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Author Topic: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.  (Read 5999 times)

supermanotorious

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I would like to do the same inverter project on this rig as I did on the old one. Given this trailer is heavier, I do not want to add any additional tongue weight. So I'd like to mount the batteries closer to the axles than the tongue. That presents a few challenges. For starters, there is no open air compartment to stow lead acid batteries at "floor" level so I'd have to put them under the trailer. This will take some fabricating and will be a PITA when trying to inspect and top off fluid levels. Also makes me wonder where the inverter would go for the shortest distance of battery cable length. And then there is tying in the relays to the system, extremely limited space for those components in this rig.

One benefit of this trailer is a 55 amp, 3-stage converter, the Sandstorm only had a 45amp converter.

Here is a link to the project I did on the Sandstorm: http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,91264
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 08:54:23 AM by supermanotorious »
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Rene T

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Are you talking inverter or convertor?
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supermanotorious

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZBHFMY

here is where I would likely mount the inverter, on a vertical mount secured to the cabinet supports, I could make a battery rack in-between the frame rails immediately underneath that or put them in-between the frame rails between the black and gray water holding tanks
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 08:58:23 AM by supermanotorious »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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I don't see a place underneath where the batteries would not be so low as to risk knocking them off on some obstruction, or if a wheel drops in a rut and lowers the frame toward the ground. 

A short distance is optimal, but an adequate size cable compensates well enough. I would not be concerned about a run of several feet if that gave more practical choices.

Here are some alternate ideas on venting a battery in an enclosed space, e.g. a vented battery box:

https://www.amazon.com/NOCO-HM424-Sealed-Battery-Box/dp/B006VU5W92
http://www.zomeworks.com/battery-electronic-enclosures/hydrogen-venting-system/
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/65346-DIY-vented-battery-box-what-to-use
http://www.tank-depot.com/product.aspx?id=741
Gary
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tvman44

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I believe I would rather try venting a compartment to put the batteries in.  Or even building a sub-compartment in a larger compartment and venting it.

supermanotorious

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I considered the possibility of the batteries hitting the ground. There is limited area outside of the living area to build a box, the only storage is near the tongue and I'd prefer to have the batteries further back. Potentially if I put the frame rack between the axles, there would be little chance of them hitting the ground even in a rut. Any vented enclosure I build near the axles would be in the coach and I'm not a fan of that idea.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Use AGM batteries - no venting required.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

supermanotorious

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I wi$h I could go with AGM batterie$$$$$$
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supermanotorious

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A new thought has come to mind, what if I got a flush mount access hatch, and install in the floor, in between the axles? I could put the batteries under the cabin there, and have access for topping off distilled water.
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tvman44

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Sounds like a possibility, you will have to do some measuring to see if possible.

supermanotorious

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 Another twist in this build is that the Onan generator is electric start off the battery bank, I assume I leave those cables alone, and add the heavy gauge wiring for the inverter?
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2016, 12:11:11 PM »
slowly getting after this since we don't have any trips planned and it's barely starting to get cooler outside, I'm assuming the VCC is the battery charge output from the converter, correct? I'll interrupt it with a 12V 30amp relay as I've done before
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 12:19:52 PM by supermanotorious »
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2016, 09:00:10 PM »
prepping the new 30amp relay for this toy hauler, realized I didn't need the "signal" cable to the relay since the 110v input goes to the normally open contacts and the relay coil, made these tabs to make the connection, when shore power comes in, it overrides the relay and passes itself on to the electric panel
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supermanotorious

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DIY transfer switch for inverter and converter
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2016, 11:36:26 PM »
it's awesome to rebuild something you designed about a year ago, totally confident making all the terminals and connections, bought a couple of "project boxes" from stores today but returned them all, went with DIY and while old school- I'm happy with it and it cost nothing. all the relays are wired and working properly, I'll probably spend some time tomorrow cleaning up the wire runs and running the inverter's romex in to position
Home is Phoenix, AZ
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 01:50:22 PM »
with renewed energy today I decided to change things up a bit, rather than squeeze all the new components behind the converter, I took advantage of a rather large, unused space under the kitchen sink area, above the electrical panel "box", gave me another 1' or so of shore line and cleaned up the install so well, all I do is win win win no matter what

made that "L" bracket from an old bed frame.
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Mfreyder

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2016, 06:40:37 AM »
I love wood, and wood working, but maybe you should consider putting your 120VAC stuff in a metal enclosure. Things that have a capacity to burn don't play well with wood. Also a small gauge wire to connect the coil of your contactors to the AC would have been sufficient as the coil most likely pulls less than an amp. Hope this informational, not being critical.

Enjoy!

supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2016, 07:59:59 PM »
I appreciate all feedback, as long as someone isnt being belligerent, considered steel, heck I could've even TIG welded a box but I was concerned about arcing somehow, also, concerned about how to secure the relay in a box since I wanted flush sides all around
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Mfreyder

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2016, 08:24:42 PM »
Not hostile at all, as I said not critical, no idea what your skill set is. I've seen metal aircraft burnt in half from electrical fires. Looking at a wood box with power relays brings up those visuals. You did good work and to be commended for taking on the challenge.

Again, enjoy

supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2017, 06:04:01 PM »
FINALLY mounted the inverter but of course this was after de-soldering the inverter from the receptacle circuits so I could hardwire it to the RV, I connected a temporary battery to the inverter and tested my automatic transfer system. IT WORKS FLAWLESSLY! The TV never knew it switched back and forth from shore power to inverter. All that's left now is to decide where the battery bank is going, and fabricate the box for them.

