Built a battery box

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by IdahoGuy, May 2, 2018.

  1. IdahoGuy

    IdahoGuy New Member

    May 11, 2015
    I was having a hard time finding a battery box that would suit my needs. I needed it to fit 2 batteries with room inside for a switch to cut power entirely to avoid trickle draining the batteries. I also wanted to be able to lock it up. Everything I looked at was either too expensive or just wasn't quite right. I finally decided to build one. This iss made of 3/4 inch plywood I had leftover from another project. I primed it with some spray primer I had in the garage and then 4 coats of a spray-on bed liner from Autozone. I apologize for not having any pictures of the build...I've been told by the wife that I'm pretty bad about that. I'll work on it for the next project. :)

    MVIMG_20180421_135527.jpg MVIMG_20180421_135517.jpg MVIMG_20180502_121043.jpg MVIMG_20180502_121057.jpg
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    KC Hartman, Sharkdude, Jorja and 8 others like this.
  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    Nice job, it really looks great and should work just fine. Good Luck Keep on Camping
  3. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    Grade A! :)
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I like it. I agree the battery boxes I've seen are quite limiting. How did you attach it to your frame? Did you just use the screw holes from your previous box?
  5. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2015
    Edmonton, AB
    Looks great!
  6. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    IDAHOGUY - ALong this line of connecting my Battery Box to my frame I am going to use what I call carriage bolts which are rounded on the top. This rounded head will be inserted from the bottom of my trailer tongue frame and come up inside my lockable box. Here I will use flat and lock washers and the nut.

    My Battery Box is metal so not having an easy disconnect point for thieves to cut off and steal the whole box with batteries inside should make it just a bit harder to gain entrance inside the box... Of course your box being made from wood is not going to be a very secure box for your batteries... Your outside locks latches can be drilled close to the latch and cut around the whole latch assy with a keyhole hand saw or something just as easy... Having something metal would make it harder to accomplish so maybe the thieves will go to the next parked trailer.

    Just thinking out-loud here... I have been around a multi plastic battery boxes from WALMART since early 2009 and have never run into any thief issues. Now that I am going to be installing more expensive batteries I want to come up with a more secure battery box.


    My new battery box is 59 inches long and will set inside these welded on right angles between my two trailer tongue frames. I will drill up from the bottom of these 6-inch frames with two carriage bolts with the washers and nuts on the inside of my locked battery box... This same carriage bolts will be placed on the other 6-inch tongue metal frame. My metal battery box will extend out over the trailer tongues to line up with the second rail on the front deck on both sides.

    This is a TORKLIFT 59-inch Matal Battery Box with slide-off lid. Since I have two groups of 6V batteries I am planning of a second small 10WATT Solar Panel to mount on the other side...

    On the inside of the metal box I will have three compartments with two 6VDC GC2 batteries installed in the two outside compartments and the center compartment is where I will have my Battery disconnect switches and bus bars etx... My outside battery select switch will be on the front of this battery box between the metal box and the propane tanks. The selector switch mounted on the new battery box will actually be one of those you see mounted along the cross frame section under the front deck shown here. This rotatable BLUE SEA SWITCH will give me ALL OFF - BAT BANK1 - BOTH - BAT BANK2 then OFF again as it is rotated around...


    I will also have a weather tight ELECTRICAL BOX cover one each side of the BLUE SEA SWITCH that will house one of those BLUE SEA ROUND 12VDC display meters for each bank. I may have a disconnect rocker switch to turn both of these displays OFF... With the weather tight receptacle lid closed you would not be able to see the display but this would be a very very small drain on the battery banks...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    BLUE SEA makes a whole series of round 12VDC Meter items that I can place in the second hole. I will have two of these weather tight lids one on each side of the Blue Sea Selector switch each of the battery groups. Could even be an ON-OFF switch for the 12VDC meter.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    With my BLUE SEA Main Battery switch OFF I will still have my 12VDC roof raise 12VDC cable and the BREAK-AWAY Switch cable still connected to the HOT side of the batteries but of course both these switches have a switch operations to make connections so should not offer any battery drain until being used.

    Trying to think out all the possible items that might cause concern on this end...
    With my two banks groups of two 6VDC GC2 Duracell 215AHs batteries I should have close to 430AHs from my new 12VDC battery bank.

    I have been planing my new OFF-ROAD TRAILER battery bank since 2016 so just now have got my new batteries so the rest of it should all fall into place soonest. The beautify of waiting so long is I have been getting this and that where ever I could . Finally about all is coming together...

    Roy Ken
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  7. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    Nice job! Really looks great!
  8. IdahoGuy

    IdahoGuy New Member

    May 11, 2015
    Thanks, all!

    As far as theft, I understand it's not at all secure and can easily just be torn off the frame with a small amount of effort, but that's really never been a problem around here. We rarely, if ever, camp in large campgrounds as we prefer to camp in mostly dispersed/primitive areas. At home, it's parked behind a privacy fence. Not saying it can't happen, but I'm not super concerned.

    As far as how it's attached, I just drilled a few holes in the L brackets that supported the plastic boxes and used sheet metal screws. Should be enough for travel, but I'll be keeping an eye on it. Most of the roads we go down are pretty washboarded and can rattle out the most secure screws (we lost our spare tire last year on a forest service road!!).
  9. Decker

    Decker Member

    Sep 23, 2011
    Looks good. I'd suggest some plasti-dip to seal the unfinished edges of the plywood so it doesnt delam.
  10. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    How is the battery box vented?
  11. Pozi

    Pozi Member

    Feb 17, 2016
    I came here also to comment on the venting. Lead acid batteries release hydrogen gas continuously. You'll want to vacate that gas from the box enclosure somehow.
  12. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
  13. Pozi

    Pozi Member

    Feb 17, 2016
    That would work beautifully. Maybe two front/back to get that cross flow.
  14. IdahoGuy

    IdahoGuy New Member

    May 11, 2015
    I vented the back of the box with a 90 degree pvc elbow. The hole is covered in screen to keep the critters out.
  15. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    Scottsville, KY
    Nice box.
  16. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    Vented battery boxes have a hole in the bottom and a hole in the top. In order for gases to exit, air has to be able to get in.
  17. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    Nice looking build! My setup is functional, but not exactly pretty!

    I use the same battery disconnect as Roy does, except mine's wired up a bit differently. The two batteries are in parallel with each other and not through the disconnect. The 1 selector goes to the popup and the 2 selector goes to the inverter I use to power the fridge during travel. The brakes are also wired to the 2 selector. That way I can keep power off inside the rig during travel or shut down the whole thing if I'm out and about for the day and don't want the LP leak detector sucking up juice while boondocking.


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