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Old 03-01-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Lithium and inverter charger upgrades Flagstaff 21DS

Upgrading the power systems of my 2021 21DS. Long post, fair amount of photos.

Changed over to four Renogy 100Ah lithium batteries, Renogy 3000W inverter charger, Renogy 40A DC2DC charger, and prepped for 400W solar that is coming soon (hopefully before my upcoming trip)

The batteries are moved to under the jackknife sofa (with an acrylic cover I bent with a heatgun) and that is also where I installed the inverter charger. Obviously this means getting the primary AC and DC into that area. Using watertight exterior conduit I ran a pair of 10/2 romex from the passenger side passthrough to the kitchen cabinet. I took the main feed from the shore wire and connected it to the inverter charger. Then the inverter charger to the main breaker.

Since the Rengory unit has bypass feature and a built-in transfer switch, there is no additional transfer switch or sub panel required. However, this does mean that the invert function does give me 120VAC on all circuits so I have to be aware of my power consumption when not on shore power.

The parallel connections along the batteries as well as the connections to the inverter charger are hand built 4/0 with copper terminals. Positive runs from batteries to my "control panel" through a GoPower 300A T-fuse then to a 350A marine cutoff and to the inverter charger. Negative runs through an AiLi 350A shunt I had already.

So how to get the 12V system covered? Well I ran four 6 AWG and two 8 AWG through the floor in the passthrough (outside the frame rails also). One 8 AWG was for the invert charger ground. The other is for the constant 12V that was present already for breakaway and propane/CO sensors. It is connected to the factory battery disconnect where the factory constant 12v+ was provided. The output of that factory switch was moved into the junction box described below

The four 6 AWG go along the frame, across the front crossmember and up the tongue with the factory wiring.

One red/black pair goes to a 6x6x4 PVC junction box that I added two single terminal posts to and bolted to the original battery supports. Watertight cable glands are used. The other pair runs forward and matched the length of the factory 7-way plug. It has an Anderson connector and is for the DC2DC.

My control panel has another cutoff switch for the positive line to the junction box. This was so everything in the trailer operates as if I was using the cutoff on the tongue.

On the control panel are 4 post distribution blocks, two 40A breakers (DC2DC and solar), BT-2, a 12V to 5V transformer with USB A end for the LevelMatePro+, and a SolidRemote wireless box for remote control of LED strips I have on both side compartments and along the main passthrough.

In place of the factory battery box is a Tractor Supply crossover toolbox which gives more general storage in the passthrough area with the batteries and inverter charger than without when I had to store blocks, chocks, chains, lubes, etc.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:11 PM   #2
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Next to the DC2DC will be a solar charge controller, hopefully soon.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:50 PM   #3
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Here is the Anderson for the DC2DC and the empty space where the factory converter was removed.
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:41 PM   #4
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What does the truck side of the DC2DC charger look like? I really think this is something that I want to add.
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Old 03-03-2021, 01:51 PM   #5
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Very nicely done! I went with the Renogy 50 amp DC-DC charger with the built in solar controller. Is there a particular reason you didn't go with that DC-DC?
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:08 PM   #6
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Very impressive, neat, and well organized mod. Looks like you'll be ready for anything. Nice job!
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:11 PM   #7
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Very nicely done! I went with the Renogy 50 amp DC-DC charger with the built in solar controller. Is there a particular reason you didn't go with that DC-DC?
I was looking at that unit but then realized there is little additional cost having two separate units ($60) however there is peace of mind that if one unit fails I can still efficiently charge from the other system. The cleanliness of a single unit would be nice but I am not hurting for space and it's not visible at all.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:21 PM   #8
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What does the truck side of the DC2DC charger look like? I really think this is something that I want to add.
It's another Anderson connector on a 90* mount I found online, screwed to the underside of the bumper. The negative is connected to a bumper bolt. The positive follows the main harness along the driver side frame rail and goes into the engine compartment. There is a 60A breaker I added above the fender and then to the second battery (its a diesel)
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:21 PM   #9
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What does the truck side of the DC2DC charger look like? I really think this is something that I want to add.
This is nearly identical to my setup. The "Truck Side" of the DC2DC charger is merely two wires from the anderson connector at the rear bumper (to mate with the one shown in the pic) up to the starting battery. I used #8awg marine type duplex wire (two conductors in a heavy jacket like romex but no ground wire) zip-tied to the factory under chassis wire harness, all the way to the battery. Installed a 50 amp ANL fuse (my dc-dc charger is only 20 amp) in the positive wire at the battery and connected the negative directly to the negative terminal clamp bolt.

It's just a matter of connecting the DC-DC charger to the 12 volt charging source.

Just be prepared to lay on your back while securing the wire and don't be surprised if your puppy licks you in the ear while doing it
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:06 PM   #10
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It's another Anderson connector on a 90* mount I found online, screwed to the underside of the bumper. The negative is connected to a bumper bolt. The positive follows the main harness along the driver side frame rail and goes into the engine compartment. There is a 60A breaker I added above the fender and then to the second battery (its a diesel)

I have been looking for a bumper mount for my Anderson plug and can't find one except in Australia and they don't export to the USA. Do you happen to remember the make?
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:11 PM   #11
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I have been looking for a bumper mount for my Anderson plug and can't find one except in Australia and they don't export to the USA. Do you happen to remember the make?
Here is the one I used for the 50A plug I have, I just drilled two holes on the larger flat area to mount to the bumper with self tappers

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GY9BNV5

There is s nicer one for the 175A plug if that is what you are using

https://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Fe.../dp/B0818LVP8W

And the same Trailer Vision type for 50A (which I am thinking about changing to since its nicer than my current setup)

https://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Fe.../dp/B07ZX27CPZ

Trailer Vision is the Australia brand you are talking about I think. So it looks like there is a distributor here selling their stuff
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jbflag21ds View Post
Upgrading the power systems of my 2021 21DS. Long post, fair amount of photos.

