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Old 08-31-2019, 05:01 AM   #1
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Default Need help running Wiring behind Bathroom on RT

I am installing a battery monitor with display on the Control panel, and need to run the control line (CAT 5) from the control panel back to the electrical compartment where the shunt is located. I am having trouble finding a path for the cable. I also plan to add solar at some point and will need to run the solar power plus the control line to the remote along the same route.

I am thinking of running down the void where the tank vent is located
to get past the sprinter's main horizontal structural member, then across. Will require potentially cutting a fishing access.

Suggestions welcome.
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:26 AM   #2
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Put the monitor somewhere else. You need to see it while in bed anyhow to monitor your evenings activities.
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Old 09-03-2019, 07:56 PM   #3
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I do not want to see it from bed...

The control panel location works best. Plus the original BMV-700 had an issue and I had to return it, so I upgraded to a 712. Added plus it draws less current for its own operation than the 700 or 702.

The routing that worked is from behind the main cabin electrical box (which is easily removed with 4 screws) down the tank vent void to just below the horizontal body structural channel. I cut a 2" hole to make the turn and route it through the bathroom and out another 2" hole I cut through the fiberglass wall behind the sink panel insert. From there it runs down and through existing plumbing openings and into the space containing the water pump. The visible hole was covered with an electrical plate.

The power supply wire attaches to the battery side of the positive feed from the 30a battery fuse. The inline 100ma fuseholder will be replaced with a mounted fuse block in the future.

If/when I add roof solar the wires will drop right down the void and the Solar Controller can go right into the electrical compartment. The Controller I have selected is the EPEVER 30A MPPT Solar Charge Controller Tracer A 3210AN with Remote Meter. The remote will be located by the control panel.

Speaking of solar, I had bought a small solar charger to use with the dinghy, but upgraded to an on board battery tender through the towing connection. I tried using it on the dash of the RT and it produces 1.3 amps. It simply plugs into one of the cabin 12v outlets.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:29 PM   #4
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As long as you already have a shunt in place, you may want to consider using one of the solar controllers that use shunt current based charging, as it will be much more accurate of a charge, normally harvest more power, and be easier on the batteries than the one you list, which appears to be a straight timer unit. Timer setups are almost guaranteed to over or under charge, unless your solar is very small compared to use and battery capacity as then they will always undercharge.


The shunt based units would be able to share the shunt you have so you save that cost and wiring.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:07 AM   #5
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I am not sure I understand your recommendation. I cannot find any reference to shunt based controllers. In charging, Shunts refer to the redirection of excess solar energy to other uses or systems when not required by the battery. The shunt in a battery monitoring system uses a specific known resistance placed at the battery's negative terminal to facilitate precise amperage measurements and calculate projected battery life and remaining charge.

Can you advise a solar controller that works in the manner you suggest?
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engnrsrule View Post
I am not sure I understand your recommendation. I cannot find any reference to shunt based controllers. In charging, Shunts refer to the redirection of excess solar energy to other uses or systems when not required by the battery. The shunt in a battery monitoring system uses a specific known resistance placed at the battery's negative terminal to facilitate precise amperage measurements and calculate projected battery life and remaining charge.

Can you advise a solar controller that works in the manner you suggest?

Trimetric (Bogart) and Blue Sky are two of them. The charging in controlled by amps to the batteries instead of time or algorithm.


There are many discussions on this forum on amp based charging control, and it is the preferred method of nearly all lead acid battery manufacturers.
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Old 09-04-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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It's been suggested I post some specifics on my system to allow greater specificity on recommendations by the forum.

The vehicle is a 2006 Roadtrek Adventurous. It has an Onan propane generator and Tripp Lite Charger/inverter. I recently upgraded batteries from the original spec single 12v/90aH to two 6v/235aH (lead acid). That change was based on a recent experience at a National Park where generator use was severely limited, where essentially there was not enough time allowed for me to keep the battery up. There was also a separate charging issue that has since been fixed.

That also led me to add a Victron BMV 712 battery monitor.

We typically might dry camp 2-3 days. We are not looking to carry any big inverter (AC) loads while dry camping like air conditioner or microwave. Our most constraining limitation is probably the blackwater tank. So if we need to get underway every 3-4 days anyway to visit a dump site (where running the engine would significantly boost the battery), the ability to sustain batteries for any longer than a week would seem to be an unnecessary investment. Would like to be confident in handling up to a week. So I am considering solar options.

The suggestion to use amperage-based (shunt) solar has my interest, primarily from the perspective of maximizing the life and performance of the batteries. Looking at the Blue Sky MPPT solar controller systems, they could apparently share the Victron shunt, but would essentially duplicate most of the functions of the Victron.

Suggestions welcome, given the constraints above and the conclusion that I am at near max battery storage capacity without finding more space (which is non existent without losing already scarce storage or significantly reconfiguring the electrical system).
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engnrsrule View Post
It's been suggested I post some specifics on my system to allow greater specificity on recommendations by the forum.

The vehicle is a 2006 Roadtrek Adventurous. It has an Onan propane generator and Tripp Lite Charger/inverter. I recently upgraded batteries from the original spec single 12v/90aH to two 6v/235aH (lead acid). That change was based on a recent experience at a National Park where generator use was severely limited, where essentially there was not enough time allowed for me to keep the battery up. There was also a separate charging issue that has since been fixed.

