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 > Your search for posts made by 'otrfun' found 236 matches.

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RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

ya I was thinking that with the dc to dc charger you don't need an isolater as it basicly is one, if its off there is no passthrough if its on then you get charging. the reason I want to be able to manualy turn it off is more to take strain off the altanator when it isn't nessasary. so I would be treating my dc to dc charger as an emergency power sourse only. so if it has been cloudy and I am getting a lousy charge from the panels I can turn it on while I am driving to help out and so on.. SteveWhat size alternator? What size dc to dc charger do you use, or plan to use? It should be safe to leave a 20a dc to dc charger on full-time in most smaller vehicles. Most of the Renogys have a half-power mode. You could use a 40a unit in 20a mode for now. If you upgrade to a vehicle with a larger alternator in the future, you could switch back to 40a. Or, you might find your current vehicle will handle 40a just fine. Bottom line, it gives you some choice, flexibility. We don't use our 40a Renogy for backup/emergency power. It gets extremely hard use during the summer when we're on the road. Use our 200ah lifepo4 to power our truck camper a/c when we take breaks. It only takes our a/c about 5-10 min to make the TC noticeable cooler---plus, no generator setup/startup or rumble. Once back on the road the dc to dc charger goes to work. Usually stop for a break after 1.5 - 2.0 hours of driving, which is about the time the dc to dc charger needs to top-off the lifepo4 again. On any given summer travel day the Renogy gets a *lot* of use---as much as 6 hours at max current. The lifepo4 works hard, too---after 9 mo. already approaching 40 cycles.
otrfun 01/24/22 08:11am Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

I am installing mine on a ignition controled Upfitter switch. this way it will only go when the key is on AND the switch is turned on. that way if my batteries are close enough to full the solar can handle it I can leave it off, but if I had a few days of bad weather I can switch it on to give the solar a hand. If I forget its on and I turn the truck off it will shut off. SteveIf I understand your install correctly, you shouldn't need to remember to do or switch anything if you install a battery isolator. The only caveat I can think of is the possibility the combined charge current from your dc to dc charger and solar exceeds the charge current capability of your batteries. Then, yes, you may want to manually switch one or the other off. Either way, a BI would still 100% protect you from TV battery discharge---even if you inadvertently left the Upfitter and ignition switch on, with the engine not running. Without the BI your dc to dc charger would discharge your TV battery. We've had a BI, dc to dc charger and solar hooked up in our truck camper for 9 months with no issues. Works silently in the background. No need to remember any switch settings. If the alternator goes off-line for any reason (failure or engine not running), the dc to dc charger won't work.
otrfun 01/23/22 08:17am Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

Good point about turning on the DC-DC with the engine off. Never thought of that possibility. I have my Renogy getting its 12v signal (switchable on /off) from the camper not from the truck. Not convenient to get that from the truck. So idea is to use the DC-DC with the truck engine running, but seeing the above posts, the DC-DC in the camper could be turned on with the truck not running. Have to beware of that.Have you considered installing a battery isolator? We installed a BI right next to our 40a Renogy dc to dc charger in our truck camper. It's a very simple install and you never have to remember to do anything (switches, ignition, etc.). It will also automatically prevent your dc to dc charger from discharging your TV battery if your alternator fails while driving in the middle of nowhere on an interstate somewhere. You can place the BI relay inline with the primary power input to the dc to dc charger, or place the BI relay inline with the Renogy 12v ignition/trigger terminal. In either configuration, the Renogy will never turn-on unless the sensor wire on the BI detects >13.3v. >13.3v will not be present unless the alternator is on-line, operating. If the alternator goes off-line for any reason (failure or engine not running), voltage will drop below 13.3v forcing the BI to remove power to the dc to dc charger. Simple. Reliable.
otrfun 01/23/22 08:12am Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

