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Old 07-28-2018, 01:22 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31W
State: New Hampshire
Posts: 17
THOR #12512
Chateau 31W battery question

Hi everyone,

I have a 2018 Chateau 31W and have a house battery question. I have read a few posts on this forum indicating they added 2-3 additional batteries to their units. I am wondering where they put the extra batteries. I would like to add extra batteries for dry camping but it doesn’t seem to be room under the entrance steps for more than two. At least that what it looks like to me. I currently have two batteries but would like two more. Does anyone know where I can put two more? The Thor Chateau brochure indicates the unit can hold four batteries but i can’t see it. I must be missing something. Thanks in advance for any replies.

JohnR
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:28 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31W
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Posts: 17
THOR #12512
Chateau 31W Battery Question

Hi Everyone,

I posted this question a while ago and received no replies. I guess no one has a Chateau 31W or has not or does not want to add additional batteries to there coach. If anyone has an answer please post reply. Thanks.

JohnR
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:01 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds
State: Ontario
Posts: 263
THOR #9081
I have a 2018 31Y Four Winds, with the same 4 battery tray under the steps. I started using it last summer and added solar and an inverter to it before heading south last winter. In March of this year I added a third battery to the bank, but it was a very difficult undertaking because of the clearance for the tray. To add a fourth battery would be even more difficult.

The two batteries which came with my Four Winds were Exide batteries. I had originally thought they were Harris batteries, but after looking at the model numbers they turned out to be the same battery which Exide sells as the “Nautilus Dual Purpose Marine Battery 27 MDP” These are 100 AH batteries. Some Home Depots sell these, I purchased the third battery in San Diego for ~$120 from a Home Depot in El Cahon. The existing batteries are identical to the new battery except they do not have the branding Stickers on the side.

Before adding the battery while installing the solar and inverter, I had noticed that the factory had installed the positive connection from the generator to one of the batteries, instead of connecting to the house terminal post, thus I moved this connection.

To install the third battery I had to disconnect the battery connections (at the batteries)from the ground post and house terminal post and keep these out of the way of the battery compartment enclosure. Then I connected the new inter battery connection cables to the existing batteries posts only at the old battery connections. I left the old inter battery cable connections. Then I had to slide one of the original batteries on the tray away from the under step access point to under the RV. While doing this I had to ensure the new battery cables did not contact any thing. Basically you only have clearance for the cable itself on top of the batteries. Then I had to add the third battery into the compartment. Then I completed the four battery cable connections.

This whole process basically took me a morning. Now that part was easy. It is the maintenace part that is the major problem. There is basically no way to check the water level of the these wet cell batteries now that they are installed in the compartment without having to disconnect the cables, remove the new battery, slide the old battery , and then repeat the installion process again.

I have thought about adding a Flow Rite watering system. I would need to find out the specs to see if there would be enough clearance. I believe it would fit but then the cost of the system could be applied to new maintenance free batteries instead. Thus I figured I would just add the one new battery to the existing two and run them until they all die. I will then replace them all with AGM batteries that require no level checks.

One may ask if I really needed a third battery, but that would be a whole new discussion.
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Old 08-13-2018, 02:44 PM   #4
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THOR #12512
Thumbs up Chateau 31W Battery Question

Peterrrr,


Thanks for the very detailed reply. That really help me understand about the battery space under my steps. Because of the extremely tight space under the steps with these units I think I will wait until I need to replace the batteries and at that time replace them and add the two additional batteries with AGM ones.


JohnR
2018 Chateau 31W
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:37 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: Florida
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THOR #12189
Hi, I have a 2017 31L. Would either you know if the 'L' model would also accommodate 4 batteries?
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RvEd View Post
Hi, I have a 2017 31L. Would either you know if the 'L' model would also accommodate 4 batteries?


We had a31L. It would only hold two batteries.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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According to the Brochure for the 2017 31L model, it came with a tray for 4 batteries. It is understandable with the limited amount of space when you view the batteries that one would think that it would only hold two.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterrrr View Post
According to the Brochure for the 2017 31L model, it came with a tray for 4 batteries. It is understandable with the limited amount of space when you view the batteries that one would think that it would only hold two.
I must have gleaned right over it. It's under electrical and plumbing! (re: Battery Tray for Four (4) Batteries).


Thank you! Inverter, here we come (after 4 AGMs)
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterrrr View Post
According to the Brochure for the 2017 31L model, it came with a tray for 4 batteries. It is understandable with the limited amount of space when you view the batteries that one would think that it would only hold two.


