RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 136
Yeah I'm definitely going to put it right at the entry steps next to the leveling switches, etc. It's a shorter run and easy access to the other side of that inside the cabinet there.

My next task is to figure out what batteries to use to replace the generic ones which came with my rig
jeffreymhardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 01:35 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West St. Paul, Manitoba
Posts: 882
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottBrownstein View Post
That is correct. I can't see how much headroom you have but someone on a forum made a shunt connector out of 3/4" copper pipe and it hooks directly to the negative post stud and then you just move the negative cable to the shunt output. No additional cables required.

You will need the 3 wires to the shunt (also shown) as well as a power wire for the Trimetric to any positive battery post. If you want to monitor your chassis battery, you run another small wire to it's positive post as well. The Trimetric will tell you that battery's voltage but will not monitor SOC, current in and out of that battery.
That's an incorrect shunt installation, you can only have the shunt installed as shown with out the additional wire at the negative post in the photo.

To jeffreymhardy
Also just an FYI, watts is power and it does not matter if it's AC or DC it is the same, however the voltage and amperage is different in each. In DC voltage X amperage = watts.
__________________
Of all the things I've lost in my life the thing I miss the most is my mind!
prairiecamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #23
jkoenig24
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Box Elder, SD (formerly NY)
Posts: 785
Don't forget to add "ghost" draws. Even if your refrigerator is running on propane, the control board uses some 12VDC power. I expect there will be other "parasitic" draws too (water heater igniter, furnace, etc).
jkoenig24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 03:16 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Englewood FL
Posts: 2,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiecamper View Post
That's an incorrect shunt installation, you can only have the shunt installed as shown with out the additional wire at the negative post in the photo.

To jeffreymhardy
Also just an FYI, watts is power and it does not matter if it's AC or DC it is the same, however the voltage and amperage is different in each. In DC voltage X amperage = watts.
Not really. The second wire on the negative terminal goes to the second parallel 12V battery! All current to the chassis ground goes through the shunt. The installation, although not mine...is completely correct.
__________________

2015 335DS
ScottBrownstein is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 03:20 PM   #25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 446
I haven't done it with mine, but the MOST accurate way to measure current draw is with an ammeter connected to the wire that comes directly from the battery before it gets a load on it.
Then, if you want, feed this info to a display in your coach and you can see, in realtime, how much current is being drawn at any time. If you knew, for example, you have 100 amp hour capacity, and in the exmaple above, you draw 7 amps, then you would have about 14 hours of time to use your batteries before needing to recharge.
Measuring each device is not accurate, as has been mentioned, there may be other current draws elsewhere in the coach, so measuring at the battery is the most accurate.
MOODMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 03:27 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 242
[QUOTE=jeffreymhardy;1110202]I know this is not a Sunseeker or even Forest River-specific question, but I always get good feedback here so I thought I would pose it. I'm trying to evaluate exactly what I'm going to be able to do for how long without AC power. Now, I'm only trying to see if I could manage a 2-3 night stay somewhere without power, so I did a test of my fully charged batteries that came with my Sunseeker.
QUOTE]

I use to worry about wattage power, etc on my trailer RV .. I then switch to 2 golf batteries (from Costco) wired in series.. Bought a 100 watt solar panel and controller.. and never looked back.. works great!! I left the panel portable to I could move it around on the ground periodically to follow the sun.. (even works on cloudy days).. A set up like this is all you need.. (you can use your existing batteries and it will work fine).
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ronics&sr=1-19
clintbonnie73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 03:54 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West St. Paul, Manitoba
Posts: 882
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottBrownstein View Post
Not really. The second wire on the negative terminal goes to the second parallel 12V battery! All current to the chassis ground goes through the shunt. The installation, although not mine...is completely correct.
OK maybe I missed something, however if two 12 volt batteries are wired in parallel for house batteries and you are using a shunt with a battery monitor, to monitor both batteries they both need to hooked up to one side of the shunt and the other side of the shunt to chassis ground.
This is not the case with the attached photo, the cable attached to the battery negative ground, should be hooked up to the shunt at the point where the other cable is attached. Unless the second battery is not being monitored!!
__________________
Of all the things I've lost in my life the thing I miss the most is my mind!
prairiecamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 05:30 PM   #28
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreymhardy View Post
I know this is not a Sunseeker or even Forest River-specific question, but I always get good feedback here so I thought I would pose it. I'm trying to evaluate exactly what I'm going to be able to do for how long without AC power. Now, I'm only trying to see if I could manage a 2-3 night stay somewhere without power, so I did a test of my fully charged batteries that came with my Sunseeker.

