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Old 01-23-2011, 01:32 PM   #29
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Thanks Massey, and nice setup you have there!

Here is how my tray was loaded:


Here is the length, width, and depth again.




By my calculations the current drawer is 43" X 15" X 9".
The 15" is actually about 20", but I am restricted to where I can do the depth drop by the outer skin curve as shown here:


As you can maybe visualize, by turning Group 27s thru 90deg I gain 2" because they are approx 12" X 7", so the footprint of 2 batteries is 12" X 15" allowing for 1" between.
Looking again with my awake head on, I am limited to 5 Group 27's unless I move the Engine battery elswhere.

If I went with the GC2 6V batteries, and dropped the floor 2", I could get 6 in the tray with room to spare because the footprint is 10" X 7" x 11". Weight would become an issue tho!

I did some pricing and AGM batteries are twice the price of what I am looking at.
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #30
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Battery Tray

If you are going to rebuild the battery tray, try to move the inside wall closer to the frame. I know cost its always a hurdle, but a nice aluminum box built close to the frame might give you more options. Don't know how those design engineers can keep their jobs, when we lowley RV owners can make so many improvements to the OEM specs.

Note: The Trojan 6V are a top post battery, so you do need the height.

Dave
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #31
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I feel stupid to ask this....
My current Converter is a Fortron and outputs 45A, but as its a single stage charger, and not so good, I will replace it with a 3 stage for my next step into solar...

I know I will need a Solar Charge Controller, but I guess I dont understand how this dovetails with the whole system....

I understand the generator or hookup powers the converter to output 12V, and this will charge the batteries and provide 12V output where needed.

What I dont yet understand is:
I need a 120 to 12V Converter with intelligent charging circuitry, for charging Batteries when the genset is running or using a hookup.
I need a Charge controller that has intelligent circuitry, to charge the batteries and power the 12V circuits when Solar is inputting.
Do I need both?
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Old 01-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
If you are going to rebuild the battery tray, try to move the inside wall closer to the frame. I know cost its always a hurdle, but a nice aluminum box built close to the frame might give you more options. Don't know how those design engineers can keep their jobs, when we lowley RV owners can make so many improvements to the OEM specs.

Note: The Trojan 6V are a top post battery, so you do need the height.

Dave
Yes, I am aware of the top post issue, and plan to keep as a minimum the same istalled height at what I have. I think I will add some plastic + post covers too for safety.
I did look at pushing the rear wall of the tray back as you suggest, I could go another 2", but that brings its own set of problems with the slide outs. If I push the wall back, I dont think the rear will slide out and be clear of the body, so blocking the space. The slides I plan to use are 26" long, and support 500lb, but they will only just fit... its gonna be tight, as my measurents say that they will go all the way from the M/H chassis leg to the bodyside curve.
I have maybe 1" to play with to miss the wires running along the chassis, and I may have to move them down..

I will take some measurements tho
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:16 PM   #33
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Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
I feel stupid to ask this....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
My current Converter is a Fortron and outputs 45A, but as its a single stage charger, and not so good, I will replace it with a 3 stage for my next step into solar...

I know I will need a Solar Charge Controller, but I guess I dont understand how this dovetails with the whole system....

I understand the generator or hookup powers the converter to output 12V, and this will charge the batteries and provide 12V output where needed.

What I dont yet understand is:
I need a 120 to 12V Converter with intelligent charging circuitry, for charging Batteries when the genset is running or using a hookup.
I need a Charge controller that has intelligent circuitry, to charge the batteries and power the 12V circuits when Solar is inputting.
Do I need both?


This site has some good info. You are getting to technical for me. Use the left column for different information.
Charge Controllers for Solar Electric Systems
Dave
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:29 PM   #34
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Keyair,

Yes, you need both! A quality solar charge controller (look at the HPV-22B from AM Solar) will have an on/off switch or standby feature that allows you to disconnect the solar charge controller from the battery bank when connected to shore power. Also, you need a quality (and I can't stress this enough) charge controller with 3 stage charging to properly maintain your batteries while being charged by your solar array.

This goes for your converter as well. Single and dual stage chargers are a sure way to fry/boil or otherwise destroy your batteries in short order unless you keep a VERY watchful eye on them. A quality 3-stage charger and AGM batteries will almost never need attention as there is no water level to check, NO CORROSION of your battery box (they DO NOT OUT-GAS when properly charged) and no maintenance. That is one of the great benefits of the price you pay for AGMs.

Also, depending on the solar panels that you choose, a properly designed solar charging system will provide a 'boost feature' to your batteries when charging. This boost in charging amperage is provided by increased output voltage from the solar panels to the controller.

Most solar panels available today range from 14-17VDC output. As an example, AM Solar has their panels custom built with 40 cells rather than the usual 36 and are set to provide over 24.8 VDC open circuit output (we call them HOT panels). The custom designed charge controllers will then utilize this excess voltage output and convert it into a boost in the charging amperage seen at the batteries.

