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So, in the saga of my build, I've hit the "every step relies on and dictates every other step" phase, and I'm a bit paralyzed. I have a general layout in mind, but one snag I'm hitting centers around the batteries. Namely, their weight/size. See attached photo for *rough* layout.

I picked up two 140ah AGMs that weigh roughly 110 lbs a piece (according to the guy at the battery shop) -- 220 lbs total. Either way, they're HEAVY. They each measure roughly 13.5" x 6.75" x 11"

So, given that I'm planning most of my build weight for the driver's side of the van (galley complete w/ fridge, water tank, etc.), I figured, "Gee, I'll just put the batteries forward of the passenger wheel well to add some load to the passenger side." Simple, right?

Not so fast. Putting the batteries over there (yes, waaay over there) presents a number of issues:

- Wiring will be much more difficult. The alternator charge cable will have to snake around the van like crazy and be roughly 25' long. The frame pillar just forward of the wheel well is constricted due to the sliding door assembly. Kitchen appliances will have to be wired much further. Etc. and so forth
- The battery box will have to be oddly shaped. As opposed to a generally rectangular cabinet due to interference with an old school bus bench seat I plan to install in that area.

There are more reasons, but I'll spare you all of those and pose my question...
Does it matter if the majority of my build weight is along the driver's side wall? Am I over-thinking this??
 

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In isolation, 220 lbs isn't enough to worry about. That's one stout-ish person. A lot of layouts naturally favor the driver's side due to the slider on the other side. Water is another heavy item. In our case, we'll be carrying 5 AGMs plus 46gal of water, so we are installing them under the bed over the rear axle. But if it was just 2 AGMs and 5gal, we wouldn't worry about location.
 

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Good point above. We did put the galley with the Refrigerator and the 5 gal of water and the canned goods on the passenger side and the porta-pottee and the batteries on the other. But this is a honking van made to carry 4,000 lbs. It just isn’t going to matter. Yes you are over thinking it. Did you weigh them on your bathroom scale. 140 amp hour 12 volt? I’d be surprised if they weigh over 80 lbs but whatever the man said.
 

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In isolation, 220 lbs isn't enough to worry about. That's one stout-ish person. A lot of layouts naturally favor the driver's side due to the slider on the other side. Water is another heavy item. In our case, we'll be carrying 5 AGMs plus 46gal of water, so we are installing them under the bed over the rear axle. But if it was just 2 AGMs and 5gal, we wouldn't worry about location.
I've been considering asking the same question. I'm planning about half that much water, and would prefer to keep it inside. Grey water will probably go below deck, but doesn't really help. Was considering a separate gravity fed tank for the galley sink to balance things out a bit and avoid running water lines amidships, but I have hot water and the tank has to be somewhere. I guess it could go below deck, amidships.

I'll ask a related question, is there anything that can naturally live on the passengers side that has some weight to it? No propane in my build, and the fridge won't fit on the passengers side. There's a microwave and pots and pans, and dry food and such. I'll likely carry a portable generator and store it on the passengers side. I doubt biasing the air conditioner to the passengers side would work out well, so batteries seem the only thing left. Can some of the imbalance be offset by thoughtful packing of gear? Or do you just live with a bit of a list?

P.S. 5 AGMs!!!??? What are you going to do with that much battery?
 

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We put our two AGM's behind the seats. Weight is balanced, the boxes serve as foot rests when the seats are swiveled, and wire runs are very short. Inverter, AC charger, and solar controller and battery separator are all just behind or under driver seat.



We still are more weighted driver side because we have no cabinetry at the slider.
 

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I'm putting two golf cart batteries and a frig, total weight 180 lbs on the drivers side. I'll put the "kitchen" on the passenger side occupying the rear half of the slider opening, water containers accessible by opening the slider all the way. Makes sense for my use.
 

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- Wiring will be much more difficult. The alternator charge cable will have to snake around the van like crazy and be roughly 25' long. The frame pillar just forward of the wheel well is constricted due to the sliding door assembly. Kitchen appliances will have to be wired much further. Etc. and so forth
A couple of things that didn't add up to me after a second read... as RD mentioned the battery weight seems pretty high. And maybe I hadn't thought this through as I was planning to tackle electricals later, but why would you run all the way to the alternator?

Don't most people do a battery to battery isolator/charger thingy? The positive on the battery is only slightly biased to the drivers side. I suppose traversing the sliding door area complicates things, which may explain the up fitters connector's odd location. My layout is fairly balanced power-needs-wise, but transverse runs are likely problematic. Has anyone located their batteries on the passengers side?
 

