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Old 01-08-2020, 08:30 AM   #1
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Angry Upgrade batteries for 2018 Winnebago View

I have added a 3rd solar panel & replaced the original NAPA 12 volt batteries with 2 high Amp Hour 6 volt batteries in series.
The Norcold refrigerator runs 24/7 when camping without hookups in State & National forests & parks is draining the batteries without running anything else overnight.
As a last resort, I am considering adding 2 more 6 volt (total of 4) batteries in series.
Has anyone done this or have any advice on this workaround to this problem?
Will the stock converter need to be changed?
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:20 AM   #2
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Howdy Hammerhead! I’m interested in adding a 3rd solar panel - what did you choose (make/watts/location) and how did you install it?
With respect to the fridge, I also had the same fridge issue and chose to go the way of Lithium batteries to enable getting much more power out of the batteries. Just installed them (just posted a long diatribe of the event) and am planning a test. Will let you know how it goes.
FYI, before I made the change I was able to make the old lead-acid batteries last one night by setting the fridge at setting “3” and packing the freezer with ice (frozen water bottles mostly) and packing the fridge with as many water bottles as would fit.
What setting do you use on the fridge?
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
I have added a 3rd solar panel & replaced the original NAPA 12 volt batteries with 2 high Amp Hour 6 volt batteries in series.
The Norcold refrigerator runs 24/7 when camping without hookups in State & National forests & parks is draining the batteries without running anything else overnight.
As a last resort, I am considering adding 2 more 6 volt (total of 4) batteries in series.
Has anyone done this or have any advice on this workaround to this problem?
Will the stock converter need to be changed?
It's a dilemma with the Norcold fridge. The best solution is probably to replace the fridge with a better one that draws less power. Some have done that. Novacool comes to mind, but there may be others.
Failing that, more power is the only thing I could come up with. Added the 3rd flat Zamp panel, and swapped in 2 Relion 100Ah lithiums for the factory Napa 8240s. I have yet to really test this setup but I will assume the results will be better, too.
Your PD 9245 should do the charging job fine, but you might want to add the Charge Wizard Pendant to manually bump the rate of charge to the max when more shore or generator power is available. It works well with my setup, when needed.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:09 PM   #4
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Another member has posted on this extensively - kayak73.

Here are two of those threads but I think there are others:

http://www.winnieowners.com/forums/f...4d-351663.html

http://www.winnieowners.com/forums/f...le-354516.html
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
I have added a 3rd solar panel & replaced the original NAPA 12 volt batteries with 2 high Amp Hour 6 volt batteries in series.
The Norcold refrigerator runs 24/7 when camping without hookups in State & National forests & parks is draining the batteries without running anything else overnight.
As a last resort, I am considering adding 2 more 6 volt (total of 4) batteries in series.
Has anyone done this or have any advice on this workaround to this problem?
Will the stock converter need to be changed?
Is the Norcold both 110volt and 12 volt? I have a Danby residential which only has 110 volt. Haven't done any dry excursions overnight so not sure how the napa batteries will hold up. I have 200 watts of solar on my Vita. And a 1000 watt true sign inverter. The inverter alone draws .7 amps with no load.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:45 AM   #6
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jcurtisis I used the Zamp Solar ZS-EX-100F-DX 100W flexible panel to add to the original 2 panels that came with the View. I installed it on the roof next to the 2 existing ones.
Let me know how your Lithium batteries last with the 24/7 drain from the Norcold refrigerator.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:58 AM   #7
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Winterbagoal I would love to know how the Lithium batteries work for you, before I make the decision to add 2 additional 6 volt batteries and all that will entail, along with losing valuable storage space.
Good advice, I have already installed the Charge Wizard Pendant for the PD9245C 45 Amp Converter/Charger to switch to Boost Mode.
Will the PD9245C work with the 2 Relion 100Ah lithiums you installed?
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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Thanks; apparently Zamp no longer sells those - they have gone to an “obsidian” product line. Haven’t done any comparisons yet...
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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Will let you know how the test with new LI batteries goes!
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:00 AM   #10
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For grins I replaced the PD9245 with a Li specific charger, PD9145 ALV. This charger is specific for LiFeP04 and will put out 45 amps and taper slightly but recharge time is about 30 to 45 minutes before 0 amp output to the batteries for a fairly normal days use. Actually I left the original PD9245 in place but it no longer is the charger. The PD9145ALV is really hot and the entire charger amps are available to make it a very short generator run when boondocked. I checked the charging amps many times with my Fluke and was really impressed how little time it takes and that I see real 45 amps going into the batteries. When you see 0 amps output the Li batts are charged - and it happens fast. Just flip off the circuit breaker for the OEM PD9245 and leave it off.