What I had running was a TV, a roku and a hotspot, all totaling 43 watts and .59 amps. I bought a 300 watt inverter which is plugged into one of my 12v outlets with an extension cord feeding those three very small power users.No lights or anything else on other than smoke detector, etc.

After one hour, my battery charge was down to 12.3 v from 12.9 v which, from what I read, is about as low as you should ever let your batteries get.

Are these just the worst batteries ever, or am I missing something here? Yes, I could run my genny and top it off, but that's not something I want to have to do hourly.

Any comments would be appreciated.
I bought Gel Batteries after much trouble with the stock batteries.
sunseeker67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 05:32 PM   #29
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 4
I had a lot of trouble with my stock batteries and finally purchased Gel Batteries and have had no trouble with those. My RV is a 2010 Sunseeker and the Gel batteries are now a couple of years old.
sunseeker67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2016, 11:42 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
Tom48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ontario, California
Posts: 1,613
[QUOTE=clintbonnie73;1111146]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreymhardy View Post
I know this is not a Sunseeker or even Forest River-specific question, but I always get good feedback here so I thought I would pose it. I'm trying to evaluate exactly wy to follow the sun.. (even works on cloudy days).. A set up like this is all you need.. (you can use your existing batteries and it will work fine).
Robot Check
Exactly what I have. Windy Nation same controller but I bought 2 100 watt panels and practical never have to think about batteries
Tom48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 12:52 AM   #31
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 785
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreymhardy View Post
..........

After one hour, my battery charge was down to 12.3 v from 12.9 v which, from what I read, is about as low as you should ever let your batteries get.

Are these just the worst batteries ever, or am I missing something here? Yes, I could run my genny and top it off, but that's not something I want to have to do hourly.

Any comments would be appreciated.
As mentioned, measuring battery voltage under load is not a good indication of charge state. I suspected that my two Georgetown batteries were bad after one year because they were too low to start the generator when I was being shown the new unit and they spent a couple of weeks fully discharged after experiencing a blown component in the wiring harness for the levelling jacks. (The wiring harness problem was finally fixed by Lippert after a few years.) An automotive battery tester didn't show the batteries as bad and my research determined that I couldn't determine the condition of the batteries unless I could get a deep cycle battery tester.

The retail store for a major battery manufacturer has the tester but when I took one of the batteries in, was told that only one employee was trained to use the tester and that was his day off. The tester was too expensive for an untrained operator to attempt using it. They did check the battery acid with a hydrometer which showed a full charge but the technician said that the appearance of the battery fluid indicated damage to the battery.

I decided to build my own tester. Deep cycle batteries can be tested by putting a load that's 10% of their rated capacity on them and measuring the battery voltage over time as the batteries discharge. I used a few automotive headlights for a load and a high quality digital multimeter to measure voltage. I also used 10.8V as the test endpoint voltage because that's what's used when testing batteries to determine "reserve capacity." As I expected, the battery capacity was less than 50% of its rated value. I had a large number of trips to the basement, every 15-30 minutes, to measure and record the battery voltage.

After I turned the test results over to the dealer, the batteries were replaced under FR's new vehicle warranty. They've been in the unit for almost four years now and still appear to be working well, despite still using the OEM single voltage converter.

