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Old 06-10-2019, 01:12 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by pteck View Post
With all due respect to Tronadora and OTRA15 and the related threads, there is a difference here that warrants a new thread. alled A/C unit.
. . .
Yes, that is why I thanked you in the recent post.

Peter

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. . .
PS -- And thanks to pteck for this thread with good detailed information.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:28 PM   #42
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pteck - you make a good point about trailers vs Interstates having different use case scenarios. For instance, your microwave on High uses 1100+ watts and mine uses 1875. Which is why I must throttle mine back to Power Level 7 to make it work.

I too am utilizing mine as a secondary battery bank. From inside the RV I plug into it to send energy through the hardwired transfer switch that is integrated into the coach electrical system. Usually I will power the entire coach and it recharges house batteries at the same time. But now I'm loving the flexibility of turning off the coach 12V at night and letting the GZ only power the fridge freezer through the transfer switch. In so doing, my house batteries do not get used a bit all night. Not sure if that feature is something that "translates" over to trailers, but I'd like to know from y'all if it does cause I like to chat with trailer owners at campgrounds.

Like you, when I am dry camping I plug in the coffeemaker/instant pot/hair dryer/CPAP/desk lamp straight into the GZ. It's a wonderful life. Thanks for sharing your experience to help others appreciate the possibilities.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:55 PM   #43
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[/QUOTE]Even for most that install a full battle born lithium bank, extended A/C use on batteries is not really realistic.[/QUOTE]


pteck

For the normal Airstream A/C, I suspect you are correct. However I use a small window 5,000 btu/hr A/C for my 66 Tradewind that runs on less than 500 watts. In theory I can operate this for 4 hours (on high) using my 2 BB batteries. I havenít done this yet, but I will report back when I attempt this though.

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Old 06-10-2019, 03:44 PM   #44
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Perfect guys. Thanks for the comments. My intent is to try to stay on topic such that this is a useful thread for those searching about this specific application in the future, without having to wade through too much detail. All the other discussion is great when linked (thank you OTRA15), as the portable batteries truly are useful in so many more ways beyond what's discussed here.

Tronadora - what kind of microwave do you have? It very well may be that others have a similar model to yours even in their trailer. Though I'm surprised such a high powered unit would be installed... in a class B? 1875/120=15.6amps. Which can be marginal even in a residential full sized 15amp residential circuit. Good workaround with the microwave power setting.

As I mentioned, I'm not trying to integrate the 12V and 120V circuits. House batts run 12V loads. Accessory GZ batt runs the 120V loads. Yes, I can direct the GZ to charge the house batts via converter charger and load/use switch if I wanted to. But that's not efficient due to conversion and charging losses, and adds battery management complications. Likewise I can charge the GZ off my house batteries with inverter and 120V adapter. Both easily workable, but incurs significant efficiency losses.

Best practice is to use the power from their respective banks directly. Which means each should be sized appropriately without one compensating for the other. I've been finding the GZ 1000 (@~100Ah) to have plenty of capacity for my 120V uses. And my house 6V lead acid batts (@215Ah, 80% usable) to easily handle the house loads, out to 3 days even if necessary.
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:16 PM   #45
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50 amp service not so simple...

So, I got a 30 amp ATS in preparation of getting a GZ1000. However, there is a slight wrinkle. The ATS (automatic transfer switch) switches both hot and neutral for each power source. I thought I would be able to switch just one leg of the 50 amp service feed between the service feed and the GZ1000 plug which would then feed just half the 120v breaker panel. The naive solution would be to just ignore the neutrals and just let the service neutral remain connected to the breaker panel then run the neutral for the GZ 1000 plug to the neutral buss as well (with a jumper wire to the neutral of the ATS to energize the relay/timer ciruit). Any thoughts? I am guessing this would be completely against electrical code and perhaps common sense. Another option would be to return this ATS and get a 220v 50amp ATS. I would assume only one hot leg would power the relay and timing circuit so I would use that leg for the GZ 1000 plug. The drawback is that the 220v 50amp ATS is larger and may not fit in the space I have available.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:06 PM   #46
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After doing some more research, the correct solution appears to be to put in a 220v ATS. This route clearly allows having the generator side (actually GoalZero) just hook to one leg while the neutrals for everything will be properly isolated. Looks a return of the 110v and order the 220v is needed. I think the 220v even though a bit larger can fit under the big closet.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:33 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Dave-n-Janet View Post
After doing some more research, the correct solution appears to be to put in a 220v ATS. This route clearly allows having the generator side (actually GoalZero) just hook to one leg while the neutrals for everything will be properly isolated. Looks a return of the 110v and order the 220v is needed. I think the 220v even though a bit larger can fit under the big closet.

