Four 6 Volt Battery Installation on my wife's 2005 Raptor 3612DS
Always disconnect you main coach positive terminal before working on any batteries and DO NOT run live wires through holes. Run the wires first, and then attach to the batteries.
If you are going to install 6 volt batteries on your rig, you might end up having to design your own battery tray because 6 volt batteries are a little fatter and taller than the group 24 batteries and the rocket scientists at the RV companies can never figure out that we like our batteries and should make compartments big enough for them. With that said here it is.
I thought I had all of my problems solved when I installed the extra two 12 volt deep cycle batteries which then gave me a total of four 12 volt batteries. However, I would still hammer them pretty hard because my toy hauler's garage becomes romper room for my kids and a lot of the camp's kids. I have no problem with that but I have to be able to keep up with "their" demands. So, I went with four 6 volt batteries. Now, don't get me wrong. Many people can survive on one and even two 12 volt batteries. However, anyone with kids or who wants to watch TV and do some other stuff, can easily suck their batteries down pretty quick. Here are two of the main offenders...
The good news is that there are many creative Raptor owners (and other make/model owners) who love a challenge. There is another RV.Net member (Y-Guy) who did a great job with his battery compartment modification to allow the installation of two - 6 volt deep cycle batteries.
The problem is that Raptor designed all of the batteries to go sideways even though there is plenty of room to front to rear and not come into contact with the door. You can see how I actually had to notch out a piece of the wood just to squeeze two group 24 batteries in the one compartment.
Because of this, I had to make my own battery box which will then sit in on the bottom rails (red arrows) and be screwed to the steel walls. The yellow lines indicate the two steel channels that will have to be cut out. These are actually the top (side) supports of the batteries. You can actually accomplish this whole task without having to cut out the above steel but with the batteries being almost 12 inches tall, that would put them almost touching the top shelf.
Cutting them out is not a big deal because in true assembly form, only one part of the channel is welded to the frame. I just used the reciprocating saw and cut each channel in half (between the yellow lines). Once this was done, I could actually wiggle the pieces until they broke away from the walls. Note: I had to use a pair of vice-grips on the right side to hold onto the thin sheet metal wall so as not to actually bend it while wiggling it lose.
I measured my battery box to accommodate two 6 volt batteries that would fit by their width and not by their length. They were made from 1/8 inch steel angle and I put in two cross supports.
I had to enlist the help of my father-in-law (aka: Master Welder). He was a welding supervisor at Mobil for 30 years and could weld a matchstick to butter.
After removing the steel, the Master Welder ground it down and I hit it with a little gloss black spray paint. Notice the bottom supports are the only ones left. This is what my new battery tray will rest on. It will then be secured with screws to the right and left.
A dry run of the battery tray showed it fit like a glove. "Measure twice (at least) and cut once!" The yellow arrow is where I had to use vice grips to keep it from bending while removing the channel.
Metal screws were used to secure the tray to each side.
Once secured, I installed the batteries. Notice that there used to be a piece of wood on the bottom in one of the previous pictures. However, I removed it and am going to put down some steel mesh to allow for good ventilation. The other two batteries were installed next to my generator compartment just like my 12 volt batteries. Remember that the wiring is not (+) to (+) like a 12 volt setup but rather (+) to (-). See this battery wiring diagram link for examples.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or you can call my cellular phone (562-843-4043). I spend a lot of time with my family at Lucerne, Ocotillo Wells, Glamis, and along the coast. These were just some improvements that I needed to do.
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