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Old 05-04-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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Back / Rear mounted battery (to lessen tongue weight)

My Flagstaff 228's tongue weight is already 420 lbs when loaded with water and one battery/propane tank, or around 16.8% of total weight. Adding a second battery and propane tank will obviously push it more, leaving my tongue weight at 20+% of total weight.

I'm thinking about mounting the batteries off the rear. My dealer can and has done this before. And while I've never wanted to put bikes back there because of the jostling and weight pivoting off a single point (rear receiver hitch), I'm thinking batteries strapped down and a little more distributed might be ok? Even leaving the active battery up front and only carrying an extra for long trips on the back might be an option.

I've looked at the interior battery idea but don't like the loss of cargo space and venting concerns.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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My 228BH has a tongue weight of 500-515 lbs, with dual deep cycle 27 batteries, dual propane tanks (full), 4 gallons of fuel in a tank, and a power roof motor). That's with no water (I don't travel with the tank full of water) and just misc. stuff inside the trailer. But the tongue weight is well within the max hitch tongue weight of 800 lbs on my Silverado, but pushing it on my H3 (max 600 lbs.).

Is your dealer in Denver; Roberts Sales?
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #3
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Putting batteries on the rear may not be good for the battery's long term health. The same bouncing that is bad for your bikes and bumper (long moment arm from rear un-shocked axle), will most likely be bad for your battery. The agitation and road shocks will eventually damage the plates, I think.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f5moab View Post
My 228BH has a tongue weight of 500-515 lbs, with dual deep cycle 27 batteries, dual propane tanks (full), 4 gallons of fuel in a tank, and a power roof motor). That's with no water (I don't travel with the tank full of water) and just misc. stuff inside the trailer. But the tongue weight is well within the max hitch tongue weight of 800 lbs on my Silverado, but pushing it on my H3 (max 600 lbs.).

Is your dealer in Denver; Roberts Sales?
yes, Roberts Sales - although I'm up in Steamboat so 3 hours away.

I'm not exceeding maximum tongue weight, but this much tongue weight unneccessarily takes away from my total payload capacity. Tundra can handle around 1,300 payload. Take away 200 for my topper and bike rack, 510 for popup and you're only left with enough capacity for 3 average males with no bikes and no luggage.

I also don't like the idea of having such a high tongue weight as percentage of total camper weight. Granted I'm talking about adding two batteries and two propanes, but even with only 1 of each I'm at 420 including water weight. Just wish I could balance it more.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:17 AM   #5
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Yeah, I have a 228D and am in the same situation. VERY tongue heavy. My 2011 Grand Caravan has a 335lb maximum tongue weight so in order to keep within that I have to mount my battery in the back. I will be putting it under the sliding sofa/bed as far back as possible. I am using an AGM battery because they don't give off dangerous gas (I will still add a vent) and can handle vibration better than normal batteries.

I decided not to mount it on the bumper because it is prone to theft and damage in that very exposed spot, but that position would certainly help relieve more tongue weight.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:32 AM   #6
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If Mark gives you the instructions on how to setup/takedown the trailer, tell him Hi, from the guy in Moab with Hummer. He's a great guy and has always answered any questions, and their dealer was the straightest I could find in a 400 mile radius so I drove over from Moab to get the trailer. (And their website is fantastic with information on maintenance.)

I'm sure if Mark has done it it is safe to do, the guy seems to know what he is doing. I can see more vibration in the rear vs. the front, so maybe the answer would be to go to AGM batteries. I can tell you, flooded cell deep cycles on the front of the trailer, over extremely nasty roads will spill out fluid. One reason why I carry a gallon of distilled water when doing some serious off-road camping or driving.

I can say from personal experience, I went to a yellow top Optima AGM in my Hummer due to vibration issues on the trails out here in Moab. (Not a true deep cycle (in my opinion), but needed with the loads on the vehicle.)

I can see your worries with the possible loads. My max load is about the same with the Hummer, while my Silverado has a greater rating. But, it is only me and my 100 dog, and I no longer fill the water tank (did it once and too big of a pain).
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