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Old 08-19-2015, 05:03 PM   #113
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I sometimes tow with a box of firewood under the dinette table and two bikes strapped onto the Fiamma bike rack on the rear of my 27FB. If those two batteries bent the frame then I'm ultimately doomed to a bent frame too.

The steel frame is pretty robust. Either 5" or 6" thick heavy duty steel, so hard to visualize how they can bend with such little additional stress. Didn't the older trailers with the frame bending problem have smaller sized beams?
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:29 PM   #114
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I sometimes tow with a box of firewood under the dinette table and two bikes strapped onto the Fiamma bike rack on the rear of my 27FB. If those two batteries bent the frame then I'm ultimately doomed to a bent frame too.

The steel frame is pretty robust. Either 5" or 6" thick heavy duty steel, so hard to visualize how they can bend with such little additional stress. Didn't the older trailers with the frame bending problem have smaller sized beams?
Good points. The hardness of the steel used to make the frame members would also affect how much it deflected and how easily it bent. I have a 34 Avion too. You oughta see the THREE BEAMS that thing has! Makes all Airstreams look delicate.

One thing everyone probably notices - you arrive at your destination after 300 or so miles of highway towing. You open the door and start picking stuff off the floor - like seat cushions, pillows, etc. Stop for a moment and look. The closer to the tongue, the less stuff will move. I confess I left an open water bottle more than half full on my nightstand (Front Bedroom unit). After towing for several hours, it didn't fall, but the back cushions on the rear dinette - were as usual - out of place and nearly blocking the rear door entrance. The back swings more from side to side and bounces more up and down than anything forward of the wheels. So if you're carrying your Waterford Crystal on a trip (a) don't and (b) put it close to the front and low to the ground and watch out for what might fall on it!

Those batteries might have been whacking the floor at about 3G's. That's why my cast iron stuff is in the tow vehicle ahead of the rear axle. Smart moving them to the dinette which I assume is directly over the wheels. (I would have just taken one propane bottle off or carried it empty and filled it on arrival at the destination. I'm lazy.)

Paula

Give me a big enough lever and I can move the earth - Archimedes
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:47 PM   #115
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I agree with the various comment relative to AS strength - I'm pretty confident the frame is not bent. If it is bent then I hope there are no families sitting at the dinette without putting the stabilizers down....

The skin inside around the window is flat as a pancake. All rivets are in place. Probably a non issue but I thought I'd share. This forum is about sharing AS experiences so others can learn.

Moving the batteries over the axles gets me to my original target for tongue weight with PP fitted which was 850 lbs so I'm right where I want to be. As far as I'm concerned this is still a useful mod with the cautionary note about putting the weight too far back.

A reduction from 900lbs tongue from the factory (no hitch fitted) to 850lbs with a PP is still a useful reduction for those that want to tow with a payload challenged vehicle.

Happy camping.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #116
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Thank you for this thread and all of the excellent detail provided ... invaluable since I recently purchased a 25 International Serenity FB and plan to tow with Cayenne S (2014 with V8). You may have already mentioned this.... did you get the CanAm recommended hitch reinforcement on your Cayenne?
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:33 PM   #117
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Thank you for this thread and all of the excellent detail provided ... invaluable since I recently purchased a 25 International Serenity FB and plan to tow with Cayenne S (2014 with V8). You may have already mentioned this.... did you get the CanAm recommended hitch reinforcement on your Cayenne?
I did reinforce the receiver. I had a local custom exhaust shop do the work, there are some details/photos in post 23 on this thread. Knuff (originator of the thread) also did a mod much more in line with what Can-Am would do. His mod retains the rear muffler. He has photos in the thread also. If you have additional questions after reading the post add them to the end of the thread. (Even if you don't, its mandatory to post a picture of your TV!)

I just noticed you have a 2014 with the V8. Is that a turbo? I might be jealous.....
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:10 PM   #118
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Thanks. Sorry for the delay. I was hoping to get a picture of the Cayenne and 25FB together but delayed on picking up the Airstream until this Sat. No turbo but do have air suspension so will provide pics and feedback on maiden voyage from Dixie RV (Defuniak Springs - approx 75 miles) to our home. Starting out with Eaz-Lift 1200 lb WD hitch and sway control but also considering PP long term.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:56 AM   #119
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No issues during return trip from Dixie RV towing our new 25FB International Serenity with Cayenne S with air suspension. We encountered strong rain and wind (TS Erika remnants) and numerous big rigs passing (I was driving 55 most of the way home). Comfortable and stable driving / vehicle response even when being passed by large trucks and RVs. Average gas mileage for 400 hp / 369 ft-lbs torque V8 for the trip was 12.3 mpg. Acceleration and braking were excellent. I did encounter some porpoising when coming down the mid-span ump on the bay bridge in Pensacola.

