NCV3 house battery tray design & group buy?

PaulDavis

Member
These trays do not fit the 2500. I would like to design a RH and LH tray for that model. I believe there is enough space for a single large 12 battery on each side.
There's enough space for 2 large (Lifeline 6DL's) batteries on the driver side of a 2500. I am still a bit concerned about skewing the weight distribution, though, because right now my design has the batteries, inverter, fridge and most storage all on the driver side.
 

mwills

Member
i would buy the following tray:

  • 8D battery
  • passenger-side
  • 144 NCV3

the 8D has good capacity (255AH) and is short at <9" to the top of the posts. anyone else?
 

hein

Van Guru
i would buy the following tray:

  • 8D battery
  • passenger-side
  • 144 NCV3

the 8D has good capacity (255AH) and is short at <9" to the top of the posts. anyone else?
Sorry I missed your post. I have looked at the 144 and would like to design a tray for it also. It's on the DO list. If someone near Portland, OR wants to let me measure their van that would be awesome.

With help and motivation from 2500 owner, we now have trays for the 2500. I'll have to do some checking to see which batteries will fit. The tray is 12.5" x 20" but the forward spring perch intrudes into the space so that cuts down on the available length. The height to the underside of the floor is 13". Here are some photos:

The tray (unpainted). It fits both sides so that's what the extra hanger plate is for.


Here is where it goes on the RH side. Note the spring perch.


Customer photos of the tray installed.




Please send a PM, email or call (54l+49O+5O9eight) for more info and pricing.
We also have trays for the 3500 but only one in stock atm.
 
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I crawled under the 144" again, and compared it to Hein's photo of the RH side location for the 2500 above. If I'm following things correctly, on a 170" 2500 the RH tray mounts just forward of the rear wheel, and just rearward of the edge of the sliding door. But on a 144, the sliding door portion goes all the way back to the rear wheel, so there is no corresponding location for the 144". This is essentially where the 26" difference in wheelbase occurs.

Unlike the location being used for these trays, the sliding door portion of the under-carriage has deeper contours which protrude into the area that the batteries need. Unless you've got a 6" battery or skinner, you can't fit it between the chassis rails there. Plenty of length (>50"), and similar depth to the tray locations on the 170, but only ~ 6 1/4" wide.

For my 144" I am looking closely at the rearmost corners, just behind the wheels and forward of the bumper. If dropped in from above, with an appropriately constructed box, a Fullriver DC250-6 could fit oriented on its end, certainly a DC224-6 will fit.
 

Ski_Bike_Camp

New member
I might be coming into this thread late and you may be committed.

I ended up going with AGM - 8Ds on a 3500 170 Ext.

I ended up fitting them behind the back wheels on either side of the spare.

I live in the Colorado mountains and we get snow, so I wanted the extra weight for traction in winter.

Mine are hinged on one end and held up with a couple of bolts. The batteries are heavy, so I need a jack to get them up in place. But it doesn't need to happen very often.
 

hein

Van Guru
This image shows the location where our tray fits on the LH (drivers side) of 170WB 2500. The tray is made to fit the other side also.



I had a look at a 144 and thought there might be room for batteries between the step and the RH 'frame' rail. Can someone post a picture of this spot to refresh my memory?

The back corners would be great for added traction. Otherwise, I prefer the mid-ship location to keep wires runs shorter. Placing the inverter inside directly above the bank would be ideal. We have both RH and LH trays loaded with two GC-2 6V each in our 3500 for a total 500Ah. Our 2800W inverter needed to be as close to the batteries to keep our 4/0 cables as short as possible.
 
I had a look at a 144 and thought there might be room for batteries between the step and the RH 'frame' rail. Can someone post a picture of this spot to refresh my memory?
I can't get a photo right now, but I can confidently say there is no feasible room for a battery there. The gap you are talking about is only ~6.25" wide.

The back corners would be great for added traction. Otherwise, I prefer the mid-ship location to keep wires runs shorter.
Totally agree. The spot you've chosen on the 170 seems ideal, but the 144 requires a different approach. I'm trying to preserve the "main" cavity under the chassis on the driver side for tanks/etc. I considered the engine compartment (OEM or custom tray) but the heat concerns me for AGM batteries while charging. I have other plans for the passenger seat pedestal and don't want to consume interior volume for dedicated battery box. So I'm focusing on the back corners, since its otherwise unused space. The boxes will be non-trivial to construct, but do-able w/ my TIG skills. Longer cable runs seem an unavoidable consequence. Nothing that 100 pounds of copper can't solve! :smirk:
 

hein

Van Guru
Found a photo of the 144WB underneath between slider step and frame rail.



This area is 6" wide? Maybe put a long tank here and battery on the other side. You might want to check George's build.

