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Old 06-02-2014, 06:11 AM   #15
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Thanks Lew,
I am not concerned about pulling new wires (just did so with ease for the Progessive Industries surge protector). I am more concerned about what is best overall solution. I can see advantages to having the monitoring and charging system done via ME, but then I am left with the shunt controller for my measly 50W solar panel. On the other hand, does it really help much to have a better solar charge controller and its battery monitor when all the 50W will will do is a little floating of the battery with the bulk and absorb charging done by the ME MMS? decisions, decisions...
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:04 AM   #16
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My AI came with an ME-RC already installed. I plan to upgrade to an ME-ARC50 which I am told will permit charging based on "state of charge" instead of voltage.

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Old 06-06-2014, 12:15 PM   #17
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OK....I am preparing to do the hard reset on my newly-installed battery monitor in my 2013 AI. Looking for a good approach to get into the power box under the couch. Looks like a lot of small screws on the outer edge may give me access by lowering the rear panel. The Magnum inverter is mounted to it, so I know it will not be a simple unscrew-and-remove or lower. I looked at removing the rear couch seat. Not sure which would be better approach.
Suggestions anyone??
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:31 PM   #18
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We've done lots of work by just removed the screws, dropping/folding down carefully the rear panel. I'd unplug from shore power and turn off the inverter and other circuit breakers also. Take pictures once you are back there. I've got a complete library on my hard drive of what's back there.
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Old 06-06-2014, 02:35 PM   #19
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Thanks Bill.... I have started taking pictures of everything I come across. The latest was how the macerator discharge hose was wrapped up and rotated to go in the small space and not get kinked. Simple once I did it, but wanted photo evidence before I took it out. I take pictures, count screws, count nuts and bolts, etc.😊
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:38 AM   #20
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I removed the seat back (four 1/2" nuts) and seat bottom (two 1/2" nuts and two philipps head machine screws with 7/16" nuts). 10 minutes, cushions are lightweight, and complete access to everything. I did this to install a ME Battery Temperature Sensor (no instructions included, but had a do a reset to get it to register). ME_RC remote and battery monitor kit is next on my list.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:46 AM   #21
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Yup. Cushions are lightweight 'cause they don't have any good, hi-quality foam inside them. Working with a local upholstery shop and I may pull all the back seats out to have some quality foam installed once I hear the cost.

Make note of which holes in the seat bottom you took the bolts from 'cause there are several and when reinstalling you need to get into the same holes or your seat may not lay down properly.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:30 AM   #22
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Funny you should mention the seat lay down issue........ The shop installed my ME equipment modifications so far.... I noticed yesterday, that the seat did not seem to lay down all the way. I was in a hurry so I did not confirm that. I may go do that right now. Hope I am wrong.......
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:01 PM   #23
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One thing I sometimes forget to check when I lay down the rear seat:

There's a carpet flap held on the back of the seat with Velcro, that hangs down to hide the miniscule cargo space under the seat frame (where I store my leveling blocks). If that flap of carpet is stuck on too low on the seat back, when the seat reclines the flap can be caught between seat and frame and will prevent the seat from laying down all the way.
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:40 AM   #24
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Well slap my forehead....the seat did not go down because the sliding support bracket for the drop down extensions was blocking it. Moved it and down it went.
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:12 AM   #25
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Removing the rear panel was easy and straight forward. Did confirm the battery monitor and remote upgrade were installed per mfg instructions. Now that I have dealt with flat tire distractions, and picked up a non-conductive fuse puller, I can attempt the hard reset of the gear.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:56 PM   #26
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We upgraded the inverter/charger on our 2013 AI and had an Magnum ARC remote display and a BMK battery monitor kit professionally installed. We charged it up for four days until the BMK showed 100% state of charge (SOC). On a recent trip we drove 10 hours from St Augustine to Nashville with only the inverter and the fridge operating. Upon arrival at the campsite in Nashville, the BMK showed an SOC of 62%. From reading previous posts, I surprised that with inverter on, the fridge was operating on AC and discharged the batteries. However, I was surprised that the alternator on the engine didn't keep the battery bank topped off. The next day we drove from Nashville to Chicago (8 hours) with the inverter off to force the fridge to use the DC 12 volt source from the alternator. We tried to turn on the charger on the ARC but it wouldn't turn on. After the 8 hour drive, the SOC was still at 62%. Any ideas? I thought that the house battery bank was charged while driving.

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Old 06-13-2014, 06:26 PM   #27
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I guess I "fat fingered" the last post, please read "from reading previous posts, I surprised...." As from reading previous posts, I understand..."

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Old 06-13-2014, 08:30 PM   #28
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No surprises really. 120VAC resistance heating is the least efficient use of an inverter. If your heating element uses 250 watt heating element, or 2 amps, this translates to a direct DC draw of 20 amps/hour from your battery bank, plus the inefficiencies of the inverter process (approx. 15%) for a total draw of 23 amps/hour on full duty.

Assuming a 50% duty cycle for your fridge and the standard 160 amp/hour battery bank that Airstream provides, a 38% draw from your batteries would leave your battery bank at approximately 12..3-12.4VDC. This translates into a use of approx. 60 amp/hours to power your fridge on electric thru your inverter. I always counsel my clients to manually set the fridge to GAS when using the inverter if the inverter is wired into the fridge 120VAC outlet.

I have also has 3 folks recently remove the RV propane fridge after having solar and inverter installed and have gone with an AC/DC Danfoss marine compressor fridge from Isotherm. Much more efficient and durable and runs directly from DC with no inverter required. These units draw less than 3 amps[ DC on full duty cycle
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