Forgot to mention this previously. Something that needs to considered when electing to turn on a dc to dc charger based on ignition voltage (vs. alternator output voltage) is potentially reduced current to the starter while starting the engine. As soon as the ignition is turned on, a 40a dc to dc charger could be drawing as much as 60a from the battery. On some vehicles that 60a reduction could impact starter performance---especially in extreme cold/hot weather conditions.As I recall there is a delay from when the ignition is activated to when the charger passes current.Delay is about 30 seconds and then it ramps up the amps over about another 30 seconds.Our Renogy draws max current almost immediately. IMO alternator voltage should be the preferred turn-on method for any dc to dc charger. Using this method, the dc to dc charger cannot activate unless the alternator is online, providing charge voltage/current. This makes it virtually impossible for the dc to dc charger to inadvertently discharge the battery---even if you accidently left the ignition on (without the engine running) for several minutes, or much longer. For me, it's one less thing to worry about---a good thing.
otrfun 01/22/22 12:34pm Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

Forgot to mention this previously. Something that needs to considered when electing to turn on a dc to dc charger based on ignition voltage (vs. alternator output voltage) is potentially reduced current to the starter while starting the engine. As soon as the ignition is turned on, a 40a dc to dc charger could be drawing as much as 60a from the battery. On some vehicles that 60a reduction could impact starter performance---especially in extreme cold/hot weather conditions.
otrfun 01/22/22 10:25am Tech Issues
RE: Installing new anode rod

In addition to in-line water filters, we always use a small, 8k water softener (good for about 500 gal of use before needing recharging). It significantly reduces calcium/hardwater deposits in our hw heater and faucets, along with providing soft water everywhere we go.
otrfun 01/22/22 09:53am Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

I don't leave the ignition on with the engine not running. Like I said it was just an experiment.I understand you have no plans to leave the ignition on with the engine not running. I was only suggesting that a simple voltage check could have easily determined whether you had a defective BI or underlying problem in your vehicle. A BI is a very, very simple device. If it doesn't work, it's either a defective BI or a very simple wiring problem.
otrfun 01/21/22 05:30pm Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

Using the battery isolator didn't work. It didn't shut down so we connected the ignition wire and now it turns off with the ignition. Don't worry, even if there wasn't a warning beep when the ignition is on until starting the motor it's not something I'd forget.Did you happen to check voltage at the battery isolator with the engine not running? If the BI didn't shutdown the dc to dc charger that suggests your BI was defective or it was receiving >13.3v when the alternator was off-line. A fully charged automotive, lead-cell battery can only produce a max voltage of 12.7v-12.8v when the alternator is off-line (even with the ignition on). Not enough voltage to keep the contacts on a BI closed. In any event, if you're ok having your dc to dc charger active with the ignition on and the engine not running, that's certainly your call. Good luck with everything.
otrfun 01/21/22 05:08pm Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

I only turned the ignition on to measure the current briefly out of curiosity before I started the motor. The charger activates with a signal from the ignition. The output current is about 43A at higher rpms and 48 at idle like I said.I prefer using a battery isolator because it requires >13.3v to activate the dc to dc charger. Zero chance of inadvertently discharging the starter/TV battery—ignition on or off. I was hoping it was your input current fluctuating. Very unusual for charge current to fluctuate like that based on alternator rpm/output. The whole purpose of a dc to dc charger is to stabilize the charge process.
otrfun 01/20/22 08:53pm Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

. . . Input current to the Redarc gets as high as 54 amps with the ignition on without starting the motor . . . Any particular reason you would allow your dc to dc charger to be on-line when the alternator is off-line? Most use a battery isolator or trigger wire (found on most dc to dc chargers) to prevent the dc to dc charger from inadvertently discharging the starter/TV battery when the alternator is off-line for any reason. Output current stays about 43 amps when driving and climbs to about 48-49 at idle.Are you saying the output or input current climbs to 48-49a at idle? If the output/charge current climbs to 48-49a at idle, I'd have to agree, it's definitely out-of-spec. How high did the input current go? If you're referencing input current to the dc to dc charger, then 48-49a would seem perfectly normal with the alternator operating less efficiently at idle (higher voltage drop forces higher current).
otrfun 01/20/22 07:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Redarc 40 amp DC to DC Charger issue

