Reduce tongue weight by moving battery

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by CastlePinesMike, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. kmh1596

    kmh1596 Wilbraham, MA

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    Put the extra tank on it, and go from there. I'd be wary of batteries on the back bumper.. Sounds like a small fender bender resulting in fire when someone bumps into you. This is in addition to un-weighting the tongue by a lot.
     
  2. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    Calkat, why two propane tanks? Are you camping for weeks at a time away from civilization? Not familiar with Class 30 batteries. Can you provide link on this type of battery?
     
  3. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    What kmh said and generally you dont want to add weight to the rear of your axles. After so much weight this will make your camper sway. If you still want to try it take the pup loaded as usual for a short ride where you can tow at speed that you generally do and find out if you went over that magic number. Most times is safer to have add weight to the tongue than to the rear of the axle as long as you dont go over the tongue max for your vehicle/hitch combination.

    Good luck!

    Speck, I suppose he is talking about 31 class battery.
     
  4. CalKat

    CalKat Member

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    http://www.amazon.com/Optima-Batteries-8052-161-FFP-BlueTop-Starting/dp/B00E16LVYI
    These are my batteries, each weighs 63 lbs.
    I do like to go for long trips away, and it has been a hassle sometimes finding a fill station. I also cook off of the tank, plus water heater, ect. I need the two big batteries because of sleep apnea. I can generally run everything, not including the fridge, for 5 days before I need to recharge.
     
  5. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Each full propane tank weights about 54 pounds, so you are close to 200 pounds with 2 batteries and 2 propane tanks. Your camper should have the weight limits depending on what hardware they were built with so you can use that as a start to see if you are close to the TV/Hitch receiver max. Keep in mind, some vehicles published max are with the use of a weight distribution hitch.
    Are you using a inverter or 12vdc for your apnea machine? Back in the day when DW had to use one we would use it off an inverter and it would roughly last us a night. Then I realize we had a 12vdc port on it that would have been a lot more efficient and give us longer use of the batteries. I thought I mention it just in case that is not what you are doing. The inverter we were using was insensibly large for the little wattage we needed which made it even worse...
     
  6. colorado_camper

    colorado_camper Member

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    My PUP came with 1 each propane and Gp24 battery. I use 2 Gp27 batteries so I removed the battery box and now carry a 2nd propane tank in that space on longer trips. I carry my batteries in my TV and set them under the tongue when setting up. I have a skirt around the bunk on the tongue end to protect these things from weather and observation.

    I've always heard that you should load 1lb behind the axle for every 2lbs in front of it. I do that, although not scientifically, just by guesswork, and I never have any sway issues. Maybe the OP (remember him?) could load more 1-to-1, front to back, and balance things out a bit.
     
  7. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

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    If they are 20lb propane tanks then they weigh app. 38lbs. when full. A 30lb tank weighs 54lbs and a 40lb tank weighs 70lbs when full
     
  8. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    Thanks speck, I forgot to specify I was talking about 30 lb tanks.
     
  9. CalKat

    CalKat Member

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    I'm using my biPap on 12vdc. I can't use the humidifier this way so I use an old passive humidifier from a system long ago. Probably save energy that way. One of my many mods was to put 12vdc outlets (cigarette lighter plugs) at each end of the camper and a third roughly in the middle.
     
  10. CalKat

    CalKat Member

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    Thank you to everyone who replied. You've given me food thought. Moving the batteries around isn't plausible for me. 64 lbs. lifting and moving a bit difficult for me (female). I'll probably go with my original plan to add a box on the back bumper for water hoses, power cables, and gray water drain hoses. A box for the bulky stuff.

    Thanks again. [:)C]
     
  11. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Even if it was safe to move the battery, it's not efficient. You would then need to run a really heavy-duty pair of battery cables the entire length of the trailer, forward to where the existing wires enter the trailer. DC voltages fall off quickly in long runs of wire; you'd probably have to get 2 or 4 awg.
     
  12. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Why not put those Optima AGM batteries inside? I put two MKBattery gel group 24 inside under a seat. A vented battery box isn't required for AGM or gel batteries.

    I located the batteries over the axle so they are neutral regarding tongue weight.
     
  13. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    How is the balance without the dirt bike. I would make an assumption that you are not always going to carry the bike. You don't want to have a camper that the tongue is to light and have sway issue when you don't have the dirt bike. 400 lbs is within tongue capacity for that TV. How does it tow??? If it towed good I would leave it alone.
     
  14. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    CalKat revived CastlePinesMike post. I think both CalKat and CastlePinesMike have made up their mind. That is why it is better to start a separate thread, it tends to confuse other if the talk is about the OP issue or the new poster issue.
     
