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Old 04-11-2016, 01:37 PM   #1
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How Best to Add (Secure) a Second Battery

Hello to All:

I have a 2014 Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 17FQ that I recently purchased and I have a second battery from my previous trailer that I was able to have two batteries on the tongue frame, side-by-side.

Unfortunately, the design on this particular model of Coachmen Clipper has the gas line going into the trailer right in the way of where a second battery could be installed (Aargh!)

My current plan is to just put the second battery on a wood or plastic platform and connect it to the main battery on the tongue frame. Of course, this means disconnecting it too when I go to de-camp.

Any ideas or suggestions about how I can have my two batteries connected up without having to do this connect-disconnect process each time I camp?

It may just be what it is, but if there's a good mod out there I could try, I'm willing!

Thanks All!
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:50 PM   #2
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Do you have room for the tool box mod?
Click image for larger version

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Worked for me if i want to add a 2nd battery

Some photos of what you have to work with might help with ideas.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:57 PM   #3
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I have been researching two batteries for my new trailer.

In numerous places I have read that using two batteries of different age and condition is a poor idea. They will constantly try to equalize their voltage causing wear. I am sure somebody will set me straight though.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:17 AM   #4
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Hi Dale! Thanks for the pic and that looks like a great idea! I actually will be picking up the trailer from the dealer this Saturday, so I will have to do some measurements to see what spacing I have to work with.


Do you know of the details behind how this toolbox in the pic was installed and secured? I would be very interested to learn more about this mod!


Thanks again!
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:19 AM   #5
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I honestly cannot say I know this about the two batteries of different age and make issue but it makes sense.


Still, just knowing a good AND convenient way to have two batteries secured would be very helpful!
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wankrl7 View Post
In numerous places I have read that using two batteries of different age and condition is a poor idea.
Ditto - a gross mismatch can even defeat the purpose of installing a second battery. For max effectiveness, purchase two new batteries of the same group and capacity.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:17 AM   #7
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If you posted pics of your tongue, it might help with suggestions.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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Hi Mark,
We'll since I installed it on our trailer I know just how this one was done. Some use U bolts thru the box around the frame. I used self tapper's and fender washers, 3 on a side. Then put a layer of 1/4" plywood on the bottom to firm up the base. There are 2 types of boxes that can be had at Lowe's or Home Depot. 1 is a small truck box with wings that would sit on the bed rails, the other is a side box that has a cut out if you have less space. I used the first one. Do a search for tool box and lots will come up.
Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
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There are a bazillion tool boxes and types. Google them, find the one you want that will fit, then google where to get it cheapest. Look around.

I just took one off of my wife's truck (Yes, my wife drives a truck! ) They come with little u-bolt type things that are made to go through the bed stake holes of a pickup. But they might work for the rails of the trailer frame.

If not, and if this thing is going to stay on forever (I assume it will) then I wouldn't hesitate to cut two holes in bottom of tool box to match trailer rails, cut holes in them too, bolt on with Grade 5 bolts and HD fender washers, and cover the bolts and the top and bottom with good marine silicone, and call it good.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:07 AM   #10
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Thanks a bunch, Dale! I'll be looking into this for sure after I pick up the trailer this weekend!


I appreciate everyone's replies and input--thank you all!
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kandl View Post
Ditto - a gross mismatch can even defeat the purpose of installing a second battery. For max effectiveness, purchase two new batteries of the same group and capacity.
Correct, weakest link in the chain cliché.
Same make and size no more than six months difference in age......
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:45 AM   #12
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HI here is a century battery box that may work.
Century Plastics: White Heavy Duty Battery Box - (part#: GCE-G)

Hope this helps Tim
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:47 AM   #13
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HI here is a century battery box that may work.
Century Plastics: White Heavy Duty Battery Box - (part#: GCE-G)

Hope this helps Tim
Thanks for this post. I have been looking for a way to mount two T105's for my new 400 watt solar. This will fit in my tongue battery slot just perfect.
Going to Grand Lake, OK tomorrow for 7 days.
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Old 04-16-2016, 10:51 PM   #14
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Tool box is called a "side mount truck tool box."

I just finished up all my wiring and trimetric installation.

Ive used about all the room available with my shunt and 1,2,both,off switch.

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Old 09-19-2016, 09:14 PM   #15
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I used a seperate battery switch slash disconnect to run two 6 volts and a seperate 12volt battery. Since both systems are seperated the battery's can be run one set at a time and they don't have to match just have a backup reserve when needed.
It was a tight fit but works and is secure.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-20-2016, 07:12 PM   #16
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I always tell people who want to add batteries that it is as easy a jump starting a car. Black to black, red to red.

We often camp in cold weather, sometimes in the dead of winter. Extra battery reserve to run a furnace is often a requirement.

Here's the way I've done it on three of our campers.

This is our '05 Bigfoot 10.6e. One big deep cycle marine battery with two Hawker SBS40 compact all fits nicely in the right rear compartment.



This is a typical front mount for a travel trailer. In this case it's a Heartland MPG. It came with one small marine battery, I simply connected a pair of Hawker SBS40. The batteries are placed in simple black boating battery boxes & secured to the carrier behind the propane tanks. I do suggest you drill 1/4" drain holes in the corners. I found towing in the snow or rain, that the moisture swirls it's way into the battery box. Note also, the connections are clean. I add a coating of NO-OX-ID to them to prevent corrosion.




We just bought a "used" 2016 Forrest River Nitro 5th wheel toy box. First thing I did was to install more battery capacity. It came with one battery in the right front compartment. The new connection is on the left side with red tape over the clamp.



I was able to route the new red lead through a frame tube at the top of the compartment. To prevent abrasion of the insulation on the wire I shoved a piece of gray plastic electrical conduit (top of pic) through the square tube to the left front compartment.



In the left compartment, I drilled a hole into the steel panel and used a self tap screw to make the black (ground) connection. Red coming in from the upper right is attached to again, a pair of Hawker SBS40 compact batteries.



I got those batteries from the job I retired from. We were required to change them out when their capacity no longer met company specifications. They still have many serviceable years but back up power for electronics required they be replaced usually each 3-4 years. The pair in the above picture are dated 2007.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wankrl7 View Post
I have been researching two batteries for my new trailer.

In numerous places I have read that using two batteries of different age and condition is a poor idea. They will constantly try to equalize their voltage causing wear. I am sure somebody will set me straight though.
While it is true to an extent and was mentioned in a follow up post - equalization can be an issue for grossly different capacity batteries -

So long as the batteries you are using are "healthy" they will work together and find their own balance.

In the above pics, the Hawker batteries will usually charge to 13.74vdc. The interstate battery, by itself was 13.44vdc. When combined, all three floated at 13.63vdc when full charged.
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