Not sure if all Redarc dc to dc chargers operate the same. It appears some Redarcs may set an output/charge current ceiling (and vary input current), whereas other models may set an input current ceiling (and vary output/charge current). Our 40a Renogy dc to dc charger can vary the output/charge current from 0 to 40a. After 9 months of heavy use, under all conditions, I've never seen the output/charge current increase beyond 40a---it's a hard ceiling. Although the *input* current on our Renogy always stays below 45a, some installations (with longer cable runs & smaller gauge cables) can force the input current to rise as high as 60a to compensate for various voltage drops between the alternator and Renogy input.
otrfun 01/19/22 08:29am Tech Issues
RE: 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter recommendation needed

I have been using the Xantrex ProWatt 2000 for about ten years. Good, reliable unit. The fan will come on under heavy load such as microwave use. It's not very noisy, but mine is mounted in the front bay on a fifth wheel. Might be more noticeable in a TC. It has an available remote switch and is on the lower side price wise, $365 on Amazon. 1800 watts continuous with 3000 watts surge though I'm not sure of the duration of that. No-load current is less than .8 amp. Xantrex ProWatt 2000We used a Xantrex Prowatt 2000 for about a year, primarily to power our small microwave (700 cooking watts; 1050w line input). No complaints until we tried to power the 11k BTU a/c on our truck camper. Even with 4/0 battery to inverter cables, a 200ah Lifepo4 battery, and a Micro Air Easy Start installed it wouldn't start our a/c unit. Sold the Xantrex and installed an Aims 2000 watt pure sine wave, high-frequency inverter ($400). Problem solved. The Aim starts/runs our a/c unit just fine. The Aims has similar parasitic (no-load) current as the Xantrex (approx. .6a-.7a). The Prowatt 2000 is a good unit; unfortunately, it has limited inrush/surge capability.
otrfun 01/18/22 07:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Mystery Battery Draw While Parked UPDATE

A clamp-on DC ammeter may make your troubleshooting a bit more efficient. Some will read down to .1 - .2a relatively accurately and will allow you to check current on a number of wires/cables very quickly. I've troubleshot similar problems as yours and was able to find the source of the problem with just a couple of random wire/cable checks with a clamp-on. Also, don't know about your Chevy, but when you open the hood or door on our Ram, it temporarily activates portions of the BCM with a several amp load. This load disappears after 5-10 min. Just something to keep in mind so you don't find yourself wasting time chasing phantom draws. Good luck!
otrfun 01/10/22 10:46am Tow Vehicles
RE: Alternator and LiFePo battery question

. . . Obviously underhood airflow, and alternator fan rpm have HUGE effects on alternator temperature, as of course does the load, and these are all huge variables on vehicles making direct comparisons without supporting data, and blanket statements devoid of specifics, filled with unknowns, unwise . . . Useful, realworld info in your post. Thanks. We were tempted to squeeze more out of our 220a alternator with a larger dc to dc charger or a straight charge line, but decided against it. Probably would have been fine for the most part. However, your post would seem to confirm some of the concerns we had with the possibility of extended idling in stalled freeway traffic in 110+ degree heat, while forgetting we had a very high charge load going to our camper batteries. We've already encountered limitions with our Ram's 220a alternator and 40a dc to dc charger in cold temps. Our Ram recently went into "Battery Saver" mode one 5-10f morning after a night of dry camping (and depleted camper batteries). Turned off our 40a dc to dc charger and the warning went away. Waited an hour or so to get a better charge on our truck batteries, then turned the dc to dc charger back on. All was well again.
otrfun 01/10/22 09:15am Tech Issues
RE: Alternator and LiFePo battery question

@ortfun What size wiring from your alternator? I have about 10’ of 1/0 DLO cable that might make a difference. The Redarc does boost the voltage to 14.5 so I think that is the 3amp difference.50a in/47a out, is excellent. It's obvious you have very little voltage drop. We ran approx. ~20 ft of 2 gauge from our truck's battery to the 40a Renogy in our truck camper. 43.5a in/40a out. Going with larger cable would have only reduced our current loss about 1.0 - 1.5a and cost us considerably more. 2 gauge offered us the biggest bang for the buck. The premise of my post was not so much voltage drop or efficiency, it was how Redarc appears to put a priority on stabilizing input current, whereas Renogy favors stabilizing output current. Interesting difference.
otrfun 01/08/22 06:32pm Tech Issues
RE: Alternator and LiFePo battery question

