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Old 04-03-2016, 12:38 PM   #21
Living 'Off Grid'
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Originally Posted by spock123 View Post
From my battery charger or the converter to the batteries will be no more than two feet.

Living Off Grid in Central Florida and loving it! Pics at K4KMG*com
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:22 PM   #22
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It does appear that equalization cycles may be too much for some of the electronics in an RV. Strangely, when I use my disconnect switch, it disconnects the batteries from the converter as well!!! I find it strange that I must keep everything in the RV on in order to maintain the batteries while in storage.

My plan is to change this as well as to allow my Bogart solar controller to do it's mini-equalization thing as well...and use the disconnect to isolate the batteries from the loads at the same time. This will leave my steps,door switch and CO detectors connected, but everything else will be off line during equalization.


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Old 04-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #23
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Opie...the only thing I'd comment is that if you plan on boondocking you should try to get as close to 25% of your amp hours (420x.25= 105) as possible in your charger to reduce your generator run time. It'll end up paying for itself in fuel and maintenance over time...but time is the big benefit.
If you recharge when you hit 50% on the trimetric you're gonna be trying to get 210 amp hours back in the whether it is 3 hours or 4 hours to get to 90'ish percent makes a difference. The IOTA DLS 90/IQ4 would be my choice in your situation but the Progressive is a fine unit as well. Note the Iota charging parameters:

The charging voltage for the different stages varies
depending on the voltage of the battery.
+ an auto equalization circuit similar to the Progressive 80 amp...this one kicks in after 7 days on float.

Good luck!

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Old 04-04-2016, 07:35 AM   #24
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Add Solar

One of great points in handybobs blog is that if you use a generator to get most of the amps back into the battery, solar tops it off nicely. If you use a generator to get to the float level, you're running it for a long time. If you use a small solar panel for the finish charge, it works all day (and doesn't put out that many amps so #8 wire might work just fine. I purchased the Trimetric Charge controller as well as the monitor. I have 100 amp solar panel glGreat system.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:06 AM   #25
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I wonder if a portable 100 watt solar panel would be worth buying to charge my battery bank up or to keep the batteries topped off

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Old 04-04-2016, 08:43 AM   #26
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Go Solar

Go solar. It is quiet, and very convenient. We have a 21 ss Roo. We love to boondock away from other campers. I bought a flexible 100 watt panel and glued it to the roof with silicone caulking. I did this on my last camper and ended up selling the panel with the camper, because it was too difficult to remove. I read this blog and if you slog through it, it tells you everything you need to know. I installed 8 ga. wires from the panel to a fuse box & then to a Morningstar SHS 10 charge controller, then 4 ga. wires to the battery. If you use oversized wires and oversized controller you can add panels later if you need to. I have the two standard 12v deep cycle batteries that came with the trailer and bought LED replacement bulbs on eBay for less than $40. We can run everything but the AC and Microwave forever without outside power. The entire system cost less than $300. If we wanted to run the microwave, we could probably do short (5 min) runs (using an inverter) with our system, but I donít really need it. We use sleeping bags at night because the heater wakes me if it goes on in the middle of the night. It is still dark when I wake up, and Iíll run the furnace for 30 minutes or so to warm the trailer in the morning. By the time my wife wakes up, the sun is up, and she can run the furnace as long as she wants. The controller shows the battery is charged to 100% before noon (I donít have a good monitor yet, so I really donít know). We have never run it down below 75%, which radically improves battery life. One caveat: We live in New Mexico where the sun always shines. But I find that even with cloud cover for several days, the system works fine for us. Iíve hauled a Honda 2000 along on our first 4 trips, but never used it, and that is just fine with me. In the off season, it takes care of itself, and always keeps the batteries charged as long as the batteries are disconnected from the trailer. Life is good.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:12 PM   #27
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Solar is in the plans for the future. But not yet. We have already blown our wad on paying cash for the trailer and the upgrades to this point.

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