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Old 04-03-2020, 08:55 AM   #41
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
escondido , California
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 144
What I did

VW, There is so much you can do to improve. See this thread with my post starting at post #16.
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...wo-193153.html

I nearly tripled my usable AH to 220 from 80. This is a big jump in my opinion but it not the first thing I did.

I replaced the Atkinson controller with a Victron battery monitor. Any similar device will be an improvement. Until you know how many AH you use, you will not be able to understand the changes you make. I also added their MPPT 100/30 solar controller. I have a write up of this change in the forums and many others have posted their work.

I added 100W of solar with an AM Solar panel and kept the flex panel for a total of 200W. This has been working well but I will add another 100W panel from Renogy this spring. I have not decided if I will ditch the flex panel.
I will experiment to see if it is worth saving. It's output maybe low enough that I will not have to upgrade the cables. At peak sun, I am getting 8A into the batteries, nice!

I attacked parasitic by adding a switch to the gas valve. That device saves .75A. I turn on the valve only when we use propane devices. I added a battery switch to isolate the inverter. Even with the inverter "off" it still pulls DC power. (CAUTION: You must turn this switch on BEFORE you plug the coach in to shore power)

I use a Mountain Smith cooler (similar to YETI) that fits in the freezer!. I can load this with frozen foods and a bit of ice in a sealed container and do not have to use the freezer as often. When I have excess power, I turn it on when needed. This has work will for us. We have more complaints about trying to defrost stuff for dinner!

We use a Makita Li Ion light with 5AH battery that lasts a long time for use around the camp but we are finding that we can use the coach lights a lot more now but it is useful for when you find that conservation is important.

With the Victron you can monitor your energy very closely and decide what to use and not use. If you get good sun, you can easily camp for 3 days without external power. Generally, we are on the move after that time so can rely on the chassis engine to recharge. We do not use the generator any more unless it has been raining with no sun.

All of my upgrades have been posted somewhere in this forum so please search on my posts and contact me if you want further discussion. These changes have nearly eliminated any anxiety I have about power!
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:32 AM   #42
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Traverse City , Michigan
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Schmitte or rowiebowie,

Does having the chargemate or dc to dc charger eliminate the need for a BlueSea ml-acr? Also, Schmitte’s batteries talk to the chargemate, can all lithiums do this and how to set up? rowiebowie, with a Renogy dc to dc charger is there no need for a linking from the batteries like Schmitt to tell the charger to stop? Or with either the Chargemate or Renogy, can the battery bms be relied on to cutoff taking a charge?
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:42 PM   #43
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2013 Interstate Coach
Indianola , Iowa
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I’ve got 200ah of battleborns, and at Battleborn’s recommendation, I installed a sterling dc-dc charger in place of the stock BIM. It controls the alternator charging and makes sure current cannot flow back from the higher voltage lithium’s to the lower voltage chassis battery. There’s a lithium BIM you can get, but in my case Battleborn recommended that only with 300 ah of lithium batteries or more.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:38 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by nateallen80 View Post
Iíve got 200ah of battleborns, and at Battlebornís recommendation, I installed a sterling dc-dc charger in place of the stock BIM. It controls the alternator charging and makes sure current cannot flow back from the higher voltage lithiumís to the lower voltage chassis battery. Thereís a lithium BIM you can get, but in my case Battleborn recommended that only with 300 ah of lithium batteries or more.
Thank you. Have you installed a Blue Sea ML-ACR between the chassis batteries and dc to dc charger?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:48 PM   #45
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2013 Interstate Coach
Indianola , Iowa
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No. I’m sure it could be done, but would require a bypass of the dc-dc charger so as to be able to connect the 2 batteries. I did install a large fuse and a shutoff switch.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:58 PM   #46
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Originally Posted by Heckler56 View Post
Schmitte or rowiebowie,

Does having the chargemate or dc to dc charger eliminate the need for a BlueSea ml-acr? Also, Schmitteís batteries talk to the chargemate, can all lithiums do this and how to set up? rowiebowie, with a Renogy dc to dc charger is there no need for a linking from the batteries like Schmitt to tell the charger to stop? Or with either the Chargemate or Renogy, can the battery bms be relied on to cutoff taking a charge?
Heckler56,
Thanks for your question.
The Chargemate is a bidirectional current limiting battery isolator that limits the current to 40 amps as spec'd by MB. The "talking" is pretty simple. Basically using the Lithionics BMS output, the Chargmate is switched to connect the LiFePO4 and MB battery and thus allow alternator charging when SOC reaches 80%. When the BMS reads 14.2 v for 30 min, it opens the circuit and disconnects the LiFePO4 from the alternator. This is important because the MB alternator does not float at the 13.4 v lithium likes and will result in the Lithionics BMS shutting down the battery to avoid damage. I assume you could use the BlueSea ml-acr with the dash switch to do the same thing manually.