The other thought is get those flexi panels off the roof of your RV ASAP. The longer they remain installed the more heat damage you will have to the fiberglass roof. Mine were fairly opaque anyway and fading fast.

Refrigerator is still running just fine, no issues. Battle Borns are fine.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:47 PM   #11
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Bill, I spoke with the Winnebago customer service people just now and asked them about damage to the roof from the Zamp flexi-panels. The person I spoke to said he has never heard of this being a problem. As the roof has a 10 year warranty and any such damage caused by an OEM installation on the roof, they would be most interested if such a thing was a problem.
Soooo...just wondering how you came to the conclusion that the panels were damaging the roof?
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:54 PM   #12
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A related thread...
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=79619

There's another one out there with some pics, but I couldn't find it. Bill will know where it's at.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:24 PM   #13
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Thanks- tried to register so I could see the picture of the damaged area but I wasn’t allowed to join (what?). Sent a mote to the administrator- we’ll see. Interesting that the event was several years ago and there aren’t a bunch of problems being noted since then.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:49 AM   #14
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Didn't really want to alarm you but removing those flexi panels is a good idea. My roof was yellow underneath as well and that seems to be normal. There is more than one reason WGO no longer ships the rigs with flexi panels and Zamp no longer makes/sells them. If you climb up on a sunny day they are so hot you can't touch them. The one that did not fail early in ownership turned opaque in about 18 months, really opaque.

If you have visions of warranty correction by WGO take it to a WGO dealer to have them removed to get it documented. At my age I just don't have time to try that as a possible solution. There will likely be damage to the roof from heat and removal of the goo they are stuck down with.

It's up to the owner of course but I don't really think the roof warranty will cover this, YMMV. Flexi panels just don't work for me, warranty stuff is really a pain and my general feeling is you bought it - you own it in the world of RV dealings. Many solar installation shops know about this issue and most do not install flexi panels. There are ways to install them to prevent the heat damage and there are a few flexi panels made to be long term solutions but these were not.

A solution that really works is the LiFeP04 batteries, a good charger and a few short generator runs every day of boondock.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:40 AM   #15
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Thanks for your perspective. I have installed two Battle Borne 10012 LI 100 A-H batteries and am getting a device to reduce the power draw of the Propane cutoff valve (from 20 to ~3.5 A-H/day). Current Zamp panels still working fine and I’m just not ready to change them until needed (still have 8 years on roof warranty). I don’t know if I need a third panel yet (need to test how well the LI batteries do with the current setup).

I am interested in cutting out as much of the parasitic load as possible, and the last one I know of is the radio/cd/dvd player by the front door that is “always on” - need to put a power switch on that. Have you done this already, and if so, which wire in back is the power lead?
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:31 PM   #16
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Try running the refrigerator on propane. The rest will take care of itself. I have the same set-up that you use and have no problems with batteries and charging. The difference is that I simply use propane for the refrigerator. Air must be off the generator as is microwave and coffee maker. Outside those natural energy hogs, your setup will function just fine. When you need heat use the propane as well. 5
I generally run all electrical stuff all night until bedtime except as noted above
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:37 PM   #17
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Refrigerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonie View Post
Try running the refrigerator on propane. The rest will take care of itself. I have the same set-up that you use and have no problems with batteries and charging. The difference is that I simply use propane for the refrigerator. Air must be off the generator as is microwave and coffee maker. Outside those natural energy hogs, your setup will function just fine. When you need heat use the propane as well. 5
I generally run all electrical stuff all night until bedtime except as noted above
Moonie
Unfortunately my refrigerator ONLY runs on electricity.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:27 PM   #18
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>>>Unfortunately my refrigerator ONLY runs on electricity.<<<


This is why I will not upgrade to a newer motorhome. I mostly dry camp often for a week at a time and I don't want to add the expense of more solar panels, lithium batteries, etc., to run an all electric refrigerator. My old fashioned 120v/12v/propane unit keeps everything cold in both refer and freezer. I'd like to upgrade to the new Mercedes chassis but since Winnebago does not offer the option of the "old" style refrigerator they have lost my business for the foreseeable future.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:37 PM   #19
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For what it’s worth, I changed out the original four 12v batts for six 6-volt batteries, and we run our residential fridge for better part of a day on battery, have to start generator to charge up when the voltage drops. Working fine. There are old posts on the questions/answers that I went thru. Next project is adding a reasonable solar system to help extend our run time between charges.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #20
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Yes, going from 12v to 6v batteries does provide more available power. I just went with the “top of the heap” LI batteries as (1) I only have room for two without making big changes, (2) I didn’t want to add more weight, and (3) I didn’t want to keep checking water levels. Battery weight is actually 20 Lbs less now! Next up is a test of the batteries overnight running the refrigerator. I have temperature sensors for both the freezer and fridge (with max/min read outs) so I will get a good idea of how everything operates.
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