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Old 06-16-2017, 07:25 PM   #161
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Do you have to remember to turn on all 8 modules before driving if you want them to charge or is that automatically controlled? If not automatic, if it is only a 2 hour drive how many modules would you turn on? Do you have to keep track of which modules were used last? Will you have some sort of usage rotation in place so that the banks get somewhat equal use?

Then I guess when you stop driving you have to remember to turn some modules off.
From what I gather (we haven't got our RT yet) it's not automatic and you do have to turn on each battery you want to charge when you're driving. I think the manual also says to turn on the inverter but I don't think it's actually necessary to do so to charge the batteries.

If you're only driving 2 hours and have all 8 "empty" I suppose it's your choice if you want to turn them all on or just one or two. I don't know how the charging works, if it evenly charges all that are on, or if it goes one by one. Not sure. I would imagine the former so if you just wanted to fill one up, you could just turn that one on only.

There is a volt readout that can show the voltage for each battery (apparently not as good as showing the state of charge) that you can use to see which batteries are more charged than others (plus or minus). From what I've read, most people do rotate the batteries and turn them on typically one at a time to keep the parasitic drag from reducing the juice on batteries not being used at the time.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:27 PM   #162
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I think RT sells a mobile solar panel option. Anybody have that or know how that mobile solar panel would connect to the RT? If that connection exists and can handle it, it might be the simplest way to add solar to the rig.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:23 PM   #163
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I think RT sells a mobile solar panel option. Anybody have that or know how that mobile solar panel would connect to the RT? If that connection exists and can handle it, it might be the simplest way to add solar to the rig.
Winnebago does, not RT.

But I am sure it can be arranged.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:30 PM   #164
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Winnebago does, not RT.

But I am sure it can be arranged.
I had thought they offered a 20W mobile panel, so I went to check the website. It has all changed. They have now updated their website to reflect new prices and packages. Good on them, that should clear up the confusion we dealt with when purchasing.
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:59 PM   #165
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I'm confused. You don't know what you are getting, confessed to not understanding systems, and yet you are already speculating add-ons and changing out some things to correct or improve them. Why?
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:01 PM   #166
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I had thought they offered a 20W mobile panel, so I went to check the website. It has all changed. They have now updated their website to reflect new prices and packages. Good on them, that should clear up the confusion we dealt with when purchasing.
You are correct, Roadtrek does offer a 200 watt mobile solar panel but it seems to show up as an option only on the 210/190 PC and the 170. With the 600 watt array provided in the Warp Core option, I don't think it's practical.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:05 PM   #167
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I'm confused. You don't know what you are getting, confessed to not understanding systems, and yet you are already speculating add-ons and changing out some things to correct or improve them. Why?
Sounds like you've got the situation down perfectly. I'm hoping what gets delivered is an airplane or perhaps a submarine. Something really exciting, but I have no idea what I'm getting at all and I certainly don't know enough to think about improvements. I mean, I was thinking a screen door addition might be nice, but hell if it turns out to be a submarine that won't work so why bother?
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:21 PM   #168
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You are correct, Roadtrek does offer a 200 watt mobile solar panel but it seems to show up as an option only on the 210/190 PC and the 170. With the 600 watt array provided in the Warp Core option, I don't think it's practical.
Thanks. Was hoping that might be an easy way to tie additional solar into the system.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:47 PM   #169
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Thanks. Was hoping that might be an easy way to tie additional solar into the system.
We got our 210 without the portable solar option so I have no idea how it is integrated into the charging system either as additional support for the rooftop solar option which we do have or how it would be connected as a standalone setup. One way or the other, it would have to look at a solar controller input.

Have they given you a delivery date and; where will it be delivered to?
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:49 PM   #170
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We got our 210 without the portable solar option so I have no idea how it is integrated into the charging system either as additional support for the rooftop solar option which we do have or how it would be connected as a standalone setup. One way or the other, it would have to look at a solar controller input.

