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Old 07-26-2020, 07:19 PM   #61
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Looked a little deeper in the Battle Born FAQs and they do offer a heater wrap:

"Do your batteries have an internal heating element for cold temperature use?

No, but we have an adhesive backed heating wrap that runs off a 12 V source and works very well. It has a temperature sensor that allows it to turn on at 34F and stays on until the temperature rises above 45F. . . ."
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:21 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Looked a little deeper in the Battle Born FAQs and they do offer a heater wrap:

"Do your batteries have an internal heating element for cold temperature use?

No, but we have an adhesive backed heating wrap that runs off a 12 V source and works very well. It has a temperature sensor that allows it to turn on at 34F and stays on until the temperature rises above 45F. . . ."

Those heat pads are $220 a piece and they can drain the BB batteries in 9 hours. At the end of the day, having them inside the rig is better because you can utilize the internal heating to keep them warm and working regardless of temperature. It's a trade off for sure but at the end of the day, the option is better for certain buyers. Use cold climate buyers might have to stick with the AGM or find another solution to get the BB placed in the garage which has been well documented. I didn't ask rep if the batteries are wrapped or not, that maybe my next question I ask when they contact me tomorrow.


https://battlebornbatteries.com/prod...pad-for-bbgc2/
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Old 07-26-2020, 10:37 PM   #63
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Did you use the 3M tape to mount the panels?
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Old 07-27-2020, 03:06 PM   #64
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I use AM Solar's 100 watt panels, of which there are no more. They have started to use the Zamp 90 watt panels in their place, which come in at about 97 watts or about the same as our older 100 watt units.

I would call AM Solar and see when they expect the next shipment of panels to arrive. The Zamp units are excellent to work with.

Removing your old panel is not a big deal. You have to take off the screws that hold it to your roof, then scrape off the double sided tape that holds the panel to the roof. After that, clean your roof with alcohol, fill the remaining screw holes with SikaFlex 221 and you're good to mount your new hard panel in the same area.

Good luck!
Does using 6 gauge wire with 400 watts of solar make enough different from the standard 10 gauge to make it worth the cost?
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Old 07-27-2020, 05:29 PM   #65
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I've placed 3 FULL Victron systems into Interstates in the past year. That includes Victron lithium batteries, 400 watts of solar with Victron 100/30 controller and BMV-712 battery monitor, full Victron inverter/chargers and the V4.2 control system from AM Solar.

What would you like to know?
Is it imperative that 6 gauge wire be used and not 10 gauge? Safety?
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:22 PM   #66
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It insn't safety because 10 gauge can easily carry the current from 400 watts of panels. It is voltage drop and the efficiency and possibly charging penalty that that exacts.

400 watts is roughly 25 amps if they are 12 V panels or 13 if they are 24 or series wired 12V panels. If the round trip distance from the roof to the solar controller is 40' then the voltage drop is about 1 volt or 9% power loss with 12V panels and half of that if 24V panels.

Even worse is that if the voltage drop gets too high, say 3 volts then your controller will not be able to produce enough voltage to charge the batteries correctly.

So I shoot for 0.5 volt drop from the panels to the controller and even less, about 0.2V drop from the controller to the batteries.

David
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:36 PM   #67
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Thank you. Beginning to understand a bit about electrical issues. Big help. Maybe I can advance from only being able to plug in a toaster. �� 6 gauge it is.
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Old 07-28-2020, 11:54 AM   #68
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How difficult is it to use the existing 10 gauge wire to snake through the 6 gauge? A few details, please.
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Old 07-29-2020, 04:06 AM   #69
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How difficult is it to use the existing 10 gauge wire to snake through the 6 gauge? A few details, please.


Impossible, so I hear. The existing cable is not floating free and is fastened at several points within the trailer. I ended up using the 10 gauge and putting my 400w in a series/parallel configuration.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:29 AM   #70
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Dena M, You can efficiently use the 10 gauge factory prewire with up to 600W of solar panels if you configure the panels in series-parallel pairs. The voltage drop on 600W of series paired panels on 10 gauge is equivalent to the voltage drop on 600W of parallel connected panels on 4 gauge. Series-parallel configured panels have voltage drop that is 1/4 of parallel configured panels because when you double the voltage, you halve the voltage loss and when you halve the amperage, you halve the voltage loss. Series-parallel connected panels double the voltage and halve the amps which makes the voltage loss 1/4 that of parallel connected panels on the same gauge wire, which makes 10 gauge wire equivalent to 4 gauge wire. I have used the 10 gauge prewire with both 400W and 600W of series-parallel connected solar panels and both worked perfectly with minimal voltage loss, just like the theory suggested. You can read all about it on the "Solar Show and Tell" thread: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ll-181608.html
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:05 AM   #71
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Battery Swap

