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Electronics Upgrade On The Motorhome (Read 3115 times)
 
Jan 29th, 2018 at 7:27pm

Derek   Offline
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Been a busy couple of weeks but the work is now finished.

Started with adding 2 X 150 watt solar panels to the roof to give me 420 watts total with the original 120 watt panel. When running the new cables I added an Anderson plug inside one of the lockers so that I can attach a 120 watt portable panel. I did use a couple of the brackets that were already on the roof hence the panels looking higglety pigglety.

Starting on the inside, second photo showing how under the bed looked

I built a ply bracket to hold a 30 amp DC2DC Enerdrive Charger and a 40 amp 230 volt Enerdrive Charger

On the wall above the fridge I installed a Victron BMV700 Battery Monitor. The reason I chose the Victron is that I have had them before and understand them. In the photo you can see it putting in 17.8 amps from the solar. This was on a partially cloudy day

My testing today after running the batteries down a little bit was 22 amps going in from the solar and 27 amps from the vehicle. Very pleased with that but I need to run the batteries right down to test it fully.

I have also installed a Sirocco Fan and an additional single power point that has two USB chargers built in. The USB chargers operate off the batteries and not the mains power.

Biggest issue I had was running new cables for both chargers. I am sure Jayco install all the wiring when the vehicle is half built and put everything over the top of them. Persistence pays off however.

I did run new 8 B&S for the solar and drilling that hole in the roof was another thing. Measure 20 times, drill once. Smile

Happily I am now set up much much better than the original Jayco system for free camping.

Tasmania here we come
 

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Reply #1 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 6:41am

Cactus   Offline
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Very neat and tidy.
 

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Reply #2 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 8:23am

Gromet   Offline
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You are a clever little camper arnt you  Smiley
 
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Reply #3 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 4:12pm

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Well thought out & the installation is neat tidy & may I say professional looking.
I am looking at installing a diesel heater in our van so hence my inquiry. Is there enough draft/ventilation other than the cable inlets on either side for the diesel heater allowing for radiant heat from the heater itself as well as the other electronics?
Cheers  Wayne    Smiley
 
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Reply #4 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 4:21pm

Derek   Offline
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Wayne.  Here is a photo from the outside.  There is about a 3 inch gap at the top on both sides of the bed.
 

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Reply #5 - Jan 30th, 2018 at 4:23pm

Derek   Offline
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In this photo I have circled in red where those gaps are
 

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Reply #6 - Jan 31st, 2018 at 4:11pm

Derek   Offline
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Another addition today is an Acurite Digital Fridge/Freezer Thermometer.

Now I can see what is happening in the fridge without opening the doors.
 

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Reply #7 - Feb 12th, 2018 at 8:22am

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You can never have to much solar Derek, as for how they look on the roof who is going to see them. Smiley
 
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Reply #8 - Feb 12th, 2018 at 8:34am

Derek   Offline
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My neighbor took that photo with his drone and yep you gotta be high to see them.
 

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Reply #9 - Feb 12th, 2018 at 5:01pm

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Derek did you use Sikaflex or Silicone to fix your panels? Did you also use screws?
 

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Reply #10 - Feb 12th, 2018 at 5:19pm

Derek   Offline
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Sikaflex 252 Brian.  No screws.  Brackets are 50X50 aluminium angles.

Have used it before on solar panels.  It is designed to withstand high dynamic stresses
 

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Reply #11 - Mar 18th, 2018 at 10:31am

Derek   Offline
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Have been very, very happy with the system so far.  Generally we are back to full charge by 9.30 am just using solar.

The most amps I have seen going in with the solar is just over 27 amps so pretty pleased with that considering the solar controller is only a 30 amp one.

If I start the motor before batteries are fully charged, as soon as the DC2DC charger kicks in it is immediately throwing in 29 amps until the charge floats and it drops down to next to nothing as it does with solar.

I did think I had a problem for a while as the 50 amp inline fuse at the main battery kept throwing out.  I went through everything over and over several times and in the end replaced the fuse with a new one and now all good.

Lesson learned there was don’t always trust cheap eBay products from China.  I paid $9.95 for what is a $35 fuse over here.

Currently bunkered down in heavy rain and winds so this will be a test for the system without any sun.  This morning the state of charge of the house batteries is 92.7% so I reckon we could go for three days before I need to start the motor to use the DC2DC Charger.

I certainly do not need the generator that is taking up space in the trailer.  The only time I could ever see us using it would be in hot weather for the airconditioner.
 

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Reply #12 - Apr 13th, 2018 at 3:10pm

Derek   Offline
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Since leaving home I haven’t used 240 power to charge the batteries at all.  All the charging has been done either from the Ducato motor or solar.

Even with rain have not had one day where we haven’t fully recharged to 100% state of charge on the batteries.  Have not had to use the spare portable solar panel once so it may go when we get home.

Very happy with the operation of the fridge.  I have it on setting two with the highest setting five (biggest light) being the coldest.

As you can see the freezer is currently minus 18 and the fridge 5 degrees.  Freezer rarely moves from that unless we put unfrozen food in there and the fridge floats between 3 and 5.

Other good thing is it doesn’t seen to vary between gas, 12 volt while underway or 240 volt operation.

 

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Reply #13 - Apr 13th, 2018 at 7:51pm

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Wednesday we had to go to Home of 12V Mt Barker...to get a replacement battery charger...as when away last year..on 240v...I noticed the solar was putting in 3.4amps...that shouldnt happened ....lifted the bed where charger is mounted and it was dead ... cause we dont check the charger...it could have died 3 years ago and never noticed....just shows our little 80w solar was keeping our 120amphr battery fully charged

We now have a Projecta Intelli-charger 25A $369.00

Derek you like gauges etc...what/where would you mount the extra monitor extension
 
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Reply #14 - Apr 14th, 2018 at 8:45am

Derek   Offline
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Very nice piece of gear Dave.  I nearly bought a Projecta DC2DC Charger when I was doing mine.

I have a Projecta 600 watt inverter that has a monitor looks just like that.

Yours should have quite a lengthy cable that has plugs on the end like a telephone cable so you can basically put it wherever you want within the length of that cable.

Mine allows me to turn the inverter off and on so I put it on the side of the bed base near the extension cord for the inverter.  I just plug in whatever I am using then turn it on.

I would just put it somewhere you can easily see it.

I know you will read the manual but the big thing with the intelli chargers like ours is setting them up for the right chemistry to start with.  I have two gel batteries.

I bought a 40 amp 240 volt charger for this motorhome and have only used it at home when I set it up.  It’s main purpose for me is that if we are sitting somewhere in the bush and get some really heavy cloudy days then I can stick the generator on and charge fairly quickly without running the genni for hours.

Like I said, it’s a great piece of gear you have and you certainly won’t regret it.

Here is a photo of my monitor on the side of the bed base.  The extension is a cube that has several power points and two USB chargers.
 

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Reply #15 - Apr 14th, 2018 at 7:46pm

Smokeydk   Offline
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Thanks Derek.........I got something right this week after all
 
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Reply #16 - Apr 14th, 2018 at 8:01pm

Smokeydk   Offline
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When we were there...a chap had a look at the 80w solar panel they put on our van roof few years back.....he was laughing at how old technology it was..

Hey!!! I paid $1,100 for it in 2008.......it cant be that out of date....can it??
 

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