Locate Battery ONTOP of winch?

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by mpking, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Raynham, MA
    I have a 2002 Rockwood Freedom 2280. I've been planning to fix the battery location this spring when I pull the camper out.
    Right now, the battery is on the passenger side of the tongue and it's weird. The cables are too short, and they cross over the winch cable. That, and the way it's attached (Couple of metal screws that went in at an angle) seems like it was an after thought.

    While looking for pictures for another project, I ran across this.
    upload_2018-1-30_12-18-19.png

    The battery is on the winch. Weird. Then I look at more pictures (Different campers).

    upload_2018-1-30_12-21-34.png

    Mine's the only I see with the battery on the passenger side. They are either drivers side, and now I've seen these two with them on the Winch?

    Is this normal? Can it support the weight? what's it attach to? (IE metal bracket under the shroud?).

    If I could put the battery there, I could finally move up to a group 27. (Too tight with the propane tank where it is currently mounted.

    Of course, My camper is buried in the way back of my yard, it's 15 degrees out, and it's snowing, so I can't go inspect mine. Anyone have experience with this mounting location?
     
  2. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Raynham, MA
    For reference, this is the photo of my winch......

    [​IMG]
     
  3. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    Somewhere in Idaho
    I have seen a few popups with the battery mounted above the winch. Not sure if they were purchased or custom made. Just make sure they do not get into the way of the bed slide.
    But can't you just get longer wires, wouldn't that be easier?
     
  4. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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  5. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    @JPBar thank you for that link.

    Since I have the email for the parts lady at Forrest River, I just might email them and ask them how much the bracket costs. Might be easier / cheaper than finding someone to weld one for me.
     
  6. kmbarreiros

    kmbarreiros Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Fairhaven, MA
    Hey JBar, Your profile isn'tpublic so I could only search posts you made.
    I am just trying to get a better picture of the front of your camper. I am trying to get ideas for a box replacement and from a picture I saw yours looks like a really good idea.
    If you have a build thread could you send that to me.

    Thanks.
     
  7. davido

    davido Active Member

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    The battery weighs nearly 60 pounds. The winch cover is some type of reinforced plastic. I don't think it's designed to bear a load like the battery. The battery may "only" be 60 pounds at rest, but as you bounce down the highway, the battery will exert its weight times the number of gravitational forces resulting from the bouncing momentum.

    So, if you could come up with a rigid platform that doesn't rest upon the winch cover it would be fine to move the battery. Just be sure to solve for the rigid platform concern, and you're good to go. This may involve visiting a welder. Try not to attach anything directly to the tongue jack though -- it's not designed to sustain lateral nor "crimping" loads.

    If I were considering putting a battery in that location, I would probably use the opportunity to add a second battery rather than move the first one. Wiring inadequacies are not difficult to resolve with a trip to specialty online dealers (these days Amazon is special enough -- that's where I purchased the cabling necessary to add a second battery to my trailer, and to resolve a few other wiring issues). A second battery will get you a couple more nights of furnace use without recharging, and some peace of mind.

    For fabricating the battery support you might be able to utilize L-beams from Home Depot, with a diagonal beam on each axis to improve rigidity. But it may be better to have a welding shop create something for you.
     
    mpking likes this.
  8. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    King George, Virginia
    This is probably something like you have... Too bad you can't rearrange things to get the battery angle skids between the propane tank and the trailer wall...

    [​IMG]

    Mine has the perfect spot to mount a hugh battery box on top of the tongue frame area and extend way out on both sides...

    My OFF-ROAD POPUP has the battery metal guide angles welded in place across the tongue area... I presently have three GP24 12V 85AH Interstate batteries sitting here. These have finally failed on me since installed in 2009 and I am in the process of putting one of these 59-inch long TORKLIFT battery boxes in place here to hold four each 6V GC2 batteries. This will give me 12VDC Battery source for around 450AHs capacity to support my OFF-ROAD Camping routine...

