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Because of following more experienced member's electrical and like RD NH's comment about ignoring his meters , I passed on fancy$$ meters and just have voltmeters , one for starting and one for house . And a digital propane level , outside thermometer . And they are all too bright at night ! I've been putting smoked plexi covers on them .
The moral of the story is put that stuff where it won't light up your van whilst slumbering .
 

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Yes, my electrical install van customers like to have lots of dials to watch. On my own system I just have a panel volt meter. It isn't a cost issue, I have a couple of Bogart's in my parts bin and the shunt is already in place.

I think that it is easier to just rely on a volt meter when your battery pack is 48 volt instead of 12, because all of the readings are amplified 4x.
Yes . . . but . . .

There are times when it is most helpful to 'see' the actual current being supplied to, or flowing from, the battery . . . particularly when adjusting charging sources or when playing with new 'loads' for the first time. Just how much 'current' do these LED's require? Does the TV draw? Can we leave it on, or should we turn it off promptly when the show is over? And that microwave . . 75 amps? 125 amps?

And even with the 'increased resolution' of a 48 volt system, a State of Charge meter is an inexpensive addition that is arguably more accurate than mere voltage readings for determining actual battery charge levels (the problem with a voltmeter is its dependence on whether the battery is being, or has recently been, charged or discharged when interpreting the voltage reading.) We could not, for example, undertake our annual full-discharge battery capacity tests without both an ammeter and an SoC meter.

Then there's our solar controller which provides separate solar panel current and wattage output information and, interestingly, the total KWH's output for each day. What's the maximum output from our flat-mounted solar panels in June? December? Midday verses 10am or 2pm? How much energy/total power can we obtain in a day? How much is that partially shading branch compromising our solar panel output? Should we reposition the vehicle to avoid the shading?

It's obvious that RV manufacturers have concluded that 'too much data' in the hands of the average end-user/customer is dangerous and only confuses. But for those of us with a modicum of understanding of the 'technical side', these additional 'dials' add insight and flexibility in configuring and operating our electrical systems.
 

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I use the Pico battery monitor to minimize the number of screens/dials to monitor... really like it too. Have it mounted with the Espar thermostat, radiant heat flooring controller, and lighting dimmers in the face of an overhead cabinet within arms reach of the bed. I live in mine full-time, so nice to have it in a spot that's comfortable to view while in the van.

IMG_4165.jpg
 

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Yes . . . but . . .

There are times when it is most helpful to 'see' the actual current being supplied to, or flowing from, the battery . . . particularly when adjusting charging sources or when playing with new 'loads' for the first time. Just how much 'current' do these LED's require? Does the TV draw? Can we leave it on, or should we turn it off promptly when the show is over? And that microwave . . 75 amps? 125 amps?

And even with the 'increased resolution' of a 48 volt system, a State of Charge meter is an inexpensive addition that is arguably more accurate than mere voltage readings for determining actual battery charge levels (the problem with a voltmeter is its dependence on whether the battery is being, or has recently been, charged or discharged when interpreting the voltage reading.) We could not, for example, undertake our annual full-discharge battery capacity tests without both an ammeter and an SoC meter.

Then there's our solar controller which provides separate solar panel current and wattage output information and, interestingly, the total KWH's output for each day. What's the maximum output from our flat-mounted solar panels in June? December? Midday verses 10am or 2pm? How much energy/total power can we obtain in a day? How much is that partially shading branch compromising our solar panel output? Should we reposition the vehicle to avoid the shading?

It's obvious that RV manufacturers have concluded that 'too much data' in the hands of the average end-user/customer is dangerous and only confuses. But for those of us with a modicum of understanding of the 'technical side', these additional 'dials' add insight and flexibility in configuring and operating our electrical systems.
I agree with you in general and I am a big fan of what bogart meters can provide. For those who like to play with data and dials and want to understand what this all means, the data and dials are great. You would be surprised at how much pain and anguish that same information can cause for people who really aren't into electricity details.

For my own system, I just use a clamp meter when I am curious about current flows, because I always have one around anyway and can use it on my van or customer vans. Probably most people don't have clamp meters hanging around.

In some ways my use might be easier on a system than a full time set up because it is a daily driver / work van. There isn't any electricity at my "shop" so I run all of the lights, power tools, heat gun, etc off of the van electrical system. It isn't unusual to come close to using 2 kW at any given time, but I don't have a fridge in this van yet so the total power load isn't that high.

Except for the combination of winter overcast and a very high use day, the panels fully refill every day. If not I just plug in overnight at home. The most recent time that this has happened is during the wind storm power outages when power was out and I was helping people have refrigeration by plugging into my van.

My one issue with SOC meters is that it is easy for customers to push the "reset" button when the battery bank isn't really fully charged, resulting in a "new" 100% SOC indication. They stop looking at the voltage number and rely on the SOC numbers, which are an "indicator", not an "absolute".
 

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Where has anyone placed the voltage, info display modules such as the BMV-712 or other digital display modules?

Where has anyone placed the voltage, info display modules such as the BMV-712 or other digital display modules?

Installed mine in front above the front console.
Where has anyone placed the voltage, info display modules such as the BMV-712 or other digital display modules?

 

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I used the forward portion of the space over my sliding door for meters and switches. The logic for this is that space wasn't being used for anything else and it is also easily visible from the drivers seat. From left to right is the battery monitor, the inverter remote (on/off switch, voltage, and load bar graph), switches for various functions such as water pump and ventilation fans (each with led 'on' indicator), solar controller remote meter, and remote for my battery charger. The only thing significant that stays lit is the inverter display if the inverter is on but since the beds are in the rear it is actually a convenient night light. I like having all the controls and information in one place. The only thing missing are my remote controls (fans, radio, AC) which are mounted with velcro on a nearby panel. There is an accessible wiring chase in case I need to add something in the future.
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