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Old 04-14-2019, 07:43 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2017 Basecamp
Preston , Washington
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 9
Base Camp BMV-712 Battery Monitor Installation

Today I finished installing a Victron BMV-712 Smart battery monitor in my Airstream Base Camp. I'm pretty happy with it and thought I would share where I fit the components and a few general comments.

I modified the access to the battery compartment and the rear wiring panel under the sink.

Here are my batteries that came with the Base Camp. Two Interstate SRM-24 batteries wired in parallel. The batteries are in a closed metal box with a vent tube for gasses. Nice.

The leads are passed through the box via insulated stubs. I considered mounting the Victron shunt in the box because it's supposed to be close to the battery but I didn't want to cut more holes for the wires. Then I considered mounting the unit on the outside of the box which might have worked but it was a tight fit without removing the batteries and maybe the box. After much debate I ended mounting the shunt unit on the back board near the power distribution blocks.

I needed to make a wire from the Shunt to the ground bus bar, I used a 4g stranded wire because that is what the local electronics shop had. The wire on the right of the shunt (the shunt is the unit in the upper left with the two big black wires with yellow ring connectors) is the wire that goes to the battery box and used to go to the bus bar. Fortunately, it was long enough to reach the shunt. I crimped on a ring connector and attached it to the battery side of the shunt. (FYI, I removed the wire and crimped in using my shop vice)

There is a small red wire that goes from the terminal block on the shunt that is routed in the wire bundle down to the terminal with the rightmost big red wire. That wire goes to the +side of the battery box.

The whitish wire coming out of the shunt unit is a cat 5 cable that goes to the monitoring unit. NOTE: It is a cat5 cable but uses an RJ11 connector NOT your standard RJ45 connector. I tried using a shorter cable I had with a 6-wire RJ11 connector and it didn't work. Stick with the cable they supply even though it's really long.

Here's where I ended up putting the monitor.

I put it here because it was EASY to drill the holes I needed and run the wires plus it's relatively easy to see. I used a 1/2" paddle bit in my impact driver (because it's smaller) and drilled from the cubby hole above the fridge towards the sink for the cat5 wire. It was easy to run the wire under the sink and route it to the shunt. I used a hole saw for the big hole. I had to keep if far enough to the left so I didn't have interference with the screws holding the rubber bands in the cubby.

The most important parameter for programming the unit is the Battery Capacity. I'll save everyone hours and hours of online research..... for the Interstate SRM-24 battery the c20 rating is 85ah and for two batteries it's 170ah. Enter 170 as the Battery Capacity.

[I'm a retired electrical engineer and actually understand this stuff.]

Lastly, for those who say the shunt should be closer to the battery I've concluded my mounting position works just fine.

The BMV-712 is a cool gadget and has an app for my phone to monitor the charge state of the battery and real time current draw. I have a big trip coming up in May with mostly boondocking stops. I'll let you know how it works.

I hope this helps someone down the line.


Donnh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 06:31 AM   #2
Half a Rivet Short
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 6,308

Nicely done. My install is pretty trashy by comparison

The magic cable to the BMV-712 is technically an RJ-12 ( RJ-11 has 4 wires, the RJ-12 is the same size with 6 wires). The 712 does work with bog standard RJ-12 cables from Amazon.

The gotcha with the cables is the way the connectors go on. The cable normally used for this is flat,. That makes it easy to strip and also easy to see what they did with the connectors. If you lay the cable down on a table, one connector is "tab up" and the other connector is "tab down". Yes, that's weird.

Probably better to show with a picture, but all my stuff is buried at the moment.


uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:27 PM   #4
2016 19ft flying cloud
Spokane , Washington
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 117
I will be interested in what readings you get using the 170 a hr figures
Some of us have had problems getting a meaningful reading using 170
Whereas when he battery voltage gets down to 12.3, the 712 still says. You are are 70-80 % capacity
Spinonedad is offline   Reply With Quote

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