Battery location in camper

FreeBrrd Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
I was thinking that I wanted the battery as far away from sleeping area as possible - at the rear of the camper, but with only 28 square feet, it's either almost under my feet or almost under my head. The panels will be located at the front of the camper. Does any one feel that the safety, etc. is any different where I locate the battery? Where ever, it will be sealed off from the living compartment, vented to the outside. If I put the battery at the front, I'll only need < six feet of wire between panel, controller, & battery. I'm using an AGM - Deka 8A24 battery.

thank you

another question, color of roof under panel? Would white be better, cooler? There will be reflectix insulation under the roof. Outside of camper & roof will be gray stain, like Dove Gray to match my truck interior.

now we really have to fix that thing, it's calling me an expert. Guy I can accept, but expert will get me in trouble.


  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery location in camper

    An AGM battery does not really require venting. If it "vents" something is wrong. But you might build your battery box, so the large, group 27 size battery could fit in it, and some point in the future, haveing a vented box, could be advantagus, if you can only get a flooded battery. Head, foot, doesn't matter, as long as a drain to carry an acid spill away is considered. AGM's don't have acid spills, they are OK for even air shipping.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • FreeBrrd
    FreeBrrd Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery location in camper

    With the extremely limited space to expand the system, I should never need a larger battery. I can only fit one more 65 watt panel. The 8a24 is already about 5 x what I require. I picked it because I shouldn't need to upgrade.

    I bought a battery box that just fits the 8A24. In fact the specs say that it doesn't fit, but the salesman guaranteed that it did and he'd pay shipping, etc. if it doesn't. Most of the group 24 boxes said that they were too small.

    I was reading somewhere lately that I had to have venting, but I've read all the manuals for the controllers, panels, battery so it probably wasn't relevant.

    I guess with a fuse at the battery, a battery switch in not needed. Probably should be easy to access the battery though - not have to crawl into the camper to get to it? or at least to get to the fuse?
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery location in camper

    although the battery won't normally gas, you may take precaution to keep it away from people as much as possible due to accidental shorts and who knows what else people around batteries could do in a bad moment be it deliberate or not. the battery box helps too. above anybody's head would be a bad idea, but down low if there's kids is worse. you will have to judge your situation.
  • FreeBrrd
    FreeBrrd Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery location in camper

    no kids, just a pair of adolescent kittens, whole different kinds of trouble, reason everything will be inside the walls

    so what about paint color under panel, worth while to paint the area white while the rest is a medium gray - can't thnk right now if gloss would be cooler or flat, seems gloss - does reflective (just gloss, no mirrors ;) ) underneath help with solar?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Battery location in camper

    Probably won't matter what color you paint underneath...

    White paint will reflect heat back up to the panels--And white paint will not radiate heat from the camper roof/insides...

    Black paint, will absorb heat well, but also radiate it back out better too.

    Choosing paint color has been an issue for the space program... Colors that radiate heat well also absorb heat equally well... Make a black radiator to get rid of waste heat from the craft, and it also absorbs heat well from the sun.

    So, my two bits... Paint the camper roof white to keep the inside temperatures stable (won't heat as fast during the day, won't cool as fast during the night). You don't see most travel trailers painted black--probably for this reason. We buy white/light colored cars to keep them a bit cooler in the summer too.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • FreeBrrd
    FreeBrrd Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery location in camper

    thank you

    guess I'll let it match the rest than

    can't think of anything I haven't asked

    Couple of years ago, I had gotten one of those little solar battery chargers that you plug into the cigarette lighter. My lighter gets disconnected with the key anyway, but on sunny days my stereo would be playing (it also goes off with the key). Thought I had gremlins at first.