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Thread: House Batteries in Spare Tire Location?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    323
    I will try to post pics of one we did in a Chevrolet Express. We put 4 batteries in a rear tray and actually use the stock cable to lift them up.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Issaquah, WA
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by Weldtec Designs View Post
    I will try to post pics of one we did in a Chevrolet Express. We put 4 batteries in a rear tray and actually use the stock cable to lift them up.
    Any plans to sell a rear tray for the Express/Savana?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by Weldtec Designs View Post
    I will try to post pics of one we did in a Chevrolet Express. We put 4 batteries in a rear tray and actually use the stock cable to lift them up.
    I would be very interested in seeing photos of that, sounds like a very nice design.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    57


    Basically a napkin sketch at this point, but I'm thinking a relatively simple skidplate style tray will work well. Should be able to bolt to open factory holes in the frame also. Will like attach some aluminum angle front and rear to help hold the batteries down as well as hold down straps over the top of the batteries.

    Think 1/4" aluminum plate would have sufficient strength for 240 pounds of batteries?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Jämte i exil
    Posts
    561
    Think 1/4" aluminum plate would have sufficient strength for 240 pounds of batteries?
    No engineering, but Seat of pants...I think it will. Especially so if transverse oriented ribs or flanged front & rear edges exist, what can also serve to locate & anchor the batteries.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Roaming About Australia
    Posts
    395
    1/4" 6061 T3 should be more than enough. You need to use reasonable sized fasteners. I would design around 4 times the batteries static weight. You can easily look up your fasteners shear and tensile strength on the web.
    2004 T1N Sprinter| Overland Conversion Complete | 118,XXX miles | 140" | High Roof | Outback Bound
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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    57

    Default An update if anyone is interested...

    I refined my plans a bit more and took detailed dimensioned drawings in to a local metal fabrication shop as well as the pre-made cardboard template. I explained in detail what I was looking for before leaving. I opted to use 11 Gauge steel plate rather than aluminum to save costs. But as they say the best laid plans...

    The plan was to keep the skid plate itself more or less as detailed above but to have 3" edges bent at 90 degrees front and rear to keep the battery locked in place from sliding fore and aft. When I went to pick up there were multiple errors made. I was given two skid plates - one with the bent ridges and one an exact replica of the cardboard template. The plate with the ridges was made using a 21" outer diameter rather than inner diameter (as clearly indicated on the drawings), leaving the interior space 1/4" too small to fit my batteries. As well as the battery retention top plate again bent with outer diameters rather than interior diameters (and no holes for the bolts), luckily I accounted for a bit of extra wiggle room here. The shop itself was thoroughly unwilling to accept any responsibility even after recognizing that they had not produced the product to the dimensions indicated. I left with the plates and began contemplating a modified setup that would avoid me being left with an overpriced stack of scrap metal.

    I should be able to use the flat plate (sans ridges) as the lower plate and the top plate just fits over both batteries with just enough room for a 3/8" Grade 8 bolt to slide between. The top plate (with 3 through bolts) should provide enough clamping force to hold the batteries in place with out the added security of the ridges (which would have also added to the overall stiffness of the plate. Not the ideal solution but should still be workable.

    Battery Retention Top Plate:





    Main Skid Plate:





    Test fit under the van:



    The second plate with ridges that is unusable for me (if anyone in the Front Range happens to need a plate for water tank or slightly smaller battery bank let me know):


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    S. IL
    Posts
    88
    Looks like it's coming along nicely.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    176
    Interesting project.

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