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Discussion Starter #1
This is a bit embarrassing really, but for some reason I have a brain block when it comes to electrical stuff. Crazy, I consider myself pretty handy, but electrical stuff just doesn't sink in. I've read about so many builds and how to's but when it comes to drawing up my own out I flounder.

I know I could probably take it to some RV shop and have them do it but I really hate giving up. Are there any really good sources that you have found? I get the basics like Solar panels go to a solar controller then to the battery. And the battery goes out to an inverter to get 110 power and a hub for 12V appliances.

The questions?
How do you begin to sort through all the options for solar controllers?
MPPT? Negative ground vs positive ground?
How do you determine the wire that you need for each connection?
Is an inverter/charger better in any way to having them separate?
What at the displays called display the status of the system, battery level, solar charge etc?
A quick scan of amazon shows so many manufacturers of all of these parts, where does one begin?

the list goes on and on. What's the best way to sort way to sort through this stuff. I'd hate to buy only to discover it's not right.

Any assistance would be appreciated.
 

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Most of the electrical system can be divided into sub-systems. Your example of the Solar is a good one. It is just 200-300 watts of solar panels with a controller and a battery set.
https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monoc...id=1495329602&sr=8-5&keywords=solar+panel+kit
And you will need two of:
https://www.samsclub.com/sams/durac...p-size-gc2/prod3590228.ip?xid=plp:product:1:6
Make a vented box and tie downs for these 6 volt FLA batteries, or opt for AGM, mount the panels on the roof, combine the wires from the panels so + goes to + to get both panels + wire into the van and into the controller and do the same with the negative wire. Connect the two 6 volt batteries + to - to create one 12 volt battery and run the - to a good chassis ground, fuse the + side of the battery and run a wire to the solar controller’s battery connection and use 4AGW or larger wire. Use the same size wire to ground the other side of the controller to another good chassis ground and this system is done. You may add switches and other features later.
Move on to another sub system.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
It starts with a list of what electric loads you have -- this determines how much battery you need and how much solar you need.

If you want to post a list of all your electric devices (lights, chargers, microwave, ...) and how much you expect to use them each day, we can give you an idea how much battery you need and an idea how much solar makes sense.

I've documented the system I used in quite a bit of detail, and tried to make it readable -- its here: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-co...y-camper-van-conversion-electrical-and-solar/
If your loads are about the same as mine, you could just duplicate it.

Anyway, lots of people here knowledgeable about electrical installs, so just ask lots of questions.

Gary
 

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Tighe,
I came into this campervan conversion with zero practical electrical knowledge.
But luckily I discovered Gary's site early on (linked in his post above). Like him we have modest electrical needs so
we did exactly what he just suggested=mimic!
We'd go to his site, look at the images of each component then look up his page to direct links to cost and where
to order.
In the end we varied in the exact choice of batteries, the size of the solar component, the adjunct vehicle to coach
battery charger, etc. but overall ended up with a similar electrical build (even used the exact same ad/dc distribution panel.
Besides the images of the components Gary's diagrams of the components helped it all make sense to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys. I too found Gary's build early in my thoughts about a PM purchase and build. Gary you made it look so easy... ; ).

I do have one known element. I wanted to design my rack to accommodate solar panels and chose and purchased Renogy panels (didn't want the sizing to change on me). I have two 100W panels. We thought if we needed more at a later point we might be able to add in portable ground mount panels.
RDinNHandAZ for that Renogy system you linked to which controller do you suggest? I'm not sure I understand the difference, other than the cost.

Usage:
We had wanted to go to inductive cooking but were concerned we'd be able to generate enough power via solar alone. So butane is probably how we'll do cooking.
Other drains (off grid, no shore power, no running of van)
2 cell phones
Gopro and Camera charging
1 macbook pro 1-3 full charges a day (I do video editing and we may use this to watch movies)
LED lights (minimal use 1-2 hours max)
Fridge (on the larger size, we like fresh veggies)
maybe a pump


I was thinking 150aH battery should be enough. agree? We'd prefer to not have to vent out so AGM. any thoughts on this one?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DDYM1UC/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICJ1HXRIIOFS9&colid=57ELYO1USYM5

RDinNHandAZ you suggest grounding to the vehicle. Gary you seem to suggest running both wires. So the ground from the house battery doesn't effect the vehicle ground from the van battery? Is there a preferred way? Pros and cons of each?

Gary would you still recommend 14-2 romex for everything? 12V and DC? Then higher for battery to battery or battery to inverter? How do you guys attach wires if not inside a beam? Things like this/
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Ca...8&qid=1495380626&sr=1-21&keywords=wire+mounts
or this
https://www.amazon.com/iSaddle-Genu...F8&qid=1495380626&sr=1-5&keywords=wire+mounts

thanks so much guys. What a great resource. Hope my questions don't get annoying. I'll study Gary's build again.

thanks
 

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The 200 watts can run your list and the induction cooktop BUT the battery might not and to run it you will need a much more expensive sine wave inverter to really do it right. I’d go butane and save a bunch of money for other stuff. See: https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Po...495382408&sr=8-1&keywords=double+butane+stove for a great stove and grill. It can be use inside on butane bun not on propane.
KOV has just researched the refrigerator and found the sweet spot so he might chime in on that. 4 cu ft should be enough.

