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Old 03-29-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
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TriMetric Fun

I just finished installing a Bogart Engineering Trimetric TM-2025-RV battery monitor. On my installation I chose the 100A shunt for higher resolution it offers vs. the 500A shunt. I don't think I will ever see currents higher than 70A (the suggested max load) and those would be fairly short duration flows. I have the basic setup done and it is already quite enlightening. With this setup I can measure current into or out of the coach batteries down to .01A. This allows me to see for example that:
  • The electric propane shut off valve draws about .7A, not the 2A that has been reported by some.
  • The propane switch is NOT drawing current when the main battery disconnect is off. i.e. the propane valve is turned OFF by the disconnect switch.
At least that is how it works on my Interstate.

FYI: If you install one of these pay particular attention to the requirement that ALL current in/out of the coach battery(s) flows through the shunt. This is complicated on an Interstate by the fact that several ground conductors are bonded to the battery box. On mine, I mounted the shunt on the outside of the box and installed a pass through stud to get the negative battery lead to the outside of the box.

I have lots to learn about this baby!
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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If you are a numbers nut, like me, you will find it really interesting as to how much current is used by various things in your rig. I don't have the Trimetric, but only a simple digital ammeter with shunt on the negative side of my batteries. With it I can read the current draw of my inverter when I use it, the amount my lights are taking, the furnace fan requirements, and my 12 volt microwave (yes, a trucker special, 12 volt microwave). I can see how much charge my TV is putting into my batteries and how much my solar system is producing.

You will have a lot of fun with it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Yep, I'm a numbers nut too. Many (including my wife/CFO) think I'm a little screwy.

The TriMetric is very amazing; you should check it out at Bogart Engineering | manufacturer of the TriMetric battery monitor which measures volts, amps and amp-hours for battery systems I got mine from the great folks at Best Converters.

By the way, you live in some beautiful country. I went to school at UI in my mostly wasted youth!

Wayne
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:37 PM   #4
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Wayne, I installed the same TriMetric in my 2012 Intl right after I bought it (based on what I read on AirForum). It does so many things....most of which I don't use all that often. What I do REALLY like is being able to tell EXACTLY how much I've used and how much is left before darkness befalls. It also gives me an instant and visible indicator that the charger is operating properly (or even that my car is providing some charge when I'm towing).
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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I have an earlier model in my trailer 8 yeaqrs ago, the 2020 model.
I have found in invaluable with the solar system and frequently have looked at the current draw and found something I had not unplugged like phone chargers etc.
I started with the 500 amp shunt but later changed to the 100 amp for more accurate readout. All current passes through the shunt and I would hate to be with out it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
This allows me to see for example that:
  • The electric propane shut off valve draws about .7A, not the 2A that has been reported by some.
  • The propane switch is NOT drawing current when the main battery disconnect is off. i.e. the propane valve is turned OFF by the disconnect switch.
At least that is how it works on my Interstate.
I'll take your word on the 0.7-amp draw on the propane solenoid. I haven't measured the draw, so your measured number trumps other people's guesses that I've taken at face value up to now.

However, on my Interstate, I can light the propane cooktop burners (with a match or lighter, not the electronic ignition) with the propane solenoid on and the battery disconnect off. So on mine at least, the solenoid DOES bypass the disconnect, meaning that it does constitute a parasitic draw if I forget to turn it off while the unit's stored.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
I just finished installing a Bogart Engineering Trimetric TM-2025-RV battery monitor. On my installation I chose the 100A shunt for higher resolution it offers vs. the 500A shunt. I don't think I will ever see currents higher than 70A (the suggested max load) and those would be fairly short duration flows. I have the basic setup done and it is already quite enlightening. With this setup I can measure current into or out of the coach batteries down to .01A. This allows me to see for example that:
  • The electric propane shut off valve draws about .7A, not the 2A that has been reported by some.
  • The propane switch is NOT drawing current when the main battery disconnect is off. i.e. the propane valve is turned OFF by the disconnect switch.
At least that is how it works on my Interstate.

FYI: If you install one of these pay particular attention to the requirement that ALL current in/out of the coach battery(s) flows through the shunt. This is complicated on an Interstate by the fact that several ground conductors are bonded to the battery box. On mine, I mounted the shunt on the outside of the box and installed a pass through stud to get the negative battery lead to the outside of the box.

I have lots to learn about this baby!
Where did you install it? Can you describe how it connects up with a shunt?

