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Old 06-03-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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Where to mount voltage/amp gauges?

I had both a nice Datel LCD voltage gauge and a Trimetric in my SOB. I would like to add at least a Datel LCD Voltage and amp gauge in the Airstream. Unlike the Jayco, I am kind of at a loss on finding a good spot to install them. I like to monitor my batteries (2, 6V Trojans). I could mount them up on the end panels of the front overhead storage, but I don't know how to get the wires up there without ripping apart the wall coverings (mouse fur and vinyl). Any suggestions?
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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I guess folks must not mount these types of gauges in their Airstreams? If not, how do they monitor there batteries when camping without hookups. Just looking for an idea on where to mount them.
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2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
TAC MD-6
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:39 AM   #3
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The volt meter you should be able to mount anywhere you have a 12 source and ground available. There is no need to pull new wires.

An Amp meter is a different question. If you are using a Shunt Meter you will have to be very close to the to the input side of the electrical distribution panel.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Soyboy,
We mounted our Xantrex Link 1000 in the front of our Sovereign. We ran the wires underneath the bed and behind the kitchen cabinets/refridge. The installation calls for wiring which connects directly to the batteries.

Pics of the final installation and installation of the associated Xantrex Freedom 10 Inverter/Charger can be found on my blog.
Mello Mike's Airstreams - 1958 Overlander and 1972 Sovereign
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Mike, I think a location like yours would be good if I can figure out how to get the wires over to it. HowiE, I here ya about the amp gauge, it was also my understanding that it is best to try to pull the wires for the voltage as close to the battery as possible too. Somehow trying to measure it before it gets into the coach gives a more accurate reading. Don't know if that is correct. Of course if I was to go back to a Trimetric that has an all in one cable that makes it a mute point. Now if I can just figure out how to run the wires without tearing everything apart. My Jayco didn't have a belly pan so I just ran them under the coach and drilled a hole in the floor for the wire (sealing it of course).

Here is a photo Picasa Web Albums - fauxpasdenman - For Sale 2003... of my setup in the Jayco (sorry it's a bit blurry). You can see the Trimetric mounted into the cabinet and the Datel mounted under the stock gauge. Originally I was getting by with just the Datel, but later I upgraded to the Trimetric. Have both was great as I could keep the Tri on amps and then also have the voltage showing at the same time. BTW I didn't recess mount the Tri due to the Microwave being very close behind it.
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Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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I guess it would be a pain to pull back the mouse fur and vinyl so I could run the wires up to the front cabinet. I think they would work out well in the end caps of the cabinet that don't seem to be used for anything. However, I don't want to screw up my interior doing this as it is in great shape.
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2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
TAC MD-6
AIR 4534

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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Soyboy,
I don't know your layout but I would try to get as close to your batteries as possible. Where is your present battery and tank guage located? You might want to install your battery meter next to that.
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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Mike:

My present gauge is way up by the sink in the middle of the trailer. The batteries are on the tongue. The inverter is under the front couch. That is why I thought the front cabinet would be a good spot if I could figure out how to run the wires.

Dennie
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Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:25 PM   #9
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Hmmmm. I've got a few ideas. Do you have a few pics of the front of your Airstream?
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:58 PM   #10
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Here is a photo from an ad in the Airforums classifieds (click on it to make it bigger), it is similar to mine. I would either put the gauges on one of the "blank" end panels or inside where the radio is mounted. The current radio and Audiovox is heading out and I am going to put in a standard car size DIN radio mounted on a panel. That would leave room for the gauges. However, I kind of like the end panels as then I don't have to open anything to see them. By the way, I don't have a Pano window.
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1999 28' Safari
2012 F150 Platinum Max Tow 7650 GVWR 3.73 Elec. Locking Diff.(Prev 2003 Dmax).
Honda EU2000i, Equalizer Hitch
AM Solar Panels 150W - 2 Trojan T 105 6V Batteries
TAC MD-6
AIR 4534

On internet forums, please research and separate the wheat from the chaff (including mine!)
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:26 PM   #11
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Dennie,
After looking at your pic, you have three good options:

1. Run the wires up to the front cabinet and cover them up with one of those nice looking plastic or metal cable run covers. You won't see the wire run cover most of the time anyways, because you have the nice looking curtains to cover it.

2. Run the wires behind the wall. You will need to remove the Goucho and a couple wall panels, but this should be pretty easy to do.

3. Run the wires behind the Ozite fabirc (aka mouse fur), like you mentioned.

Where you mount it on the front cabinet is strictly a matter of choice. If it was me, I'd mount it behind the pull out door next to your radio. That way the front lines look clean and not cluttered.
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