Sponsored by Winnebago Industries

Author Topic: Drycamping in a Brave  (Read 774 times)

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Drycamping in a Brave
« on: May 08, 2017, 10:50:18 PM »
I tried to post this here last night and the forum got stupid and froze, so I was able to get it into iRV, but trying here again:

Asking for a friend that has a 2003 Brave.

1st, what are the options to expand the battery capacity? He tells me there are currently 2ea. 12V GP(?) under the step and it's fairly tight. Looking at some of the drawings it appears there is/was room for three batteries.. Was there an option for a larger box? Has anyone tried to fit a pair of 6V GC's in there? What about other mounting locations? Maybe this is a candidate for the Trojan 12V Deep Cycle line, but obviously 6V would be preferable.

Also he will be installing a 300W PSW inverter. Currently there is nothing there, but I see the 2003 brochure shows it as an option. I wonder if there is any factory wiring existing... does anyone know where the factory installed it?

More to come.. I should have looked at it closer in the 4 days we were camping together :(
__________________
_______________________________
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60421
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 07:43:35 AM »
Quote
Maybe this is a candidate for the Trojan 12V Deep Cycle line, but obviously 6V would be preferable.

The 6V GC2 batteries are preferable only for cost reasons, and not even that if you are talking AGM or Lithium batteries, where the 6's & 12's are priced much the same. 6v has no inherent advantage over 12v - it's the battery type that makes the difference. There is no magic - a certain amount of lead plates and acid bath are needed to produce the desired volts and amps, and 6v vs 12v is mostly a matter of how the lead plates are packaged and wired together.

He needs true deep cycle batteries and should be counting amp-hours (AH). Measure the space available and see what battery case sizes can be fit, trying different orientations.  Look for taller batteries if the space has room for them.  Here is a chart showing standard battery case sizes (BCI). The 6v/8v GC2 "golf cart" batteries are at the very end.

http://www.evdl.org/pages/bcigroup.html

Most under-step battery compartments are designed for three batteries, but one of them will be the chassis battery.

Two GC2 6v can produce about 220-230 AH. So can two 12v batteries in the Group 29/30/31 size.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 07:47:39 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2017, 04:37:19 PM »
.. Was there an option for a larger box? Has anyone tried to fit a pair of 6V GC's in there? What about other mounting locations?
Anything in the brochure about batteries?

Quote
Also he will be installing a 300W PSW inverter. Currently there is nothing there, but I see the 2003 brochure shows it as an option. I wonder if there is any factory wiring existing... does anyone know where the factory installed it?
There's a possibility the wiring is present.  We ordered our Horizon without the Splendide but I think I knew it was already prepped for it.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 05:33:28 PM »
That's what I'm thinking, just like those docking lights on another post. I need to look through the drawings to figure out where to look..

About the batteries: nothing mentioned in the brochure at all .. someone on iRV mentioned that those boxes apparently varied in size but says all he can get in there are two batteries :( ..  I guess there going to have to be a little metal work somewhere to accommodate.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 03:24:55 AM by SCVJeff »
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 01:34:18 AM »
Guess nobody boondocks in a Brave....
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 07:01:25 AM »
There is (or was) a brave Facebook group you could try.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 03:38:41 AM »
I'm proud to say I don't Facebook :) ..  Mebbe someday.  Doug is tho, I'll send him the link.

Ps- I like your weather fax page. I finally replaced my old trusty Heathkit and got it on Wu last night
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2017, 08:02:16 AM »
Facebook=Wastebook. The only reason I joined was to hook up with some former colleagues from AT&T, that was fun.

I've had my Davis Vantage Pro2 on WU for about seven years, always running on an embedded PC Linux box.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 11:43:13 AM »
I have a friend that has the same Davis and I just replaced my Heath with an AcuRite, only because the Davis i had on my Santa list was well over x2 the price. He called me yesterday all kinds of upset at how much his Davis costs over this thing. Then I told him if you wanted to run a dedicated PC/ Mac, that software is free...  apparently Davis is several hundred $$.