Have they given you a delivery date and; where will it be delivered to?
That makes sense. No delivery date yet, just a July build date and we'll pick it up in Minnesota.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:28 PM   #171
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Winnebago does, not RT.

But I am sure it can be arranged.

roadtrek does sell an additional portable solar panel
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:28 AM   #172
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The rule of thumb we were told is 45-60 mins per 200AH battery while driving to charge them from 20% to 100%. So 8 hours of driving to fill em up is what we're expecting.
That is probably the first time we have actually heard a reasonable recovery rate off the alternator from an OEM. Most exaggerate badly. You will net about 165ah per hour with the alternator, so about an hour per module as stated. But--as soon as you move to the next module you have to remember to turn off all others or they will start discharging due to parasitic. It is up for discussion, I think, whether or not the Nations/DC Power alternator is up to very regular 8 hour runs at full output, heat cycling from the Baldor control. DC Power has stated the alternators are not designed for battery charging, so the question gets to be if the Balmar regulator protects it well enough in heavy battery charging situations for long term survival.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:58 AM   #173
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I know I am late to this party, but I think there "may" be a need to step back a bit to take a wider look.

Past history, if it applies here, has shown that when folks get to the huge battery packs, the are also huge daily power users, often by necessity so has to always be available. How many days will 80% of 1600ah minus parasitic, run your needs? IMO, that is how long you can count on without driving, even if you increase your solar. Why?, because you can't count on solar at any given time to deliver what you need. You will get your 30ish ah per 100 watt panel in good sun. Or you might get 5ah if cloudy rainy low sun angle, etc. If you have 1200 watts, you might get 360ah a day, but if you are using 300-400 a day like many huge bank folks appear to, you still go backwards if you get a little bad sun.

I think many of us here would state that the larger the bank 0f batteries, the lees use solar is in the system, unlees you have 40' roof class A and can get 5000 watts or more.

Conversely, if you don't have the huge use per day that the big banks usually indicate, You may not need the huge capacity, and then the solar will be of benefit. Several of the folks here can live well on 100-300 watts of solar and 100-400ah of batteries, due to daily use of 20-100ah per day.

The killer on the Roadtrek systems is the parasitic, which kind of negates saving power used because that power will go away on it's own during your extra run time.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:53 AM   #174
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Sounds like you've got the situation down perfectly. I'm hoping what gets delivered is an airplane or perhaps a submarine. Something really exciting, but I have no idea what I'm getting at all and I certainly don't know enough to think about improvements. I mean, I was thinking a screen door addition might be nice, but hell if it turns out to be a submarine that won't work so why bother?
Yes I know the situation down perfectly. Troll.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:57 AM   #175
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I know I am late to this party, but I think there "may" be a need to step back a bit to take a wider look.

Past history, if it applies here, has shown that when folks get to the huge battery packs, the are also huge daily power users, often by necessity so has to always be available. How many days will 80% of 1600ah minus parasitic, run your needs? IMO, that is how long you can count on without driving, even if you increase your solar. Why?, because you can't count on solar at any given time to deliver what you need. You will get your 30ish ah per 100 watt panel in good sun. Or you might get 5ah if cloudy rainy low sun angle, etc. If you have 1200 watts, you might get 360ah a day, but if you are using 300-400 a day like many huge bank folks appear to, you still go backwards if you get a little bad sun.

I think many of us here would state that the larger the bank 0f batteries, the lees use solar is in the system, unlees you have 40' roof class A and can get 5000 watts or more.

Conversely, if you don't have the huge use per day that the big banks usually indicate, You may not need the huge capacity, and then the solar will be of benefit. Several of the folks here can live well on 100-300 watts of solar and 100-400ah of batteries, due to daily use of 20-100ah per day.

The killer on the Roadtrek systems is the parasitic, which kind of negates saving power used because that power will go away on it's own during your extra run time.
We have 230 Ah AGMs, 300W PV, XX mA level parasitic draw. We can camp for 2-4 days using Espar D2 furnace, Espar D5 hot water, 3 CF BD35 fridge with no harvesting and camp unlimited time with the harvest. The system is simple enough that there is no need for an owner's manual, family members can operate the van.

