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Old 05-19-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
HazMatt's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: E Central Tejas
Posts: 1,997
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: IH 3800, 8 window
Engine: T444E w/ Spicer 5-speed MT
Rated Cap: I prefer broad-brims hats
Prospective House Battery Bank Siting

The only sub-floor storage that came on my Thomas 3800 is the start battery box, just aft of driver's steer wheel, and another of approximately the same size, fore of the shotgun duallies.
No clue what it was engineered to support; prolly spare fluids, tools, radiator shroud during warm weather (nippers for the driver after a rough day transporting the little nippers...)
Is there any compelling reason this oughtn't be my place to place my bank?
Those who say that it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:55 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 957
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
My suggestion would be to make a proper compartment for the house batteries, then you won't use up valuable existing underfloor storage for them. It needs to be well ventilated to allow hydrogen to escape while charging, but if it's open underneath it will also allow a leaking or overheating battery to harmlessly drip acid onto the ground. It's really nice to have the battery trays on slides so you can easily access the rear batteries, otherwise how will you regularly check their electrolyte level and add water? If the house batteries are near the start batteries, you can easily interconnect them to help boost the start batteries in cold weather - Blue Seas make some nice switches that are ideal for this. Just remember to keep the batteries separate from the inverter/charger or any other electronics because their acid fumes will damage PCBs and connectors, but the house batteries should still be as close as possible to the inverter to minimize voltage drop under high-current loads.

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Old 05-23-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
Bus Nut
TheHubbardBus's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Hotzona
Posts: 934
Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar T444e
Rated Cap: 24
I'd say that if you can work out a way to locate them inside the bus, while still allowing for a means of venting, that would be ideal, as it would likely protect them from extremes in temp that might otherwise shorten their lifespan and/or decrease their output. Plus, batteries are heavy, and depending on the size of your bank, could significantly weight one side of the bus relative to the other. Putting them inside could potentially allow for more flexibility in optimizing weight distribution and/or traction.
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 105
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9/AT
Rated Cap: 2 adults, 2 dogs
I'm also debating location. Welding up a good box underneath sounds appealing to save space inside but I'm also concerned for extreme temps.
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