Phil
pmsherman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 10:32 AM   #32
Member
 
tandem54's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Surprise, AZ.
Posts: 93
I haven't tested my batteries after a night in our 2004 Lexington RV, but I watch our TV for a couple hours at night and run the furnace and all the "ghost" draws and never had a problem. The next morning I run the gen. for and hour or 2 while I make coffee and charge all the phones, laptop, etc. works for me. I have two hose batteries and no problems.
__________________
Forest River Lexington Grand Touring.
tandem54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 06:51 PM   #33
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 136
I've never run my generator for any amount of time at all, so I don't have a feel for how much gas is used if you run for a couple of hours (with minimal AC load, just really to charge the batteries if that matters). Any ideas?
jeffreymhardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 06:53 PM   #34
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 136
So I am getting my Trimetric 2030RV tomorrow, and also am going to be replacing the generic house batteries with AGMs. Mapped out the path my wire will take and where the panel will be located (right next to my entry steps and only a couple feet from my battery bank). Wish me luck! Seems like a pretty simple install....
jeffreymhardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2016, 09:07 PM   #35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,396
Jeffreymhardy,

The Onan 4000 (4000 watt maximum output) in our Sunseeker uses 0.5 gallons per hour at 50% load and 0.7 gallons per hour at 100% load, per the Onan manual.
__________________
RamblerGuy
2011 Sunseeker 3100
2016 Ford Edge Toad
RamblerGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2016, 10:24 AM   #36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 624
Go Solar

Change your interior lights to led and go solar. Simple, quiet, no gas cans. It doesn't cost much on eBay, and it will make a big difference. Our entire system was less than $300. Read this blog if you decide to go solar.

https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

I haven't shelled out the money for the monitor yet, but we booddocked for 4 days with no problems with our 100 watt solar panel mounted on the roof. You
may have bad batteries.

Be aware that the closer your load is to the run rating on your inverter, the more efficient. If you have small loads you run a lot, it is worth it to have two inverters.
mnoland30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2016, 11:03 AM   #37
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Englewood FL
Posts: 2,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post
Change your interior lights to led and go solar. Simple, quiet, no gas cans. It doesn't cost much on eBay, and it will make a big difference. Our entire system was less than $300. Read this blog if you decide to go solar.....
If you do decide to add solar, TriMetric makes a solar charge controller that is very sophisticated and communicates directly with their TriMetric 2030 meter. It will immediately give you a readout of solar charge current and also uses the Trimetric's battery voltage, SOC and charge current data to control the voltage and current profile of the charge controller. That way you can put the controller anywhere it makes sense to install (generally very near the batteries) and there is no need for a remote status display in the RV as the main Trimetric will display all of the solar data as well. The SC-2030 has multiple setups for specific models and battery types so that it can optimize its output to match the specific batteries being charged.

Not that expensive either! In fact, if you put it all in at once, the Trimetric will also qualify for a renewable energy credit on your taxes.

Bobsolar has a blog review of the unit and gives it very high marks https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...-2030-perfect/
__________________

2015 335DS
ScottBrownstein is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2016, 07:17 AM   #38
Senior Member
 
bareftn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: austinburg ohio
Posts: 801
To me dry camping I may as well get the tent back and use it
bareftn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2016, 07:59 AM   #39
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 136
That may have to do with where you live. Where I live, in VA, I have a lot more choices if I want a waterfront spot if I dry camp, even in parks where power and water are available. While there ARE waterfront hookup sites, they are few and far between. Also, I'm much more likely to not have a close "neighbor" if I'm dry camping. Also, I'd rather sleep in my queen sized bed with my refrigerator and 12v TV than sleep in a tent.
jeffreymhardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2016, 08:02 AM   #40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Virginia
Posts: 136
Thanks Scott for that link. When I ordered my Trimetric, I saw that option and that's definitely something I'm interested in down the road. I started putting in my new batteries and the Trimetric yesterday but ran into a problem when I managed to tweak one of my existing positive cables and separate it from its connector. I'm also trying to figure out where to put my shunt (in my battery compartment) because it's pretty tight in there. That will be today's project
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0326.jpg
Views:	61
Size:	282.0 KB
ID:	100533  
jeffreymhardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
camping, dry camping, battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:53 AM.