Changed over to four Renogy 100Ah lithium batteries, Renogy 3000W inverter charger, Renogy 40A DC2DC charger, and prepped for 400W solar that is coming soon (hopefully before my upcoming trip)

The batteries are moved to under the jackknife sofa (with an acrylic cover I bent with a heatgun) and that is also where I installed the inverter charger. Obviously this means getting the primary AC and DC into that area. Using watertight exterior conduit I ran a pair of 10/2 romex from the passenger side passthrough to the kitchen cabinet. I took the main feed from the shore wire and connected it to the inverter charger. Then the inverter charger to the main breaker.

Since the Rengory unit has bypass feature and a built-in transfer switch, there is no additional transfer switch or sub panel required. However, this does mean that the invert function does give me 120VAC on all circuits so I have to be aware of my power consumption when not on shore power.

The parallel connections along the batteries as well as the connections to the inverter charger are hand built 4/0 with copper terminals. Positive runs from batteries to my "control panel" through a GoPower 300A T-fuse then to a 350A marine cutoff and to the inverter charger. Negative runs through an AiLi 350A shunt I had already.

So how to get the 12V system covered? Well I ran four 6 AWG and two 8 AWG through the floor in the passthrough (outside the frame rails also). One 8 AWG was for the invert charger ground. The other is for the constant 12V that was present already for breakaway and propane/CO sensors. It is connected to the factory battery disconnect where the factory constant 12v+ was provided. The output of that factory switch was moved into the junction box described below

The four 6 AWG go along the frame, across the front crossmember and up the tongue with the factory wiring.

One red/black pair goes to a 6x6x4 PVC junction box that I added two single terminal posts to and bolted to the original battery supports. Watertight cable glands are used. The other pair runs forward and matched the length of the factory 7-way plug. It has an Anderson connector and is for the DC2DC.

My control panel has another cutoff switch for the positive line to the junction box. This was so everything in the trailer operates as if I was using the cutoff on the tongue.

On the control panel are 4 post distribution blocks, two 40A breakers (DC2DC and solar), BT-2, a 12V to 5V transformer with USB A end for the LevelMatePro+, and a SolidRemote wireless box for remote control of LED strips I have on both side compartments and along the main passthrough.

In place of the factory battery box is a Tractor Supply crossover toolbox which gives more general storage in the passthrough area with the batteries and inverter charger than without when I had to store blocks, chocks, chains, lubes, etc.
Nice setup.

One problem I had was the heat from my Inverter/Charger. With a Nominal Efficiency: > 90% Peak, 10% is heat. My Inverter/Charger is in a baggage compartment & I had to install a fan to exhaust the heat.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:51 PM   #13
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Nice setup.

One problem I had was the heat from my Inverter/Charger. With a Nominal Efficiency: > 90% Peak, 10% is heat. My Inverter/Charger is in a baggage compartment & I had to install a fan to exhaust the heat.
My trailer has a murphy bed and there is a 5" gap behind the jackknife to let any heat dissipate into the trailer space itself. I don't need to run the inverter long when the bed is down. I guess I'll see how it goes once it gets hot this summer, but then I am usually on shore power for the regular AC use.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:32 PM   #14
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... In place of the factory battery box is a Tractor Supply crossover toolbox ...
Can you provide a link or item number?
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:08 PM   #15
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Can you provide a link or item number?
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...4?cm_vc=-10005
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:24 PM   #16
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Thanks. Nice box, but ouch.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:46 PM   #17
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Thanks. Nice box, but ouch.
Given what I've spent so far on the power side, that didn't add much overall

But it gave me back so much storage space in the passthrough areas. Two stacks of levelers, tire chains, box of spray lubes and small parts, ice\snow brush, x-chocks, 4 regular chocks, flares, folding shovel, plus a small area for hutch pins, clips and such.

Oh yeah, my sway control bar, WDH bars and the head itself all fit in it too.

Of course you need to move the factory battery box, which is an entirely separate project, unless you use part of the tool box for the batteries, but that seems wasteful to me
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Renogy bits: 3000W Inverter/Charger, 400Ah LiFePo4, 40A DC-to-DC
Rich Solar bits: 400W of panels, 40A MPPT
Misc bits: LevelMatePro+, SolidRemote based wireless controlled LED storage lighting
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:12 AM   #18
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Here is the one I used for the 50A plug I have, I just drilled two holes on the larger flat area to mount to the bumper with self tappers

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GY9BNV5

There is s nicer one for the 175A plug if that is what you are using

https://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Fe.../dp/B0818LVP8W

And the same Trailer Vision type for 50A (which I am thinking about changing to since its nicer than my current setup)

https://www.amazon.com/Automotive-Fe.../dp/B07ZX27CPZ

Trailer Vision is the Australia brand you are talking about I think. So it looks like there is a distributor here selling their stuff
Thank out so very much. It "shakes me" (LOL) how much time I spent Googling Anderson mounting devices and nothing came up in the USA. For some reason, I over designed and went with the 175A Andersons.

I originally was going to do what you did, but finally arbitrarily decided to go with a 200A solar generator that I keep in the back of my truck. It will be plugged in and charging whenever the truck is moving. When at camp, I will plug it in via 110v to the shore power receptacle.
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