  15. arthuruscg

    arthuruscg Active Member

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    If you properly install a sealed battery box and vent it outside the camper, you can place them inside the camper. Perhaps, under a bench directly beside the power center. But you will also need to be aware of left/right weight balance.
     
  16. Strut

    Strut Member

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    You do not need to provide ventilation to a sealed battery such as an AGM type, as long as you are using a charger designed specifically for this type of battery.
     
  17. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    It is a good idea to see that the battery compartment has access to outside air.
    SLA and AGM still can outgas mostly due to charging conditions as you pointed out but I would not seal them in an air-tight box.
     
  18. StandingWaves

    StandingWaves New Member

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    I have a simular concern, so instead of starting a new thread, I will see if I can't revitalize this one.

    Equipment:
    -2006 Jayco 1006 trailer
    -approx 2100 lbs empty.
    -Approx 200 lbs water
    -2x20lb propane tanks
    -1 60lb CL31 battery
    -1 50 lb generator
    -Other camp supplies bringing total safely under the 800 lb cargo limit.

    So, with the generator in the cargo box, water heater, 2 propane tanks, and the battery, my trailer (under 3000 LB) has over 400b tongue weight.

    I could leave it as is being at around 14%, but it would exceed my TV hitch cap of 350 LB (an no, the TV does not allow WDH).

    So, if I move the battery from the from to the back, I end up with a 75 lb reduction on the hitch. I can deal with keeping the tongue weight at about 325 by loading the trailer properly. That gives me over the 10% weight distribution, but within the capacity of all the links (trailer tongue, hitch receiver, hitch, TV cap).

    I am thinking of either rebuilding the entire bumper and welding it on, or just re-inforcing the current welds, and adding a battery base. The battery base would prevent issues with a slow speed backing up incident resulting in a ruined battery.

    Other options might be to add a counter weight, or additional storage at the rear, but I can't think of anything so dense and close to the front of the trailer that can be moved.

    Thoughts?


    Side note:
    -In order to calculate weights, use the simplified calculations:
    "W" = object weight
    "H" = distance from axle to hitch.
    "L1" = distance from axle to initial load location
    "L2" = distance from axle to final load location

    Battery or other weight swap:
    tongue weight reduction = (L1/H*W)+(L2/H*W)

    My situation was = (111/130*60)+(61/130*60) = 51+28 = 79 lbs.
    My measured value was 75 lbs actual, which is about 5% out, but we are talking about bathroom scales, and quick single person tape measuring.

    *something to keep in mind. Every lb that comes off the front without removing from the trailer will add to the weight the axle sees. In my situation, I am still within the weight limits of the axle*

    Best Regards,
    StandingWaves
     
  19. skeetercampsintexas

    skeetercampsintexas Active Member

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    I've always figured it would be easier to ride without the propane tanks than to relocate a battery. When you factor in the weight of the tank plus 20 lbs of propane x2 bottles, that would be about the equivalent of the battery, if not more. Load the tanks somewhere in the rear, maybe on a rear hitch, secured safely, and put them on at the campsite. If you don't run down the road with your fridge on, this should be of no concern aside from the redundant task of moving them back and forth. With most of use camping 10-12 times a year, I see this as less of an inconvenience than dealing with massive battery cables with long distance runs, venting, and building a box.

    Oh and for the record AGM batteries, such as an optima, absolutely do not NEED to be vented. If it makes you feel better, go for it...but it is unnecessary.
     
  20. StandingWaves

    StandingWaves New Member

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    Interesting.

    My battery is not AGM, and it new, so no luck there.

    The propane tanks would work well. They are not as far forward, but they weigh more, so the effect should be very similar. I am just not sure it would be easy to mount 2 large 20 lb propane tanks on the back. Looks like a small battery would be easier to find a spot.

    Since it probably works out in the wash, it will probably come down to what is easier to re-locate. I could get over moving the tanks back and forth, but as we usually hit at least 2 sites on every camping trip, it might get tiring. (side note, I never got into the mindset of sitting down in 1 campground/location for a week straight. 3-4 days, and that road itch starts).

    I would consider loosing 1 of the tanks too, but I usually go through more than 1 tank on a trip.

    Another thought was to:
    -Make a hidden compartment between the last 2 frame cubbies under the trailer (like a water slip tank). I could put awning poles, axe, tools, etc in there, but I haven't found a good way of doing it.
    -Add a roof rack, but put it on the back half of the trailer for bikes, and a misc rack for other things. The roof rating can take more weight, but I don't like the idea of having an unbalanced load when lifting the lid.

    Regards,
    StandingWaves
     

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