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Old 07-15-2019, 07:58 PM   #21
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OK, so I did the switchover this past Saturday, with moderate results. I was only able to hook up 4 of the 6 T-105’s. As it turns out, the terminal posts on the batteries are just a bit too short to allow the thickness of three 4/0 cable lugs and get the nut started on the post.

I recall in the thread that someone warned me that this could be an issue. That person was spot on.

I did reduce the number of cables to the battery by wiring positives from the coach to a long post hub that I installed on the wall of the battery compartment, and for the negatives, hung a 500A shunt on the wall (for my next project - a Trimetric monitor). Still, I have one Pos and one Neg connection point that have three cables to them (the two battery interconnects, and the one coming from the wall mounted devices).

After hooking the batteries up, I turned everything back on, and changed the power control for the battery type. The system diagnostics looked good, and the charger went to absorb mode to charge up the new batteries. It was pulling quite a few amps at first, then gradually that decreased until it finally got to the normal float charge mode. Seems to be fine.

So, this week, I am searching for ideas to “make more room on the post”, which will allow jumpering in the remaining 2 batteries. I would like to get this done this weekend, so I have a little time to check how long I can go on battery before charging, and how long it takes to charge up with generator. With 6 batteries, I should have about 660 Ah (330 Ah usable) which I hope will get me the luxury of 12 hrs operation without starting the generator. We are headed to a 4 day music festival, so times for when I charge up are somewhat limited. We can always use coolers/ice as a backup to running the 120V fridge.

So far, ideas I have:

1- a steel bolt extender from hardware store, and a longer 5/16” bolt
2- a fosgate post extension (but they don’t list hole/bolt diam. Online or website)
3- an Odyssey L bracket post adaptor (which I hope is copper), or
4- 1/8” thick x 1” wide copper bar stock, which I would have to drill, cut and bend.

Trojan battery tech support indicated a copper L bracket would do the trick.

Any further thoughts?

John
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:59 PM   #22
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As far as the charging of the batteries with the generator. This is dependent on many variables, so it will be a learning curve. This is what the Trimetric will tell you. I.E. how many amp hours have you used, and how many AH's have you put back in. If you have used 50% of your 660AH (i.e used 330AH) and when the Trimetric is showing you are back to 100% full then you will know how long it took.
Some of this depends on how many amps your charging system puts out.

Keep in mind putting 330AH back into your big battery bank may take 8-10 hours of generator run time. Even putting 200AH back in may take 4 to 6 hours of gen run time.

The charging of your batteries is a much different topic from the original topic about wiring new batteries. Also much more difficult to answer than battery wiring.
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:44 AM   #23
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Al. Glad you are keeping in touch on this. I read an Onan manual that said that with a 100A charger (which my inverter/charger provides), that it will take 4.2 hours to charge up from 60% battery charge to reach float charge stage. If true, the 40% used up to get to 60% charge would be about 264Ahr. The fridge says it draws 6.5A max, and I would say it runs maybe 50% of the time when its hot outside....so in 12 hrs, this should only be 6.5 x 12 x 0.5 = 39Ahr used, leaving plenty for other devices. My hope is that during 12 hrs, the batteries will only discharge to maybe 75-80%, which would decrease the generator charging time.

As for the connection to the battery, I will be using a copper L bracket that I make from bar stock.


Unfortunately, I wont have time to install the Trimetric until after the music festival we are going to next week (still working full time till retirement at end of year). I still haven't researched how to get the wiring from the battery compartment up and into the coach to a convenient location. I like to plan things out before I do them, and then just do them till done.

Thanks for the info.



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Old 07-16-2019, 04:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Vista View Post
Al. Glad you are keeping in touch on this. I read an Onan manual that said that with a 100A charger (which my inverter/charger provides), that it will take 4.2 hours to charge up from 60% battery charge to reach float charge stage. If true, the 40% used up to get to 60% charge would be about 264Ahr. The fridge says it draws 6.5A max, and I would say it runs maybe 50% of the time when its hot outside....so in 12 hrs, this should only be 6.5 x 12 x 0.5 = 39Ahr used, leaving plenty for other devices. My hope is that during 12 hrs, the batteries will only discharge to maybe 75-80%, which would decrease the generator charging time.

As for the connection to the battery, I will be using a copper L bracket that I make from bar stock.


Unfortunately, I wont have time to install the Trimetric until after the music festival we are going to next week (still working full time till retirement at end of year). I still haven't researched how to get the wiring from the battery compartment up and into the coach to a convenient location. I like to plan things out before I do them, and then just do them till done.

Thanks for the info.



