Trailer tongue battery box

This is what my current situation looks like for my battery on my Apex 151.

It works well for one battery, but I don’t have a proper way of securing the battery from theft, as well, I would like to make better use of the space on the tongue of the trailer.

In other posts, I’ve shown how I’ve moved the spare tire to the rear bumper, and how I’ve moved the propane cylinder holder closer to the tongue jack. Now I will remove the existing battery box, and then remove the bracket for the spare tire/battery box.

I’ve managed to remove the battery box quite easily, as well as the cable system for lowering and raising the spare tire into place. Unfortunately I’ve misplaced pieces for my grinder, and therefor I can’t remove the steel bracket yet. I guess I really need to clean up my workbench in my garage again.

September 17th, 2017.

Ok, I’m back at it again.

I still couldn’t find the parts for my grinder, so I ended up borrowing my dad’s grinder. I’ve removed the steel bracket without too much trouble. Next I wanted to visualize my idea, so I placed my newly acquired generator from my brother-in-law and one of my batteries in place with a plywood sheet supporting the bottom of where the box will be.

Building a box that is counter-sunk and not just sitting on top of the a-frame gives me an extra five inches of height, which is very helpful if I want a lid that can be opened to provide some access while the front canvas bed is set up. As you can see in the photo above, I’ve placed the generator back to where the propane tank cover will be sitting. The front of the trailer is curved out, so I’ll need to be creative when I design the top sides of the box.

For now, I’m focused on building the bottom of the battery box which will sit in-between the a-frame and and be shaped to sit on top of the a-frame. If you note on the picture as well, I will need to cut out a spot for the equalizer bar mount that is connected on the a-frame.

So this is the shape I’ve decided to run with. It’ll be cut out of a 1/8″ sheet of 5052 aluminum. This cost me over $100 from Metal Supermarkets for a sheet 57 3/8″ x 31 1/2″. Not the best price per square foot, but I just want to move forward with this project.

Luckily I found a great way to simplify the process of getting the dimensions on the sheet. I ended up printing on a scale of 1:1 the top corners and then the bottom corners of the shape. Then I taped them to the sheet, measure to make sure placements were correct.

Yes, my wife would like to know why I’m using the kitchen table to work on something like this and not my workbench. That’s the way I roll sometimes.

I’m using a 1″ aluminum square tube to check for alignment between the top corner and the bottom corner of the box shape. with regards to the bend lines that are printed on each sheet.

Once I’m confident in my placement, I’m going to drill a small hole in each corner or bending point so that I can remove the sheets and connect the dots for me to follow for cutting.

That’s all for tonight, I’ll try to finish drilling the holes tomorrow and begin cutting out the box shape. I’m pretending that I’ll be able to easily bend all the angels that I’ve envisioned.

September 30th, 2017.

So now I’ve drilled the intersections that I want to reference on my aluminum sheet.

Then when I remove the sheet, I’m left with just the holes.

Then, to make it easy for me to cut in a straight line, and to cut in the right spots, I had my daughter help me with connecting the dots.

As you can see, even at this point I made some mistakes, but I’d rather make mistakes with a permanent marker, than with cut. And after completing this on both sides, I then used a jigsaw to follow the lines and give me my final shape before I begin bending.

Now I just need to simply bend this on my predetermined points and the lower part of my box is getting closer to being completed. Unfortunately I have a lot of over-lapping between the four sides, so a sheet metal brake isn’t the best option for me at this time.

Once again, I’m out of time today, and I need some more time to figure out how I can do this all in one piece without cutting it apart and stitching it back together with a welder.

October 1st, 2017

Here I’ve already used my friend’s sheet metal brake to shape the bottom plate to fit into place between the a-frame. The corners aren’t as tight as I would of liked, as well, because of the shape, it was more difficult to put the bottom plate into place than I was expecting. But I got it in.

February 16th, 2018

Here I have the sides bent into shape. The sides and the front is all one piece, as well, the taper on the back is bent inwards towards each other to provide a surface to attach to a separate back piece.

June 10th, 2018

First trip with the box done. This is in a parking lot behind the McD’s in Merritt. I have the trailer nicely leveled and the truck isn’t sitting too bad considering I have two dirt bikes, one jerry can, three water jugs and a couple other things that I don’t want in the trailer. A future plan for the truck will be either an overload leaf that I can add or remove as I feel the need, or a set of air bags.

June 29th, 2018

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