GM
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #8
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GM,



The meter is installed in the curbside locker with the AS provided panels. The connection to the meter is a 4 conductor cable. Currents in this cable are low; the instructions indicate that max. cable length for 20 ga. conductors is 180 ft. For expediency I used the cable sold by Best Converter where I also purchased the Trimetric and the shunt. This cable has 18 ga. conductors and includes an inline fuse holder in the conductor feeding +12v to the meter. The shunt is mounted on the outside of the battery box. As mentioned earlier, I installed a pass through stud (Blue Sea) facilitate wiring things up so ALL current goes through the shunt. Remember that my Interstate is a twin model so access to the batt. box and other electrical gear is easily accessible under the roadside bed. The cable routing wasn't that hard to do. I used a metal fish tape and pulled nylon cord for each section of the run. When I pulled the cable I pulled an extra cord for future use. My routing is:
  • From the shunt toward the rear under the water heater and to the rear roadside corner of the van. I removed the lower section of the gray plastic trim for access.
  • From the roadside rear corner to the curbside rear corner the cable goes under the heavy plastic sill piece below the rear doors.
  • From the curbside rear corner the cable goes up inside the metal body column to a point above the curbside lockers. On this side I removed all the gray plastic trim covering the body column.
  • From the rear upper curbside corner the path is forward above the lockers.
  • After removing the panel where all the monitor panels are located I was able to pick up 12v from the chassis battery so I can monitor that one too (voltage only). I picked this up from the rocker switch that selects which batter voltage to display on the AS provided display. The wire is only a few inches long so I did not install an inline fuse here as directed by the instructions.
Hope this helps; email or PM me if you have other questions.

Wayne
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:19 AM   #9
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I installes a TriMetric on our Bambi when we first purchased it. I have used this type of meter on or sailboats for 20 years now and I find them an invaluable addition to the unit.
I too watch percentage of charge and voltage for the most part but the rest of the information is there if and when you need it.

Funny, our boats have always used a solenoid to control propane but on our little Bambi we have nothing between the tanks and the stove....Guess we are just too little!
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Both myself and Mrs HiHo watch our TriMetric. It saved us in Jackson Hole last year when boondocking. We knew something was wrong as soon as we setup camp- a storage light was on and would have eaten a significant amount of power had we not noticed the extra draw before we departed for the day.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
GM,




The meter is installed in the curbside locker with the AS provided panels. The connection to the meter is a 4 conductor cable. Currents in this cable are low; the instructions indicate that max. cable length for 20 ga. conductors is 180 ft. For expediency I used the cable sold by Best Converter where I also purchased the Trimetric and the shunt. This cable has 18 ga. conductors and includes an inline fuse holder in the conductor feeding +12v to the meter. The shunt is mounted on the outside of the battery box. As mentioned earlier, I installed a pass through stud (Blue Sea) facilitate wiring things up so ALL current goes through the shunt. Remember that my Interstate is a twin model so access to the batt. box and other electrical gear is easily accessible under the roadside bed. The cable routing wasn't that hard to do. I used a metal fish tape and pulled nylon cord for each section of the run. When I pulled the cable I pulled an extra cord for future use. My routing is:
  • From the shunt toward the rear under the water heater and to the rear roadside corner of the van. I removed the lower section of the gray plastic trim for access.
  • From the roadside rear corner to the curbside rear corner the cable goes under the heavy plastic sill piece below the rear doors.
  • From the curbside rear corner the cable goes up inside the metal body column to a point above the curbside lockers. On this side I removed all the gray plastic trim covering the body column.
  • From the rear upper curbside corner the path is forward above the lockers.
  • After removing the panel where all the monitor panels are located I was able to pick up 12v from the chassis battery so I can monitor that one too (voltage only). I picked this up from the rocker switch that selects which batter voltage to display on the AS provided display. The wire is only a few inches long so I did not install an inline fuse here as directed by the instructions.
Hope this helps; email or PM me if you have other questions.

Wayne
Thanks. Where did you mount (and how) the remote monitor? Did you get the one that was in its one housing, or the one for the double-gang box? I'm very interested in figuring out a place to mount it. I have the lounge, and I already know how to route the cable. But I'm not sure where I could find the room in that curbside locker to mount the box. Installation, after I looked at the website, looks relatively easy.

Thanks for posting.

GM
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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I got the RV version and mounted it as shown. I cut the "ears" off the box (thought they were ugly) and mounted the box with 3 screws through the back from inside the plastic box. I'd rather have surface mounted it but didn't have time this trip. Maybe next time!

BTW, if you mount yours in this locker, be careful with the position vertically. With the curvature of the locker doors there may not be enough clearance if you mount it at the top or bottom of the panel.

If this app and my iPhone work correctly a pic is attached below.

Click image for larger version

Name:	image-1935238216.jpg
Views:	248
Size:	443.2 KB
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
I got the RV version and mounted it as shown. I cut the "ears" off the box (thought they were ugly) and mounted the box with 3 screws through the back from inside the plastic box. I'd rather have surface mounted it but didn't have time this trip. Maybe next time!

BTW, if you mount yours in this locker, be careful with the position vertically. With the curvature of the locker doors there may not be enough clearance if you mount it at the top or bottom of the panel.

If this app and my iPhone work correctly a pic is attached below.

Attachment 182108
Thanks, that picture helps. Unfortunately, for me, in the 2011, there is no room to mount it on the instrument panel. They apparently halved the panel from 2010 and the other space is now just shelf space, so there is not sufficient room to mount it on the panel. I'll have to look around for an alternate location.

GM
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:42 AM   #14
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The instructions suggest mounting close to the main consumers, like in the galley. I like having it close to the AS panels so I can compare the TriMetric readings to the stock displays. Lots of ways to do it.
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