I believe you said you have a residential fridge, so the 6.5amps is at 120V AC. So the 12V amps would be 78 amps at max load.

Chances are the fridge won't be running at max load. Maybe only when the compressor starts will it be at 6.5A AC, then only for a second or two. The compressor running will probably be more like 3-4 amps AC, or 36-48amps at 12V DC.
The exact numbers will show when you have a monitor, or if you have a multi meter that has a "clamp on" probe that reads DC amps so you can check the current at the battery lead.

I believe for your planning purposes, plan on your fridge using 150AH in 24 hours. The AH numbers I have see (w/o any supporting documentation) in forums is a residential fridge draws from about 100AH to about 200AH in 24 hours. The smaller number is for smaller fridges, like 9-10 cu ft and the higher number are for the 20 cu ft or maybe larger.

Note, for your inverter/charger to put out the 100amps you will have to configure it so it knows you have 660AH of battery.
Even then you may not get the full 100A. Also don't plan on having that 100A continuously. Typically a charger will start at say the 100 amps. Within 15-30 minutes it will drop to 95 amps maybe 90 amps and in a couple of hours you will see more like 50 amps or lower. In 3-4 hours it will probably be down to 15-10 amps.

Here is a link which goes into great detail the charging of lead acid batteries. It is pretty technical. The key is to scan all the words until you get down to a caption for 20 minutes, then 1 hour followed by 2 hours. While his charging started out at about 40 amps, in 2 hours it was down to about 7 amps. https://marinehowto.com/how-fast-can...ry-be-charged/
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:44 PM   #25
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Al,
Every time you post that link to the battery charge test I am compelled to click and study it again. That is absolutely the best charging explanation I have seen on the net and he uses the terms I know, BULK, Absorption, Float and Equalize. Like he states, I wish the industry would follow that common terminology.


It can't be overstated but the worst part is it makes me want to spend that cash on those LiFeP04 batteries because it is so very difficult to get mine back to FULL while boondocked. Clearly explains why so many folks wind up replacing batteries every two years and not five. I will be shocked if I get five years on this set of very good batteries but I will try or just give up and go lithium.


Yes the converters and charger/inverters are far better today than 15 years ago but, like the man said, they are really dumb and it takes a lot of work to keep batteries healthy. Work meaning attention to detail, SOC, equalize etc.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:36 AM   #26
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About Fridge power usage. In May we dry camped and tested a couple of methodologies for preserving battery power. One night, with not a lot of planning or thought I must say, we charged the batteries with our generator up to 99% SOC. Then when we went to bed for the evening I turned off the inverter. This killed the fridge, out internet router and a few phone chargers.

When we woke in the morning the fridge was just as cold as when we went to bed. The temp gauge on the fridge showed 37 in the fridge and 2 in the freezer.

Our SOC that morning was 91%.

Why so low? It was in the low 50's that night and we had our heater set at 63, so it came on during the night.

What I don't know is if the cold night air is what made the "test" so successful or if it was the fridge's insulation and all the cold food and not being opened during the night - keeping all the cold air in.

Perhaps a few days before your trip, when the RV is being set up for the trip, you could get the fridge cold and then turn off the power overnight to see what happens in Summer conditions one night.

Just a thought.

PS. As has been said in this thread. A Battery Monitor Kit is pretty much mandatory for anything more than a day of dry camping. You can't make decisions without it. Unless you can run a generator any time you wish.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:08 AM   #27
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I can see that on a really cool night in May but our little fridge is not nearly as well insulated as a typical residential unit, just the way it is. I added a little in the rear but could not get extra on the sides etc.


With the dual charging interaction in my components known and workarounds in place I can get back to nearly 95% regardless, if the sun is good I can get into almost 1 amp or sometimes less charge in absorption - not too bad - with good sun. Otherwise the generator is running a lot.


My rebuild of the solar install is off the table until cooler weather, just way too hot outside here to get out and do that work. No doubt I need another panel etc. and wire run corrections and a lot of work to get good solar. The goal is to hear a whole lot less diesel generator run time as you know. I hate taking the little Honda 2000 along but right now for a long stay it is a good bet.


There have been many good suggestions given and advice is taken gladly. I still haven't given up on the 24volt panels but they are usually too big to fit on my roof - still looking.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:48 PM   #28
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Reporting in - we dry camped for 5 days, trying out the new battery system........and the system worked fine. Had to run the generator every day for several hours, but that was expected. We got 12 - 14 hrs of power, with the batteries reading at 12.2V or above when we started charging (once we were at 12.1V before charging).

Glad I made the changeover - I think it gave us the Ahr. cushion we needed for this trip.

Thanks again for all the help. John
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