Hitch is 1200 ib Eaz-Lift with sway control. I did add 240lbs of ballast under the dinette for the drive home (reclaimed lead shot in convenient 30lb bags from rotometals.com... thanks kscherzi for the link). Even with this ballast disconnected hitch weight was 825 so still planning on mods recommended in this thread for moving batteries and removing spare tire to further reduce tongue weight. Trip to weigh scales planned this weekend!

I was surprised at loudness of noise from friction sway control in tight turns. No noise from hitch on interstate. Is this typical or do I have sway control too tight?

Link to photo taken when leaving dealership below... will submit better pictures later.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hd3otyekcg...enity.jpg?dl=0
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:49 AM   #120
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I had a friction anti-sway on my Casita (no WDH) and was noisy when wet.

Kelvin
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:59 PM   #121
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Ohio - after moving the batteries under the fridge - where did you mount the converter/charger? I am considering doing the same, but I will also have solar.. so trying to decide where to drop my solar power wire in.. front curb side in closet or street side for the fridge area.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:27 PM   #122
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Brav,

The main converter/charger as supplied with your AS (the one that charges your battery when on AC power) should remain where it is. For me that was under the sliding storage units on the curb side of the AS adjacent to the range.

I mounted the solar charge controller in the closet on a panel (with my cellular router). Pic below. This is essentially "dead" space in the closet so a good spot to use. Shown in the photo is the BlueSky unit I used before I changed to all Victron. The Victron BlueSolar is in this location also.

The wires from the solar panels come into the top of the closet on the left at the front (not shown in photo), under the bottom shelf and up into the charger controller. A local disconnect switch is used to isolate the solar cells on the positive leg from the panels. You can see that in the photo just to the left of the charge controller. The fridge and batteries are just to the left in the photo.

You should connect direct to the battery with the output from the solar charge controller ensuring there is a suitably rated fuse/breaker on the positive leg as close to the battery as possible.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:32 PM   #123
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Pictures of one of the solar panels and JB. I bought all my gear from AM Solar - GREAT company to deal with.

I mounted the junction box they sell close to the fridge vent. The 4 ga wire comes into the AS directly out of the bottom of that box. Since this picture I added 2 more panels.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:00 PM   #124
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Brav,

The main converter/charger as supplied with your AS (the one that charges your battery when on AC power) should remain where it is. For me that was under the sliding storage units on the curb side of the AS adjacent to the range.

I mounted the solar charge controller in the closet on a panel (with my cellular router). Pic below. This is essentially "dead" space in the closet so a good spot to use. Shown in the photo is the BlueSky unit I used before I changed to all Victron. The Victron BlueSolar is in this location also.

The wires from the solar panels come into the top of the closet on the left at the front (not shown in photo), under the bottom shelf and up into the charger controller. A local disconnect switch is used to isolate the solar cells on the positive leg from the panels. You can see that in the photo just to the left of the charge controller. The fridge and batteries are just to the left in the photo.

You should connect direct to the battery with the output from the solar charge controller ensuring there is a suitably rated fuse/breaker on the positive leg as close to the battery as possible.
Perfect, thank you... good idea for solar controller. I also am going with all Victron components, and also from AM Solar.

I have a 25FB so my charger/converter (now a PD4655 multi stage) is under the aft side of the front bed.. so wiring becomes a mess unless I mount on the curb side of the trailer. Not sure how I can relocate the batteries away from the bed without also moving the charger/converter.

I was trying to do all of my upgrades in stages, which is proving to be quite difficult, if I dont want to continually re-wire. Stage 1 is 400 watt solar implementation (wiring and controller to accommodate 600+). Stage 2 is relocate and upgrade batteries (hopefully to Lithiums) as well as the Victron inverter/charger. Stage 3 would be to add capacity to both batteries and solar array.

PS - How do you like the Color Control? no Victron MPPT? I plan on going with bluetooth and using iPad
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:57 PM   #125
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Perfect, thank you... good idea for solar controller. I also am going with all Victron components, and also from AM Solar.

