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Old 09-22-2016, 06:17 AM   #1
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Torklift PowerArmor solar battery box - installation and review

There's a little back story... bear with me.

Earlier this year we had our trailer lifted so we could back it up our driveway without scraping the rear stabilizers (see this thread).

A little later (it may have been in a different thread) I was talking about the extra distance now present between the lower step and the ground. ependydad recommended the Torklift GlowStep Revolution. I looked it up and liked what I saw but allowed as to how it would have to be a mod for next year because this year's mod budget was well and truly spent.

Fast forward a month or so... we're in Cold Lake AB visiting my cousins when I get a PM here on FRF that reads...
Hello John,

I hope your day is going well. I was going through the forum and noticed you posted that you are interested in getting the GlowStep Revolution for your trailer. After further review of your profile and seeing how active you are on the forum, I think you would be a great person to try out the GlowStep Revolution as a product evaluator. I would like to send you the GlowStep Revolution for free in exchange for your feedback and comments about the product on a survey that we will send you after they are installed. You are not required to write a review; we are just looking for your feedback on the product.
I was a little skeptical; I have been approached by "phishermen" before. I contacted Torklift through their website and, sure enough, the offer was legit. All I had to do was provide a couple of measurements and they would ship the steps right to me. Yes, even in Canada!

At this point you might be saying to yourself, "I thought this thread was about a battery box?" It will be. Read on.

The steps are made in two widths to fit frame step brackets 25.5" and 27.5" apart. Imagine my disappointment to find the brackets on our 2012 Rockwood 2701 are a measly 22" apart. I spent some time under the trailer, looking at the mounts with a flashlight, muttering to myself and trying to imagine how I could make it fit. Perhaps someone with more metalworking skills could. Maybe it's you. Is it you? Please PM me. But don't let's discuss it here. REMEMBER... THIS IS A BATTERY BOX THREAD!

With a heavy heart I shared the sad news with Torklift. They assured me that if they ever do make a narrower set they would keep me in mind. And then they asked me to look through their website to see if there was another product I would like to evaluate. For free.

You see where this is headed, don't you?

I chose a PowerArmor Battery Box (I am ever tempted to spell it "PowerArmour" but I will respect the roots of the company and its product, which are American from A to Zed). More specifically, I chose the PowerArmor Solar A7708RS. It is a solidly constructed steel box that sports a 10W solar panel and enough interior space for two Trojan T-105 6V batteries, or a pair of group 31 12V batteries. Into this I would put the crown jewel of 12V power... my single, dealer-supplied group 24 battery. 10W can easily overcharge it, so TorkLift is sending me a charge regulator too.

The box, unboxed:




The mounting system:




The box, installed:



When the regulator arrives I will connect the solar panel through it to the battery (more photos to come).

I have my doubts about how much sun the panel will actually see with the box sandwiched between the propane tanks and the front of the trailer but I'll test it at the end of the season by leaving everything connected for the first month the trailer is in storage. When I come to retrieve the battery I'll check to see if it's still fully charged. If so, woo hoo! If not, oh well. If dead, yippee! New batteries!

As usual (for me), you can see the whole write up on my website at Mods - Solar Battery Box. Descriptions, trials and tribulations, lots more photos and - yay -a review of the manual (it's quite good).

Overall - so far - I'm very impressed with the design and construction.
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Restcure (formerly JD and Beastlet)
2012 Rockwood Ultra-Lite 2701SS > ProPride 3P 1400 > 2013 F150 FX4 SC EB LB max tow 3.73s
John, Dawn, daughter Emily and Bella the camping kitty
www.restcure.ca


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Old 09-22-2016, 07:16 AM   #2
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Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Too bad you weren't able to use the steps. I installed mine before heading out to Alberta, for 2.5 months, this past summer. I say past as it's going to be fall later this AM. Quite a difference from our 3 step diving board to the 4 step supported Glow steps. A bit more involved to store them but we like them.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipeman View Post
Too bad you weren't able to use the steps. I installed mine before heading out to Alberta, for 2.5 months, this past summer. I say past as it's going to be fall later this AM. Quite a difference from our 3 step diving board to the 4 step supported Glow steps. A bit more involved to store them but we like them.
Yeah, I hear you. They're already making them in two widths and I'm guessing the only difference between one set and the other is the width of the steps themselves - all the other hardware would be common. Sure would be nice if they would make 22" steps as well!

Some pics of the charge regulator installation:

Charge regulator and wiring secured to back of panel.




Internal wiring (from the solar charge socket to the battery)








Plugged in!




The website write-up has been updated (see link in first post).
__________________
Restcure (formerly JD and Beastlet)
2012 Rockwood Ultra-Lite 2701SS > ProPride 3P 1400 > 2013 F150 FX4 SC EB LB max tow 3.73s
John, Dawn, daughter Emily and Bella the camping kitty
www.restcure.ca


illegitimi non carborundum
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