For the inverter, I drilled a 1/2" hole next to a receptacle and put in a grommet, to bring the output wires out of the inverter, then I extended them with soldered connections and heat shrink wrapped the soldering.
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2017, 03:19:05 PM »
Nothing worth doing is ever easy, is it?! The termnals I bought from Amazon are great but dont fit over the inverter's lugs which are a non-standard M12 (of course). I carefully drilled them to 15/32" and they fit perfectly BUT they are not offset enough to not interfere with the lug housing on the inverter. So they need to be spaced outward. I was hoping to find some M12 nylon lock jam nuts at my Ace Hardware. They had M12 nylon locknuts and M12 jam nuts but no combo of the two as they do in standard sizes. So I'll space them out with a M12 split washer and call it good.

Now a question for you. I'm not sure how to route the remote turn on wire for the inverter. It seems all the wiring for switches etc come down from the ceiling. I have no idea how to fish the wire. How can I access anything?! I'd love to get the remote with the control panel for the water pump, gas station, generator, etc OR next to the thermostat. How would you fish the wire?
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2017, 10:38:51 AM »
plans for the battery "box" are coming together, google image search "suspended cradle" for an idea of what's coming

the (2) current batteries sit 3' from the hitch, the (4) batteries, replacing the 2, will sit 10' from the hitch, I would like to know how to calculate the reduction (if any) in tongue weight mathematically, before installing it all, and mechanically measuring
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2017, 11:48:11 AM »
the (2) current batteries sit 3' from the hitch, the (4) batteries, replacing the 2, will sit 10' from the hitch, I would like to know how to calculate the reduction (if any) in tongue weight mathematically, before installing it all, and mechanically measuring

It's just the ratio of each distance to the overall length between the hitch and the axles (the centerline between two axles).

For example, if the weight is at the hitch you'll have all the weight there and none on the axles.

If you move the weight back 1/4 of the distance, 75% will be on the hitch and 25% will be on the axles.

Put the weight halfway between the hitch and axles and 50% of the weight will be on each.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 11:50:04 AM by Lou Schneider »

supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2017, 12:19:31 PM »
excellent point, thank you
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2017, 10:38:05 PM »
here is the basic idea for the battery cradle and it's starting to come together, it will hang from eight 5/16" grade 8 bolts with nylon lock nuts, all the holes in the cradle are drilled first, undersized, then passed on to the RV frame rails, then expanded to size for perfect alignment

also, the motorcycle jack is showing you exactly where the batteries will be

I could still use some advice on fishing the remote wire for the inverter
Home is Phoenix, AZ
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2017, 10:16:00 PM »
getting the angles to mate was kinda of a PITA but it was also kind of fun, that is the fabricator's conundrum! pics might be a little misleading: the bars are perfectly parallel and the ends are of identical length and exact same angles

i'm SO on the fence with this project, this box will certainly hang low and i cant tell you if it's too low or not but i'm afraid it might be, the problem is my driveway slopes away from the house and the trailer is backed in, so the rear of the trailer is close to the ground while the tongue is several feet above so it sits level in these pictures and when it's level on level ground, this box will be closer to the ground

i'll continue making this cradle, at least tacking the rough frame together then hitch it up for a test drive, a big indicator will be simply having the tow vehicle wheels come off the sidewalk on to the street, if it bottoms out then, it's not good

since i was concerned, i decided to re-weigh the tongue, with the 2 batteries on the tongue i'm at 1,172 lbs, with out at 1,100, i'd really like to be under 1,000 as a basis then adding weight before/after the axles to fine tune afterwards, at a minimum this tells me i can not add more batteries (weight) to the tongue

if the cradle doesn't work for clearance reasons, i'll consider some vented boxes in the rear most part of the only storage compartment although that will still require some tongue weight measurements, first world problems i guess

on a slightly related note i'm making a custom drop shank for my truck since the Harbor Freight shank in the weight distributing hitch barely (if at all) makes it level, I'd like to tip the scale a little and have it barely level on a too high note, so that extra height should help as well
« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 10:19:10 PM by supermanotorious »
Home is Phoenix, AZ
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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 8.1L 496ci 4x4
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Phoenix Winch wakeboard winches

supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2017, 04:51:28 PM »
coming along, my little helper approves ha ha ha ha
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xrated

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2017, 07:40:35 PM »
Looks more like you just added a bit more sleeping capacity to the trailer instead of more battery space!   ;D
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2017, 08:59:54 AM »
if I pulled that stunt mom would shoot me ha ha ha
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Derby6

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2017, 01:37:51 PM »
getting the angles to mate was kinda of a PITA but it was also kind of fun, that is the fabricator's conundrum! pics might be a little misleading: the bars are perfectly parallel and the ends are of identical length and exact same angles

i'm SO on the fence with this project, this box will certainly hang low and i cant tell you if it's too low or not but i'm afraid it might be,

Yes fabricating stuff like that can be a PIA.
IMHO that is pretty low.  Looks like its about the same height as your dump valve.
If if this does ever hit; the damage could be catastrophic.  Unlike the dump valve which is only plastic so will break and can be relatively easily repaired. :-\
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supermanotorious

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Re: Another inverter project, maybe a custom battery rack for under the coach.
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2017, 04:24:52 PM »
yeah I know, I'll have to do some tests, maybe a skid plate or wheelie bar, may have to remember to visually inspect going through ruts

but the steel is already paid for, so its just my time going forward, I'll def take the test ride before finishing with sheet metal, and before installing batteries

and for your delicious viewing pleasure, I'll have a gopro underneath filming it!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 06:03:28 PM by supermanotorious »
Home is Phoenix, AZ
2008 Skyline Freestyle M-240 Way-Lite
2003 Harley Davidson Dyna FXDX
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 8.1L 496ci 4x4
1994 Four Winns Freedom
various quads, off-road gokarts, mini bikes
Phoenix Winch wakeboard winches

 

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