Time: 2 Hours
When I decided to put the battery in the lower forward baggage area I also included a cover to make the entire upper area usable for storage. I’m having Abby at FlightLine Interiors make me a carpet piece, that matches the kit I already bought from them, to go over that cover so the entire space is carpeted. With the cover in place and the need to charge the battery I have to remove the cover and connect the clamps to the battery. Not a big deal but since I have time on my hands due to the COVID-19 pandemic my flight schedule is nil to say the least here at United Airlines. So many builders connect wires from the positive and negative posts on the battery and run them through the firewall up to the area where the oil door is on the engine cowl. That way they only have to open the oil door and use a plug, like a two pole SAE plug, to connect a battery charger. For me that doesn’t work great as I have a hidden oil door pin that’s accessed from inside the baggage compartment. So I would have to open the baggage door then open the oil door to charge. So I decided to put the access in the baggage area. I looked around and found one builder used a flush mount SAE port. I like the looks and ordered one off Amazon. There are many brands with different wire sizes. I decided on one and went with 10AWG wire size as my charger has 10AWG wire and wanted to match it just to be safe.
My plan was to install the port on the forward facing side of the aft baggage wall. That way the wires could go straight down into the battery area. Then when I wanted to charge the battery all I would need to do is plug in either the big charger or my smaller trickle charger as needed. I will buy a Odeyssey approved trickle charger for long term use if needed. I don’t plan on letting the RV sit long enough to let the battery get low but you never know.
I wanted to make attaching the port a one man job and since it had four screw holes I fabricated a backing plate that would have four nutplates. This way I could insert the port and slip the backing plate over the wires. I could reach through the avionics door and hold the plate in place while starting one screw. Then the other three would be lined up and installed pretty easily.
Then it was just the process of extending the two wires and installing the port. I then ran the wires down through a bushing into the battery compartment. Then I routed each wire to the posts, in this case I ran them to the hot side of the battery contractor and the ground lug on the grounding tab block. This way the wires are out of the way for battery removal and replacement. Once I had the wires routed I cleaned them up and laced them to the wire runs to secure them.
If you had to do it again, do you think you would still elect to put the earthx battery in this locations (as opposed to the rear or firewall forward). I’m guessing the answer is you would put in exactly the same place, but thought I would ask as there are pros and cons and time gives perspective. I was going to skip putting it in the rear, until I thought about small possibility of fire…seems like smoke would get sucked out rear and less likely to enter cockpit, but other than that, seems like a good call to go the way you did.
Yes I have been happy with the location. I have the Odyssey battery vs the EarthX. My battery is quite a bit heavier which makes a difference. You do lose the baggage space, however, I thought that was a small price to pay for the location adding to my weight balance. I will say in the RV-8 you get quite a bit of negative pressure in the cockpit while in flight. That leads to some smell and smoke entering the cabin from the tail as it finds its way towards that low pressure inside the cockpit. It’s not terrible however, it is there. So if you were to have a fire in the aft area with your battery, I think the smoke would work its way forward versus exiting the tail. This is just a guess on my part with no actual facts.