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RE: Would solar be effective in the midwest?

Lead acid batteries can accept "full charge" well past 80% SOC It is all about the "charging rate", which is the amps/AH of battery bank. At any charging voltage, the lower the charging rate, the higher the SOC before amps taper at the end of Bulk and VV. Solar often has lower max amps wrt the size of the battery bank, so that makes for a low charging rate, and so the end of Bulk in the 90s for SOC. I don't understand what possible settings you can have on a solar controller that would alter that. The battery type settings usually only change the high voltage set point, which can change the amps being accepted. Higher voltage can mean more amps at any given SOC if the solar can provide more amps. Not going to change the charging rate very much between 14.4 and 14.8 eg.
BFL13 03/26/20 10:49am Tech Issues
RE: Converter and Battery Question

When you also get your battery monitor such as a Trimetric it will have its 500a shunt for your negatives. Now the battery to frame ground wire is disconnected from the battery and goes to the side of the shunt that has all the other neg wires, and one fat wire goes from the other end of the shunt to the battery. That still has the battery neg grounded to the frame, but you get the info to the monitor by having the frame amps through the shunt. With the inverter, converter, solar controller, and frame ground, all to the shunt, it will stack too many lug terminals under the shunt's bolt. So use a neg buss to collect the various neg inputs and then a fat wire to the shunt from the buss.
BFL13 03/26/20 10:26am Tech Issues
RE: Will fridge run off tow vehicle on batts on TT?

The OP has a 2-way, but of interest to some, the 3-way's 12v element depends a lot on how much voltage it is getting for how many watts it can do. It needs a minimum wattage to get any fridge cooling done. The usual RV with the fridge wires long and thin already makes for a voltage drop between fridge and 12v source such as the RV's battery. Add the long thin wires using the 7-pin and now your voltage drop is worse. When I had my jury rig fridge cooling using the 12v element powered from an adjustable voltage converter plugged into shore power, I found there was a big voltage drop between the fridge's 12v connection behind the fridge to the wires from the battery and the connection to the circuit board where the 12v element goes on the terminals. Thin wires there too plus the path through the circuit board to the terminals the 12v element connects to. The element's own wires are thin. That meant the 12v element still needed the converter's voltage to be higher to get any cooling done. The element needed about 200w to do a proper cool down like the 325w AC element would. If it was only getting 150w it would not do much at all. I had to set 15.2v on the converter (15.4v is the high limit for DC on the fridge) So imagine how low the wattage must be on the 12v element doing it normally from the RV battery at 13.6v from converter or alternator. That is why they keep saying the 12v element is just to maintain the fridge at a low temperature once it is already cooled down. (I had the Kill-A-Watt meter to show the different wattages the converter was pulling to run the element at different voltage settings) With some solar on the roof and a controller with adjustable voltage, you might do better with a 3-way on 12v by cranking up the controller voltage set points but keep it below 15.4v.
BFL13 03/26/20 10:12am Tech Issues
RE: Converter and Battery Question

The battery neg wire to frame still goes to the frame. The neg wire from the solar controller goes to the battery. When the converter is unplugged you still get 12v from the battery. The converter only works if you have 120v from shore power or generator. (it also works from the inverter, but you don't want it to or you get that infamous "loop") You can just buy a deck mount converter and put it up with the inverter and battery bank and leave the original converter where it is. No big wiring job. Put the controller in there too. The battery bank needs a vented box because you don't want the inverter and converter to get ruined by battery fumes or the fumes to get a spark from the inverter. AGMs get around all that.
BFL13 03/26/20 09:32am Tech Issues
RE: Would solar be effective in the midwest?

Solar is just a way to extend the time between generator/charger recharging. IE before the battery reaches the low point you pick before you must recharge it. That low point is lower with Li as has been discussed. 30-80% is a 50AH range "Effective" would be defined as whether it extends the time enough. "Enough" might be defined as from Friday to Tuesday if the object is a long weekend with no generator. A full-timer would have to decide how long is enough. If the gen is being used anyway, the value of solar drops.
BFL13 03/26/20 08:37am Tech Issues
RE: Will fridge run off tow vehicle on batts on TT?

Our fifth wheel towed by F350 dual alternators had a 20 amp cartridge type fuse. It was charging or keeping the batteries in the fifth wheel charged and the refrigerator freezer was getting electricity..through the batteries. I hadn't thought about it but it did have a converter charger in it. The factory sent me a second vented battery box an cables. It was a Holiday Rambler Alumiscape. It had two 12 volt deep cycle maintenance free batteries. Most of the wiring harnesses offered for connection between Fifth wheel or Trailer and the tow vehicle are really inadequate. I bought a heavy 10 gauge wired plug and leads Trucks and Trailers and soldered the connections and heavy shrinked them too. No way the flimsy 14 gauge wires on most would carry the 20 amp rated fuse load, imo. if you don't have the capacity in your towed RV simple enough to buy the converter charger and wire it and..be sure to use battery boxes and vent hoses to the outside. How did you run the converter charger going down the road? Generator in the trailer running?
BFL13 03/25/20 02:24pm Tech Issues
RE: Will fridge run off tow vehicle on batts on TT?

