Originally Posted by brooklyncowgirl
Thanks guys. What I'm looking for in a monitor is something that will let me know the state of charge of my batteries without having to access the batteries themselves. I would also like to be able to know how much power the appliances in the trailer are drawing so we can make good decisions about use (e.g. does it make sense to turn off the water pump at night) and when I finally get my solar panels what amount of energy the panels are putting into the battery.
It should also be idiot proof (there is such a thing as too much information), DIY installable by someone with basic wiring skills and not some huge thing that will take up the entire trailer.
BCG...The Victron will do exactly what you want. Installation is easy and the simple directions require NO electrical knowledge or measurement. There is a short initial set up process with the meter where you enter your battery type & capacity etc.... after that you simply press one of two buttons on the monitor to cycle through the info you need.
It WILL show you:
Present state of charge i.e. 72%
Present amps being used or Present amps coming in to the battery...net.
Time remaining at present usage of batteries.
When you are 100% charged without waiting for surface charges or using load testers.
Since you can switch items on and off...you can see exactly what your TV or your fridge or computer uses.
Installation IS simple.
1.Take all black wires off your battery and instead put them on the "load end of the included Shunt.
2. Figure our someplace close to the batts to mount the shunt to. Now buy a standard black battery cable from the local auto zone that will reach from the battery to the shunt and connect it.
3. Take the included thin red wire and run it to the positive battery post from the shunt.
4. Take the included "telephone wire" cable and plug it into the shunt. Plug the othe end into the back of the monitor.
5. Complete wall mounting of the monitor and your done.
Victron Battery Monitors
The model 700 is good for multiple batteries configured as ONE bank as yours would be. The model 702 also lets you run wire and monitor voltage on the engine battery which is a bit of unnecessary expense in an RV I think.
Good luck with the decision making.