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Old 05-23-2016, 03:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
Installing battery monitor in 2016 Leprechaun 260DS MH

I'm a new owner of a 2016 Coachmen Leprechaun 260DS MH, and I have some questions about installing a battery monitor. I've got all sorts of questions about batteries, generators and solar, but after reading through the forums, I realize that the first step is the monitor.

I'm currently undecided between the Trimetric or the Victron Energy BMV-700 or 702 (although I'm leaning towards the Victron Energy because of the Bluetooth to iPhone option). In either case, they get installed the same.

I've attached a picture of my under step house battery compartment. I'm dismayed that it appears someone cheaped out and put in Group 24 Marine Cranking batteries.

My first question is where's the best place to install the shunt? It might not be clear what's attached where, so I tried to a make a wiring diagram and have attached that as well. The shunt needs to be placed between the left batteries (-) terminal and the the cable on the left battery that's in conduit. Ideally I'd attach the shunt to the inside or outside of the battery box (which appears to be made of thick sheet metal), and then fabricate a cable to go between the shunt and battery, and attach the existing negative cable to the shunt.

Other than where to place the shunt, my other questions are:
  • What gauge cable should I use for the battery-shunt connection?
  • I think I know the best place to bring the data cable into the cabin (there's a ventilation panel that leads to a void behind the distribution panel, which faces the entry steps), but I'd like to know if that's where others have done it. This space is really tight (see picture) and the furnace ducting is preventing me from actually seeing precisely where the other power is entering the cabin.
  • Should I drill a new hole, or scrape away the sealant and fish the data cable into the existing hole where other power cables enter that void? (final picture, from underside) In either case, what's the best way to reseal the hole? The tightness of the area leads me to think that a new hole would be best, but I can't really see where I'd be drilling. I can't see if there's also sealant inside this area.

Final question: Am I asking too many questions, and perhaps that means I shouldn't be messing with this and should just pay someone $100/hr to do this for me.....?
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:25 AM   #2
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Location: NowthWest
Posts: 126
When I installed my TM2030, I had the similar issues but I have a much different machine. It's imperative to have the shunt the first thing connection from the battery. In my case that was going to mean it was going to be outside near the batteries. then I was going to have to run the cable from the monitor through the TT and out to the shunt. I didn't want to have all of the wiring exposed to the elements so I drilled through the front wall of the TT and got two short new 6ga cables. I used the same gauge cables as was installed at the factory. Obviously if you have a long way to go, it may be different for you. I used a 4" waterproof abs junction to attach to the hole I drilled and re-routed the cables to a board I pre installed the parts I needed to gain 12v access, inside. You can look at the pic's i posted in my gallery to see what I did. I hope it helps.

2015 Wildwood 181 BHXL. 2005 1500 Ram Hemi 4x4 W/package
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 9
Thanks, that's helpful. However, I'm not drilling through the MH walls, at least not on a new one.

I asked and heard from Coachmen, and they suggested I use the existing penetration that the other cables are using. I have to assume there's clearance in the hole that they used for another data cable. The plus side of that is I wouldn't have to temporarily remove any furnace ducting, which I would otherwise have to do if I wanted to get good access to drill.
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