I'm going to do the same thing for my Classic 33fb which is 50 amps. Please let us know what ATS you end up going with and how you make out. Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:45 PM   #48
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I was not real happy with any of the 50amp ATS solutions I could find, so for now I'm just going to direct connect the loads to the GZ.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:10 PM   #49
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I've been asked a few clarifying questions about my install. Probably best to post here to share these details.

1) Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) install and Converter considerations
Here's detail on how I installed my single ATS switch - http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...ll-196098.html
In regards to the converter, by default I always have mine off whether on hookups or Goal Zero inverter (I get plenty of power from solar). There's no stock way to independently turn the converter off without turning off the related branch circuit breaker the converter is installed on. So I added a custom switch in the distribution panel to independently turn off the converter. I have on occasion turned it on when I want my accessory lithium bank to put some juice into the house bank.

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2) Install in under fridge cabinet
This cabinet on my 27FB (and likely similar in other floor plans) is a very shallow cabinet. I modified the back wall to add enough depth to accommodate the Goal Zero. There's enough room to move the rear partition back while not interfering with the heat duct there. One will want to have at least 1" additional depth on the face of the Goal Zero to accommodate a right angle low profile 120V plug and be able to shut the cabinet door. I also built up a platform as there is plumbing coming from the underneath tanks that need clearance. All in all, it's a great fit and good location with easy accessibility to the inverter "on" button. Also space into the extended basement area so the Goal Zero inverter can breath. Here's some detail pics of how my platform is done with rails and two screw nubs that fit into the feet of the Goal Zero to keep it from shifting. The door of the cabinet comes off super easy to remove the battery when I have the AS stored.

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Old 07-09-2019, 10:45 AM   #50
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Just go back from a long road trip to some beautiful high altitude locations in Mammoth and Tahoe. While we had hookups, I only bothered with the water and sewer at one site. With 400W on the roof, even in significant tree shade, there was power for the taking.

The Goal Zero worked as great as I had expected. Coffee, microwave, blow dryer, it was up to the task and always had good reserve for my accessory uses.

In one location with a lot of tree cover, furnace use, and charging of 6x people worth of electronics, the house batteries were lower than usual. Experimenting, I fired up the Goal Zero 120V inverter, turned on the trailer converter (which I always have off), and transferred some electrons to the house batteries. Worked great and it's good to know I always have additional power margin on tap via the second lithium bank, even if the primary house bank runs completely flat.

As a failsafe, I can fully disconnect the house batteries (via installed disconnect at batts), and run the full trailer solely from the lithium accessory bank via the converter.

Flexibility is seemingly the best part of it all. Some more interesting uses of the portable Lithium "accessory" bank:
1) Remove and use away from camp site
2) Remove and put in car for day trip to let it charge from the car, or support 120V devices in the car
3) Remove and charge it at a separate location from the trailer. Then bring back to trailer to charge house batteries

And many more creative uses I'm sure. With portability and flexibility of use, you'd think these "features" should cost one more than an infrastructure installed lithium. The fact that this costs less - significantly less considering it has a high quality inverter onboard... Let's just say I'm smitten with the value proposition.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:55 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
As a failsafe, I can fully disconnect the house batteries (via installed disconnect at batts), and run the full trailer solely from the lithium accessory bank via the converter.

pteck

This seems inefficient as you are going through the Goal Zero inverter and the Airstream converter. Can you not just connect the GZ lithium battery to the house batteries?

Dan
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:54 AM   #52
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pteck

This seems inefficient as you are going through the Goal Zero inverter and the Airstream converter. Can you not just connect the GZ lithium battery to the house batteries?

Dan
You're right that it would be inefficient. It's not the common use case I recommend, but it will work in a pinch if the main Batts for whatever reason have failed.

The Goal Zero 1000 lithium model isn't really setup for significant direct 12V draws. Some of the other AGM based units are.
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Old 07-17-2019, 01:49 PM   #53
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Lightbulb But - *Battery Lifespan* for the 'Yeti' units is VASTLY WORSE than LiFePO4.

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Originally Posted by Tronadora View Post
A couple of clarifications...
....
Because the Goal Zero is lithium-ion, and not the lithium-iron phosphate that the Battle Born batteries are... and because GZ dictates how fast you will charge it, when you are maxed out you are feeding it less than 1/2 the amperage that a BB battery can handle.

