3rd party battery monitor: prewire and best location? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-30-2016, 02:13 PM   #1
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Question 3rd party battery monitor: prewire and best location?

Hi all,

I did a thorough search of threads and my “subscriptions” here but could not find the info…. plus I had a question anyway.

When ETI builds our 2017 21’ I’ll have them “prewire the (additional, 3rd party) battery monitor for you, $100”
we’ll be getting dual 6V, factory solar, and no u-shaped dinette. (So the batteries will be located under the rear dinette bench seat on the passenger side)

They won’t install any 3rd party aftermarket battery monitor, but they will pre-wire for it.

My questions are:

one) what is the popular one? That shows the +/- of energy into our out of the batteries?

I seem to recall Trimetric?

Is the TM-2030-RV the one to get?

TriMetric Model Descriptions, Present and Past - Bogart Engineering

two) Where should I get ETI to run the wires to? (what makes most sense for a location for the TM-2030-RV to be… to be visible but out of the way of children’s stray, poking fingers?)

three) Pardon my ignorance, but will we keep whatever monitor that ETI includes with the trailer? In other words - does the TM-2030-RV add to, or replace any stock monitor panel?

four) Any chance a bone head such as myself can wire in the TM-2030-RV? (how tricky is installation?)

thanks.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:50 PM   #2
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Hard to say if you can wire in the monitor... don't know you.

But... I did mine and I'm no electrical engineer.

Single 4 wire cable from the batteries to the monitor location of your choice. On the monitor end you need a 4 wire phone plug (RJ11). One conductor goes to a fuse then to the positive battery terminal. Install a shunt close to and inline with the negative battery lead. The other 3 wires go to this shunt.

You can get the cable from Bogart (Trimetric) and send it to ETI if you want, it'll have the end on it already. I just sent ETI a length of 8 conductor LAN cable and put on my own connector on after I got the trailer.

In your case you will need the controller ETI installs for control purposes, it's what outputs the correct voltages to charge the battery/s. The monitor will do nothing except show you an ACCURATE status of the charge.

In my case I do not use an ETI installed controller, I use Bogarts. The monitor is my user interface for their controller. Same monitor, just does more in my case. If you go with the Trimetric you'll see a lot of functions that do nothing, that's why.

For some the Trimetric provides too much info. Guess it depends on how much you want to know.

I had the cable run from the batteries to the upper right hand cabinet just inside the entry door. Don't even know if there is a cabinet there in the 21.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Hi all,

I did a thorough search of threads and my “subscriptions” here but could not find the info…. plus I had a question anyway.

When ETI builds our 2017 21’ I’ll have them “prewire the (additional, 3rd party) battery monitor for you, $100”
we’ll be getting dual 6V, factory solar, and no u-shaped dinette. (So the batteries will be located under the rear dinette bench seat on the passenger side)

They won’t install any 3rd party aftermarket battery monitor, but they will pre-wire for it.

My questions are:

one) what is the popular one? That shows the +/- of energy into our out of the batteries? The Bogart Trimetric 2030 is the one I have (well, actually the 2025 because the 2030 wasn't available when I added mine). There are others, such as the Victron BMV-700) but this seems to be the most popular

I seem to recall Trimetric?

Is the TM-2030-RV the one to get?

TriMetric Model Descriptions, Present and Past - Bogart Engineering

two) Where should I get ETI to run the wires to? (what makes most sense for a location for the TM-2030-RV to be… to be visible but out of the way of children’s stray, poking fingers?) The wires Escape runs are the signal wires (lightweight wiring) that run between the shunt you add near the batteries & the location you choose for the monitor.

three) Pardon my ignorance, but will we keep whatever monitor that ETI includes with the trailer? In other words - does the TM-2030-RV add to, or replace any stock monitor panel?The Trimetric provides far more accurate metering compared to the panel Escape supplies, which only shows an approximate of voltage. Even if you add solar, it only shows what comes in from the panels, not what the trailer uses or receives from other sources (converter, tow vehicle).

