1/8
2N 254 141 227 10 5 9/16 8 15/16
17HF 187 175 229 7 3/8 6 7/8 9
HEAVY-DUTY COMMERCIAL BATTERIES 12-VOLT (6 CELLS)
4D 527 222 250 20 3/4 8 3/4 9 7/8
6D 527 254 260 20 3/4 10 10 1/4
8D 527 283 250 20 3/4 11 1/8 9 7/8
28 261 173 240 10 5/16 6 13/16 9 7/16
29H 334 171 232 13 1/8 6 3/4 9 1/8 10
30H 343 173 235 13 1/2 6 13/16 9 1/4 10
31 330 173 240 13 6 13/18 9 7/16

ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERIES 6-VOLT (3CELLS)
GC2 264 183 270 10 3/8 7 3/16 10 5/8
GC2H 264 183 295 10 3/8 7 3/16 11 5/8

Data excerpted from the BCI Battery Replacement Data Book.
[ errors may have been introduced in transcription. ]

Note 1: The complete BCI listing includes several categories not included here: Heavy-Duty motor Coach and Bus batteries, and Special Tractor Batteries (6 and 12-volt). BCI provides configuration diagrams and performance ratings as well. Contact BCI, 401 N. Michigan ave, Chicago IL 60611-4267, (312) 644-6610 for more information.

Note 2: The maximum height includes the terminal posts. Width and length measurements are generally to the widest point, including protruding flanges, except for hold-down flanges at the bottom of the battery. See the diagrams in the BCI battery Replacement Data Book for full details.


dsprik 02-02-2006 12:32 PM

Orv, your 2 D8s give you 510 amp hrs you said. What does a pair of regular deep cycle 12 v batteries and 6 v golf cart batteries have for amp hrs?

bobgay 02-02-2006 03:07 PM

Dave, check out Glenn's post "RV Related Links" in the Sitting Around the Campfire section. There are some excellent sources there about batteries and electrical systems, particularly the one one titled "The 12 Volt Side of Life".
Bob


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