Ours was 2016 and regardless what the brochure said there was no room for more than two batteries. In fact, when we ordered ours the only option on batteries was “dual” batteries. That might have changed for 2017, but having crawled under ours several times I can guarantee that there was no room for more than two.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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Model: SOB 2014 Meridian 36M
State: Washington
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I installed 4-6 volt wet cell in my Quantum ws31. It is the Heighth of the 6 volt wet cells that mine was VERY tight on. On mine I had to remove the step covering them just to get the batteries in/out. Then, do some creative clearancing under the step. Had I known about this Apex AGM battery, I would have installed them. Their price is doable and they are shorter, 10.4" vs 11.25". https://www.apexbattery.com/6-volt-g...-6v-205ah.html
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Old 08-14-2018, 02:02 PM   #11
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State: Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterrrr View Post
I have a 2018 31Y Four Winds, with the same 4 battery tray under the steps.
I have thought about adding a Flow Rite watering system. I would need to find out the specs to see if there would be enough clearance. I believe it would fit but then the cost of the system could be applied to new maintenance free batteries instead. Thus I figured I would just add the one new battery to the existing two and run them until they all die. I will then replace them all with AGM batteries that require no level checks.

One may ask if I really needed a third battery, but that would be a whole new discussion.
The low profile system fit under my steps, barely! I had installed two Interstate 6 volt batteries to find out if they would run our residential fridge over night. They didn't, we got woke up at 1:30 to alarms beeping. So, went ahead with 2 more batteries with the quick fill. They do pretty well. We ran the genny in the morning and again in the evening for about an hour, hour and a half each time. It was a two night dry site watching the winter storms on the WA coast, we were running the furnace as well.
https://www.amazon.com/Flow-Rite-RV2...Q6JTYM9W1B9FFD
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:13 PM   #12
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Model: Chateau 31L
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THOR #12189
Ahhh. So the '4 battery capacity' is for 4-6v. Figures. What was I thinking????
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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THOR #12189
Question To follow up, 4 6's or 2 12's?

Has anyone upgraded from 2-12's to 4-6v batteries to equal the same capacity?

Reason I ask is I was wondering if there was any performance gain in using 4-6's v. 2-12's.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:00 PM   #14
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Model: 2017 Axis 25.4
State: Arkansas
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THOR #12231
I went from TWO 12 volts (OEM lead acid) to Two 6 volts (AGM) on my Axis. So far I love them.

From what I read the 6 volts will take abuse much better plus being AGM they should last longer and are maintainace free. If putting under your steps (like mine are) I would highly recommend AGM (12 or 6 V).

Lots of Treads on 12v VS 6V. Do some researching and decide for yourself.

But they are pricey (My Full River AGM 6 volts (220 amp hour) were around $250 each but on sale for $225 each). But I think they are worth it in the long run.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:41 PM   #15
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State: Georgia
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THOR #4735
The original question is a good one, as most of us, even with 4 house batteries already, might be considering 'where' you can place more... I think even the factories have a challenge with this as well - it's not an easy storage problem to have.... the higher end 'all electric' motorcoaches with 8 or even more batteries have it made!

The other question is about how to best WIRE them together, especially when using the 6v in series AND parallel to provide a 12v output. It would be nice to be able to just 'sit' batteries on top of each other, but I suppose that's out of the question. When a different level for more batteries is needed, the wiring takes on even another 'level'.

Maybe we can get one of those 'tesla' batteries! (just smaller, of course)
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
The original question is a good one, as most of us, even with 4 house batteries already, might be considering 'where' you can place more... I think even the factories have a challenge with this as well - it's not an easy storage problem to have.... the higher end 'all electric' motorcoaches with 8 or even more batteries have it made!

The other question is about how to best WIRE them together, especially when using the 6v in series AND parallel to provide a 12v output. It would be nice to be able to just 'sit' batteries on top of each other, but I suppose that's out of the question. When a different level for more batteries is needed, the wiring takes on even another 'level'.

Maybe we can get one of those 'tesla' batteries! (just smaller, of course)
Yes you can:
Used Tesla 444 cell 6s74p Modules for Sale | Power Cartel
Tesla Model S Lithium Ion Battery 18650 EV Module - 22.8 Volt, 5.3 kWh, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion Kits

You can even install them in an RV:
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:49 PM   #17
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Model: Chateau 31W
State: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
Hi Everyone,

I posted this question a while ago and received no replies. I guess no one has a Chateau 31W or has not or does not want to add additional batteries to there coach. If anyone has an answer please post reply. Thanks.

JohnR
Hi John, I'm sure you probly have yyour answer by now but if not all 4 batteries will fit under the steps. yOU WILL HAVE TO INSERT ONE AT A TIME AND SLIDE OVER AND BACK.
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