In fact, the operation of my van would very likely pass the old fashion “Grand Mother Test"

Unfortunately, we wouldn't pass the trendy kAh Li and kW PV bragging test, but, we enjoy camping as much today as we did with our old Westfalias.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:57 PM   #176
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Yes I know the situation down perfectly. Troll.
So your theory is that I bought a new RT and created this thread in order to troll you? That would be some one percenter level trolling right there! Sadly, I don't have that kind of money!
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:06 PM   #177
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We have 230 Ah AGMs, 300W PV, XX mA level parasitic draw. We can camp for 2-4 days using Espar D2 furnace, Espar D5 hot water, 3 CF BD35 fridge with no harvesting and camp unlimited time with the harvest. The system is simple enough that there is no need for an owner's manual, family members can operate the van.

In fact, the operation of my van would very likely pass the old fashion “Grand Mother Test"

Unfortunately, we wouldn't pass the trendy kAh Li and kW PV bragging test, but, we enjoy camping as much today as we did with our old Westfalias.
I'm thinking seriously about making a battery switch management device for the RT. 3D print a panel that overlays on top of the battery switches and monitors the RT LED and has its own LED. Maybe using spring push pull solenoids to actuate the switches.

It will start up the batteries by flipping the reset and on/off buttons, measuring the volts, and then turning batteries on and off automatically as required and having one LED display of battery levels and tracking and logging how long it takes each battery to hit the 20% level. Raspberry Pi should be able to do this pretty easily with a small camera reading the OEM voltage display.

For charging it could do something similar I suppose, so that one battery is being charged at a time to alleviate the parasitic drag of having all batteries on while charging.

Could be useful and fun to make.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:25 PM   #178
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We have 230 Ah AGMs, 300W PV, XX mA level parasitic draw. We can camp for 2-4 days using Espar D2 furnace, Espar D5 hot water, 3 CF BD35 fridge with no harvesting and camp unlimited time with the harvest. The system is simple enough that there is no need for an owner's manual, family members can operate the van.

In fact, the operation of my van would very likely pass the old fashion “Grand Mother Test"

Unfortunately, we wouldn't pass the trendy kAh Li and kW PV bragging test, but, we enjoy camping as much today as we did with our old Westfalias.
We have similar, and see similar results, with the exception that we have 440ah, so the no harvesting time is longer. For some, a big inverter is "need" to make coffee or use microwave, but when no sun can easily be not used if needed. We see .4-.6 amps parasitic with the inverter off.

Without knowing predicted power use, how much sun he will get, and how critical the availability is, it really gets to be near impossible to know if Wingedrhino has what he really needs to do what he wants.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:35 PM   #179
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We have similar, and see similar results, with the exception that we have 440ah, so the no harvesting time is longer. For some, a big inverter is "need" to make coffee or use microwave, but when no sun can easily be not used if needed. We see .4-.6 amps parasitic with the inverter off.

Without knowing predicted power use, how much sun he will get, and how critical the availability is, it really gets to be near impossible to know if Wingedrhino has what he really needs to do what he wants.
True statement, until we start using it we won't know. But even if it's enough (which I think it will be with some management), doubling the solar would still be a plus since it would double the charging ability and halve the time. If we could use solar to make up for our daily energy usage (minus big draws like the A/C) then it would be a plus.
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:35 PM   #180
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True statement, until we start using it we won't know. But even if it's enough (which I think it will be with some management), doubling the solar would still be a plus since it would double the charging ability and halve the time. If we could use solar to make up for our daily energy usage (minus big draws like the A/C) then it would be a plus.
I think you are missing the point being made. If you are using enough power to be marginal on 1600ah of lithium batteries, whatever solar you are able to get is going to be a very small contribution, that is also unreliable.

Where is all that power going? At some point you might be way better off to have generator to run at peak use times.
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