Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-12-2015, 03:28 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Volt meter recommendation?

Can someone please recommend a voltmeter to surface mount inside the trailer, possibly with an alarm? It will be relatively close to the batteries and connected with 6 ga wire, so readings should be accurate.

I'm not interested paying $150 for a Blue Sea Systems version and Chinese sources (i.e., direct shipped) aren't an option due to timing. Otherwise, I welcome suggestions.

A cheap weatherproof version I can mount on the external battery box might be interesting, too, but the reliable interior mount job is a must.

I've seen mention of different installations in this forum but can't seem to find any when searching.

Thanks

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 05:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Ford Idaho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 9,839
Something like this for outside?

12V 24V LED Digital Display Voltmeter Voltage Meter Panel Marine ATV Boat Car | eBay

I would think a boat dealer would carry something in the parts/show room
__________________
2016 F350 6.7L LB CC Reese 28K 2014 Chaparral Lite 266sab
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." 2014 19 days camping 2015 17 days camping201620 days camping
Ford Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 06:02 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Can't help with meter but You shouldn't need a heavy wire like #6 to power it. There's no real load or amp draw from the display. Goodluck
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 08:25 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
Something like this for outside?
Yes, those look good. I like the price. I'm not concerned with delivery time on the outside meter because I don't need it before I leave.

Thanks



Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 08:29 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todouble View Post
Can't help with meter but You shouldn't need a heavy wire like #6 to power it.
Not so much to "power" it but I'm led to believe the readings can be off if the wire is too small. It's only a couple of feet and I'm probably moving my converter to the location where the meter will be, so that justifies the heavy wire.



Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 08:54 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
f5moab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 2,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todouble View Post
Can't help with meter but You shouldn't need a heavy wire like #6 to power it. There's no real load or amp draw from the display. Goodluck
^^^^
My Trimetric came with approx. 16 gauge (might even by 18) wire to monitor volts/amps/etc.
__________________
Trailer: Lifted 228BH, heavy duty springs and Yokohama tires DELAMINATED ROOF
TV: 2016 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 CC, SLT
Spare TV: Two Alaskan Malamutes

Living somewhere in ID; previously lived in Moab UT; previous to that, don't ask!
f5moab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 08:57 AM   #7
Canadian Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Eastern GTA, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,400
Saw this on eBay. Don't know anything about it though.
Blue Mini Digital DC 5 0V 30V LED Voltmeter Voltage Volt Panel Meter Gauge | eBay
__________________
2019 Rockwood Signature 8290BS, Reese Revolution pinbox and B&W Patriot 18K hitch
2016 Ford F-250 XLT SuperCrew, 6.2L, 4x4, 6'9" bed, 3.73, w/ snow plow & camper pkgs.
2011 Rockwood Signature 8293SS (2015 - 2018)
2010 Rockwood Roo 23SS (2012 - 2014)

itat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 12:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Todouble's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 849
Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscowles View Post
Not so much to "power" it but I'm led to believe the readings can be off if the wire is too small. It's only a couple of feet and I'm probably moving my converter to the location where the meter will be, so that justifies the heavy wire.



Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.

Never heard of that. You will have voltage drop with long runs of wire but if you say only a couple of feet your wasting your money for nothing on larger wire. Jmo
Todouble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:12 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Todouble View Post
Never heard of that. You will have voltage drop with long runs of wire but if you say only a couple of feet your wasting your money for nothing on larger wire. Jmo
OK. Yes, it's just on the other side of the front wall of the trailer, right behind the batteries. I'll postpone buying the heavier stuff until I buy/move the converter/charger, if that ever happens.

This just got delivered. I need the USB and 12v power port in the place I'm locating it. I'll use an appropriate gauge wire for the ~10A max it will carry. This table tells me that 18ga should be good. Having 16 ga on hand, I'll use that.

I don't know how accurate the VM is but it will serve reasonably for now. I'd like to get one with an alarm (and proven accuracy) but don't want to pay a lot.

Thanks

Edit: fixed hyperlink
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:20 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Ford Idaho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Idaho
Posts: 9,839
The link you just posted (this) gives a 404 error code.
__________________
2016 F350 6.7L LB CC Reese 28K 2014 Chaparral Lite 266sab
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." 2014 19 days camping 2015 17 days camping201620 days camping
Ford Idaho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:24 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,071
This should be it.....