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We put our two AGM's behind the seats. Weight is balanced, the boxes serve as foot rests when the seats are swiveled, and wire runs are very short. Inverter, AC charger, and solar controller and battery separator are all just behind or under driver seat.
Yes, I've been studying that. At first glance the batteries seem a bit tall for footrests, does it take some getting used to? They are AGMs, did you consider putting them on their sides so the boxes weren't as tall? I thought your Westbasto was on the driver's side, I clearly need to go back to that thread now that the pictures are back. I don't see your toolbox, did you move it? (Twenty questions, I know)
 

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Yes, I've been studying that. At first glance the batteries seem a bit tall for footrests, does it take some getting used to? They are AGMs, did you consider putting them on their sides so the boxes weren't as tall? I thought your Westbasto was on the driver's side, I clearly need to go back to that thread now that the pictures are back. I don't see your toolbox, did you move it? (Twenty questions, I know)
Never considered putting batteries on their sides--we had more vertical space than horizontal. My boxes are fine for us at 12.75" high--you can mock it up with your batteries. Remember the cabin floor slopes downward to the rear. Tool box is still under the seat and inverter is under driver's seat. Boxes do not have a wall facing forward. Only issue we've ever had was surly border patrol jerk yanking the lid off and MrNomer's metal shoe horn fell in. We didn't have time to be nice.

Webasto is by the passenger wheel well. To run the wiring harness across the floor, I cut "mouse holes" in the bottoms of the interior cabinet walls and taped the wire to the floor in the 3/4" space beneath the drawers. Because my cabinets are fastened together with cross-dowels, this was easy to do even two years after the cabinets were built. Unlike the wiring elsewhere, these wires are totally immune from damage and easily accessible by removing the drawers.

Monday morning quarterbacking, running the main wires high is the number one thing I would change if I could start over.
 

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Never considered putting batteries on their sides--we had more vertical space than horizontal. My boxes are fine for us at 12.75" high--you can mock it up with your batteries. Remember the cabin floor slopes downward to the rear. Tool box is still under the seat and inverter is under driver's seat. Boxes do not have a wall facing forward.
Thank you, very helpful. I'm thinking of following along your path with a different style of AGM battery-- very tall and thin and on its side. They are a bit more expensive, I believe they come from the communication/computer UPS universe instead of the golf cart/RV one.

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/NPP-Access-Telecom-Battery-Terminals/dp/B01LMHE2AS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1510760817&sr=8-3&keywords=npp+battery+12v+100ah[/ame]

There's also this marine battery which is frightfully expensive, but high capacity. I likely would need only one.

http://www.batterymart.com/p-pc1800...a4S3gQe7uo-gpU1CJ7sbWv4MIksSUnohoCkHUQAvD_BwE

The reason why I was asking about the tool kit is, I've moved my tool box (and mounts and all) to the drivers side thinking I'd install a Webasto under the passengers seat. My van didn't come with a storage tray under the drivers seat. Was a bit of a surprise to me when I heard there was one :eek:
 

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I have purchased those computer back up types and all have been garbage for many discharges and high percent draw. Caution YMMV. Research the net for reviews of long time users for Odyssey. Folks I know have had poor service, tank or not. They may have fixed the reliability issues and be fine now.
 

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I have purchased those computer back up types and all have been garbage for many discharges and high percent draw. Caution YMMV. Research the net for reviews of long time users for Odyssey. Folks I know have had poor service, tank or not. They may have fixed the reliability issues and be fine now.
It's a bit different application, so I'll research as necessary. Yes, I've seen the mixed Odyssey reviews and considering the price, it already gave me pause.

Tanks are very much a continuous rebuild and service gig anyway, so it didn't sway me much at all. I've seen documentaries of the continual rebuilding of the Abrams tank in Alabama.
 

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Weight distribution-6 Lithium batteries

I have 6 Battleborn Li batteries approx 30 lbs each=~180 lbs.
For testing the steering, the batteries are lengthwise in a long plywood box on the left/drivers side wall along with an eight, six foot folding and two foot platform ladder. Other stuff like network cable, tools, drills, etc. are on the right side. I don't have exact numbers of weight for stuff on either side. I need the drivers side for carrying a twelve foot extension ladder and the eight and six foot ladders.
The steering alignment is good; it was checked and corrected recently.
I drove approximately twelve miles on the relatively straight highway about 65 Mph with a side wind from the Northeast, got off the highway and then came back.
The wind was blowing on the left side going out and then on the right side coming back.
I could not tell if the six batteries effected the steering.

159", high roof

I would like to have the batteries between the sliding door and the right side wheel well stacked three high, laying on their long side in two columns to take advantage of that small space.
The batteries would sit approximately 24" high in a frame with horizontal support under each row.
[==] <----battery

stacked 3 high by 2 wide

|[+ -]|[+ -]|
|[+ -]|[+ -]|./ <----forward edge of right side wheel well
|[+ -]|[+ -]|/
 

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I don’t think you’re over thinking it, I’d caution you to not let weight distribution lead you into illogical design solutions. I went a little too far thinking weight distro (see bottom of this page https://vancave.wordpress.com/cargo-van-overview/vancave1/cargo-van-miscellaneous/ ). Despite all my calculations, I had plenty of weight capacity available and as RD points out, most designs tend to balance weight out... yes, people put more weight opposite the slider, but the slider adds offsetting weight.

For VanCave2 I split my battery bank... the extra 2/0 wire cost was negligible and the design gave me more usable rear storage.
 
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