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I'm planning on two winter projects that end up being somewhat interrelated.....
First off, new floor covering - the 31 year old carpet has got to go. In it's place, either laminate planking strips or a top-end grade of sheet vinyl, yet to be determined. One challenge is the chassis battery compartment located below a floor trap door at the top of the entry steps - it would make new flooring look better and be an easier install if I could eliminate the battery access door assembly and just cover-over the area.
Second project is to make the Barth more "boondockable". Not considering an inverter for now - just enough 12v to handle lights, stereo, laptop, furnace fan, etc. The existing chassis battery box is only big enough for one Grp-24 battery - hardly enough for multi-night jaunts to remote sites.
The rear-facing dinette seat (& storage compartment) is about 2 feet from existing battery box, making heavy cable extensions feasible, and the compartment could accommodate some good-size batteries(Ex: 4ea T-105's) The compartment could be easily sealed at sides & bottom, and a gasketed seat/lid held down with camlocks should seal the top. Venting could be accomplished via in/out directional vents through the floor. I have an InteliPower 9200 w/ Charge Wizard, so I'm fairly confident I wouldn't have battery-cooking issues & fumes build-up. If added weight is an issue, keeping the right fuel tank (50gal - under dinette foot area) at 1/2 level or less would cancel-out almost 200 lbs of added battery weight. Old battery location is below chassis rails, new location would be above, but I'm not smart enough to calculate any potential CG issues. Obviously, proper battery hold-downs anchored through the floor would be part of the project.....
Question: Would this arrangement be considered safe-enough for wet cell batteries, or should I be considering just paying the 200-300% uptick and installing AGM's? While it seems that AGM's would give me added peace-of-mind, I'd prefer not to spend the $$ unless it's the prudent thing to do.
.......And what else haven't I even considered yet?.....Thanks!
|First Month Member|
AGMs are not only sealed, but can be charged at a much higher rate. This cuts down on your genset run time and fuel burn, saving you some money. They also hold a charge for a long time, so they don't require as much mothering and are less likely to sulfate, saving you money.
However, if you are a good battery nanny, flooded batts are more cost effective, and will last longer if you choose well.
As far as interior usage, it would depend on sealing and ventilation. I would be sure there is no wood or metal in the battery compartment. That could mean lining it with tar or plastic. I believe you are familiar with the FAA's dictum on bituminous lining of battery compartments. Or you could construct a new area out of that plastic boat stuff that Defender sells. Or patio board. Acid fumes are insidious. You could also find a correctly-sized plastic storage bin with a good lid and use a sparkproof bilge blower in the suction mode to assure low pressure inside so no acid fumes build up or get out. The axial flow inline blowers suck best. You would only need to run it when the batts were being charged, so its power usage would not be a big deal. It could be relayed by the ignition of both the engine and genset. Use either separate relays or diode isolation to prevent backfeed. You can also make your own battery box out of 1/4 inch ABS sheet stock. ABS glue and ABS filings mixed up makes a nice thick glue that will act as a reinforcing fillet after initial assembly with ABS glue. I have made both tanks and battery boxes that way.
We survive quite well on just two T-125s, but we don't sleep with a furnace on. Sub-freezing mornings and evenings are handled by a portable propane heater.
Have you done the LED thing inside? Lots of battery stretching there. There are some really nice warm white LEDs out now. Even Susan tolerates them.
84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
Formally known as "Humbojb"
Bill, could you give a reference to "warm LED lights"? Thanks
|First Month Member|
The color of a light is rated by numbers on a Kelvin scale. The numbers relate to the color of the light perceived by the human eye. Some sellers will state the number in describing the color of the light, but since they all come from a country not known for honesty in product description, I don't put much stock in the numbers. In a nutshell, the older white LEDs we are used to are pretty blue. Newer ones are more white, but still not "warm". A little more shift to red or orange gives a light the characterization of being warm. Before warm white LEDs hit the market, I used a little red dye on every third LED to make the color nicer. Our patio light also has LEDs, but the blue color was just not nice. Turns out a yellow lens was a quick and easy way to do the job. It is not nice to look at, but the light it casts is quite acceptable. If I can find my gel samples, I will try a little red with the clear lens.
A good practical example of this is being outside barbeque-ing, and using an LED flashlight to judge the done-ness of the meat. EEEK! That is an example of how the color of a light can affect your perception or just general feeling. Inside, eating, the old LEDs didn't flatter the food, either. Back to the BBQ.......My BBQ headlamp has selectable dual light sources......LED for general use and incandescent as a meat-looker-atter. I haven't looked at a really rare steak with a warm white light yet, but it is on my to do list. We just got back from a 10 day trip, and Susan was very happy with her WW stove hood and kitchen counter LED lights.
If you're interested, I can recommend a few sources of both individual WW LEDs and some 12 volt regulated modules and strips.
I put a WW LED module to light my Barth grab handle, and just left it on forever, as it drew very little current. We soon got very tired of passers-by knocking on our door to tell us we had left a light on. I had forgotten about the 4 LEDs in the bathroom ceiling years ago. I just wired them to be on forever. Turns out the police had the RV under surveillance checking for illegal sleepers.
84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
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