Been making slow but good progress. I finally got the battery mounted in the floor between the wheel wells. The battery bracket (unseen in this photo) is made from 2-1/2" x 5/16" angle iron and bridges the frame rails just above and behind the front driveshaft yoke. HEAVY DUTY, to say the least. I used a NOCO HM484
Battery box to keep the battery dry and happy. It took a bit of doing to get everything just right before cutting into the floor. I also made a trim ring to add additional strength to the opening but when I cut into it, the floor is still rock solid!! I still have to countersink the holes in it and prep and prime before I'm ready to install it but the picture shows the general idea. There's plenty of ventilation for any gasses to blow away. The hatch to access the battery will be in the center walkway of the galley with all hardware flush with the floor. The top of the battery box is just below the level of the metal subfloor. The best part is, I was able to cut off almost 6ft. of 4/0 battery cable from the original! No voltage drop to this battery, no sir!!
Speaking of metal sub floor. I dropped by the PPG place in town today and talked to the guys about how to best seal and prime the galvanized metal I'm sheeting the storage bay and window areas with. They recommended a product called AMERLOCK
and from what I can tell it's the thing to use. Not only will it bite into the galvanized metal, it'll also treat and stop the rust that may have made it's way through. Sounds like a perfect product to use on my floors once I get all the loose scale off and wire brush. A three gallon kit ($165.00) covers 1600 sq. ft. It's marine grade material (one of the benefits of living near a port) and tough as tough!! Still a ways off from painting but I do need to deal with the sub floor once things dry up around here (been raining on and off for days).
Looking into finish coats as well. We're not trying to have a super high gloss finish since I'm going for a mostly utility look on the exterior of our bus. I'm far more interested in tough longevity than something I need to fuss over continuously. Still looking at something like Monstaliner for the area just below the floors where the storage bays are. For the general body (and bumper and exterior mods I've made) something like PPG PSX700
is getting my "like" button right now. For the roof, something like AmesŪ Maximum-Stretch™
seems to be the ticket (especially for dealing with potential leaks before they develop). Comments please if any of you have had any experience with any of these products. Also, still unsettled on a color scheme. I really like the idea of a Coyote tan, black for trim and white for the top. Lori would like something a bit more on the green side. We'd both like something that would not be too "standoutish" and look good while boondocking. Hard to imagine what it'll ultimately look like though. Wish I knew how to get a line drawing to play around with some different color schemes.
I did finally get the headlights all wired in with heavy wires (8AWG) and 40 amp relays wired directly into the battery. I'm using the original circuit to control the new relays so nothing will be overloaded. The new lights are H4 90/105 watt Halogen lights to fit the 4x6 stock lights (35 watt). BIG improvement over stock (which were just short of dangerous, in my opinion).
Getting closer to installing an RV door midships!! Scary stuff ahead!!