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 > Getting ready to go boondocking

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mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 06/03/11 10:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keith M wrote:

Windsun out of Flagstaff has been selling 205 watt 12 volt panels for $450 which is a pretty good deal. I paid more than that 10 years ago for a 120 watt panel.
Wow, that's really good.

smkettner wrote:

Enough preparation, just go already. Those batteries look beautiful BTW [emoticon]
It can still be a bit of work in process during the first trip out.
Thanks and I can't wait really!!! I figure it will take a few trips to dial in the usage versus discharge but it will be fun for sure.

pianotuna wrote:

AGM are nice, except for the price! 740 amp-hours is quite nice too!

Tell us more about the Victron?

Enjoy that boondocking trip. I'll be interested to know the end results.
About the Victron, comes with a 500A shunt and Cat5 cable with fuse. The Cat5 cable goes to the meter from the shunt. If I ever switch to LiFePo4 batteries I won't need a new meter. Just change the Peukert setting to basically no Peukert effect. It has two decimal place voltage readout, SOC, Ah used, charge and discharge current, how much time at rate of discharge, visual and alarm for over or under voltage and a generator start relay.

KendallP wrote:


It's kinda' funny... those almost look like little T-105s. What you don't see are just how tall those suckers are! And L-16s are highly respected batteries, folks, both for capacity AND longevity.

Awesome setup, mena! You're gonna' love all that new freedom!

Rock on!
Thanks a lot man. All with the help of quite a few members here. I'm grateful. The tray is about 7.5" deep. The batts are 17" tall! I plan to take good care of these and the Victron's alarm, I should be able to avoid accidental overdischarges.


2009 Newmar Canyon Star 3205, Ford F53 V10
Trojan L16 6V's 740 Amp-hours


mena661

Southern California

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Posted: 06/03/11 10:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:

You have earned some camping time after all that research and preparation work! Now just convince DW to wear a headset for a wireless speaker on that television so you can have some peace and quiet. (another job for the inverter) Ha ha good luck with that. [emoticon]
Thank you sir! I can't blame it all on her but it WAS her idea to get the sat dish for the 5er. [emoticon]

BFL13 wrote:

The Equalize mode on the 1093DBD does work with 6s to get the SG up to spec (but not with my 27s which are more stubborn due to low gassing character) However, when the SG seems to stall in rising, you can use the Recondition mode for a couple of "24" (20 actual) hour cycles and then Equalize some more. This seems to get the SG moving again. Alternating Reconditon with Equalize back and forth works best for me as a "recovery" method.
That worked really well and quickly too. I'll try the recondition mode followed by another equalize this weekend. Thanks again!

* This post was last edited 06/03/11 02:46pm by mena661 *   View edit history

mena661

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Posted: 06/03/11 08:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check the SG again after letting the batteries set without a charge for 12 hours. SG in the "low" pair is 1.275 and in the other pair is 1.285. Temp is 66 degrees. Connected the VEC back up on the 40A setting will leave it like that till tomorrow. Going to mount the inverter and Paramode tomorrow then I need to order some more wiring to finish up the job.

KendallP

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Posted: 06/03/11 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mena661 wrote:

Check the SG again after letting the batteries set without a charge for 12 hours. SG in the "low" pair is 1.275 and in the other pair is 1.285. Temp is 66 degrees. Connected the VEC back up on the 40A setting will leave it like that till tomorrow. Going to mount the inverter and Paramode tomorrow then I need to order some more wiring to finish up the job.

Looks good!

Definitely keep a float on them. The Vec will do fine for now.

BTW... I am not a fan of the new HF floaters. They are NOT made the same as the old ones. I bough 8 of them for 5 bucks a piece (cheapest I've seen is $4.) 4 of them were for my hot rodder FIL's birthday. I tested them all and they all were in the low 14s. Not cool. Plus the clamps are no longer copper. They're steel with freakin' copper paint! Not cool!

I'll start a thread on it one of these days, but for now... unless you're techie enough to add a diode, take your float charger skrills elsewhere.

FWIW, my after I reported my findings, my FIL still wanted them. I have yet to test them in warmer weather. No bubbles for 12V low antimony jars at 50F, but we'll see about 90F.


