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Old 01-21-2018, 11:22 AM   #1
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Battery bay modifications

Our 04 CC Allure has a battery bay with the open to the ground egg crate metal flooring. In the future I want to convert this bay to support a Lithium House Bank (No rush on that, as our X's 4 Lifeline L16's remain and should go another ~4-5 years!).

I currently have 1 CAT 8D Maintenance Free Chassis battery, which is on it's way South. With the idea of making the Battery Bay more sealed off from the elements to support the more sensitive temperature protection of a future Lithium House bank, I'm going to shift the Chassis battery to AGM. I want to close want to close of the egg crate metal.

Looking for input on materials to use to do this:

-Marine plywood
-Hardie or Durock
-1/8" thick plastic
-Other?

I'm currently planning on X's 2 Lifeline Grp 31 Starting batteries, which will not fit in the same spot that the single 8D does. So will ned to raise the floor area of this section to be flush with the side rails, about 3/4" deep, and then mount two individual battery pans to this for the batteries to be strapped into. So was thinking the 1/8th thick plastic, with Marine plywood to shim up the balance of the way for the battery pans.

Until I do the modification to fully close off the battery bay basement the rest of the way, some moisture from rain travels will work it's way into the area. (Bay is just behind the passenger tag wheel on our coach, and the drive/tag even with a splash guard, do have mist/spray blowing around behind them while driving rain.) So thinking the Marine plywood might need to be replaced at after 4-5 years of moisture potentially getting onto it. (Which is not a big deal costs wise.) Suspect Hardie or Durock would survive getting wet longer, as they're designed for outdoor usage too. But then wondered about mold?

Suppose I cold get several nylon cutting boards, and stack them on the floor grate to the proper height - they'd never need replacing.

Anyways, hope the idea of what I'm trying to do is clear, and would welcome input and suggestions.

(Note: For the future install of Lithium House Bank, will use a combo of appropriate heating pads, and it looks like a pretty easy mod to splice into the heating bays heat source, to splice some heat to this bay too. Will sort that out at that time... Just trying to do the Chassis battery segment of the bay now, which is about 1/4 of the overall space.)

TIA, and best to all,
Smitty
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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Recently had to have my wet bay flooring changed out on our Allegro Bus - factory installed 1/2" plastic flooring under the tanks. It came as a 4x8 sheet.
It may be available at Home Depot /Lowes and would be impervious to anything in that compartment.
Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:17 PM   #3
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Found this HDPE panel - the same stuff as is used on cutting boards: https://www.plasticcuttingboards.com...EaAmRAEALw_wcB
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:53 PM   #4
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The metal egg crate makes a good foundation. On top of that you could put aluminum sheet metal to close in the floor. On top of the sheet metal you could install foam board to bring it up to the proper height, then your plastic cutting board material on top of that. The foam will serve as insulation for the future upgrade to lithium batteries. In addition, it eliminates any wood or material that will rot or absorb moisture.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:34 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the input...

I measured, and it is actually 1 1/2" I need to come up. And after reading this input, I went to my side yard (DW calls it my 'junk'. I proudly call it my items for potential repurposing of usage!) and confirmed I have two tire splash guards, 1/2" thick.

Measuring things out, I can place whatever material I use to waterproof things on the egg grate. (I have in my garage, a 3/8" thick hunk of black plastic, might just use that. But want to think about the other material options too.) Since I'm going to use two battery trays for the GRP 31's, all I really need to do is support these trays. I can use three strips of these splash guards cut to shape, under each the trays at the shimmed up level.

When the conversion of House over to Lithium takes place, insulation of the battery bay will be part of that mod. Or possibly an insulated box just set into the battery bay basement to hold the Lithium bank. (Saw one gent on a boating forum that had used two larger ice chests to create two isolated battery boxes for his Lithium banks. Looked pretty slick.) But again, I hope to have several years to think about this phase!

One neat thing I confirmed today, the work I put into cleaning and then spraying bed liner gunk to the battery egg crate area - is holding up great. Looks a little dirty, but the areas I could see and clean a bit today - remain in great shape 6 years later!

Appreciate the input, and more welcomed!
Smitty
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:43 AM   #6
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Look into using Starboard.... won't rot out, very easy to work using woodworking tools, strong. I use it on boats.
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Old 01-24-2018, 06:07 AM   #7
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You can get different thicknesses and colors of starboard, sometimes near the size you need on Ebay.

I've used starboard, from West Marine, and PVC lumber, found at Home Depot, on a few projects. Lasts forever.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:40 AM   #8
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Thanks to you both for the tips on starboard materials.

As it turns out, this project is on hold!

I was all set to get X's 2 GRP 31 Lifeline GPL-3100T's, and then make these changes. But I got an email from a gent who suggested I wait on battery compartment modifications until the time comes to the Lithium House Bank. As I have high hopes this is more then 3 years down the road, he pointed out how much things have changed in the last three years with his opinion that as rapid changes will continue. His concern was that until I know for sure I can get the batter bank size I want to fit into this battery bay - to hold off on any modifications until it was all mapped out.

So I took the KISS approach on this battery swap out, and worked with Tom at Trans-Specialist.net to order a Lifeline GPL-8DA. Drove from San Diego to San Dimas to pick it up from the warehouse yesterday, and installing it today.

The 3100T's would have provided higher cranking CCA, but the 1350CCA of the 8D will spin our ISL just fine. If ever really stuck in 0 degrees where that rating relates to, and if needed, I'll boost over to the house bank. (But dang if I'll do my best to stay in the low 20's as the coldest!

I've written down some of the tips here, and have it in a folder. So not wasted for sure.

Best to all,
Smitty
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