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 > Your search for posts made by 'DiploStrat' found 5 matches.

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RE: Lithium and DC-DC Charger?

Some comments on lithium (iron) and battery to battery chargers (B2B). Lithium iron batteries will take a LOT of current. As a test, at a battery manufacturer's shop, I connected a fully discharged, 100Ah lithium iron battery directly to my Chevrolet based Tiger. Drew 100A and, more to the point, kept up that high draw for nearly an hour. Never see charge rates like that with AGM. With a 250A alternator, I was probably safe as I normally use about 125Ah over night, but imagine the draw of a 300Ah battery bank after two days of rain. B2B first became popular for charging deep cycle lead acid batteries on vehicles whose alternators were set to 13.9v. (E.g. many Toyota, Mercedes, etc.) Most B2B were relatively low amp (i.e. 20-30A) devices, but because they had proper charging voltages of over 14v, they worked much better. Most American pickups already have charging circuits that run at over 14v, so their utility was limited. But with the new Euro standard and other energy saving circuits, they are experiencing a renaissance. For lithium they can be ideal as, assuming the proper profile, they can provide the correct voltage and, since they cannot draw more than a certain amount of current (typically 10-20% above their rated output) they can prevent an overload of the factory alternator. Hope this is useful.
DiploStrat 01/08/21 04:27pm Truck Campers
RE: Measuring battery condition

The right way to measure the state of charge of a battery is not a voltmeter. You need a battery meter. Also known as a state of charge meter, battery gauge, etc. It involves a shunt wired into the negative battery cable to measure the current into and out of the battery over time. You program the meter with your battery capacity and the fully charged parameters and it measures current in and out and calculates the percentage state of charge. Tri-Metric is a good one. Victron makes one. Outback calls theirs the Flexnet DC. Magnum calls their the ME-BMK. Link 10 used to be one but I'm not sure they are made anymore. As you can tell from all the previous posts, measuring just the voltage is subject to many variations. I don't know very many people who, when camping, are willing to turn off the RV, disconnect their batteries, and wait 15 minutes just to find out the SOC. A nice SOC meter with a wall mounted display is the way to go. I would agree with this. A voltmeter is a bit like the old joke about bikinis - what it reveals is interesting, what it conceals is essential. On my previous truck I used a Tri-Metric and the battery monitor of the Blue Sky solar controller. Now I use the battery monitor of the Magnum inverter/charger. With AGM batteries, I cannot do a hydrometer test and, as noted, in real life my batteries are always discharging - refrigerator, heat/fans, etc. And this does not count the induction stove/microwave or the espresso machine. ;) Simply not worth the effort to disconnect all loads for a half hour or more. But this begs the real question - what are you trying to learn and why? A common answer is, "Well, I want to know if I have to recharge my batteries." Largely irrelevant as, at least with lead acid, the answer is always "Yes!" You want to recharge any time you can, every time you can, for as long as you can. So the real issue is to be sure that you have good chargers and that they are connected so that they come on whenever they can. One of two reasons that solar is so helpful. I tend to watch the hour counter most of all - I blow off about 125Ah overnight and I always want to see it back to 0 as soon as possible. N.B. With lead acid, that still means that you need hours of absorb charging. Bottom line, most of us will be better off with some form of battery monitor. The SmartGauge is the simplest. You can learn more about the SmartGuage and all manner of other things about lead acid battery charging here: SmartGauge The SmartGauge is sold in the US by Balmar.
DiploStrat 07/20/20 07:42am Tech Issues
RE: Measuring battery condition

This can get quite complex. -- Voltage gives an indication of the state of charge, but it is not reliable. Under load the voltage will be low, under charge, it will read too high. -- The usual way to handle this is with an hour counting meter, the Trimetric from Bogart is one of the best known. The easiest to use and install used to be the Smartgauge, now replaced with this: SG200 If you have lithium batteries, be sure that whatever you buy will work with them. Knowing the state of charge of your battery is interesting, but not very important. What IS important is that your CHARGER knows the state of charge and begins charging whenever needed. Lots of info, if now a bit dated, on my site, under "documents."
DiploStrat 07/19/20 02:22pm Tech Issues
RE: Few questions from the future RV-er

Please understand, I am not arguing that you need an expedition style vehicle - few people do. You asked why there is such a range in prices. I simply meant to offer you one answer. As others have noted, everyone's needs are different. In your answer you set some of your own criteria: -- Don't need four season. -- No planned third world travel. -- Under $200,000. -- Not full time. Those are all very reasonable criteria. Lot of good advice in this thread. Renting a few different models, if you can do it, is always a good idea.
DiploStrat 05/28/20 12:07pm Beginning RVing
RE: Few questions from the future RV-er

… why similar looking van could cost twice more then its competitor, or why class C van, bigger and better equipped then class B, cost much less then smaller vehicle. … Since I come from the expedition vehicle world (See website, linked below), I'll play. -- Most American RV's are very poorly made. They are made by companies whose owners and, in many cases, workers, have never spent a single night in their products. The goal is to sell the largest possible volume of vehicles at the lowest price. -- Well made, enthusiast spec RV's cost 100-300% more. E.G. https://advanced-rv.com/ -- Vehicles which are used in commercial camp sites, i.e., sites with power, water, and sewage, cost much less than vehicles are designed for extended wild, or unsupported camping. Solar, battery, and larger tanks are examples. -- Many RV's cannot be used for extended periods of time below freezing. Insulation, double pane windows, heavy duty heat, etc. all cost much more than a normal RV, regardless of size. -- Extended dirt road use calls for better, more expensive construction to avoid cracks and leaks. 4x4 drivetrains are more expensive. -- Long term reliability becomes an issue as well if you are considering international travel beyond Mexico and Canada. Take some time to consider your intended use, chat with real world owners, and try to attend an RV show, or at least a large dealer with a range of models. If you want small and 'round the world capable, consider: Nimbl Vehicles
DiploStrat 05/27/20 04:08pm Beginning RVing
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