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Old 08-13-2019, 07:29 PM   #1
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Battery hold downs

My MH has four house batteries sitting on four separate stationary angle iron trays just behind the rear wheel. There is no hold down for the batteries and that seems wrong to me. Is there supposed to be hold downs for those batteries ?
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:44 PM   #2
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If your coach /chassis is like mine the factory tie downs "were " nylon straps , over the years those straps disappear, due to corrosive gasses from the batteries and most owners don't replace them .

BTW: 8 1/2 years and 35,000 miles of driving ( including many trips on the infamous California I-5 ) my batteries haven't moved any more than they could have with the nylon straps in place.

Here's a photo , of an all electric coach battery bank showing the straps .
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:09 PM   #3
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My 1999 Tradewinds four 6V batteries sat in a tray about 1.5" deep originally with hold downs that were a hard plastic that got brittle and disappeared over the years. They were off for the last four years with no evidence of ever having been needed.
Last month I had a new battery tray fabricated from my design to hold taller AGM batteries in the same place. I gave them a front lip of 2.25" in the front and 5.25" in the back with a provision to have two hold downs. Now I'm not sure that it's necessary and I may or may not ever add them.
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:28 AM   #4
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How high can you bounce a 60lb battery? I don't think even a large young man can get my batteries to move with the cables installed.
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCM View Post
How high can you bounce a 60lb battery? I don't think even a large young man can get my batteries to move with the cables installed.
And my big AGM batteries are 90 lbs each!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #6
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I have had a lot of batteries bounce, large ones as well. However I don't drive the motor home on the same trails as on the ranch.

don't use nylon anything around lead acid batteries as it dissolves very quickly in the vapor
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:24 PM   #7
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There is a reason batteries should have tie does straps. A battery with no strap tiedown will always vibrate/bounce more than a tied down battery.
Less vibration is better for your battery life.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocm View Post
how high can you bounce a 60lb battery? I don't think even a large young man can get my batteries to move with the cables installed.

exactly!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:07 AM   #9
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I have the same setup for the house batteries you do. There should be a hole in one of the cross bars under the batteries, I have a threaded rod with a fairly large washer that holds the inner corner of all four batteries. I would secure them.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:36 AM   #10
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I appreciate the different points of view.
My background is automotive technician, many years of it. That's why it stuck out to me the batteries might be missing hold downs.
Battery manufacturers always mention vibration as being a notable cause of early battery failure. Securing a battery in place, even a very heavy battery limits the chance of it bouncing or sliding. Heavy vibration or bouncing can cause the plates inside a lead acid battery to break, warp, deteriorate, ... all of which will shorten the batteries life. It's not really a matter of how high can you bounce a battery it's trying to keep it from bouncing at all. Same with sliding. Possible damage to the case, repeated flexing or strain on the cables (I know they're thick).
Knowing that it came with some form of tie down it just makes sense to put them back in for me. I understand others see them as overkill and chose to do without and that's fine. I'll go with my gut and tie them down. Small price to pay for a little added insurance compared to the cost of the batteries themselves.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Those who ignore the laws of physics frequently suffer and are greatly surprised when the laws reveal themselves. "Belief" has nothing to do with it.
I saw a 5 ton stamping die blocking a railroad crossing once. Those who put it on a flat bed truck believed as some do here, that it was unnecessary tie it down.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:28 PM   #12
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Keeping batteries secure an clean will extend their life.

Vibration and can lead to internal failure and wearing of the plastic case. A loss of electrolyte (acid) from a small leak can cause damage to any metal it may contact.

I also line the bottom and side brackets with 1/8th inch thick rubber sheeting. I keep the compartment clean by liberally applying baking soda and rinsing it out with fresh water. Pay close attention to the terminals and cables. Corrosion will attack and travel thru the wire strands destroying them from the inside out.

I don't mean to drone on but never even open your battery compartment without baking soda and fresh water within reach. That is the only thing that will arrest a sulfuric acid burn.

Happy trails,
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:19 PM   #13
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My 2004 Itasca "Horizon" 40AD came with "J-hooks" to hold the house batteries down, but I tossed them when we converter our 3-12V batteries to 4-6V Golf Cart Batteries.

Also, my battery hold-down hardware was totally rusted-out, and I had a hard time finding replacements. So I gave up looking, but what I did is add some wood shims to take up the slop on the sides. This prevents battery movement, which you will get if do not add the shims. So as a minimum you should do this!

My engine batteries still has the hold-down hardware, and I do recommend you use it.

I also like those braided straps in the earlier picture, but I probably will not use them, because drilling those small rectangular holes on the side is more effort than I care to employ.

Side note #1: If you alternator is not charging your house batteries as you drive, then I highly recommend you add a $100 VSR off Amazon. We bought the KeyLine VSR on amazon and it's easy to install. (And yes... you hook the +12V house batttery to the +12V engine battery.)

Now we always arrive at our campsite with a full charge on our house batteries... and that's supper important. More so if you have a residential refrigerator that has been draining your inverter power off those house batteries enroute.

Side note #2: We recommend you carry a 36" single battery cable you can get a Walmart for $10. This should be part of your emergency roadside kit you will be glad you have if your alternator goes out and your ECM drains your battery bank down to less than 11V. At which point your engine may stall. This happened to me... My alternator light was on and by the time I pulled over to investigate it, my engine died on the side of the road. So I jumped my +12V house to my +12V engine battery... and off I drove 100 miles to the nearest Freightliner dealer to have the alternator replaced. And if I did not have that 36" extra battery cable, I might of needed to call a tow truck.

Save RVing starts with a few precautions such as this one! And if you never need to do this, you might be able to help a fellow RVer who has this problem and they are not carrying a spare battery cable.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:52 PM   #14
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I got rid of the 6v house metal battery tie downs for cheapy Harbor Freight yellow straps. Metal continually corroded. Next greased the straps. Then I added 6 oz of mineral oil to each cell to stop the acid from escaping which corroded the battery frame work also. I labelled every connection for future battery replacement.
No problems now in last 2+ years.
Do not leave batteries loose in the frame!
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