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Old 10-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #1
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Battery Tray Replacement and Cable Sizing

I have a 1999 Dutch Star DP. The batteries are original and they are showing major signs they need to be replaced. There has been some leakage prior to my owning the unit and the tray needs to be replaced. I was looking for help on two (2) issues:

1) Does anyone know the firm that built the original trays? I looked at "fixing" it myself and that is an option, but I was curious about cost to replace.

2) While I am replacing batteries, I am thinking of upgrading the battery cables. Has anyone else done this? I was thinking going to 2 guage cable for both positive and negative.

3) I currently have two(2) starting batteries for diesel and 4 6 volt golf cart batteries hooked into 2 banks of 12 volts each for house. Anyone have a recommendation as to best place to purchase 6 volt golf cart batteries?

I appreciate any insight or help this board can give as I have had great luck and help from this group.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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If the battery tray is still close to solid, a pruduct called por15 will coat it black and make it look like new for a long long long time.

When I bought my trojan T105's, I went to the local golf cart store. They had fresh ones in stock, seemed to be a reasonable price.

For the starting battery, bigger cables are always better.
For the house I'm not so sure it's needed. I'd certainly replace the cables if they were nasty or corroded.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
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Battery replacements as one option is the Interstate U2200 6 volt DC deep cycle battery. If you call interstate they can give you the name and address of the nearest dealer.

The standard size battery cables for that size battery bank is 2/0 stranded copper. I suggest getting welding cable because the fine stranding makes the cable easy to train to where they have to go.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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NAPA can make the cables for you to length with the correct ends. I read somewhere they should each be the same length battery to battery. Try here for batteries

Trojan Batteries Wholesale Prices
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccausland View Post
I have a 1999 Dutch Star DP. The batteries are original and they are showing major signs they need to be replaced. There has been some leakage prior to my owning the unit and the tray needs to be replaced. I was looking for help on two (2) issues:

1) Does anyone know the firm that built the original trays? I looked at "fixing" it myself and that is an option, but I was curious about cost to replace.

2) While I am replacing batteries, I am thinking of upgrading the battery cables. Has anyone else done this? I was thinking going to 2 guage cable for both positive and negative.

3) I currently have two(2) starting batteries for diesel and 4 6 volt golf cart batteries hooked into 2 banks of 12 volts each for house. Anyone have a recommendation as to best place to purchase 6 volt golf cart batteries?

I appreciate any insight or help this board can give as I have had great luck and help from this group.
Attached is a photo of my battery tray showing the manufacturer's label. Mine would not roll in and out properly so I was going to buy replacement parts until I found out the locking latch was about $100 (maybe only $98) from Newmar. I decided to take it apart and try fixing the rollers myself. I soaked all the ball bearing wheels and the lubed the very and found that fixed the rolling problem. The latch was not repairable and I didn't want to spend the better part of $100 for a $20 latch so I drilled some holes in the front horizontal tray rails and used a latch pin to hold the tray in place.

If I remember correctly, the tray cost is about $800 from Newmar. There are other slide-out trays that are advertised as battery trays that are less expensive. Do an Internet search for "slide out trays" and you should find several sources at varying prices.

Sandblasting and repainting might be and option.

BATTERIES: I am partial to Interstate batteries. Our local dealer sometimes has "blem" golf cart batteries at a reduced cost... it's worth a try (and because I'm a stockholder of Johnson Controls who makes Interstate batteries and I need for my stock to go up)...
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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That is officially the longest life I have ever heard of for motorhome batteries! They actually kept a charge up until now?
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellojohnny View Post
That is officially the longest life I have ever heard of for motorhome batteries! They actually kept a charge up until now?
Yes, they still hold a charge but drop quickly. I checked the date stamped on the batteries and they are truly over 10 years old. I bought the unit last year and there was very little use on the coach. It was extremely well kept so I am guessing they did a good job on desulfating and storing the batteries with the exception of some battery acid leakage. Most of the rust on the tray is from sitting I beleive. I looks like an early 1970 toyota. So I think based on all the good info I have gotten here today, I am going to pull the tray and rebuild it with steel, paint it with the black paint recommended as I have used that for years on the undercarriage of jeeps we have rebuilt and move forward.

Thanks for the comment.

George.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:14 PM   #8
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Thanks!

As usual great information and ideas. Thank you everyone for commenting. I will pull apart this winter and replace batteries, cables and tray.. I will post photos after I complete.

Thanks again to this forum. It is the greatest.

George.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:05 AM   #9
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George, who are you and why are you posting pictures of my coach?
My attempt at being funny.If you have the original convertor /charger in your coach, be aware that it has a removable jumper plug , in the bottom next to the cooling fan ( phone line style) to drop the charge rate from 14.2 volts, fast charge to 13.2 volts maintenance , for units that are pluged in most of the time. By the sounds of your off-gas/corrosion problem, you my have to remove this plug, to cut the charge rate .
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:13 AM   #10
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Hi , George, I guess the coaches are not true identical twins, I purchsed, last Nov. and so far haven't run to the interior of B.C.. We leave on that trip in 8 days , 15 days in Kelowna then south for 4 1/2 months.
Rig with 3700# toad does OK over the passes in sothern OR. on I-5. Last years run south. The extra 200 ftlbs of torque that Cummins has over Cat , would come in handy at times. currently getting 10+mpg, calculated to the American gallon. So I'm happy.
I have most of the manuals, original to the coach so if your having trouble finding info, re-post here and I'll scan them and e mail them to you .
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:34 PM   #11
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If your battery tray is solid, you may want to look into having it coated with Rhino Liner truck bed coating. This is one of my winter projects this year, as mine is also showing age.

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Old 10-11-2011, 06:56 PM   #12
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George, do yourself a good deed and take allot of pictures and tag feeder cables so you will have a easy rebuild.
Some of the smaller wires always are left over and your into a guessing game of where the are suppose to go, are they positive or negative????.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccausland View Post
1) I have a 1999 Dutch Star DP. Does anyone know the firm that built the original trays?
You probably have a Journeyman BT6T BXNR2 heavy duty battery tray. See Journeyman Sliding Steel Trays -- Keyline Sales, Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccausland View Post
2) While I am replacing batteries, I am thinking of upgrading the battery cables. Has anyone else done this? I was thinking going to 2 guage cable for both positive and negative.
If you mean 2/0 gauge, then I think that's already the battery cable size. If you mean the inverter cables, then by all means replace these. My 3/0 cables from the house batteries to my Freedom 2000 were barely enough. So I went to 4/0.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccausland View Post
3) I currently have two(2) starting batteries for diesel and 4 6 volt golf cart batteries hooked into 2 banks of 12 volts each for house. Anyone have a recommendation as to best place to purchase 6 volt golf cart batteries?
Interstate 2200s are adequate. But spend the $$$ and get Lifeline AGMs. You'll never look back.
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