Update...
The area behind the slider step is the same on my 170 WB 3500. It's where the DEF tank is located. It hangs down below the frame rail by ~8 1/2". Laying a battery on it's side will allow for a battery ~8" wide and not more than 12" deep including connections. There is plenty of length for 2 shorter batteries or 1 long one. A FullRiver DC160-12 could work. They also have one smaller 12V battery that is under 6" wide.
 
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Found a photo of the 144WB underneath between slider step and frame rail.



This area is 6" wide? Maybe put a long tank here and battery on the other side. You might want to check George's build.

Update...
The area behind the slider step is the same on my 170 WB 3500. It's where the DEF tank is located. It hangs down below the frame rail by ~8 1/2". Laying a battery on it's side will allow for a battery ~8" wide and not more than 12" deep including connections. There is plenty of length for 2 shorter batteries or 1 long one. A FullRiver DC160-12 could work. They also have one smaller 12V battery that is under 6" wide.
Yep, its right at 6.5", depending on exactly where you measure, bumpiness of the undercoating, etc. I don't think any object wider than 6.5" will fit. With any budget for wiggle room, thin plastic cover, etc a battery would need to be 6.25 or less. Its frustrating, because the DC160-12 is so close (6.73"). I may look more widely at other brands, but some cursory searches didn't find anything skinny but high-ish amp-hours.

I'm not sure I follow you about the DEF tank location. When you say "behind" do you mean toward the rear of the vehicle, or toward the driveshaft and exhaust (= behind step if viewed from side)? I think you mean the latter, and I agree that there is ~ 8" of room below the chassis rail which can be used, although if 12" deep it begins to get very close to the exhaust.

At any rate, this area is tentatively planned for a 8" x 42" propane tank on my 144", which fits very well and gives up no ground clearance since the top of the tank nests slightly into the 6.5" gap between the rails.
 

hein

Van Guru
Took a few measurements and designed a concept. This should fit the DC-160-12 laying on its side (in red). The tray hangs down below the frame rail by 7 1/2" and is higher than the bottom of the DEF (if equipped) and fuel tanks by ~1".



Cost would be in the $125-$150 range unfinished but including hardware. Painting and battery hold down system would be DIY.

Edit: DEF tank is under the forward part of the area shown in the photo. It goes about half way back.

Would like to know the distance between the forward face of the large cross member (to the back with the large hole) forward to the rear surface of each of the 3 smaller cross members directly under the floor. I'm not sure mine are arranged the same. I hung my 25 gallon water tank from those on the other (driver's) side.
 
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Would like to know the distance between the forward face of the large cross member (to the back with the large hole) forward to the rear surface of each of the 3 smaller cross members directly under the floor. I'm not sure mine are arranged the same. I hung my 25 gallon water tank from those on the other (driver's) side.
If I understand what you're asking, I think I have measurements that will help, taken from a 2014 2500 144 4 cyl, measuring the "cavity" in the photo you posted.

For clarity, assume the "zero" position is at the rearmost part of the cavity, just where the rear leaf spring mount and other stuff comes into play. So from this zero point:
+ 8" to edge of first cross member
+ 2" width of first cross member
+ 12.25" to edge of second cross member
+ 2" width of second cross member
+ 17.25" to edge of third cross member
+ 2" width of third cross member
+ 8" to where cavity ends at forward end of vehicle
= overall length is about 51.5"

Hope that helps. You may want to check the distance to the exhaust pipe/muffler, which varies a bit depending on where the battery may be place fore/aft on the chassis. The chassis beam that is flush with the bottom of the battery/tray in your drawing is within 2" of the exhaust in places, if my memory is accurate (it may not be!). Even so, it may not be close enough to matter.
 

H2o-Bar

Member
Hey Guy's, I never did see what battery's fit in the new 170 WB battery tray. Thanks for the great thread and work on this project.
 

H2o-Bar

Member
Thanks, I plan on getting under my Sprinter this weekend so I should also be able to sort out what battery sizes work.

I'll post back after getting a solid plan.
 

sailquik

Well-known member
Hein,
If you place your aux/house battery bank as you have it in your first photo, how will you use the front perch of the rear spring
with the service jack?
Looks like you have the designated jacking point completely covered.
Many of the RV folks don't have a spare tire, so the service jack would be of little use on the
rear of the Sprinter with dual rear wheels, but for those Sprinter RV's converted from a cargo
van you would have to call a tire service truck to change the rear tire.
And, who knows where the service truck operator will place his jack to remove and replace
your simple flat tire.
Hope this helps,
Roger
 

4wheels

Member
I just had to go and check my jacking point on my van ( at 11:55 pm )
Looks like I can still use my jack . I do not know if dealer uses different jacking points , I have to find it out .
I bought the tray from Hein and I like it . I have two Trojan's T-105 RE , 225 AH .
 

H2o-Bar

Member
Mocked up the battery tray on my 08 170 WB. I have no problem getting to the jack- point on the front of the spring. I'll get it mounted today and then go looking for batteries.
 

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