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Old 01-03-2019, 07:01 PM   #239
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Lithium Ion type batteries are way more "power dense" than lead acid type. Dan is right that they are completely different than lead acid types in terms of charging and handling. I've not used them yet. I do have a AGM battery, but it is just another variation of lead acid.

Nice looking Caravanner. I think 77 was the last year for that model. They have three windows on the street side and just one on the curb side. Probably incorrectly, I call the Caravanner 25' a Trade Wind 25' without a bedroom. It has an open layout more attuned to entertainment in my view. When the guests leave, you gotta pull out and make up the bed. The later ones are rather rare. I have a friend who has a 70 Caravanner he is renovating. He is a real skilled craftsman, like builds his own houses and the like. He has a very good shop.

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Old 02-16-2019, 09:23 PM   #240
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Ok, I have switched from lead acid 6v golf cart batteries to two BB lithium ion batteries (12v). These are a lot different. Mostly, except for the price, it is all good but there is one problem where you will damage the batteries if you charge them when it is too cold, like below 32 degrees.

I have decided to try to only operate our Tradewind using only the batteries and inverter and only charge them using solar. I don’t plan on connecting to shore power. This means that to make sure I don’t try to charge the batteries when it is cold out I need to disconnect my solar panels. This is a PITA.

I figured the BMS wouldn’t charge the batteries when it was too cold. A call to BB verified this. They said that battery charging would be cut off at 24 degrees and not allowed to start back up until they were at 32 degrees.

Well, I stumbled across a Victron Smart Battery Sense. It stops solar charging of lithium batteries when it is too cold. This photo explains it in more detail.Click image for larger version

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This seemed like a good idea so I ordered one from Amazon for $38.

Here is a photo of my batteries installed before adding the Smart Battery Sense and then a close up photo of the small SBS itself.

I am waiting for some cold weather so I can test it.

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Old 02-17-2019, 06:30 PM   #241
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I am waiting for some cold weather so I can test it.

Shoot, Dan. Why wait? We've got all the cold weather you could want here in KC. Snow and ice to boot. Come on over.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:04 PM   #242
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That power plant in the back of your Trade Wind is getting more complex. I did not know you couldn't charge LI batteries in the cold. Sounds like you found a good "improvement" to avoid the PTIA angst.

You are going to have to write a new owner's manual for your Trade Wind explaining how all this works. I actually wrote an addendum to mine explaining how to remove the new fridge I installed. I am also writing one explaining how to remove the "easy to remove" galley sink cabinet shelves so you can gain easy access to the water pump. I didn't want some future owner cursing me, but probably unavoidable.

David
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Old 02-17-2019, 08:33 PM   #243
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Slats- I heard about your snow and ice from my brother. He just drove through KC a few days ago. Just keep it there. I will wait patiently. I know it will come here.

David- You are correct. However, first I have to figure out how all this new fangled stuff works myself- lithium batteries, Trimetric battery monitor, inverter, solar panels and controller and now this Smart Battery Sense. I know just a little bit of how it all works. I have a lot to learn.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:45 PM   #244
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I finally got the Smart Battery Sense connected via Bluetooth and it finally got below the threshold temperature of 5 C where it prevents the solar controller from charging the batteries. I was so excited when I saw that the temperature was 3 C (see photo).Click image for larger version

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Then I got unexcited when I saw that the batteries were still being charged at the rate of 2 watts (see photo).Click image for larger version

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I will have to give a call to Victron to see what the problem is.

Dan
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:05 AM   #245
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I have had my BB lithium ion batteries installed for 4 months now and I finally believe that I have some understanding about how the batteries, the Trimetric monitor, the Victron MPPT solar controller and the Samlex inverter work together. Remember that I am completely unplugged (off the grid) and plan to stay that way. I don’t plan on hooking up to shore power or even using my 1,000 watt generator. We’ll see how that goes as it is a tall order.

I believe for the first time, my batteries were finally fully charged. I know this because my solar panels were connected and the power going into the panels was 0 watts (see photo)Click image for larger version

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I don’t plan on using the air conditioner much, but I would like to know how long it will run going from fully charged batteries to 20% SOC. My oil filled heater uses 445 watts on low (see photo). This is very close to the 465 watts that my 5,000 btu/hr air conditioner uses.Click image for larger version

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I monitored the conditions every half hour and the heater ran for 4 hours before the two lithium batteries were down to 20% SOC. Additionally the battery voltage at the end of the test was 12.4 volts with both the inverter and heater operating. I know if these were lead acid golf cart batteries that the voltage would have been way below 12 volts since the “resting” voltage of the golf cart batteries at 50% SOC is 12.06 volts. I suspect that the inverter would already have tripped due to low battery voltage.

I was quite happy with the results of the test and glad that I have lithium batteries. Looking forward to some hot weather this summer so I can perform a real air conditioner test.

Dan
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:00 PM   #246
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Very impressive. Now you can get all excited. Imagine yourself deep in the North Carolina woods for weeks at a time, off "grid" so to speak. Very tranquil. The next thing you know you will be collecting and boiling rainwater, eating berries and snakes. Daniel Boone.

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Old 03-05-2019, 08:10 PM   #247
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Deep fried rattlesnake is delicious, BTW. A bit bony, but tastes a lot like alligator/chicken nuggets. Really good with Cajun spiced aioli for a sauce.

Yes, hung our with a real Cajun. The old joke is if you want something gone, 1) close the season, 2) put it on the endangered species list, and 3) tell a Cajun it’s edible and tastes good. Props to my Cajun buddies that told me that joke...and introduced me to some fantastic foods.
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:07 PM   #248
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CAMPING WITH OUR WINDOW AC!

We just returned from camping at Tomoka State Park in Florida. It was warm enough that we needed to use our window AC to sleep comfortably. We usually don’t camp where we need AC. The window AC usually rides in the bottom of the closet. This is the first time we have used it in about 2 years.

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Old 04-21-2019, 07:45 PM   #249
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Who invented the air conditioner process anyway. It sure has made life on earth much more comfortable. My old Trade Wind had an old air conditioner on the roof. It worked well when needed. My Overlander has one too.

Your creation of a removable window air conditioner is cool (excuse the pun). I've seen some rough attempts at it.

We have one of those "room air conditioners" here at home that draws about 1500 watts and cools the bedroom nicely. It needs a 4" vent for the heat. I wonder if such a unit would work in a camper.

David
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:15 PM   #250
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Touring Dan is also Pragmatic Dan. Hats off to taking it with you.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:41 PM   #251
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Your creation of a removable window air conditioner is cool (excuse the pun). I've seen some rough attempts at it.

Thanks David. I am sure you have heard the expression “better lucky than good”. This applies here. The design actually works better than I thought it would. I wanted it to sit on the window bottom rail at the center of gravity of the air conditioner. This way the AC unit would not need outside or inside support. The AC unit I selected luckily has a plastic bottom. This made it easy to cut a groove in the bottom at the CG and the unit is supported in the groove by the bottom rail. The photo shows the plastic bottom but not the groove. Trust me, it is there. Notice also that the horizontal grooves in the side of the AC unit are all outside and where the heat is removed. Add in the quiet operation, only 465 watts of energy and remote control operation for less than $200 and this unit is a winner. A piece of scrap aluminum placed under the unit drains the water away- more luck on my side and I’ll take it. Usually things don’t work out better than you hoped for.

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Old 04-22-2019, 06:40 PM   #252
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Just want to note that the above photo was taken without the lexan panel in place.

Slats- Thanks, that sounds like a compliment. I guess I’ll have to go look pragmatic up. I are an engineer.

Dan
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