Think I'll get one for the coach.. that goes on the Santa list :)
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2017, 07:46:24 PM »
Sorry for the lateness of the post- I have been dry camping in my Brave.  I currently have 2) 6V golf cart batteries hooked up to a 2300W inverter.  I made a special tray for them behind the rear wheels on the drivers side.  They came from a camper I got rid of, and now they are getting tired.  They are 230AH and I could get about 5 days out of them.  Run the coffee maker 3X a day, microwave 5 min max and power the laptop for a few hours each day, plus all the lights etc that everyone likes to leave on.
I am in the process of trying to fit 4 of these in the battery step compartment.  From the factory I believe they installed 2) group 27 for the house and 1) group 29 for the engine- all 12V
Based on the tape measure I was sure I could get all 4 in and still have room for the engine battery.  I can 2 with no issues, but the other 2 will requires some tray modifications.  At the front of the tray there is a step that goes around the stairs underneath.  They left a a few inches to clear it.  This step put the 2nd row of batteries up too high and they are above the opening.  So I am either going to try to bang the sheet metal down, or cut it and weld it making that step shorter so the battery sits down lower.  I don't see in mine where the wiring for the inverter is, I am not sure where I am going to put mine yet, I am assuming in the bay to the left of the stairs on the ceiling. I will try to take some pictures that might help you with the modifications.
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 07:59:01 PM »
Excellent, thanks for all the info! We were talking (email) the other day about what will and won't fit. I have no idea what's on the chassis battery but was thinking maybe it could go up front, leaving room for the GC batteries. It's hard when he's 1000 miles away.. I'll be waiting on your pix!
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

wb6kwt

  • ---
  • Posts: 89
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 07:26:39 AM »
The inverter in our 2004 is up in the entertainment bay and as far as I know only runs the TV.

Bob
2004 Brave 30'
Retired Navy Chief
Minesweepers, Destroyers
Retired AV guy City of Tracy, California

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 08:13:10 PM »
I forgot I also have the small inverter up in the TV cabinet- it powers both cabinets above the driver and passenger.  But the wire that goes to it is quite small and won't handle a larger inverter.  So I wouldn't bother trying to chase those wires.
Here are some of the photos-
1) The existing tray with one house battery and the engine battery   
2) the step in the bottom of the tray
3) the taller golf cart battery sits too high and will spark against the bottom of the step 
4) The battery sitting on the step in the bottom of the tray 
5) You can see you can get 2 6V batteries end to end and still have the engine battery fit.  They will also fit side to side once I remove that step.
 
I am in the process of moving the wires around and gettin them all to the front of the compartment.  I am still not sure how I am going to take care of the step yet
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 08:16:45 PM by slalumiere »
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 01:00:51 AM »
John: is there a way to resize these pics so they can be seen? I see the thumbnail is correct. This is why I don't post pix direct. There's not an easy way to resize from an ipad. :(
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2017, 07:22:32 AM »
I can do that - I'll resize them sometime today.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2017, 08:12:24 PM »
Sorry about the 1st round of pictures, I wasn't sure how to resize them.  Last night I cut out the step in the bottom of the battery tray with an angle grinder.  I cut it at the bottom of the pan and left about an inch on the top.   I then replaced it with a piece of angle iron that was 3 1/4  x 2 1/2 and an 1/8" thick.  I decided to weld it but you can easily do this with 2 pieces of angle iron put in a Z shape that are bolted together and then bolted to the pan bottom and top portion.  I also moved most of the wires.  Because the batteries are going to be tight to the back wall all the grounds and 2 hots had to be moved.  I ran the grounds to the front corner of the tray and moved the hots to 3 different locations.
the 1st picture shows the step in the bottom of the pan that is just a bit too big and causes one of the batteries to sit high in the tray.
2nd picture shows what I cut out
3rd picture is the angle iron I put in
4th is it welded in place- its not pretty but it holds
Now I can fit 4 golf cart batteries in the tray and still fit a group 29 in the front for the engine
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2017, 07:33:17 AM »
Sorry about the 1st round of pictures, I wasn't sure how to resize them.  ..
If you are using Windows, use the included Paint photo editor or if on a Mac, use whatever their photo editor is. 