The 7-pin will help while your fridge is on propane, but not do enough while the fridge is on 12v if it is a 3-way fridge. If the fridge is cold already before leaving it will stay cold that day till you get there if you leave the doors closed. You need a battery in the TT to tow it (it's the law) so the emergency breakaway will work. With the required 12v battery and the 7-pin, now you can use the 12v mode on the 3-way fridge and it will help keep it colder than without.
BFL13 03/25/20 12:37pm Tech Issues
RE: Battle Born Charging

"Number of cycles at a chosen SOC range might be a better way to compare them for intended use, haven't got into that" Glad to see some math on that! Your RVer would need to estimate how many cycles he is likely to use over the expected years as one of his planning factors. One of the Li brands said they use 70% loss of capacity for its cycle count. ISTR some AGMs or Wets use 50% loss for cycle count. So that would make the Li even better using 70 for both. This is about building a set of factors to consider in the Li decision, rather than just going with an expensive fashion. Some good factors raised so far. Who's got some more?
BFL13 03/24/20 09:41am Tech Issues
RE: Battle Born Charging

On drop-ins looking here: http://www.bestconverter.com/AGM-and-Lithium-Deep-Cycle-Batteries_c_283.html See the UB12100 110AH AGM for $210, at $1.9/AH and the Espion360 120AH Li for $1,340 at $11.17/AH So 11.17/1.9 = 5.88 times, not 4 times more per AH. But the point is usable AH. True about usable AH that there is more with Li, but how much more? There is a debate on what the range is for Li to do say 20-80s or to do 20-100s or whatever. A 20-80 is 60%. You can do 40-100s with AGMs. Number of cycles at a chosen SOC range might be a better way to compare them for intended use, haven't got into that. Noted about weights and how often needed to go to lower SOC down South in winter, and resulting gen times as a factor. More people with stakes in Li for RVs should provide their thoughts as an aid to others who are considering Li.......
BFL13 03/23/20 02:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Battle Born Charging

Standing back and looking at your day, how would it be any different if you had 500AH of AGMs instead of the Li batts? (over the year since every day is different for solar etc) Not saying this is how it is, but wondering what your own analysis is on how your Li time would compare with the same time only with AGMs instead. Whatever the benefits of Li are, do you see much of that really? Eg, you are going to full with shallow cycles which AGMs would like too, and your charging amps are not so high, being what AGMs could take too. Say you had 500AH of AGMs and after four years doing your routines (AGMs not getting a true full charge often enough say), they now need replacing, but the Lis are still going strong. The Lis cost say four times what the AGMs cost, so if the Li batts last sixteen years you just break even on money? If the Lis get too low at eight years, you paid twice as much as for AGMs? Eight years seems what those boat guys got? Perhaps Lis would better suit somebody with less solar to take advantage of operating at lower SOCs or whatever? Perhaps there is a threshold for how much solar Lis would be no better than AGMs but just cost way more? Just thinking there must be some way to figure out whether it is worth it to go Li depending on your RV set-up and lifestyle.
BFL13 03/23/20 09:43am Tech Issues
RE: Solar Questions

2 amps for TV/DVD is very low. I measured a couple of 32" TVs a few years ago in the 5er and got: Samsung- Movie 70w, Standard, 80w, Dynamic 120w so divide by 10 for the amps. Another TV (LG?) was: Vivid 8.2 amps, Standard 7.4 amps, Cinema 6.0 amps The latest TVs might be fewer amps, don't know. It does show how your picture choice can matter.
BFL13 03/23/20 08:28am Tech Issues
RE: Battle Born Charging

Interesting set of figures. Sure helps being farther South for solar. A few days ago at 49.1N I was getting about 30 amps from my 830w at high noon. In May I will see more like 46 amps. Not able to get accurate AH count in your table vs SOC change. With the numbers changing so much can't average, don't know how long amps stayed as read. It is better to report the accumulated AH with each SOC reading to get a match. I am having trouble deciding if that would be valid even so. The SOC at the start of the AH count has not been independently determined. Your numbers are internally consistent, but they would be. Hmmmm. Anyway four years doing that counts as success for sure. Big thing is you don't mind going to full every day, while some are suggesting not to do that for longer Li battery life. How would you control that if you wanted to? You would have to shut off the solar going to the battery while still letting solar run the loads in the afternoon. Can't do that with some solar controllers like Morningstar.
BFL13 03/22/20 03:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Solar Questions

The OP said no winter camping (for now anyway) but here is an example with the 5er with six batts doing four nights with temp near freezing in January: After two nights, next morning 12.1v (50%) and down 292 AH. (146/day) Recharge with gen/charger (no solar) for two hours --constant 150 amps for 0.5 hr and 1.5 hrs tapering now down 78AH, restored 214AH. Figured that meant at 87% SOC of 584AH full. (Not new batts down in capacity near freezing) So do third night, now down 227AH so 227-78 = 149 used. Now need another night, and 227 + 149 = 376 down, so would be at 208/584= 36% SOC. Oops, have to recharge again to top up to stay above 50% next day before going home. The Trimetric monitor being very useful! So can't continue with every second day recharge. Can restore 214 in the park gen time 9-11am and using 149/day, so can keep going if recharge every day. You do get an extra 10% AH the first day from starting at full before going into 50-90s which can help on a weekend trip.
BFL13 03/22/20 10:02am Tech Issues
RE: Solar Questions

