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Old 03-04-2016, 10:28 PM   #1
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A Different Battery Upgrade

We boondock in British Columbia in the shoulder season (which we define as temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night). The OEM DC system always disappointed us. We finally upgraded, but unlike others, we camp in the shade, rain and short days. Solar is not for us.

In the end we installed 4 Mastervolt 6v 260 Ah AGM batteries, a Magnum MSH3012M Hybrid Converter/inverter, a Magnum battery monitor, and a Magnum Advanced Remote Control. This gives us 260 Ah of useable power enabling us to camp without shore power or a generator for two or three days running the furnace etc. We are pleased.

We originally planned to install Trojan Batteries but they got real expensive when the Canadian dollar tanked. To our surprise Mastervolt became on option. They are Dutch and the Canadian dollar did OK against the Euro. They were slightly more than the Trojans but a much better battery. Mastervolt is the battery of choice for people singlehanding racing sailboats around the world. If all that keeps your electronics going in the middle of the ocean a storm is your batteries you want Mastervolts. Bluewater Rigging of Vancovuer, BC did the installation – very knowledgable and very professional.

This photos shows the installation under the bed in our 25FB Flying Cloud before I finished closing things in.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:35 PM   #2
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Here is the photo, I hope!
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:56 PM   #3
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Nice looking setup. Good to hear you can get that much run time on your 260 AH.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RubyDog View Post
We boondock in British Columbia in the shoulder season (which we define as temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night). The OEM DC system always disappointed us. We finally upgraded, but unlike others, we camp in the shade, rain and short days. Solar is not for us.

In the end we installed 4 Mastervolt 6v 260 Ah AGM batteries, a Magnum MSH3012M Hybrid Converter/inverter, a Magnum battery monitor, and a Magnum Advanced Remote Control. This gives us 260 Ah of useable power enabling us to camp without shore power or a generator for two or three days running the furnace etc. We are pleased.

We originally planned to install Trojan Batteries but they got real expensive when the Canadian dollar tanked. To our surprise Mastervolt became on option. They are Dutch and the Canadian dollar did OK against the Euro. They were slightly more than the Trojans but a much better battery. Mastervolt is the battery of choice for people singlehanding racing sailboats around the world. If all that keeps your electronics going in the middle of the ocean a storm is your batteries you want Mastervolts. Bluewater Rigging of Vancovuer, BC did the installation very knowledgable and very professional.

This photos shows the installation under the bed in our 25FB Flying Cloud before I finished closing things in.
Looks nice; how much weight did you add and was it in front or rear?
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:05 PM   #5
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That Magnum is a big piece of equipment. What are you running that requires such a huge inverter? The location of the stock converter, did you not remove it? What is in that location?

Very clean installation.

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Old 03-06-2016, 08:20 PM   #6
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We do not need a huge inverter but we wanted a powerful charger and the ability to program the various charging voltages. The Mastervolt are a bit different from other AGM. We are wanted the infrastructure to support lithium batteries in the future.

We removed the old batteries from the tongue. The new ones are under the front bed as aft as we could place them. They resulted in a net tongue weight increase of 50 lbs.

We removed the old inverter but kept the old charger as a backup system.
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:28 PM   #7
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On another note the Magnum has a boost function. That means we can run the air conditioner on 15 amps of shore power. The inverter will boost that 15 amps to whatever the equipment requires on demand. The system is actually capable of running the air conditioner on battery power alone although I am not sure how long. I would guess a bit over one hour. We ran the heat pump to test it and it had not problems.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:17 PM   #8
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Very nicely done. I am considering adding two or three solar panels, a Trimetric 2030-RV battery monitor, Trimetric SC2030 solar controller, a Magnum MMS1012 inverter/charger and was going to go with two Lifeline 6V (300AH, I believe) under the settee in my 2005 International 25SS, but you now have me reconsidering. The boost function of the hybrid inverter makes sense -- do you need the Magnum advanced remote control to take advantage of the that. I too think that in about 3 - 5 years lithium will be the way to go, but will wait. Last question: how do you think Mastervolt batteries compare with the Lifelines? Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:11 PM   #9
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Magnum makes two controllers. Both support the boost function. I went with the ARC because I like lots of information and it only cost about $40 more than the cheaper one with my package.
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Old 03-07-2016, 05:19 PM   #10
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Mastervolt Batteries are built and designed for very serious abuse in the harshest marine environments. They are vastly superior to the Lifelines but normally significantly more expensive. I got lucky due to currency fluctuations. I doubt many people put them in RV's but I know everyone who can afford them wants them in their sailboat. For us good batteries are nice whereas in boats they are potential life savers.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:06 PM   #11
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If you have 4 6v 260Ah batteries (assuming a pair in series to get 12v and paralleling both pairs), wouldn't you have a 520Ah system?
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:26 PM   #12
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Yes it gives us 520 Ah total but limiting draw to 50% of capacity gives us 260 usable Ah.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:39 PM   #13
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If you have 4 6v 260Ah batteries (assuming a pair in series to get 12v and paralleling both pairs), wouldn't you have a 520Ah system?
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Yes it gives us 520 Ah total but limiting draw to 50% of capacity gives us 260 usable Ah.
You don't want to draw lead acid or agm style batteries below 50% or you shorten lifespan or could damage the cells if you drain them too low repeatedly.

This is why you will always see mention of the above 50% rate; it's considered safe. Some are even more conservative and try not to draw them down more than 30%.
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