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Old 06-13-2018, 01:21 PM   #1
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Re-wire '04 Journey36G

Getting ready for an eventual swap to a residential fridge. We "boondock" when we go to canine events, which is our main use for the Journey at the moment. so there are a few supporting measures to cut down on generator use. Some rewiring, a bit of solar(700w), a new inverter(ME-2800?) and more batteries are on the horizon, but first the rewire.

I recall a post from Jeff (SCVJeff) about cleaning up the wire runs on his Meridian, and I intend to mirror the basics--heavier wire, shunt, distribution blocks and only two wires (+, -) to the battery. That last bit brings up the question. There are 4 wires main cables to the batteries now. Looking at the diagrams, it appears that one pair is from the inverter, while the other negative goes to a chassis ground and the second positive is dedicated to the aux battery solenoid (alllll the way up in front).

Is there any reason why the chassis ground and aux solenoid positive cannot be connected to positive and negative busses and only have one pair of wires to the batteries? I know it can be done--Jeff did it, but what are the downsides/considerations? Mostly just looking for cleanup and the ability to shunt all of the negatives for a battery monitor.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:35 AM   #2
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Huh, can't edit. Inverter would be one of the MS series, either a 2000 or a 2800
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cloudrnnr View Post
Is there any reason why the chassis ground and aux solenoid positive cannot be connected to positive and negative busses and only have one pair of wires to the batteries? I know it can be done--Jeff did it, but what are the downsides/considerations? Mostly just looking for cleanup and the ability to shunt all of the negatives for a battery monitor.
I don't see any downside on the positive side as long as everything is properly sized for the maximum total current flowing between the buss and the battery. I'm not certain but a direct connection from the negative pole of the battery bank to the chassis may be a safety item.

Post a photo when you're done so we can see how it turned out.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:29 AM   #4
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I'm not certain but a direct connection from the negative pole of the battery bank to the chassis may be a safety item.
Bob, currently, the battery bank is connected directly to the chassis ground from the factory install.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:36 AM   #5
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Is there any reason why the chassis ground and aux solenoid positive cannot be connected to positive and negative busses and only have one pair of wires to the batteries? I know it can be done--Jeff did it, but what are the downsides/considerations? Mostly just looking for cleanup and the ability to shunt all of the negatives for a battery monitor.
There is no reason not to do this. Just make sure you use large enough wire size for the length of wire from the bus bars to the batteries.

Link to wire size calculator: Voltage Drop Calculator - for single and 3 phase ac systems and dc systems
Max current for 2000 watt inverter is about 180amps, for the 2800 about 230amps.



As you probably are already aware, all the loads must go the the load side of the shunt, and a single cable from the shunt to the batteries. You really don't have to relocate the positive wiring.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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Al, thanks for the inputs. Yes, knew about the negatives on the shunt for monitoring. The positive is just battery cleanup and setting up a bus to take a solar charging lead as well. Magnum lists a max output of 373 for the 2800, but only suggests a 250amp fuse for protection. Not really sure I need the 2800--we do fine with our Dimensions 2000, just looking at the eventual add of a residential fridge. We have no problem managing loads between microwave and fridge.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:10 AM   #7
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Al, thanks for the inputs. Yes, knew about the negatives on the shunt for monitoring. The positive is just battery cleanup and setting up a bus to take a solar charging lead as well. Magnum lists a max output of 373 for the 2800, but only suggests a 250amp fuse for protection. Not really sure I need the 2800--we do fine with our Dimensions 2000, just looking at the eventual add of a residential fridge. We have no problem managing loads between microwave and fridge.
A max draw of 373 amps of 12V DC from the batteries is strange for a 2800 Watt inverter. The number of amps is equal to watts divided by volts. 2800/12=233 amps. Or am I miss understanding what you wrote? 233 amps would account for the 250amp fuse.

