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Old 07-25-2005, 05:41 AM   #1
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I just bought a 2006 Southwind 32VS. One of the first changes will be adding two more 6 volt batteries. Has anyone done this on their 32VS and if so, where did you locate them. Did you do this at the same time you added other equip. like an inverter/charger and/or solar? BTW, the dealer wanted $800 to put in the two batteries.
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Old 07-25-2005, 05:41 AM   #2
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I just bought a 2006 Southwind 32VS. One of the first changes will be adding two more 6 volt batteries. Has anyone done this on their 32VS and if so, where did you locate them. Did you do this at the same time you added other equip. like an inverter/charger and/or solar? BTW, the dealer wanted $800 to put in the two batteries.
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Old 07-25-2005, 09:30 AM   #3
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Never thought about adding more batteries. But, I'm confused, are you saying that your unit doesn't have a converter or solar, or are you talking about adding additional ones?
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Old 07-25-2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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It has a converter. I am thinking of adding a 2k inverter/charger and solar for the house batteries.
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:03 AM   #5
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I did all of that on my 2003 Suncruiser 33V. Unfortunately it's not the same as yours so I can't give you real specific location info but I can give you some generalizations.

First, I had two 12 volt house batteries. In order to run the inverter I needed more. You can't mix and match batteries so I bought two more of the same batteries. They need to be mounted in a vented location because they will vent explosive hydrogen gas when charged. That eliminates putting them in basement storage. My existing batteries were under the steps but there was no room for any more. I fabricated a new battery mount and located them on the left side frame rail. It was easy to get to them once the slideout was extended because Winnebago's basement compartments extend with the slide. Once the slide was extended I had lots of room in there to access them (which was rare).

I then located a Prosine 2500 watt true sine wave inverter in a basement compartment. THere is no hydrogen outgassing so this part works fine. However, you do need to provide adequate cooling airflow for it. I did not have to add any additional fans or vents because the basement compartment was one huge 3 bay compartment. If it was single compartment I would have to add a vent of sorts to keep it cool.

I also installed 220 watts of solar panels on the roof and fed them to a charge controller (run the wires down through the refrigerator roof vent) in the basement. This is a cool running item so no extra venting was required. I then relocated the OEM 10 watt solar panel wire over to the chassis battery to help keep it charged - not that 10 watts does much of anything.

If you follow these guidelines you may have an idea how it will work out on your coach. The work isn't hard but it is time consuming. That's why shop labor estimates run so high. I'd recommend doing it yourself.
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Old 07-26-2005, 06:33 AM   #6
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I added two additional batteries to my '04 Pace Arrow 36B recently. It wasn't easy though, since I wanted the additional batteries located next to the original batteries under the step. I completely disassembled (metal cut) the factory battery box and expanded it to the rear and to the front. I was able to face the four batteries by rotating them 90 degrees so their length was running across the chassis rather then front to rear. I also had to cut a notch in the vertical step to allow room for the batteries to be installed and removed. As a last effort I added a new brace hung from the motorhome frame to support the extra weight.

I installed my Xantrex 3000 Watt Inverter/Charger in the cavity above where my propane tank is. This places it in the same compartment as the water pump but it's all the way to the front away from it. So far everything has worked without a hitch.

Not sure how much difference the Southwind is but hopefully this will give you some ideas.

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Old 07-26-2005, 06:56 AM   #7
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Thanks folks. I have the concept and I now hope someone with a 32 has already done it. It is labor intensive and I can copy but a little on the mechanically challenged to engineer it from scratch.
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:25 PM   #8
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i too also wanted to add two extra batteries and was told to check first with w/h and fleetwood, to make sure that the alt. could handle charging two more, to see if the converter can handle two more and if the wiring was big enough that fleetwood used. i called fleetwood and they of course were no help as to the wire size and told me to contact a dealer to check and have it done. and if it was done by me, that if there was any problem or fire etc. it may void the warranty. just a thought.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:52 AM   #9
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Sounds like they were trying to talk you out of doing anything. Unless I am mistaken, the alternator issue is not a factor. Venting of the additional batteries and a battery box and support for the additional weight is my main concern. Hopefully someone has actually done this and will respond.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:27 PM   #10
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Rocky - I think that the alternator issue should be addressed - it could very well be an issue if it's not big enough to handle the 2 extra batteries. Maybe you might want to contact your cahssis manufacturer before going thorough with the modifications that you'll have to.
BTW, I think that Bob's work that he did on his Pace sounds like the way to go - if it were me doing it, I'd want all the batteries together for ease of maintaining them.

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Old 07-28-2005, 04:11 AM   #11
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An alternator in the 140 - 160 amp range is fine for operating this system. If you add more batteries it won't hurt the alternator any. The alternator puts out power, up to it's rated maximum, as needed. A 140 amp alternator will oput out 140 amps. True, a 300 amp alternator will charge those batteries more quickly, but you won't harm the smaller alternator just because there's more batteries to charge up. It'll just take longer to do it.

The same is true of a converter or inverter/charger. The wiring gauge is spec'd to handle whatever amps your convertor will pout out. The amps won't go any higher just because there's more batteries out there. Again, it'll just take longer to recharge them. If you put a larger converter or inverter/charger in that's a different story. Then you will need to ensure that the wire gauge from the converter to the batteries is adequate to handle the increased amperage. If you install an inverter/charger it's not an issue because the inverter backfeeds through the heavy inverter battery cables when in the charge mode. The bigger the inverter - the bigger the battery cables.
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Old 07-28-2005, 06:48 AM   #12
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Thanks Cruzer. I believe the WH has a 145 amp alternator. Your explanation was way easy to understand for someone who is mechanically challenged.
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:17 AM   #13
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Rocky,
Ck this site for some good reading. Look at the area under RV Electrical and solar.

Jack Mayer Volvo

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Old 08-01-2005, 12:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link.
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