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PostPosted: March 28th, 2017, 7:45 am 
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Joined: February 21st, 2017, 6:54 am
Posts: 12
Location: ~Alaska/NC~
I have a (new to me) '95 Ford Chinook Concourse ... a lot of wiring modifications have taken place by prior owners, including the disconnect of the solar panel. This 1995 Ford chassis has a starting battery (group/size 65) on the driver's side and an "Auxiliary Battery" (group/size 50) on the passenger side, there are NO other house batteries in the coach itself. I currently have an adequate starting battery and the old relay(s) are abandoned with a newer SurePower Battery Isolator installed. The battery isolator and alternator appear to be doing their job fine as well as the battery charger in the coach when plugged into AC, the generator works and presumably that is also running the house charger when it is operating. Either the LVD never existed or has been removed (from what I can assess).

MY PROBLEM: the Auxiliary Battery I have is a small Duralast Gold 51RS-DLG http://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/battery/duralast-gold-battery/340058_908261_0 and I'm looking to replace it with something larger. I can find these choices-

Lead Acid from Interstate-
http://www.interstatebatteries.com/p/interstate-batteries/c50-xhd/interstate-batteries-c50-xhd-c50-xhd?dsNav=N~4294784989-4294753566-4294753565-4294753564-2147384903

Flooded Lead Acid from Remy-
http://www.remybattery.com/group-size-50-battery.html

I think this yellow top Optima will fit, it's a 51 and "deep cycle", but really specs out no better than the one in it-
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/OBT1/YEL51/N0056.oap?ck=Search_deep+cycle+battery_-1_1271&keyword=deep+cycle+battery
although it appears I might ruin this one by not having a compatible charger if it gets run down too low??

Anyone else in the same boat and what path did you take? Yes, I'd love to upgrade the whole thing and put a battery bank in the coach, but that is just not an option at this time.

Thanks in advance for any advice/help .......

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'95 Chinook Concourse


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2017, 8:28 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1912
Location: 1999 Concourse
Hi Cozette and welcome!

Another member of our group here, "kyidletime," also ran into that issue as his Chinook battery setup was just like yours. I see you say you don't want to move the battery bank, but... he was never able to find anything that would fit in that location that would make a remotely decent house battery. As a result, he moved his house battery bank back to the storage compartment that is beneath the forward end of the couch (which is where newer 21' Chinooks have their batteries). Thus he was able to use a more common size, could upgrade to two or more batteries if desired, etc.

I think if you look up his username and view some of his posts he describes and shows what he did.

If it were me I would do the same as he did (or move the battery bank under the couch but not with flooded cell batteries since they more commonly outgas).

If you PM him, maybe he could suggest the best alternative he found for under the hood (although I don't think he found one....?)

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PostPosted: March 28th, 2017, 12:38 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
Posts: 573
Location: Northern NJ
Hi Cozette, Yeah, there was no LVD back then.

In my '94, I currently use the Interstate battery, as that's the stock option. But it only holds about 45 amp hours.

Later upgrade possibilities partly depend on where in your particular Chinook that the converter/charger and main circuit panel are. On mine, they're on the stove & fridge side, but they might've changed by your model build, to the sink side.

So for me, running new roof solar wires down the fridge vent made perfect sense, as I could connect the solar controller to the battery lines right where the converter/charger does. I'm thinking of adding a large AGM under the rear dinette seat, which is extremely close to everything as well.

OTOH, if your main house electrical center is on the driver's side, then it makes sense to either add batteries to the storage hold, or perhaps some 6 volt gels lined up under the couch.

(If anyone ever does put valve regulated gel or AGM batteries inside, they should make sure they have about 25 square inches of ventilation for their container, so that any emergency gas release during an overcharge condition has a way to safely dissipate into the cabin.)

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1994 Concourse, wood & heated tile floors, tin ceiling, custom lighting


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PostPosted: March 28th, 2017, 2:57 pm 
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Joined: February 21st, 2017, 6:54 am
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Location: ~Alaska/NC~
So as I feared, no real band-aid, a decent fix would involve surgery. Sounds like the Interstate C50-XHD is the best bet for my House Battery and get a small DC voltmeter to keep an eye on that battery and it's health .... and then run the generator.

My electrical is on the sink side, but that storage bay doesn't seem to battery friendly either (the door ends at the water heater grill), it's not nearly as large as the pics on newer units with a slide out battery tray. My instinct was to dump the Suburban Furnace and create a battery cubby under the front dinette seat, I could use the old furnace openings for outside ventilation regardless of battery type, but yep, it means running a whole lot of new wire and that's a project I'm not sure I'm up for yet.

I did read through the 118 posts from kyidletime on the subject and I got scared fast :D .... seems he came to the same conclusion, and the dominos started to fall and the projects $$$ lined up.

Thanks for the replies.

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'95 Chinook Concourse


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PostPosted: July 28th, 2017, 4:25 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
Posts: 573
Location: Northern NJ
Hey, Cozette -

Someone else with our older Ford single coach battery setup, has found a better battery that should fit up front.

He stuffed in a Group 31 battery, which is about the same length and height (13 x 8.75), but a bit wider (6.x" vs 5.5). I say 6.x because there are width variations.

The cool thing is that the deep cycle versions have over twice as much capacity as the slightly smaller C50-XHD.

Google for "xtr31 battery" and the like. e.g. There's an XTR31-135 with 135AH for about $290.

Kev

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PostPosted: July 30th, 2017, 8:34 am 
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Joined: February 21st, 2017, 6:54 am
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Thanks for the info, sadly I already purchased a Group 50 Interstate but there's always a next time.

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'95 Chinook Concourse


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2017, 3:34 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
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Location: Northern NJ
Yep, I'm in the same boat.

Next time!

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