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New battery won't fit through cabinet door. (I'm an idiot)

Fleet electrical battery

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#1 Dipodomys

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 08:12 PM

My new LiFePO4 battery arrived! I measured before ordering and when I saw it would fit inside the cabinet of my 2017 Fleet (front dinette), I figured all was good. But I didn't think about how it had to go through the cabinet door at an angle, and turns out there isn't enough clearance. Obvious solution: disassemble the cabinet, install battery, re-assemble cabinet. But then I saw how the battery cabinet is sealed with what appears to be prodigious amounts of silicone calk at all the wood joints, i.e. it's glued together. So disassembly may be a problem. Any ideas?


Edited by Dipodomys, 13 September 2023 - 08:17 PM.

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#2 Jon R

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 11:00 PM

I know it’s painful, but if it was me I would take the financial hit of returning the battery and get something that goes in without having to take apart the cabinet. I might make a different choice on a really old camper or one I’d already had apart for some other reason, but yours is relatively new.
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#3 CreekRob

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Posted 13 September 2023 - 11:53 PM

You might be able to slice through the silicone. A battery compartment for a lithium needed be sealed, so compromising it won't matter.

 

Or maybe return and get two smaller ones and wire 'em up in parallel to get the same capacity.


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#4 Dipodomys

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Posted 14 September 2023 - 02:54 AM

Another possibility is to enlarge the opening an make a bigger door to cover it. But that would require moving the CO sensor and light switches either onto the new door or somewhere else. The job is getting bigger than I’d hoped. Getting different batteries might be my best bet, but the shipping cost to return it and get something else would not be trivial.
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#5 craig333

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Posted 14 September 2023 - 04:08 AM

Me, I'd get out the saw but my camper is older and I'm not concerned about retail value.


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#6 veryactivelife

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Posted 14 September 2023 - 06:30 PM

Silicone is a good sealant but poor adhesive. That compartment needed to be sealed due to off gassing of wet cell batteries, flooded and AGM. Won’t be necessary for lithium batteries. Cut the silicone with a utility knife and peel it off. The battery compartment in my 2015 flatbed has an external door similar to the propane locker door. My battery compartment was large enough for 3 batteries if they are installed 90 degrees to the original install. The problem I ran into was that the batteries would not fit through the door opening. So I removed the door, put the batteries in, then put the door back on. It was a pain, but hopefully it won’t need repeating for a very long time. 


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#7 Dipodomys

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 02:53 PM

Silicone is a good sealant but poor adhesive. That compartment needed to be sealed due to off gassing of wet cell batteries, flooded and AGM. Won’t be necessary for lithium batteries. Cut the silicone with a utility knife and peel it off. The battery compartment in my 2015 flatbed has an external door similar to the propane locker door. My battery compartment was large enough for 3 batteries if they are installed 90 degrees to the original install. The problem I ran into was that the batteries would not fit through the door opening. So I removed the door, put the batteries in, then put the door back on. It was a pain, but hopefully it won’t need repeating for a very long time. 

That's the way I'm currently thinking. I don't think taking the door off will be sufficient, unfortunately; the whole front face will probably have to come off the cabinet. I can either slice through the calk with a utility knife like you suggested, or maybe use a chisel, which would gently pry the panels apart at the same time. The camper is in excellent condition and I don't want to mess it up, but I'm pretty sure I can take the cabinets apart, install the battery, then put the cabinets back together in less than a day without doing any damage. A little more time consuming will be modifying the cabinet's front panel and door, but that can wait until I have more time, and I hope that I won't need to take the battery out again for a long time.


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#8 veryactivelife

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 03:09 PM

Rather than a chisel I’d use a putty knife, perhaps a plastic one. Less chance of damaging your cabinets.
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#9 Dipodomys

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 03:37 PM

Rather than a chisel I’d use a putty knife, perhaps a plastic one. Less chance of damaging your cabinets.

I don't want to damage my cabinets, so I'll try that first!


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#10 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 09:13 PM

I don't want to damage my cabinets, so I'll try that first!

Get some plastic razor blades, too.


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