A true lithium (iron) battery likes to see 14.4V continuous and you can shove a lot more amperage into it, not affected by a three stage step-down charging profile like other battery technologies (bulk, absorb, float).
The Lithium-Ion batteries within the Goal Zero systems are expected to last for about 500 discharge/recharge cycles. (That's comparable to to the charge-cycle lifespan of most SLA batteries.) LiFePO4 batteries are often sold with warranties for more than 2000 cycles - and the warranties appear to be constructed according to a "worst case" scenario, discharging all the way down to BMS cutoff with ever cycle.

Treated decently (and NOT discharging past 12.2V, roughly 10% left), we can probably expect to see 4000 cycles, maybe even more.
- - - -
OTOH, A Goal Zero 'Yeti' integrates several components (An Inverter, a 'Buck-Boost' DC Converter, a PWM Solar Controller, and a battery) into a single very convenient box.

With "complete" LiFePO4 systems like mine, the cheap, low-amperage 'Buck-Boost' Converter within the Yeti (drawing from the current RV power Converter at lower Voltage) should usually be replaced by an entire new Converter. The Inverter must be bought (and wired) separately. Any existing Solar Controller, if not programmable, must be upgraded. This adds up to several $hundred more expense, above and beyond the expensive battery(s).


The 'Yeti' is more affordable and approachable - but their batteries wear out much faster. Unless you plan to use your Airstream for only a few years, or Goal Zero offers a battery replacement service in the future, or you DIY your own battery replacement: LiFePO4 might be better.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:36 AM   #54
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The Lithium-Ion batteries within the Goal Zero systems are expected to last for about 500 discharge/recharge cycles.
.....

The 'Yeti' is more affordable and approachable - but their batteries wear out much faster. Unless you plan to use your Airstream for only a few years, or Goal Zero offers a battery replacement service in the future, or you DIY your own battery replacement: LiFePO4 might be better.
The GZ power stations some of us have added to our AS rigs are never intended to be the primary house batteries. I have lived in my Interstate MH for 12 of the last 15 months and used the GZ every day for CPAP and desk lamp, every other day on average for coffeemaker/toaster/hair dryer uses. We dry camp usually every week for 1-3 days each time, which is when the GZ might get drained to 10% or less.

So if I use it hard 1x per week... 52x per year... that's ten years of convenience before I get to 500 cycles. Or, if you use it hard every time you go camping but camp "only" 52 nights per year... same math (provided you can recharge between each hard use). After 500 cycles, you supposedly have a product that still has 80% life, if you accept the conventional definitions for such things.

Ten years is a very acceptable life span to me.

Not saying anything bad about LiFePO4 for house batteries. They're fantastic and I highly recommend it. I would still like to switch out my AGMs for them to get more range and less weight... someday.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #55
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Absolutely agreed with Tronadora.

500 cycles is a worse case scenario for someone that is using it to full depth of discharge. At anything less, number of cycles will be much more. For my kind of usage where I barely use 10-30% capacity before it's charged, I expect it to last longer than I'll want from the technology/gadget.

At the prices "pre-paid" for LiFePO4, I'll be able to replace this gadget many times over, with updated/upgraded capacity.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:02 AM   #56
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I am in full agreement. I have no anxiety about using up the battery life of my Yetis. I now have three, two 3000's and one 1000. This gives me the flexibility to rotate them on duty and before any one gets seriously depleted. I will use them more in my house than in my trailer, and I really like the idea of portability given our current discussion about going back to a Class-B van from our trailer.
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:52 PM   #57
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I have been following this thread with interest. I have to preface this with the fact that electricity is not my field of expertise so excuse my ignorance with my following thought process and questions.

In Pteckís set up he wants the option to turn his converter off. What is the purpose of having this option?

I think I understand the purpose of the converter is to convert 120V AC into 12V DC to power all the 12V appliances. When connected to shore power Iím assuming this allows the shore power to operate all the 12V appliances without depleting your house batteries. In addition, the converter also serves to charge or maintain the batteries. Iím thinking if we have shore power, we would not care if the converter is on or off as it is not draining our batteries and is actually maintaining them. Is this correct?

In Pteckís set up, if I do not have shore power then the Goal Zero powers all the 120V appliances and the house batteries /solar power the 12V appliances. By turning off the converter, does this just mean the converter will not be using any of the 120V from the Goal Zero and act as a charger / maintainer for the house batteries and we rely on solar to recharge the house batteries? So turning off the converter does not put a drain on the Goal Zero?

I have the factory solar and AGM batteries on my Globetrotter. If I get a Goal Zero and just feed it thru the regular 50-amp input of my Globetrotter to power my 120V appliances, would I want my converter to be switched on or off? My guess is that I would want it off. The Goal Zero would feed all my 120V appliances (except AC) and my batteries would be recharged by the Factory solar. Is this correct?

