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Old 07-14-2019, 09:06 AM   #21
Rivet Master
2007 27' International CCD FB
San Diego , California
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Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
@pteck Roger already owns a high-end inverter-charger, so that's sunk cost. Solar costs less than it used to, but it's not free... and sunk cost is essentially free.
Yes, caught that detail. Funny thing is years ago when I first got the trailer, I was likewise drawn to converters and the particular AIMS line of inverter-chargers. Because of the steady beat of "upgrade your converter" messaging on these boards.

After sitting down and really considering the system, that advice must have been created by sales and marketing of converter companies. Even more so when solar is introduced to the equation. People have been using their traditional converters and batts for decades successfully.

The use case that it really makes sense for is a full-time owner in a largely stationary airstream on full hookups. And to support more exotic battery chemistries.

So the OP has the AIMS. It still doesn't answer the question about batteries. One can throw lots of good money after this sunk cost and wind up spending way more than necessary because of the perceived architecture the AIMS component might lead them down to which is where this thread is headed. Or backup and ask what they really need. Answer is solar and solid batteries and reserves. Not necessarily exotic batteries to blow the bank and still have no solar to speak of. The AIMS is flexible enough to work in many ways.

I'm not dismissing reserves and batteries in any way. I have 300 Ah at my disposal. Most importantly, it can function in many of the same ways an exotic big money system can, for an order of magnitude less money invested.

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Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #22
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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@pteck Yes, for batteries I stick to my original recommendation (post #2 in the thread) that he get the biggest conventional batteries that'll fit in the boxes and go with that.

I partially agree on converters... I haven't bothered to change the one in my newer trailer, since it works pretty well. If/when it has issues, I'll go with a little higher-end one but nothing crazy. I don't know what came with a '91 Excella, but if it's anything like the noisy (both audibly and electrically) ones that came originally with my '70s ones it would be worth the effort just for peace, quiet and 30 lb more payload!

— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:39 AM   #23
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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It would be nice to get a bit more feedback from the OP.

My *assumption* has been that the whomping big inverter got bought for a reason. If indeed there are plans to use 3KW (up to 4.5KW for a while) out of the inverter, the rest of the system is going to have to be pretty substantial to do so. It's the sort of beast you buy to run an A/C unit ....

That assumption is just a random guess. The inverter size may have no relation to any real plans at all ....

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:35 PM   #24
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1991 34' Limited
Carlisle , Ohio
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Hey bob,
I got the sucker in. It is working great! Charging the batteries and running whatever I need for a short period of time. I did buy a big converter in the hopes to dry camp and run whatever I needed with that inverter. One draw back that I didn’t see coming was the amount of a battery bank that is required lol. That is my next step. Building a bigger battery bank and solar.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:43 AM   #25
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
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Indeed if the idea is to really get the most out of the inverter side of that beast, you do need some heavy cabling and a pretty good sized stack of batteries. That's not an uncommon thing to drop in so there are a lot of threads on various approaches.

The most common ways to go:

1) Down to Costco and buy a bunch of the cheapest RV/ marine batteries you can find on sale. Indeed amp hours are amp hours and this does work. You are most likely to haul home a bunch of 12V deep cycle batteries. You are shopping for dollars per amp hour in this case.

2) Get some Trojan T-105 6V golf cart batteries from whomever is cheapest in your area. Since it's a brand name, you don't care who they come from. The guy who fixes golf carts may well be your best bet. They are a well known item with decades of practical experience at using them.

3) (my favorite) Sell the house / take out a loan and get some lithium batteries. Battle Born (and others) will sell you 100 usable amp hours for about $900 delivered. This is getting into the "bleeding edge" of tech so there are risks. You get a lot more amp hours in smaller space / less weight. That makes the install process easier.

When looking at rated amp hours, I would not expect to "use" more than half the rated amp hours on the cheap batteries from Costco. On the T-105's most people seem to be happy pushing it to about 60% of the rated amp hours. With lithium's the number on the label is what you can use.

There are a bunch of fiddly details about each type of battery that need digging into. Lithium happily charges and discharges at higher rates than lead acid. Lead acid capacity goes up if you pull very low currents ( like a couple amps) for a long time. Lithium is not happy charging at below freezing temps.

Lots of fun !!!!

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Old 07-17-2019, 09:01 AM   #26
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2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
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Yup. It’s one of those “Overkill Engineering” things. Lots of technology to fiddle with, just need to pour money into the problem.

I’ll stick to cheap Costco golf cart batteries, thank you very much.

Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
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