Cheers,
Kendall

1986 Winnebago Chieftain 22RC
Our Camper (Don't laugh...
Unlike our credit cards... she's paid for)


BFL13

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Posted: 06/03/11 09:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The stock Paramode will do 60 amps (when not combined with a higher voltage charger) if it is wired with short fat wires or it gets lame on longer thin wires. You will want to have the bank low enough to accept more than 60 amps for say 15 or 20 minutes to test out your Paramode installation, so stop charging them. If you don't get 60 amps, you can shorten in or fatten up till you do.

Actually if you are watching the monitor on start up, it first hits 61ish say, then drops to 58ish then goes up again to settle at 60ish after a couple minutes so if you see that --it is normal [emoticon]

You can stuff the end of #4 wire into the Paramode's terminal if you shave a couple strands off, I just cut one lug off a store-bought battery starter cable and used the cut end into the converter and the other with the lug still on it onto the battery. ( via proper fuse on the pos if you are keen )


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
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2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
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mena661

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Posted: 06/03/11 10:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KendallP wrote:

BTW... I am not a fan of the new HF floaters.
I was thinking about those too today. Oh well. The Paramode will do just fine.

BFL13 wrote:

The stock Paramode will do 60 amps (when not combined with a higher voltage charger) if it is wired with short fat wires or it gets lame on longer thin wires. You will want to have the bank low enough to accept more than 60 amps for say 15 or 20 minutes to test out your Paramode installation, so stop charging them. If you don't get 60 amps, you can shorten in or fatten up till you do.

Actually if you are watching the monitor on start up, it first hits 61ish say, then drops to 58ish then goes up again to settle at 60ish after a couple minutes so if you see that --it is normal [emoticon]

You can stuff the end of #4 wire into the Paramode's terminal if you shave a couple strands off, I just cut one lug off a store-bought battery starter cable and used the cut end into the converter and the other with the lug still on it onto the battery. ( via proper fuse on the pos if you are keen )
Good to know!! I'll probably do a TV on inverter test next weekend or so (basically just leave the TV on all day) then see what the Paramode can do and adjust accordingly. I have to buy wire and Anderson connectors for my inverter first though. Haven't done that yet. I have two feet of #6 for the converter going to bus bars then 5 feet of 4/0. Battery interconnects are 4/0 also (1 foot each).

How many watts does the Paramode draw?

* This post was edited 06/03/11 10:30pm by mena661 *

mena661

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Posted: 06/03/11 11:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi mena,

Thanks for the info on the Victron. I'm still not convinced I need that level of technology.
In the computer biz, we call it "future-proofing". [emoticon]

pianotuna

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Posted: 06/03/11 11:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi mena,

Thanks for the info on the Victron. I'm still not convinced I need that level of technology.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

pianotuna

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Posted: 06/03/11 11:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi mena,

It is a case of priorities. If I wished to upgrade the electrical system, the first item on the table would be getting a new ROM for my Blue Sky. The next, two more panels. Unfortunately for me, Uni-Solar no longer makes mine.

After that I'd add a single small panel (say 60 watts?) direct connected to my battery bank with just a diode.

Then, there are the rest of the other mods I plan on--such as a 12 volt outlet beside the propane tank so I can "warm it" with a 12 volt heating pad.

Way, way, way down the list is a power meter, such as the Victron, or smart gauge if I can find a place to buy one.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 06/04/11 07:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Paramode watts is around 930 ISTR. It is on the back label? Don't know the PF either, but it is similar to the Vector's based on the Honda 3000 being able to run about the same 130 amps using the Paramode in the mix. If I got it anywhere near close, I once calculated ( I forget how I did that)the Vector PF at 0.85 but don't take that to the bank. I don't have a wattmeter or PF meter gizmo.

If you only will use the Paramode at home it doesn't matter if it gets 60 amps or 40 amps as installed, so IMO it would not be worth re-doing your plannned wiring set-up if it doesn't do 60.

Yes, you don't need to run down the batteries to test the converter if you can run enough stuff including the inverter's load so that the converter runs as a sort of power supply. You can tell with the monitor set to read amps if you have enough DC stuff on to be drawing more than 60amps, then plug in the converter.

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