    [​IMG]

    We found out real quick only having one battery is not enough AHs to support any camping off grid. It will just barely make it for one day/night camping trip. If you are going to have to mod things to get a battery box installed I would really go for a minimum setup of two batteries...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  9. lquinn1

    lquinn1 Member

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    Champaign, IL
    I have the dual tank option and there is a metal bracket over the plastic winch cover.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Raynham, MA
    You sir, are my hero.

    I've reached out to forest river to buy the part, still awaiting on a response. I just resent the email to a different contact. Knowing that it exists helps

    I see how it attaches in the front (under the jack). How does it attach in the back? Just sit on the frame? (Just in case a trip to the local welder is cheaper)
    Also, any idea what the big bolts in the front do?
     
  11. lquinn1

    lquinn1 Member

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    Aug 17, 2017
    Champaign, IL
    It attaches in the front to the jack mounting point and in the back there are two bolts to the frame that go under the propane tank holder. As for the two bolts on top, they are there to mount the battery box. I have a new box to put on mine but I am putting a piece of sheet of metal on the inside of the box to keep this from breaking off again and also adding a marine tie down strap. Ill post pictures when I get it done. (ie after it warms up a bit.) This is what it looked like when I bought it from PO. (he broke it and was using a rotten ratchet strap to hold it all together.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Just my $.02, plastic marine battery boxes are not designed to be bolted through the bottom. The plastic is not strong enough to withstand the vibration and jolting of travel and will eventually break out around the bolt heads. If the bolt heads are in contact with the battery they are a constant source of abrasion on the case. In addition, if the battery case is compromised, or even overfilled, acid will be able to seep around the bolt heads and leak out, in your case, on to your winch. A strap over the top is the best way to hold down a marine battery box.

    I use a 1.5"x4' cam buckle strap such as used in river raft outfitting. It's at least as strong as the plastic straps sold with the battery boxes, and easier to tighten and to release to allow access to the battery. The NRS strap I'm using now is almost 10 years old and shows little deterioration from weather or UV. When I need a part for the pup I always buy two, to insure I have a replacement if needed. The second strap has never been unrolled.
     
  13. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Raynham, MA
    So this is what I got back from Forest River:

    PART # 10-28343A – BATTERY TRAY
    COST $ 43.56 EACH

    upload_2018-2-7_11-2-18.png

    No dimensions. (I've written back, but I'm assuming it's sized for a group 24)

    There is a truck shop up the street. I'll take a picture of your's up to him and see what it would cost to bend a piece of steel.
     
  14. lquinn1

    lquinn1 Member

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    Champaign, IL
    Yes, Mine is a G24. That mount looks much different. Where does that one mount? I bought a bigger box and my sheet metal finally came in so now just need some warmer weather to get it all squared away.
    SteveP,
    I agree bolts are not enough to keep the box from breaking. The plan is to sandwich the bottom plastic with a piece of sheet metal and bolt through that. The bolt heads should not touch the battery when I am done either because of an insulating pad and there will be a marine strap holding down the box as a backup. Since I purchased an over sized box, I am going to move the battery charger in to a section of the box and really make this look allot cleaner. It will make much more sense when I get some pictures of the progress after it warms up.
     
  15. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
    Yes, the mount is way different. Think Saddle bag hanging off the frame to the side. (Underneath and to the side of the propane tank).

    They said they don't have that kind of mount anymore, this is what they had in the parts bin. They got back with the dimensions as well: 11 ½” WIDE X 6 ¾” TALL X 7 1/8 “ DEEP (I think they flipped the dimensions for Deep and tall, cause that would make more sense)
     
  16. Drvred

    Drvred Member

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    May 3, 2017
    I know this is an old thread, but Roberts Sales has a winch top battery plate, it costs around $14.
     
  17. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
    Got a link? Don't see it on their site?
     
  18. Drvred

    Drvred Member

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    May 3, 2017
    Look under propane in the options list.
    Shows a price of $75 with the jack, but he told me that the plate was $14.
    I haven't received it yet, so I can't verify that.
     
  19. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Raynham, MA
  20. Drvred

    Drvred Member

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    May 3, 2017
    Just received it yesterday, its a nice piece, $14 for it, $21 for a single tank mount ring, and $29.20 for shipping.
     

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