I have a Redarc 40 amp DC to DC charger but apparently there is a solenoid that sends current from my alternator to the house battery when the ignition is on. I was unaware of this when my mechanic installed the charger. I just finished a 1500 mile road trip and was seeing a lot more than 40 amps on my shunt while driving. Fortunately I have a very robust alternator. I just found out about this solenoid so I will try and straighten it out so only the DC to DC charger is charging the battery.Not clear how it was done from that. If part of the plan was to isolate the LFP from the alternator in case of way high draw from low SOC LFP (which is in dispute how much of a threat that is, but let's say it is valid for now) then leaving the OEM charging in place was wrong. Next, the DC-DC itself will draw more than its 40 amps output as its input. Depending on the wiring from engine batt to DC-DC, if long and thin, could be 60 amps. If short and fat could be 45 amps. So you need to pick the DC-DC output amps size to go with what your alternator can do, which depends on the input amps that you can only guess at. If the amps are too high you could perhaps fatten that wiring to bring it within spec, or else before buying the DC-DC just assume 50% higher input over the output amps and match that to the alternator ampsThe draw on my 50amp Redarc is 50 amps from the truck and around 47 amps charging to the batteries, so at least on the Redarc the rating is the draw on the alternator. This is charging a 280ah LifeP04, I have two but charge them separately.According to the specs on their website, the Redarc BCDC1250D has a "maximum" charge current rating of 50a. It doesn't specify the input current rating per se. However, it's interesting they recommend fusing the input at only 60a. 60a leaves very little room for the 50a Redarc to compensate with higher input current when the input voltage drops significantly. That would seem to imply the Redarc may work inverse to the Renogy. Our 40a Renogy produces a constant 40a of charge current (assuming a discharged battery, of course) and can draw as much as 60a to compensate for voltage drop on the input (Renogy also recommends a 60a fuse, but produces 10a less charge current). The Renogy varies the input current to keep the output current constant. You mentioned you were only getting 47a of charge current (with a 50a input load). It would appear the Redarc varies the output charge current (<=50a) to keep the input current/load at <=50a. If so, this would be the opposite how the Renogy operates.
otrfun 01/08/22 08:45am Tech Issues
RE: Bed mat and cutting out for factory bed holes?

If your mat is to thick the B&W hitch may not work.Same is true for the Ram "picture frame adapter", too. Some clearance between the bed and bottom of the adapter, but not a lot.
otrfun 12/24/21 08:54am Truck Campers
RE: Dallas to Mobile

That is our normal route also; sometimes we go on down on I49 to pickup I10. Some alternate routes: US 80 (take exit to Elmo, TX past Terrell) if you are not in a hurry. We make just as good time, but goes through many small towns then through Longview and Marshall; past Marshall join I 20 just past Scottsville, TX) Altogether different: take US 175 to Jacksonville, TX then US 69 to Rusk where you would pick up US 84 East to Hattisburg, MS where you would join US 98 on into Mobile. (There are several variations to this route but you would go through Farriday, LA and Natchez, MS worth a stop. Riverside RV a great stop on the Mississipi) I have towed on all these roads. Not recommendations, just some observations.Thank you, padredw! We may give these three options some consideration if weather, time and traffic permits. What are your thoughts on taking I49 (exit 19), then Hwy 190 east to I10 (somewhere west of Baton Rouge) vs. going south to the I49/I10 junction?
otrfun 12/21/21 10:44am Roads and Routes
RE: Dallas to Mobile

Most of the time when we travel (unless time is of the essence) we enter our info in our GPS, checking the "avoid highways" box. We've had some great trips by doing this.Agree! When we have plenty of travel time that's typically what we try to do, too.
otrfun 12/21/21 10:31am Roads and Routes
RE: Dallas to Mobile

That's our normal route, lots of construction the last time thr in early November u but that may be over by nowThanks! Would you happen to remember where the construction was located?
otrfun 12/21/21 10:26am Roads and Routes
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