Inverter time does add up. 10 minutes of MW at 125 amps is 21AH. Add some movie time 3 hours at 8 amps is 24 AH. We do pig out on 12v stuff. I read somewhere that the average RVer uses about 50AH a day. Furnace time! https://i.imgur.com/zluewHkl.jpg]https://i.imgur.com/zluewHkl.jpg
BFL13 03/22/20 07:17am Tech Issues
RE: Solar Questions

Unfortunately the amps that I used for each appliance came from the electrical load rating table in the manual for the trailer. I estimated the number of hours of use for each. For instance the manual claims the Frig uses 3 amps of DC power and 6 amps of AC. I assumed that when using propane there is no AC usage, but I was stuck with the DC. Since the frig runs for 24 hours per day that equated to 72 amp-hours and yet others have said that it uses only 17 to 20 amp-hours. So I TOTALLY agree with you that my numbers look high, but unfortunately I've got nothing else to go on. If you folks have more realistic numbers I'd appreciate it. You numbers aren't that crazy. Your WH figure can come down, also the pump--you will run out of water pumping that much--take Navy showers. Your 180AH minus ( fridge 72-17) 55 is 125 and minus 48 furnace is 77AH, which is like the 75 we use approx. Furnace is extra and it depends on ambients and rig insulation, etc. Two 6s at 230AH down to 50% is 115 and you want 160 for two days of no furnace camping between generator recharging two hours( a 50-90 = 40% = 92AH) so you need an extra 45AH/2 = 22.5AH from solar daily to do that or else gen charge every day To do a 50-90 in two hours on 230AH you need a 75 amp charger and a 2200W inverter gen to run it. So it's Friday and off you go on a sunny weekend off-grid. You need to do a 50-90 on Sunday and Tuesday unless you go home on Tuesday and plug in for a full battery recovery. Add some furnace time and you can do some gen time every day instead of every second day. You can get more battery bank if you decide to camp in the winter so you can run the furnace at 100AH a day. If you do camp in the winter off-grid, expect hardly any solar, so it is all up to generator recharging. You can still do 50-90s every second day if you have more of a battery bank and charge for a longer time each session if it is not too cold out. Four 6s would be good. Another thing is that 230AH is 15% less at 32F, so your bank is 195 now, and a 50-90 is only 78AH. So you need those four 6s instead of two for sure. Two for the normal 77AH and the other two for the furnace, and a 50-90 every day. (Which is why you can camp in February and have the whole Provincial/State park almost to yourself :) )
BFL13 03/21/20 10:54am Tech Issues
RE: BATTERY WATER?????

Table 4 here says what you can get away with https://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/TrojanBattery_UsersGuide.pdf
BFL13 03/20/20 08:54am Tech Issues
RE: Inverter Installed - Open Ground?

Checked the inverters now in our RV. 2000w PSW (PowerMax brand) showing its green no-fault lamp, tester shows two yellows, meaning "correct". 300w MSW (Can Tire-don't know supplier brand) shows all three lights on tester. (same as with previous MSW inverters) Tester does not have a code for what all three lights on means. EDIT--no chassis ground connected on either inverter
BFL13 03/19/20 09:22am Tech Issues
RE: Inverter Installed - Open Ground?

I had a 1000w PSW inverter that showed one light for open ground. My MSW inverters showed all three lights. I will check the inverters we have now later. My Vector inverter's manual says the chassis ground from lug to trailer frame is just to reduce radio and television interference. Deck mount converters also come with lugs on their chassis,
BFL13 03/19/20 06:32am Tech Issues
RE: Solar Questions

A fridge on propane pulls about 17AH per 24 hours. Your daily AH use will be about 75AH for the intended day as described. No way will you be using 200AH. The long thread on lithium (Battle Born) seems to have decided not to use so much of its capacity daily, but to do more like 20-80s (60AH from a 100) so you want two. You could do it all with 200AH of AGMs as your bank and still keep them inside the rig. No gassing with them unless you way overcharge them and blow their vents (not very likely you would be that careless) Why spend so much to get lithiums??? It won't make camping any better. You just want 200AH worth of battery bank.
BFL13 03/17/20 11:08am Tech Issues
RE: Need batterys.

I am going with how you can run the big things on the 2000w inverter down to 75% SOC on two 6s before the inverter hits the 11v alarm with voltage drop, compared with how you can run the same load at 50% SOC if you have four 6s. Ummm so let me ask. after such load is applied to 75% then 11 volt alarm goes off, what voltage do the batterys recover at?????? Exactly 12.375 :)
BFL13 03/16/20 06:36pm Tech Issues
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