The 400 watt (4 panel) system that I have on my service van has seen up to 28.5 amps charging the batteries at maximum sun angles. By using the toggle switch at the remote control panel of the system, the raw output of the panels before they hit the controller was just under 18 amps......a 'boost' of almost 60%. This is one of the prime features of a properly designed RV solar charging system, and one that most folks looking for 'cheap' systems never consider. Maximum charging output to the batteries for a given amount of sunlight is what solar charging systems are all about and what separates the top quality systems from all the rest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
I feel stupid to ask this....
My current Converter is a Fortron and outputs 45A, but as its a single stage charger, and not so good, I will replace it with a 3 stage for my next step into solar...

I know I will need a Solar Charge Controller, but I guess I dont understand how this dovetails with the whole system....

I understand the generator or hookup powers the converter to output 12V, and this will charge the batteries and provide 12V output where needed.

What I dont yet understand is:
I need a 120 to 12V Converter with intelligent charging circuitry, for charging Batteries when the genset is running or using a hookup.
I need a Charge controller that has intelligent circuitry, to charge the batteries and power the 12V circuits when Solar is inputting.
Do I need both?
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:13 AM   #35
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Thanks for that info Lewster. Looks like good stuff, and the cool thing I like is the basic kit with an an upgrade path!

You know what seems odd to me?
That you need 2 seperate chargers.
Why can't you use the solar charger to charge the batteries, and input the Converter voltage into that too?

Massey, On the subject of the battery drawer, I was over at the AS yesterday, and did some measurements...
There is 8" between the back of the drawer and chassis rail!
Now, I need some of that for wiring, and also there is a switch mounted on the back of the drawer too, but that seems silly to have it there with exposure to the elements... I am thinking to move it all into the drawer.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Thanks for that info Lewster. Looks like good stuff, and the cool thing I like is the basic kit with an an upgrade path!

You know what seems odd to me?
That you need 2 seperate chargers.
Why can't you use the solar charger to charge the batteries, and input the Converter voltage into that too?

Massey, On the subject of the battery drawer, I was over at the AS yesterday, and did some measurements...
There is 8" between the back of the drawer and chassis rail!
Now, I need some of that for wiring, and also there is a switch mounted on the back of the drawer too, but that seems silly to have it there with exposure to the elements... I am thinking to move it all into the drawer.
Not a bad idea, but to my knowledge, such a device does not currently (no pun intended ) exist. The solar charge controller has special features that allow it to satisfy the DC to DC charging requirements of a solar array and 12VDC battery bank while a solid state converter/charger used 120VDC as input to provide 12VDC for battery charging and to power the DC circuits.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:44 PM   #37
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Well, someone needs to make a dual input Charger!

Ok, so I just got the specs on the 2 Costco batteries I am looking at.

Marine Deep Cycle Grp 27 $68.99 each.
MCA 750
CCA 600

Golf Cart 2GCS 6V $78.99 each.
No spec on the battery, so this is what they quoted me. Now reading back, I am not sure if I got this right..
220AH @ 20A
425AH @ 25A
100AH @ 75A
63LB each.

I am leaning toward the 4 x Golf cart batteries.
So, if I connect 2 together to give me the 12V, what happens to the numbers?
Connecting 2 X 2?
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:56 PM   #38
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Batteries

In my search to answer whether AGM's need an upgraded ALTERNATOR setting, I found the following site quoted here http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...tml#post943179

A lot of good answers in about 5 pages of info.

Dave
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:18 PM   #39
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880 amps at 6v, 440 amps at 12v. What ever you construct don't hide the fill holes, GC batteries need watering a few times a year and it help to be able to see in the hole for the level, can be done with mirror but inconvenient.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:17 PM   #40
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Thanks Dave!
No, I will plan the battery tray well... no hidden fillers is a priority!

From what I have read, 4 of them should be enough for me to boondock for a good few days without running the genset if I am carefull with my usage.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:03 AM   #41
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The 'golf cart' batteries are usually a bit taller but with a smaller footprint and wind up being maybe 5% or so bigger than a group 27. That makes a difference in how it will fit in the box but is insignificant as far as energy storage capacity. Other than that, the 6v is just an extra $10 for no gain in performance.

As for needing water a few times every year, you might look at upgrading your battery maintenance equipment. You should seldom need to add water if your charging and maintenance is being done properly.
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Old 01-27-2011, 09:45 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
In my search to answer whether AGM's need an upgraded ALTERNATOR setting, I found the following site quoted here http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449...tml#post943179

A lot of good answers in about 5 pages of info.

Dave
I've never heard of touching the alternator for AGM batteries. I know plenty of people that use Optimas (AGM battery) that use stock alternators. Actually, I'm one of them...I have an Optima Blue Top as the house battery in my camper, and it charges fine off the alt.

I do think a 3-stage converter is a good idea, though. The older one-stage models will cook batteries, and AGMs are especially susceptible, especially if you're like me and keep the camper plugged in all the time. Check out Optima's website and their limits on charging the batteries. The newer models might be better but I wouldn't trust it.
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