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MODXVO8
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:26 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Idaho View Post
The link you just posted (this) gives a 404 error code.
That's weird. I pasted it directly from the browser address bar. I think I fixed it but, if not, this is it:

Wire Gauge Amps Ratings for 12 volt Automotive Systems
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:27 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by fonzie View Post
This should be it...
I think the wire gauge table was the one that was broken.
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:33 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
fonzie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 4,071
Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscowles View Post
I think the wire gauge table was the one that was broken.
No wire table was OK, it is " This" just got delivered" that did not work....
__________________
Fonzie
2011 Rockwood 8319SS with ProPride 3P hitch/GoodYear Marathons/TST TPMS 507
2019 F350 Ruby Red 6.7l diesel 3.31 axle electronic locker
Yamaha 3000iseb generator:Progressive Ind. EMS-HW30C : Eastern Ontario
Nights Camped: 2014 (18) 2015 (18) 2016 (36) 2017 (32) 2018 (42) 2019 (28) 2020 (35)
fonzie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:35 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,644
Chris...16 gauge is PLENTY for a voltmeter. You are only going to look for approximate voltages anyway since voltmeters can not show you the state of charge of an in use system. What it will tell you:
1. State of charge when you arrive ate the trailer. Assuming battery cut off was engaged.
2. Visual indication that your converter is working and at what stage of charging it is presently at. (Bulk, absorbtion or float)
3. That your batteries are or are not flat if 12V is not working.

If you want anything more...like knowing when your batteries are full or how many amp hours they are down, or state of charge during use, when they are 50% down & need a charge....you need a real battery monitor not a volt meter. See Trimetric or Victron. $150 buck range.
__________________
________
Cam
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:40 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
See Trimetric or Victron. $150 buck range.
Ouch
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 03:50 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
If you want anything more...like knowing when your batteries are full or how many amp hours they are down, or state of charge during use, when they are 50% down & need a charge....you need a real battery monitor not a volt meter. See Trimetric or Victron. $150 buck range.
OK. Looked at those. They seem oriented toward serious solar stuff with major dependence on/investment in batteries. I'm only dry camping for 3-4 days at a time, max, with a generator available to recharge.

So, having only primitive tools, how do I decide I can shut off the generator when dry camping?
__________________
- 2016 Ford F-150 SCrew Lariat RWD MaxTow
- 2020 Rockwood 2507S
chriscowles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 04:18 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
camaraderie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,644
How many batteries do you have, what size and what size is your converter in amps??
Assuming your converter provides amps equivilent to 20% of your battery bank amp hour rating ( i.e. 40 amps for 200amp hour battery bank) ... AND you never let the voltmeter drop below 12.0V IN USE... then you should be able to get to 90% charge in around 3 hours of charger time on the generator. Getting to 100% will take HOURS more and you can do that when you plug in back at home IF you are limiting yourself to 3-4 days of boondocking with nightly or daily runs of the genny for at least 3 hours. If you have a long drive home and the TT alternator charges your batts as well...then you could be charge when you get home to 100%.
To check...disconnect negative battery wire for 24 hours...then reconnect and read your voltmeter. It should read 12.6 without being plugged in to anything for 24 hours.
If not...charge it up. Under charging is a big killer of batteries just as discharging below 50% (12.2V...static reading not in use).
If you boondock a lot...the Victron will pay for itself in genny gas and maintenance and in replacement batteries that have been murdered. Otherwise...muddle through with the voltmeter...and keep the water up and don't run the batts down too far and always charge to 100% at the end of every short trip.

Most people think their batteries can power things longer than they can and don't realize the amps being used. If you don't boondock much...like me now...you don't need monitor for the occasional short stay. But if your batteries die early...you probably should consider one.
__________________
________
Cam
2015 Georgetown 280DS
2019 Vespa Primavera 150's (pair)
camaraderie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 07:16 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
RPAspey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: central PA
Posts: 978
From what i understand you're only dry camping a handful of times a year. If so, then all you need is this. I used one for years. Simple and cheap ($15). Accurate too. Get it at most auto stores.
Attached Images
 
__________________
2000 Cherokee 29BH with 6V batteries, LED lights & 400 watts of solar power, flipped axles and raised. 2007 Tundra 5.7L DC-LB with lots of mods. C-co, 8/158th AVN Maint.
RPAspey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 10:48 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 438
I installed something like this.... $10
Digital LCD Voltmeter Ammeter Panel Amp Volt Meter AC 80 300V 100A Dual Display | eBay
Many availble on e-Bay.
MartyQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 12:47 AM.