four) Any chance a bone head such as myself can wire in the TM-2030-RV? (how tricky is installation?)
The most difficult part is adding the shunt. This is high current wiring, and should be placed as close to the negative battery connection as possible. Depending on the wire size supplied by Escape (which depends on whether you have an inverter), you may have to have the cables necessary to insert the shunt made for you since most crimpers don't handle over #10 wire/connectors. Other than that, the instructions that come with the TriMetric are pretty straight forward.
thanks.
I guess I have to add something so the forum software will let me add my replies within the quote...
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Old 05-30-2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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There is a guy named Randy at Best Converters BestConverter - Converters, Inverters, Electrical Supplies, Electronics
who can answer any questions about the Trimetric Meters.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:00 PM   #5
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you may have to have the cables necessary to insert the shunt made for you since most crimpers don't handle over #10 wire/connectors
That's certainly one solution for those without a large (usually hydraulic) crimper; another is to use compression fittings, such as those from Quick Cable. I haven't used them yet, but that's my plan when I need a heavy-gauge custom termination. They are available from industrial supplier, some automotive audio equipment suppliers (some of those guys use lots of current), and of course from various sources online.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
When ETI builds our 2017 21’ I’ll have them “prewire the (additional, 3rd party) battery monitor for you, $100”

one) what is the popular one? That shows the +/- of energy into our out of the batteries?
I seem to recall Trimetric?
Is the TM-2030-RV the one to get?
TriMetric Model Descriptions, Present and Past - Bogart Engineering

two) Where should I get ETI to run the wires to? (what makes most sense for a location for the TM-2030-RV to be… to be visible but out of the way of children’s stray, poking fingers?)

three) Pardon my ignorance, but will we keep whatever monitor that ETI includes with the trailer? In other words - does the TM-2030-RV add to, or replace any stock monitor panel?

four) Any chance a bone head such as myself can wire in the TM-2030-RV? (how tricky is installation?)
I've installed two Trimetric monitors in our two trailers. I used the Trimetric TM-2030-A rather than the TM-2030-RV. I think they are the same inside but I liked the look of the TM-2030-A better. I've been very pleased with both. I'd suggest the 100A shunt rather than the standard 500A, a better match for our small systems.

I mounted ours, for our 19, over the drivers side dinette. This thread shows the position (post #19). I also installed a SeeLevel tank monitor in the same area. Don't know where they would go in a 21. Run the wires from the batteries to where you want the monitor mounted.

I think the standard monitor is just voltage and incorporated with the tank monitor. But they may have changed? I left ours in place, with the Trimetric and SeeLevel monitors, but only for the pump switch and to fill the hole.

Of course you can do it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
I've installed two Trimetric monitors in our two trailers. I used the Trimetric TM-2030-A rather than the TM-2030-RV. I think they are the same inside but I liked the look of the TM-2030-A better. I've been very pleased with both. I'd suggest the 100A shunt rather than the standard 500A, a better match for our small systems.

I mounted ours, for our 19, over the drivers side dinette. This thread shows the position (post #19). I also installed a SeeLevel tank monitor in the same area. Don't know where they would go in a 21. Run the wires from the batteries to where you want the monitor mounted.

I think the standard monitor is just voltage and incorporated with the tank monitor. But they may have changed? I left ours in place, with the Trimetric and SeeLevel monitors, but only for the pump switch and to fill the hole.

Of course you can do it.
Hi Hugh . Checked out your installs very nice and neat . Pat
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Old 07-30-2016, 07:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by currinh View Post
I've installed two Trimetric monitors in our two trailers. I used the Trimetric TM-2030-A rather than the TM-2030-RV. I think they are the same inside but I liked the look of the TM-2030-A better. I've been very pleased with both. I'd suggest the 100A shunt rather than the standard 500A, a better match for our small systems.
I know next to nothing about battery monitors. I was looking at the Victron earlier today and they only seem to have a 500 amp shunt. Could you explain what the shunt does and why a 100 amp shunt would be better? Is there a downside to using a 500 amp shunt on a smaller system? Does it reduce accuracy?
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Old 07-30-2016, 10:26 PM   #9
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Could you explain what the shunt does...
The shunt provides a path for all current which has a small and well-known resistance. Flow of current through a resistance causes a voltage difference between the ends of the resistor. The monitor measures the voltage across the shunt, which is proportional to the current flowing, but very small because the resistance is very small.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen99 View Post
... and why a 100 amp shunt would be better? Is there a downside to using a 500 amp shunt on a smaller system? Does it reduce accuracy?
A shunt designed for only 100 amps (instead of 500 amps) would normally have five times more resistance, so it would produce a voltage (to be read by the monitor) five times higher for the same current than the 500 amp shunt. Since the voltage is very small, it is difficult to measure accurately.

The higher voltage signal provides better accuracy, so using a shunt designed for higher current than necessary reduces accuracy... but at the same time you don't want to try to run higher current through the shunt than it is designed to handle. If you have a large inverter (over a thousand watts) and use it's full capacity, you'll exceed 100 amps from the battery.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:26 PM   #10
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I've got the Trimetric Meter, here's their write up on shunts.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...Sz7tXQ&cad=rja
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