I have an adapter that I can screw into my 50 Amp input on my trailer that then has a 20 amp receptacle. I have a waterproof Tonneau cover over my truck bed. For the time being, I could have the Goal Zero in my truck bed and run an extension cord from it to my RV. The extension cord (vs a 50 amp cord) should allow my bed cover to close so the contents of the truck bed are locked.

I would then use a 12V cigarette charger to charge the Goal Zero when travelling between locations.

I would try this option until I can figure out where, or if, there is a location in the RV to place the Goal Zero. I do not have room under my refrigerator as Pteck does.

I have going to Jackson Center next week to have some warranty work done. In addition to that, I am having them install a converter that Iím hoping will be an upgrade to the stock converter. The stock converter is not readily accessible. It is laying loose on itís side beneath the wardrobe closet and I canít ever reach. I would like it relocated to another location that is accessible. This is the main reason I am asking the question about turning the converter on/off as this is the time for me to get Jackson Center to add an on/off switch if I anticipate needing that option in the future.

Any other thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:45 PM   #58
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I don't think you need to access the converter to turn it off (which also means it doesn't matter where your converter is located). Why not simply turn off the breaker that is used for the converter? On my 2019 Classic it is clearly identified and easy to turn off. I do this when I run A/C from my generator to reduce the load on the generator.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:16 PM   #59
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I don't think you need to access the converter to turn it off (which also means it doesn't matter where your converter is located). Why not simply turn off the breaker that is used for the converter? On my 2019 Classic it is clearly identified and easy to turn off. I do this when I run A/C from my generator to reduce the load on the generator.
Good point as long as that circuit is dedicated to only the converter. I'll look at the label to see if that is the case. I can check but I think the converter has a fuse on it as well. If that fuse were to blow the current location is practically impossible to reach. I also want to get Jackson Center to secure the replacement converter so it will not bounce around while in transit and they will probably have to relocate it to do that.
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Old 07-26-2019, 03:29 PM   #60
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I have been following this thread with interest. I have to preface this with the fact that electricity is not my field of expertise so excuse my ignorance with my following thought process and questions.

In Pteckís set up he wants the option to turn his converter off. What is the purpose of having this option?

I think I understand the purpose of the converter is to convert 120V AC into 12V DC to power all the 12V appliances. When connected to shore power Iím assuming this allows the shore power to operate all the 12V appliances without depleting your house batteries. In addition, the converter also serves to charge or maintain the batteries. Iím thinking if we have shore power, we would not care if the converter is on or off as it is not draining our batteries and is actually maintaining them. Is this correct?

In Pteckís set up, if I do not have shore power then the Goal Zero powers all the 120V appliances and the house batteries /solar power the 12V appliances. By turning off the converter, does this just mean the converter will not be using any of the 120V from the Goal Zero and act as a charger / maintainer for the house batteries and we rely on solar to recharge the house batteries? So turning off the converter does not put a drain on the Goal Zero?

I have the factory solar and AGM batteries on my Globetrotter. If I get a Goal Zero and just feed it thru the regular 50-amp input of my Globetrotter to power my 120V appliances, would I want my converter to be switched on or off? My guess is that I would want it off. The Goal Zero would feed all my 120V appliances (except AC) and my batteries would be recharged by the Factory solar. Is this correct?

I have an adapter that I can screw into my 50 Amp input on my trailer that then has a 20 amp receptacle. I have a waterproof Tonneau cover over my truck bed. For the time being, I could have the Goal Zero in my truck bed and run an extension cord from it to my RV. The extension cord (vs a 50 amp cord) should allow my bed cover to close so the contents of the truck bed are locked.

I would then use a 12V cigarette charger to charge the Goal Zero when travelling between locations.

I would try this option until I can figure out where, or if, there is a location in the RV to place the Goal Zero. I do not have room under my refrigerator as Pteck does.

I have going to Jackson Center next week to have some warranty work done. In addition to that, I am having them install a converter that Iím hoping will be an upgrade to the stock converter. The stock converter is not readily accessible. It is laying loose on itís side beneath the wardrobe closet and I canít ever reach. I would like it relocated to another location that is accessible. This is the main reason I am asking the question about turning the converter on/off as this is the time for me to get Jackson Center to add an on/off switch if I anticipate needing that option in the future.

Any other thoughts are appreciated.
That line doesn't make sense...the converter should be attached to the back of your power panel...mine was, until I replaced it with a Boondocker multistage converter...which I used the same housing with the Boondocker inside the original housing.

I'll defer your other questions to Ptek or others to address....I am considering a portable Li battery pack also...I'm just not thinking I would be using it for running my AS appliances. I have portable solar panel and a generator to charge my 2- 6V Trojan batteries and that seems to work out great for boondocking....
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