I have a 25FB so my charger/converter (now a PD4655 multi stage) is under the aft side of the front bed.. so wiring becomes a mess unless I mount on the curb side of the trailer. Not sure how I can relocate the batteries away from the bed without also moving the charger/converter.

I was trying to do all of my upgrades in stages, which is proving to be quite difficult, if I dont want to continually re-wire. Stage 1 is 400 watt solar implementation (wiring and controller to accommodate 600+). Stage 2 is relocate and upgrade batteries (hopefully to Lithiums) as well as the Victron inverter/charger. Stage 3 would be to add capacity to both batteries and solar array.

PS - How do you like the Color Control? no Victron MPPT? I plan on going with bluetooth and using iPad
No Need for the MPPT Control when using the Color Control Monitor. You WILL need the BMV- 702 battery monitor though and the Digital Multi Control 200/200A if you intend to use the MultiPlus inverter/chargers.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:49 PM   #126
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Victron - amazing

The Color Control is AMAZING.

Its expensive but adds a ton of functionality: -
  • If your AS has internet access you can view status of all connected Victron systems via the internet. Data logging, email alarms the whole deal. Amazing stuff.
  • You can change settings (using VEConfigure) on the MultiPlus over the internet - no hardwire connection required. I do this over WiFi sitting in the AS with my laptop. Firmware updates must however be done via a hardwire connection.
  • The screen is excellent - great active visual display of current flow, power etc.
  • You can adjust basic settings on the MultiPlus (switch to On/Off/Charge only, set max input current setting etc).

I do have a Victron MPPT (Blue Solar 150/70) works very well. I have seen 600W a few times which is my system rating. I run my solar cells wired 2 in series then 3 in parallel for 48V. I do not use the BlueTooth feature since I use the VEDirect port to connect to the Color Control and then view on the screen or remotely via the internet. Looks like Victron now has some MPPT units with built in BlueTooth so the VEDirect port would still be available for connection to the Color Control.

I have a Victron MultiPlus Inverter/Charger - the 3000VA unit which has now replaced my AS charger and 1000W AS inverter. I have this installed at the rear in the storage cabinet under the dinette. It weights about 50lbs. A lot less than the 120 lbs of AGM's I had back there for a while (see earlier posts). This should be installed as close to the batteries as possible. Probably a bit further away than i'd like but works well. Victron seems less concerned about cable distance then Magnum.

My battery uses CALB CAM 72 AHr cells (x48, 864 AHr) and is mounted on the underside of the AS just rear of the rear axle using a custom aluminum hanger I fabricated. There is some reinforcement of the floor cross members required and a cover to fabricate from aluminum sheet to protect the batteries from the weather. The compartment is heated via the furnace for below zero use/charging. It is much cooler for the batteries down here in the summer since they are not inside the coach which can reach +105F when in storage with no A/C. Cooler storage temps will prolong life. This unit weights just over 200lbs with bus bars. Incredibly light for the AHr capacity. I can run the AC for about 4 hrs straight with this setup with a bit of solar assist. Small DC and AC loads (TV's etc) can be supported for several days even with minimal solar assist.

For your setup, for now, there is no issue leaving your AS charger under your bed. My original setup with AGM's under the fridge was about 2x your cable run from battery to charger since my charger was amidships on the opposite side to the fridge. Cable from the battery ran from the fridge all the way to the front and then back to the middle of the AS to the charger. Use 2ga wire from the battery back to the charger and you will be just fine.

If/when you install an inverter, it is important to have your inverter as close to the battery as possible to limit losses. You might be pulling 300 Amps or more. This is a lot different to the 50A or so the charger is putting out. The charger derives its power from your AC shore connection - a bit of losses is insignificant here when you have a 30A x 110V incomer as the power source.

If you have any more questions I'd be glad to help out. I just spent the best part of 6 months doing my upgrades. I also did it in stages.
  • AGM batteries in the rear to reduce tongue weight
  • AGM's moved under the fridge due to weight concerns (see earlier posts)
  • 400W solar first - but wired for 600W
  • Victron Multiplus install (still using AGMs), Color Control, BMV 702 and Blue Solar MPPT. I did most of the wiring for Lithium batteries (contractors etc) at this point.
  • Lithium batteries and BMS last - this was the most problematic and time consuming not least because of the battery installation location under the AS. That is a PITA to do....

Even if you plan this out you will get good at making up cables, using heat shrink and applying crimp connectors because you WILL rewire this thing several times before you are done....
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