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Old 12-20-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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My Battery Project; Going From 6 to 8

I started this project after taking some preliminary measurements to see if it would work. There was plenty of space, so I though "we'll just make the tray larger". My friend Kyle did all the fabrication and I was just his welder's helper. For starters, the batteries had to be arranged 90 degrees from the OEM, so the pairs would be end to end instead of side-by-side. The series cables were too short for the new configuration and the parallel cables were too long. I decided to make all new cables. 3/0 cable and terminals proved not to be easy to find, but I found some. 12' of cable and 24 terminals cost $172.

For the tray, I purchased some new 10 ga plate, some 2" x 2" angle iron, and some 2" strap. We salvaged parts of the old tray like the bearing rollers, the latch, etc. The tray went together easily and was beefier than the original. We slid it into the framework and discovered our next hurdle. I wasn't happy with the weight distribution of the larger tray. Too much of the weight was behind the rear roller. I decided we needed to re-build the lower tray bracket. Some of the materials were proprietary and unavailable. The improvised by using some 6" x 2" channel for the side rails, along with more angle and strap. We spaced the roller bearings appropriately to support the larger tray. After a little minor tweaking, it fit like a glove.

I have about $300 in materials. I bought a $400 GoPro for my friend for his expertise. Start to finish was over 3 weekends, probably about 12 hours work.
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2014 F150 4x4 Crew Cab Platinum 157" WB
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:16 PM   #2
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Nicely done !!
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:24 PM   #3
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Looks better than the factory set-up. Good job!
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:11 AM   #4
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I moved my engine batteries from the tray out to the back behind and below the rear right tail light, the cables reached easily. (Brother was the welder).

I now have room for two more coach batts. for a total of 6. I also see that I could do 8 easily by modifying the tray, plenty of room. Still wondering, I think I'll be happy with 6. If I decide to add solar, then would definitely do 8.

I used this opportunity to set-up a Magnum BMK (battery monitoring kit) where you install a DC shunt. That helped cleaning up the wiring, less cables going to the batteries...

Nice job, I see you went with the Trojan T105's
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
I used this opportunity to set-up a Magnum BMK (battery monitoring kit) where you install a DC shunt. That helped cleaning up the wiring, less cables going to the batteries...

Nice job, I see you went with the Trojan T105's
Thank you. The only down side is, on the back row of batteries, the back cells are inside the compartment and will be difficult to reach for maintenance. The tray is deeper, but the tray rails are still the same length and slide out the same distance. There is not enough room at the back to lengthen the rails to allow it to slide out the required distance. I probably should have considered going with the Lifeline AGM's instead. My previous setup had everything out in the open where it was no problem.

The Magnum BMK is my next project. Does anybody know anything about automatic watering systems for lead acid batteries? I'm not sure if I have the require height clearance for anything.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:15 AM   #6
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I am curious why Newmar did not do it the way you did. In the compartment right before the battery tray they added a slide tray above the chassis batteries and added the 2 extra house batteries.
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Old 12-21-2015, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
Thank you. The only down side is, on the back row of batteries, the back cells are inside the compartment and will be difficult to reach for maintenance. The tray is deeper, but the tray rails are still the same length and slide out the same distance. There is not enough room at the back to lengthen the rails to allow it to slide out the required distance. I probably should have considered going with the Lifeline AGM's instead. My previous setup had everything out in the open where it was no problem.

The Magnum BMK is my next project. Does anybody know anything about automatic watering systems for lead acid batteries? I'm not sure if I have the require height clearance for anything.
Try this company for watering system.
Jan Watercraft Products, LLC
I bought system foe my 6 batteries for $150 It will work for you.

Nice job on 8 batteries upgrade!
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:32 AM   #8
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Try this company for watering system.
Jan Watercraft Products, LLC
I bought system foe my 6 batteries for $150 It will work for you.

Nice job on 8 batteries upgrade!
Thanks. I left a message on the VM to get some specific information. I have also found a loocal dealer that carries the Trojan HydroLink systems and I will be comparing the two.

I have one wire coming to my batteries that I'm unclear as to it's purpose and how it was connected. It is a small 4-wire, resembling a phone cable, that was connected to a negative terminal. The terminal broke off and it appears that only 3 of the 4 wires were connected to the terminal. anybody have any idea of it's purpose and which wires should be connected. from what I could tell, there was a orange, green, and black wire connected and the red wire was not.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:37 AM   #9
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That is your Battery temperature sensor (Magnum BTS).
I upgraded my Inverter and Remote so I have a new one of those BTS and the BMK Network wire to run back from batteries to Inverter and that is a pain...
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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That makes sense. Do you know how many and which of the 4 wires are connected to the terminal? It came apart in such a way that it was unclear. It appeared to have had the Orange ,Black, & Green soldered together but the red wire was still sheathed. Hard to tell because it was in pretty poor condition. I'll check the Magnum website for installation instructions.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Try this company for watering system.
Jan Watercraft Products, LLC
I bought system foe my 6 batteries for $150 It will work for you.
Terry, I take it you are pleased with this system? There is very little information and photos, but I assume this is pretty low profile. The cost is a little cheaper than the Trojan system.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:33 AM   #12
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Terry, I take it you are pleased with this system? There is very little information and photos, but I assume this is pretty low profile. The cost is a little cheaper than the Trojan system.
Scotty,

I have only had system on our batteries for a short time however I am pleased so far. The system is only a little higher than original cell covers. The quality of all the components was very good. I put system on because I had to use mirror and flashlight to see the back water levels.
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Old 12-22-2015, 07:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Scotty,

I have only had system on our batteries for a short time however I am pleased so far. The system is only a little higher than original cell covers. The quality of all the components was very good. I put system on because I had to use mirror and flashlight to see the back water levels.
Thanks for that. It sounds like I may be able to get the Pro-fill system from a distributor in San Antonio. If not I will order it from JWP.
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:12 PM   #14
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Nice job on the tray. Not only did it come out nice, but it's nice to be able to clean up the whole area and make it look and work like new again.

I've been using the ProFill watering system on two coaches now for over 5 years. I wouldn't own a coach without one. They not only make it easy to maintain the batteries, they also keep down battery acid. I keep a quart jug of distilled water on board and about every 2-3 months I attach the bulb, dip the end of the hose in the jug of water and squeeze the bulb a few times and I 'm done. It takes me longer to kneel down and get back up then it does to fill the batteries!
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