This morning the crew and I join Kathy and Bill at their campsite.
Bill tosses out a strange idea: “Let’s mount the battery box on top of the wheel well!”
Something tells me the curved wheel well and the flat bottom of the box are not a good mix. A stronger voice tells me this is the kind of situation where it’s best to keep an open mind. So we position the battery box on top of the wheel well and it looks good, very good.
” Okay, Bill. How are you going to keep the box — with 120 pounds of battery in it — stable?”
“Oh, that’s easy, ” he assures me. “I’ll make a T-brace and screw it to the bottom of the box. The brace will be bolted to the wheel well.”
The holes in the bottom of the box will help air flow to release heat. The wire is for the temperature sensor. (The solar panels in the background are not mine. Bill made these panels. They’re going on their travel trailer.)
The blue straps are a safety feature. They will wrap around the batteries. In the event of a side-impact collision or a roll-over, the batteries will not fly out of the box.
At last the battery box is mounted on the wheel well!
Two bolts go through the metal plate of the T-brace and through the wheel well. Large washers are on the tire side of the bolts. Another bolt goes down through the bottom of the box and through the top of the wheel well. These two directions of the bolts remove any possibility of shearing taking place. Although I can’t imagine how that could happen . . . . The box is a solid part of the PTV now!
In the photo below you see the battery box is adjacent to the inverter.
I have labelled where the 15 amp, 75 volt max charge controller and the 150 amp, resettable circuit breaker go on the outside of the battery box. (Click to enlarge.) We put the lid on the box for this photo. Of course, the lid will come off again to finish the wiring, to connect the battery terminals, and to strap down the batteries properly.
I wonder if Bill will need a heating pad on his back tonight.
The batteries weigh 60 pounds each. He had to lug them up into the PTV and into the box. I held my breath hoping he would not throw his back out. As Bill remarked after hefting the batteries, “That was a job for a younger man!”
Everything is going well. I’m looking forward to more progress tomorrow!