I have had my set up for about a year and a half, using it through the Chicago winter with no issues. The only thing I would change is adding the built-in battery heater option. I also recently added an easy start to the AC and will rewire to allow AC off the inverter next time I tear into things

Good luck on your upgrade
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:33 PM   #47
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[QUOTE=Schmitte;237837
I have had my set up for about a year and a half, using it through the Chicago winter with no issues. The only thing I would change is adding the built-in battery heater option. I also recently added an easy start to the AC and will rewire to allow AC off the inverter next time I tear into things

Good luck on your upgrade[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your response and for posting your upgrade. I do so miss my Libertyville days...
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:44 PM   #48
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Libertyville days? Interesting.
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Old 07-03-2020, 03:46 PM   #49
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Libertyville days? Interesting.
Lived in the area for 27 yrs. Raised the kids and moved on. Miss my train ride buddies and the bar car 😁
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Old 07-03-2020, 05:04 PM   #50
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Schmitte,

Would you share the inventory of what connections you used to connect the solar panels? Ex: Several Y connectors with mc 4, split parallel mc4 connectors, etc
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:58 AM   #51
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Lived in the area for 27 yrs. Raised the kids and moved on. Miss my train ride buddies and the bar car


Been here 25 ish years myself. Itís a great place to live and raise a family!
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:05 AM   #52
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Originally Posted by Heckler56 View Post
Schmitte,



Would you share the inventory of what connections you used to connect the solar panels? Ex: Several Y connectors with mc 4, split parallel mc4 connectors, etc


I wired the 3 panels in series and used existing wiring and roof connection so I only needed 2 pairs (M/F) of MC4 connectors. Other misc items include: MC4 crimper, 20 ft of 10 ga stranded wire, sticky zip tie anchors, self leveling sealant for mounting feet, and some split loom.
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Old 07-07-2020, 03:53 PM   #53
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Cedar Rapids , Iowa
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Schmitte, thanks for sharing your upgrade with us. It is on my want list.
Sorry if I missed it and I am not fantastic (learning as we go!) with electricity but are you able to run your AC unit off your lithium setup? If so, do you know how long you can run it?
Wish I was brave enough to rip into our rig. It would be great to have a bit more freedom. Appreciate learning from your experience.
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:36 PM   #54
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Hawk,
Happy to share. My current wiring has two inverter circuits one for the TV outlets and one for the microwave. Now that I have the easy start on the AC, I will change that and run the 20a inverted circuit used for the micro to the main panel and power everything, just need it to cool down a bit around here.

With 300 Ah lithium I donít expect to run the AC very long but assume it will be nice to run intermittently to cool passengers in the back on long summer drives. I will report back after the wiring change

Go Hawks!
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Old 07-12-2020, 06:00 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nateallen80 View Post
Iíve got 200ah of battleborns, and at Battlebornís recommendation, I installed a sterling dc-dc charger in place of the stock BIM. It controls the alternator charging and makes sure current cannot flow back from the higher voltage lithiumís to the lower voltage chassis battery. Thereís a lithium BIM you can get, but in my case Battleborn recommended that only with 300 ah of lithium batteries or more.
Did you remove the stock bim and wire the Sterling from those disconnected wires? If the stock bim was eliminated, isnít there still a chance of ďload dumpingĒ if the battery bms shuts down and the Sterling is at peak output from the alternator? I have seen some highly recommend Sterlingís alternator protection device.
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Old 07-13-2020, 06:17 AM   #56
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Indianola , Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heckler56 View Post
Did you remove the stock bim and wire the Sterling from those disconnected wires? If the stock bim was eliminated, isnít there still a chance of ďload dumpingĒ if the battery bms shuts down and the Sterling is at peak output from the alternator? I have seen some highly recommend Sterlingís alternator protection device.
Yes, I wired it as you described. I havenít heard of any issues with battlebornís bms, but Iím sure itís possible. Iíll have to look into the protection device that you referenced.
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Old 04-07-2021, 03:59 PM   #57
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Xantrex XC Freedom 2000 just fits in the space where the old magnum was. Itís all the will fit, though. I needed move the solar controller and chuck the BMV shunt. Also needed to make a new wider base. Here are some pics
Attachment 338668Attachment 338669Attachment 338670
Schmitte,
I picked up a Xantrex XC Freedom 2000 and followed the wiring per the Magnum schematic and the Xantrex (AC in, AC out). My microwave works but the inverter outlets do not. So I looked at your photos and your wire locations on your old Magnum(same as mine) and interestingly we have the AC different in/out on the Xantrex. Do you recall having this issue when you wired it?
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:16 AM   #58
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Libertyville , Illinois
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Hi,
If you run the Xantrex AC out directly to the AC distribution panel, you will not have power to the old inverted (TV) outlets as airstream fed those directly from the Magnum. I added another 15 a circuit breaker for those outlets
You will enjoy the XC 2000
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:21 AM   #59
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
Moss Point , Mississippi
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If your Magnum had a pass through 120v, then you can just put a cord cap on the old direct wired inverter circuit and plug it into the outlet that fed the Magnum pass through.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:27 PM   #60
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Bennington , New Hampshire
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[QUOTE=Schmitte;2233640]I wasnít exactly sure how to wire the microwave appropriately so I just wired the AC output same as the Magnum. The AC wiring will have to wait until another time

You technically can remove the #10 wire coming from the gen/shorepower transfer switch at the main breaker on the AC panel and move that to the AC-in on your Xantrex. A short length of AC-out wire then goes back into main breaker, also #10. It is advisable to have the incoming wire go through a 30A fusible disconnect, something like a 400V/30A miniature breaker for safety and disconnect.

Make sure the phase wire (black) goes back through the coil for the precisioncircuits Power Control system part located inside the breaker box

The AC-in and AC-out from the old Magnum are then spliced together and in proper fashion, it needs to be in a junction box.

Then your AC from the Inverter works just like shorepower. That 300AH can handle any load in your airstream (one a the time). Though the 2000W inverter likely will not likely handle the AC.
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