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I want to add some deep cycle batteries so i can run an inverter for battery chargers and small loads, less than 1000W. I would like to mount the batteries under the Van and keep as much space as possible. Has anyone made a battery tray that mounts between the frame cross members? This would also let the deep cycle batteries vent without worry.

Im looking for help in desigining the system and any or all ideas would be appreciated
 

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I was thinking of doing something similar, but with AGM batterries, mounted sideways so they were not so tall.. Im still in research phase however..
 

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Two 6 volt AGM battery rack under Promaster

Have battery system, two 6 volt AGM batteries rated @ 224 amp hrs, installed sideways in heavy duty rack under van. Made by Van Specialties in Oregon
 

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Can I ask a dumb question? What's going to happen to those batteries when it gets really cold or really hot? It's not like they're in the engine compartment where they are somewhat protected. Wouldn't the cold adversely affect their performance?

Just wondering here!
 

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Seems like a lot of expense and work for very little gain? Two AGM's inside the van take up next to no room if you have any base cabinets at all.
 

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My understanding is that they tend to last longer in deep discharge situations. I went with the suggestion of the installers. Under the van worked best for me as I really have no space in the van for them, the way our van is set up.
 

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Can I ask a dumb question? What's going to happen to those batteries when it gets really cold or really hot? It's not like they're in the engine compartment where they are somewhat protected. Wouldn't the cold adversely affect their performance?

Just wondering here!

Each situation is different, but in all cases it is best to get a charger that modifies the voltage for charging based on battery temperature. This is true whether or not the batteries are inside or not. It does not take long for the interior of a conversion van to get hot or cold if it is not conditioned. Batteries like the same temps humans do, but a good charger will compensate.
 

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I want to add some deep cycle batteries so i can run an inverter for battery chargers and small loads, less than 1000W. I would like to mount the batteries under the Van and keep as much space as possible. Has anyone made a battery tray that mounts between the frame cross members? This would also let the deep cycle batteries vent without worry.

Im looking for help in desigining the system and any or all ideas would be appreciated

One advantage to putting batteries outside the living area is that it allows for the use of flooded lead acid batteries. FLAs are 1/2 the cost and last 2X as long. However two caveats. First, you will need to maintain them by checking the specific gravity and adding water. Second, you will need to have a storage area that allows for easy maintenance.
 

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I recently read a great post someone had made either here, or in the class B forum... Or maybe it was Travato Forum, where someone had done this, explained it, and included great photos.. Hopefully they will see your post and chime in...

.... here it tis'....

http://www.wincrasher.blogspot.com/2015/04/travato-battery-project.html
It's hard to say at what stage of fabrication this photo shows the battery rack, but I hope a lot more bracing is added -- at a minimum. Not only are the batteries very low, there seems to be minimal lateral support.
 

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One advantage to putting batteries outside the living area is that it allows for the use of flooded lead acid batteries. FLAs are 1/2 the cost and last 2X as long. However two caveats. First, you will need to maintain them by checking the specific gravity and adding water. Second, you will need to have a storage area that allows for easy maintenance.
Thirdly, they can't be mounted sideways the way an AGM battery can!

Ed
 

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I wouldn't hesitate to put unvented flooded batteries inside the van but there is NO way I would ever mount any kind of battery under the van!
 

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My A Model Ford had one there, from the factory, and it was under the floor board which was a wood board. It was 6 volt and positive ground! The Promaster has one under there too except it seems to be in a box or tray accessible under the floor plastic as we all know. I'd do a well, built into the floor with a battery in it so I could service it and remove it from above. Other wise no. I always thought generators there instead of in a compartment above the floor was a questionable practice too. Mud, slush, cow pies, objects in the road and sprayed roadkill parts seem inconsistent with my service work.
 
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My A Model Ford had one there, from the factory, and it was under the floor board which was a wood board. It was 6 volt and positive ground! The Promaster has one under there too except it seems to be in a box or tray accessible under the floor plastic as we all know. I'd do a well, built into the floor with a battery in it so I could service it and remove it from above. Other wise no. I always thought generators there instead of in a compartment above the floor was a questionable practice too. Mud, slush, cow pies, objects in the road and sprayed roadkill parts seem inconsistent with my service work.
I don't propose naked batteries below the chassis either. I would also consider a battery compartment below a raised floor In a high top van accessible from above. What I have a difficult time with is the amount of acid in a 1000 ah flooded bank being in the passenger compartment during an accident. I also can't see paying the high premium for AGM's. I can get 1000 ah of Trojans for $1000 and the $3000 or more additional cost of AGM's over the life of the batteries will pay for quite a bit of custom fabrication.
 

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You have your answer then. What anyone else thinks is meaningless as you only have to satisfy yourself.

BTW, my two 12v AGM's were $179 each at Sam's. I have never been able to discharge them yet!
 

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My A Model Ford had one there, from the factory, and it was under the floor board which was a wood board. It was 6 volt and positive ground! The Promaster has one under there too except it seems to be in a box or tray accessible under the floor plastic as we all know. I'd do a well, built into the floor with a battery in it so I could service it and remove it from above. Other wise no. I always thought generators there instead of in a compartment above the floor was a questionable practice too. Mud, slush, cow pies, objects in the road and sprayed roadkill parts seem inconsistent with my service work.
WOW, you're really old aren't you???

:D
 

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Is there not enough room under the PM to fit them vertically? It may be worth it considering one pays $600 over the lifetime of FLA compared to $2400 for AGM. Flooded cost 1/2 as much and last 2X longer.
Don't most manufacturers and web sites claim that one of the advantages of AGM is that they last longer? Is your 2X longer estimate based on personal experience comparing both? I know many RVers swear by flooded.
 

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Another option that may work nicely depending on floorplan is to install a drop box through floor as shown in these pictures. It may not be worth the higher cost though unless space is at a premium.

Beyond cost and fabrication complexity, there is also issue of access door interfering with RV's finished floor. It may also affect the van's warranty if a big hole (or holes) is cut on van's floor. This option is one I plan to evaluate in greater detail if I decide to go with lots of battery capacity.
 
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