I just spent about 20 minutes resizing and attempting to upload the images and I keep getting max size error of 350K (must be an aggregate limit), I'm done. I'm not saving in a quality so low you can't make out details.

Edit: I see one pix made the grade...
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2017, 11:49:28 AM »
I am a good mechanic, but not a very good photo editor.  I will try just a couple more attachments, let me know if you can see them correctly.  I am sure I did it right this time.  If so I will attach the rest later
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

John Canfield

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11811
    • Jane and John's Internet Home
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2017, 01:27:36 PM »
That's good, you could even bump up the size some.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2017, 06:30:00 PM »
Here are some of the photos-
1) The existing tray with one house battery and the engine battery   
2) the step in the bottom of the tray -this is towards the door
3) the taller golf cart battery sits too high and will spark against the bottom of the step 
4) The battery sitting on the step in the bottom of the tray  - this is looking down the side of the battery to the bottom of the tray
5) You can see you can get 2 6V batteries end to end and still have the engine battery fit.  They will also fit side to side once I remove that step.
 
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2017, 06:34:44 PM »
I cut out the step in the bottom of the battery tray with an angle grinder.  I cut it at the bend in the bottom of the pan and left about an inch on the top.   I then replaced it with a piece of angle iron that was 3 1/4  x 2 1/2 and an 1/8" thick.  I decided to weld it but you can easily do this with 2 pieces of angle iron put in a Z shape that are bolted together and then bolted to the pan bottom and top portion.  I also moved most of the wires.  Because the batteries are going to be tight to the back wall all the grounds and 2 hots had to be moved.  I ran the grounds to the front corner of the tray and moved the hots to 3 different locations.

#6 picture shows what I cut out
#7  picture is the angle iron I put in
#8 is it welded in place- its not pretty but it holds
Now I can fit 4 golf cart batteries in the tray and still fit a group 29 in the front for the engine
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

SCVJeff

  • ---
  • Posts: 1065
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2017, 03:44:54 AM »
Thanks for the effort with the pix.. that's exactly why I just post links from Photobucket. I primarily use either my iPad or iPhone anymore so it's just not worth the effort.. too bad the server just can't clean up a fat file :(
SO.. it looks like the house batteries are GC2? When you're done is the end goal 4 GC-2's, ya? What height do you think you'll have? I'm wondering if a T-105 fits or you can go to T-125 or above? You mentioned sparks.. :)

For all the rust on your steel... they sell spray cans of essentially truck bed lining. I've used it in the wet bays and that stuff is almost literally bullet-proof once dry and is a beautiful finish

Thanks Again for the effort on the pix!

PS- I just sent you a PM
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 03:59:41 AM by SCVJeff »
_______________________________
Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

slalumiere

  • ---
  • Posts: 14
Re: Drycamping in a Brave
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2017, 12:47:20 PM »
Yes my house batteries are now 2) GC2- they were 2) 12V group 29.  My goal is to have 4) GC2's in there- just have to get them.  My battery height is 11.15"- the same as the T105 and T125 Trojans.  They all have the same height.  I have 12" from the bottom of the tray to the bottom of the compartment.  Then there is a 1/2: gasket on top of that.  There is plenty of room in there for height.  The sparks will only happen if you don't modify the step in the bottom of the tray.  One battery will fit in the back left corner, but the one in the front of it will stick up above the rubber gasket.  The removable tread is all steel underneath- so that is where your spark will come from.  But if you modify the step in the bottom of the tray like I showed then you get that front battery to sit down properly with no issues.
I didn't take pictures of the finished product.  I used Ospho rust preventer and then sprayed it with the bed liner.  That is something I keep in my inventory- you are correct it is near bullet proof.  I have used it in at least a dozen different battery trays with no issues.
2003 Winnebago Brave 34D
2003 Honda Accord
2011 Honda Pilot

 

Hosted by Over The Network