As you are thinking of installing a residential fridge, keep in mind that the daily (24 hour) total amp hours (AH) of that fridge will be in the range of 150AH to over 200AH. If you are going to dry camp or boondock you will want 400AH (600AH would be better) of battery dedicated to just the fridge, not taking into account any other power usage. Also the requirement to get those amps back into the batteries on a daily basis.
If you are just traveling between RV Parks with elect hookups, then you don't need nearly as much battery and charging.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:04 AM   #8
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Al, The AH usage on the residential (probably a Samsung RF18), is what is driving the whole "upgrade" scenario. That includes 4 new Crown batteries and the solar. Our "boondock" time is limited to our time at canine events, and there isn't a restriction on generator use other than my own aversion to the noise and fumes. We're typically running it a few hours a day for AC to keep the dogs cool anyway.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:25 PM   #9
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"so there are a few supporting measures to cut down on generator use."

Consider changing your goal to "on a sunny day our solar system will refill all our batteries making the generator unnecessary except for AC if needed." A adequate solar system can handle a residential fridge.
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cloudrnnr View Post
Getting ready for an eventual swap to a residential fridge. We "boondock" when we go to canine events, which is our main use for the Journey at the moment. so there are a few supporting measures to cut down on generator use. Some rewiring, a bit of solar(700w), a new inverter(ME-2800?) and more batteries are on the horizon, but first the rewire.

I recall a post from Jeff (SCVJeff) about cleaning up the wire runs on his Meridian, and I intend to mirror the basics--heavier wire, shunt, distribution blocks and only two wires (+, -) to the battery. That last bit brings up the question. There are 4 wires main cables to the batteries now. Looking at the diagrams, it appears that one pair is from the inverter, while the other negative goes to a chassis ground and the second positive is dedicated to the aux battery solenoid (alllll the way up in front).

Is there any reason why the chassis ground and aux solenoid positive cannot be connected to positive and negative busses and only have one pair of wires to the batteries? I know it can be done--Jeff did it, but what are the downsides/considerations? Mostly just looking for cleanup and the ability to shunt all of the negatives for a battery monitor.

Check out these guys: https://www.donrowe.com/Magnum-Energy-s/1821.htm


You want the MS (pure sine wave) not the ME (modified sine wave). With the correct inverter controller combination you will have a great setup.



Please note that Magnum support is not what it once was. Donrowe is a better place to get questions answered.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:54 AM   #11
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I always ask the question Why do you want a residential refrigerator vs a Propane Dometic. The energy management of a residential refer is trivial if you are "always" hooked up to shore power but it is a royal pain if you truly want to boondock. You will typically have more money invested in solar panels, charge controllers, batteries and very heavy DC wiring than the cost of your refrigerator. Regards
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Old 06-21-2018, 12:15 PM   #12
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I always ask the question Why do you want a residential refrigerator vs a Propane Dometic. The energy management of a residential refer is trivial if you are "always" hooked up to shore power but it is a royal pain if you truly want to boondock. You will typically have more money invested in solar panels, charge controllers, batteries and very heavy DC wiring than the cost of your refrigerator. Regards
Exactly.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:24 PM   #13
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I always ask the question Why do you want a residential refrigerator vs a Propane Dometic. The energy management of a residential refer is trivial if you are "always" hooked up to shore power but it is a royal pain if you truly want to boondock. You will typically have more money invested in solar panels, charge controllers, batteries and very heavy DC wiring than the cost of your refrigerator. Regards
1. Fire concerns (overblown, I know, but still paranoid)
2. Poor performance. Even with fans, ducting, etc, still not great as a fridge.
3. Current Norcold 1200 has bad door seals. Refuse to spend $2000 for new doors, or $3500 for another Norcold.

My preference would be for an AC/DC Compressor unit, but I haven't found one that fits the space and gives us the size DW wants at this point. Yes, the cost will be high for solar and batteries--but I will eventually be doing that anyway.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:26 PM   #14
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Check out these guys: https://www.donrowe.com/Magnum-Energy-s/1821.htm


You want the MS (pure sine wave) not the ME (modified sine wave). With the correct inverter controller combination you will have a great setup.



Please note that Magnum support is not what it once was. Donrowe is a better place to get questions answered.
I meant MS, just forgot to go back and edit. Agree that Donrowe has a wealth of information, although Magnum did answer my questions via email within 24 hours.
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