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Old 08-27-2019, 05:26 PM   #1
Tin
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Shady Camping

Shady Camping
Hi all,
It's been a wonderful camping season so far, and Bear has performed flawlessly. The new Trojan AGM batteries and the roof and portable panel performed fantastic when in the sun. The problem in some camp sites is not enough sun light to replenish used amps. We went into conserve mode and managed to get by but it just did not sit well with me Humm. The time has come to upgrade some of Bears electrical components and wiring. ( no generators allowed )

1. RENOGY 40 AMP DC TO DC CHARGER
2. VICTRON 100/30 SMART SOLAR CONTROLER
3. UPGRADE WIRE AND FUSES ON CONTROL BOARDS
4. INSTALL LARGE GAUGE WIRE FROM TOW TO DC TO DC CHARGER
5. MAKE IT COMPATABLE WITH LITHIUM ( FUTURE INSTALL )

So where to begin ? I have started to draw said components on control boards arranged to fit space. I am not an electrician by no means but can do most things with a little blood sweat and tears.Thought about posting what I have drawn in hopes that someone with electrical experience could critic and help with, might even help someone else at the same time ? Humm I don't know if others would be interested ?
Happy Camping
Tin.
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File Type: jpg B.jpg (234.1 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg C.jpg (279.7 KB, 39 views)
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:45 PM   #2
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I believe Jon V. upgraded his E21 to lithium and uses a Dc to Dc charger, so yes there is some of us that would benefit.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin View Post
Shady Camping
Hi all,
It's been a wonderful camping season so far, and Bear has performed flawlessly. The new Trojan AGM batteries and the roof and portable panel performed fantastic when in the sun. The problem in some camp sites is not enough sun light to replenish used amps. We went into conserve mode and managed to get by but it just did not sit well with me Humm. The time has come to upgrade some of Bears electrical components and wiring. ( no generators allowed )

1. RENOGY 40 AMP DC TO DC CHARGER
2. VICTRON 100/30 SMART SOLAR CONTROLER
3. UPGRADE WIRE AND FUSES ON CONTROL BOARDS
4. INSTALL LARGE GAUGE WIRE FROM TOW TO DC TO DC CHARGER
5. MAKE IT COMPATABLE WITH LITHIUM ( FUTURE INSTALL )

So where to begin ? I have started to draw said components on control boards arranged to fit space. I am not an electrician by no means but can do most things with a little blood sweat and tears.Thought about posting what I have drawn in hopes that someone with electrical experience could critic and help with, might even help someone else at the same time ? Humm I don't know if others would be interested ?
Happy Camping
Tin.
One thing I have wondered about is improving the charge amps from the truck to the trailer and I'm clueless how to do that
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:15 PM   #4
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Does your truck have the largest alternator available or is it possible to buy an aftermarket alternator with a higher output? When we had snowplows and winches on trucks we spec’d or bought extra heavy duty alternators. Plowing Parking lots at night and continuously raising the plow with two sets of headlights on would drain batteries faster than stock alternators could put juice back. Back in the day there were some two Battery two Alternator setups out there too. One side just ran the plow or the winch.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:23 PM   #5
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I think I'll check the alternator model number and see just what have. Rewiring back to the 7 pin plug might be a challenge. Might there be a bottleneck on the trailer charge controller end?
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:13 PM   #6
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I also made a recent switch to AGM batteries and the Victron Smart controller. I only have portable panels so I can “usually” get them in the sun. What I found was my 120 watt portable solar panels we’re not capable of generating enough power even during midsummer high sun. This summer I looked for larger panels and found 200 watt was the largest portable available. My fear was it would not be enough.

I switched to a 310 watt 60 cell “portable” panel. Well hardly portable as it weighs close to 45 lbs. I call it portable because I can still get it inside my Escape.

With full sun I now get decent charges in 2-3 hours. By the way we are power hungry campers and use 25% of the 220 amp hour batteries per day.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:56 PM   #7
Tin
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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Does your truck have the largest alternator available or is it possible to buy an aftermarket alternator with a higher output? When we had snowplows and winches on trucks we spec’d or bought extra heavy duty alternators. Plowing Parking lots at night and continuously raising the plow with two sets of headlights on would drain batteries faster than stock alternators could put juice back. Back in the day there were some two Battery two Alternator setups out there too. One side just ran the plow or the winch.
Iowa Dave
Yes my F-150 has a 220 amp (smart) alternators. I believe most f-150 have 200+ Alternators.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I switched to a 310 watt 60 cell “portable” panel. Well hardly portable as it weighs close to 45 lbs. I call it portable because I can still get it inside my Escape.

With full sun I now get decent charges in 2-3 hours. By the way we are power hungry campers and use 25% of the 220 amp hour batteries per day.
Since I expect we'll be power hungry campers too after we pick up our 5.0 TA in March, what 310 watt panel did you purchase? What is its size, and where you do store it while on the road?

Thanks, Ron.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:10 PM   #9
Tin
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Originally Posted by jnfrombigt View Post
I think I'll check the alternator model number and see just what have. Rewiring back to the 7 pin plug might be a challenge. Might there be a bottleneck on the trailer charge controller end?
In order to install a dc to dc charger, you need to run heavy gauge wire from the
truck battery to the dc to dc charger. The dc to dc charger should be close to trailer batteries. Now instead of 4 or 5 amp while towing (or just hooked up to running truck ) you are getting 40 amps at 14.7 bulk, 14.4 absorption, 13.5 float (or what ever you set it for ) plus your solar gain. That is 500+ watts rain or shine.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:22 PM   #10
Tin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I also made a recent switch to AGM batteries and the Victron Smart controller. I only have portable panels so I can “usually” get them in the sun. What I found was my 120 watt portable solar panels we’re not capable of generating enough power even during midsummer high sun. This summer I looked for larger panels and found 200 watt was the largest portable available. My fear was it would not be enough.

I switched to a 310 watt 60 cell “portable” panel. Well hardly portable as it weighs close to 45 lbs. I call it portable because I can still get it inside my Escape.

With full sun I now get decent charges in 2-3 hours. By the way we are power hungry campers and use 25% of the 220 amp hour batteries per day.
I have a 160 watt on the roof and 100 watt portable with a 50ft 10 ga. cable. but with out direct sun I am lucky to get 5 to 10 percent output.
We are power hungry to (wife hehe) 25% out of 220 amh, and if its cold more like 30%.
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