That also led me to add a Victron BMV 712 battery monitor.

We typically might dry camp 2-3 days. We are not looking to carry any big inverter (AC) loads while dry camping like air conditioner or microwave. Our most constraining limitation is probably the blackwater tank. So if we need to get underway every 3-4 days anyway to visit a dump site (where running the engine would significantly boost the battery), the ability to sustain batteries for any longer than a week would seem to be an unnecessary investment. Would like to be confident in handling up to a week. So I am considering solar options.

The suggestion to use amperage-based (shunt) solar has my interest, primarily from the perspective of maximizing the life and performance of the batteries. Looking at the Blue Sky MPPT solar controller systems, they could apparently share the Victron shunt, but would essentially duplicate most of the functions of the Victron.

Suggestions welcome, given the constraints above and the conclusion that I am at near max battery storage capacity without finding more space (which is non existent without losing already scarce storage or significantly reconfiguring the electrical system).
It takes several hours to fully charge a LA battery. Don't expect a short driving burst to fully charge the batteries. If every few days you will be doing extended driving, i.e. 6-7 hours, you may be OK, certainly not too bad. Solar is nice cuz it works all day to do a top off on the batteries.

My setup uses 150 watts of portable solar, a single "maintenance free" LA Walmart DC group 29 battery and a Renogy Adventure PWM controller with temperature compensation. The cheapo battery still performs strongly after about 15 months, about 7-8 months was about 75% boondock camping, up to two weeks stationary.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engnrsrule View Post
It's been suggested I post some specifics on my system to allow greater specificity on recommendations by the forum.

The vehicle is a 2006 Roadtrek Adventurous. It has an Onan propane generator and Tripp Lite Charger/inverter. I recently upgraded batteries from the original spec single 12v/90aH to two 6v/235aH (lead acid). That change was based on a recent experience at a National Park where generator use was severely limited, where essentially there was not enough time allowed for me to keep the battery up. There was also a separate charging issue that has since been fixed.

That also led me to add a Victron BMV 712 battery monitor.

We typically might dry camp 2-3 days. We are not looking to carry any big inverter (AC) loads while dry camping like air conditioner or microwave. Our most constraining limitation is probably the blackwater tank. So if we need to get underway every 3-4 days anyway to visit a dump site (where running the engine would significantly boost the battery), the ability to sustain batteries for any longer than a week would seem to be an unnecessary investment. Would like to be confident in handling up to a week. So I am considering solar options.

The suggestion to use amperage-based (shunt) solar has my interest, primarily from the perspective of maximizing the life and performance of the batteries. Looking at the Blue Sky MPPT solar controller systems, they could apparently share the Victron shunt, but would essentially duplicate most of the functions of the Victron.

Suggestions welcome, given the constraints above and the conclusion that I am at near max battery storage capacity without finding more space (which is non existent without losing already scarce storage or significantly reconfiguring the electrical system).

It is too bad about the duplication of monitors, as the Blue Sky would fill the monitor needs just about identically. That said, it does give you a bit of flexibility of being able to set some of the monitor settings differently on the solar to better tweak some of the solar quirks that happen, like intermittent clouds and such messing up the charging, as the setting also controls the charging profile.


You would have the same duplication on the Trimetric setup, too. Downside of the Trimetric is that it is not MPPT so OK for smaller solar systems, not as good for larger ones. Advantage of the Trimetric is that it has a fully charged light that makes use a bit easier for most users. I don't think the Victron has a light or other indicator either, but I didn't look closely.


Two six volt GC2 batteries will likely do what you want pretty easily, especially if you add some solar and keep the propane frig. With LED lighting and efficient TV and DVD if you use them getting by on well under 50 amp hours per day is pretty easy.


As Steve mentioned, it takes a long time to totally fill lead acid batteries, but you don't need to do it every charge cycle. The manufacturers will usually say something like every 7-10 cycles is enough as long as you get totally full when you do get a good charge. Your monitor will show you exactly how long it takes, once you get all the settings in properly and run a few charge cycles.


The important setting will be the amps at float transition which might also be called tail amps, return, amps, or some other term. It will normally be given as a % of amp hour capacity and programmed as amps or % that you would get from the battery manufacturer's data. For AGM, expect .5 to 1 percent of capacity so pretty small number of amps to the batteries when full.


Also, it needs to have the voltage that is needed to be acheived and held until the above amps are reached. This would normally be the absorption voltage you are changing with in the 14.4v range for most.


Third is the hold time needed to indicate full batteries and when the above two criteria are met. 3-5 minutes is normally plenty.


The Victron looks to have very conservative settings in it as shipped, probably because many chargers aren't capable of getting the batteries full, so you will need to reset them. I think the defaults were listed at 4% amps and 13.2v.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:49 PM   #10
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Thanks Booster. I am still learning the Victron, but believe I can set it to beep at a bunch of different points including fully charged. Since I plan to have the controller in the compartment with other electrical stuff (next to the shunt in the pic), lights on the SC don't matter as I can't see them anyway. That is why a SC with a remote is preferred (like the blue sky).

And Yes I do run propane fridge. I did add aux cooling fans but they only pull 0.3a and cycle with a thermostatic switch.
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