Can anyone definitively tell me whether or not (2) Lifeline GPL-4CT batteries will fit in stock trays of a 2016 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour EXT? I have read conflicting word while searching the FORUM. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-30-2020, 03:24 PM   #72
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I dont know the answer, but regardless (or irregardless!) I recommend you actually measure your trays and compare them to the published dimensions for the batteries. I would hate to buy batteries based on the wrong information and then have them not fit. Just my two cents.
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:49 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Michael Oehl View Post
Can anyone definitively tell me whether or not (2) Lifeline GPL-4CT batteries will fit in stock trays of a 2016 Airstream Interstate Grand Tour EXT? I have read conflicting word while searching the FORUM. Thanks in advance!
I know for a FACT your stock cages will not accommodate the GPL-4CT without being cut, expanded and re-welded. I do NOT recommend doing this. First picture shows the modified cage after it fell out. You'll be spending money for this mod, so I instead recommend a custom cage be made.

Yes, after I had one of these modified cages fall OFF on a bumpy road with the added weight of that bigger battery, I had my dealer configure a completely new bracket assembly, mounted on the RIGHT side of the van to avoid the left side that had become Swiss cheese after the old rivets and new rivets had left so many holes, some of which were stretched out of shape after the disaster.

3 pics attached. First one is old cage after it fell out. The other two show the new cage attached with copious larger Stainless Steel rivets AND a steel bar strap to cradle the whole thing. I highly recommend you spend the $ to have someone make something like this for you.

Better yet? Go with two lighter weight lithiums. Even more usable amp hours and as long as you do not need to CHARGE them below 26 degrees F you'll be fine with having them outside the van. BattleBorn self isolate at that temperature to keep you out of trouble and they weigh 31lbs each. Two of those will give you 180-200 usable Amp hours whereas your two GPL-4CT rated at 220Ah will give you 110Ah usable if you baby them.

The Lifeline literature says they are built so well you can deep discharge below this level frequently without damaging the batteries but please check this for yourself. I have personally run my Lifelines down to 10-20% about 6x, and to about 30% about 10x and the rest of the time only down to 50%. I cannot detect any battery health penalty in my usage. This is after using batteries only for about 100 nights total.


I suspect two BB lithiums will still require a cage modification, but please check for yourself. It is the WIDTH of the battery (the smallest dimension) that matters most because the AI battery cage will accommodate some deviation in height and length.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:46 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dena m View Post
Thank you. Beginning to understand a bit about electrical issues. Big help. Maybe I can advance from only being able to plug in a toaster. �� 6 gauge it is.
FYI your old thread is active today:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f24...ms-180123.html

Cheers,
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:43 PM   #75
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Inverter upgrade on 2014.5 Interstate

I am in the midst of a an inverter upgrade on my Interstate. I have not been able to identify the device pictured which is the Positive battery line between the Magnum inverter and its 200 Amp inline fuse. It seems some of the vans have this but many do not. Any ideas?
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:44 PM   #76
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Well a fuse in the positive wire is essential for any device connected to the battery. But it should be very near the battery. That fuse looks like it is near the inverter which means all of the wire upstream to the battery is not protected.

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Old 08-01-2020, 10:51 PM   #77
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I am in the midst of a an inverter upgrade on my Interstate. I have not been able to identify the device pictured which is the Positive battery line between the Magnum inverter and its 200 Amp inline fuse. It seems some of the vans have this but many do not. Any ideas?
Review page 124, that should answer some of your concerns. https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...manual-191.pdf

It seems like all the upstream devices have fuses at the bus bar. I agree with David, the battery terminals should have fuses on them for additional protection against power surges.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:41 AM   #78
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I am in the midst of a an inverter upgrade on my Interstate. I have not been able to identify the device pictured which is the Positive battery line between the Magnum inverter and its 200 Amp inline fuse. It seems some of the vans have this but many do not. Any ideas?


Looks like a new style Solenoid for cutting power to inverter
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:28 AM   #79
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Is It 10 gauge or 12 gauge?

Took my Interstate in for technitions to see what needs to be done to replace 3 floppy panels with 4 rigid ones. Tech said there is 12 gauge wine coming in from the roof. This was factory. Is that possible?
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:17 AM   #80
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It is definitely possible and 12 gauge is way too small for 4-100 watt panels. If you wire them in series/parallel which is what I would recommend, then #10 wire will keep the voltage drop down to about 0.5 volt over a 20' one way run. If you wire them all in parallel then it takes #6 wire to stay below 0.5 volt drop.

Wiring in series parallel means you have to have an MPPT controller which converts the higher voltage of series wiring to the battery charging voltage. Zamp and some others are not MPPT, they are PWM which means that you will lose more than half of your potential power if you wire them in series/parallel. So be sure to check beforehand.

David
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