This will be a multi section post of the new electrical system. The first part will be the build, the second is testing and the third will be performance.
The planning of this project started a few years ago with a huge goal in mind—being able to run any device in the trailer using lithium batteries and solar with minimal shore/generator power. Of course, any good project starts by doing a lot of research. Mine consisted of internet searches of the various companies and watching numerous hours of YouTube videos. Seeing what others have done—what they liked, didn’t like and what I liked or didn’t like, and seeing what might be improved upon. I also private messaged several on the Airforum, emailed the authors of the YouTube videos, and called different companies. So, when the first post about Battle Born Batteries showed up on the Airforum, I was intrigued with the possibility of a lithium “drop-in” replacement for our AGM.
I sent an inquiry to Battle Born via their web site and within a couple of hours was contacted by Sean Nichols. One of the first things I explained to Mr. Nichols was how I would have to piecemeal the components over time as money became available. After several email and phone call exchanges with Mr. Nichols and Dr. Denis Phares, we came up with a plan. A complete re-do of all the electrical. And after several more email and phone calls with them about the build, it was time to place the first order.
Ordering items for this build took about 2 years.
The following was ordered from Battle Born
1) 4 X 100-amp hour Battle Born Batteries
2) Victron 150/60 MPPT
3) Victron Multiplus 3000
4) Victron Color Control GX
5) Victron BMV 700 battery monitor
6) VE direct cables X 2
7) VE direct dongle
8) MK3 interface
This is the list of other items ordered
1) 4/0 cable and lugs
2) 2/0 cable and lugs
3) #2 cable and lugs
4) #4 cable and lugs
5) Heat Shrink Tube
6) Cable Lug Crimper
7) Different size In-Line Breakers
8) 100-watt solar panel X 4 (so far)
9) 3 X Bus Bar
10) Shorter RJ-45 cables
11) Class T Block and Fuse
12) Battery Master Switch
13) Battery Bolt Set
14) Victron Monitor Box
15) 50amp WFPO Power Center
16) 30amp Smart Plug kit
17) Various wire crimps
18) Radiant Barrier roll
19) Cooling Fans with controller and thermometer
20) Micro-Air EasyStart
21) Plus, a bunch of miscellaneous stuff that I didn’t foresee—cable ties, flexible tubing to hold wires, 3m VHB tape, hinges, screws, nuts, bolts, washers, scrap wood etc.…
The different orders from Battle Born went smoothly and all items were received as expected. In particular the batteries were extremely well protected and packaged. I will note that the second set of batteries ordered did come with the nuts, bolts and washers, which is standard now.
This is the rough sketch of the build
When we purchased the ’79, the 12-volt fuse system was located in the front and the 120 breakers were in the wardrobe closet. The main power cord was wired through and stored in the back bumper trunk. The previous owner removed the gaucho and closed off the battery compartments. They relocated the original Univolt to an outside enclosed box on the tongue behind the propane tanks and strapped a single plastic battery box on top of the Univolt.
The front at time of our purchase.
The 12-volt wiring after removing the front panels.
The front with temp wiring. We traveled with temp wiring for 2 years while we gathered enough items to start the build.