I’d opt for a bigger battery and Sam’s has AGM 6 volt golf cart batteries in their stores in the spring as a seasonal item. They would give you 230 amp hours for about the same money and don't need venting. Not as good as FLA but if venting is the issue do that.

You can do the grounding either way. If you use a chassis ground make it a good one, I have a cutout switch on mine for safety. See: https://www.amazon.com/Qiorange-Bat...=1495382610&sr=8-8&keywords=disconnect+switch If you decide to, ask how, it is easy.

Don’t use Romex except in a rare case perhaps for 110V and tie it so it cannot vibrate. Stranded wire and small conduit can be had at Home Depot cheaply and in colors. I used nothing less than 12 gauge. 4 gauge for high current fused at 50 amps.

You will want an interconnect to the van for when the sun really doesn’t shine for days as the refrigerator has to have power. Lots has been written about it. I used a simple solenoid as I expected to rarely use it and they are proven and reliable. See: https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-120-...rd_wg=4WPCf&psc=1&refRID=WR7QV6329EDZBY3QWNDT Mine is on a micro switch to keep it from engaging. I have used it about 5 times in 2 years. It is needed.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Thanks guys. I too found Gary's build early in my thoughts about a PM purchase and build. Gary you made it look so easy... ; ).

I do have one known element. I wanted to design my rack to accommodate solar panels and chose and purchased Renogy panels (didn't want the sizing to change on me). I have two 100W panels. We thought if we needed more at a later point we might be able to add in portable ground mount panels.
RDinNHandAZ for that Renogy system you linked to which controller do you suggest? I'm not sure I understand the difference, other than the cost.

Usage:
We had wanted to go to inductive cooking but were concerned we'd be able to generate enough power via solar alone. So butane is probably how we'll do cooking.
Other drains (off grid, no shore power, no running of van)
2 cell phones
Gopro and Camera charging
1 macbook pro 1-3 full charges a day (I do video editing and we may use this to watch movies)
LED lights (minimal use 1-2 hours max)
Fridge (on the larger size, we like fresh veggies)
maybe a pump


I was thinking 150aH battery should be enough. agree? We'd prefer to not have to vent out so AGM. any thoughts on this one?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DDYM1UC/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=ICJ1HXRIIOFS9&colid=57ELYO1USYM5

RDinNHandAZ you suggest grounding to the vehicle. Gary you seem to suggest running both wires. So the ground from the house battery doesn't effect the vehicle ground from the van battery? Is there a preferred way? Pros and cons of each?

Gary would you still recommend 14-2 romex for everything? 12V and DC? Then higher for battery to battery or battery to inverter? How do you guys attach wires if not inside a beam? Things like this/
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Ca...8&qid=1495380626&sr=1-21&keywords=wire+mounts
or this
https://www.amazon.com/iSaddle-Genu...F8&qid=1495380626&sr=1-5&keywords=wire+mounts

thanks so much guys. What a great resource. Hope my questions don't get annoying. I'll study Gary's build again.

thanks
Hi,

I think the butane stove is a good choice-- and (depending on model) it allows you to cook outside easily.

Your loads:

Fridge 42 amp-hrs
computer 15 amp-hrs (3 full charges of my laptop)
phones 6 amp-hrs (2 full charges)
LED lights 2 amp-hr (three LEDs at 4 watts for 2 hrs)
Pump 1 amp-hr (5 amps for 15 minutes)

Total 66 amp-hrs

The fridge 42 AH is based on a test I did on mine, which is an efficient 3 cubic ft - a Norcold NB751. Its about 2/3rd of your total.

If you add a furnace, the furnace blower might be another 15 amp-hrs on a cold day.

So, you need about 70 amp-hrs to go a full day without any charging from solar or running the van engine. If you go with the ground rule of not discharging below 50%, you would need a 140 amp-hr battery.

If you want to be able to go a full two days without any charging from van or solar, then you would be using 140 amp-hrs. In this kind of extreme case, I think it would be OK to discharge the battery to 20%, so you would need a 140/80% = 175 amp-hrs. Batteries will do hundreds of cycles to 20%, so doing it once in a while is not really an issue.

So, I think that the 155 AH battery you gave the link to would OK as long as you don't want to be able to go multiple days without recharging. On the plus side the single battery makes the system a tiny bit simpler and saves some space and about 30 lbs of weight. On the negative side (a pun:) its one heavy battery (90 lbs) and its not going to be easy to move around, and, as RD points out, you could go with a couple AGM golf cart batteries and get 230 AH for about the same price. This would give you some reserve if you end up adding more loads later. I don't think you can really go far wrong either way.

I think RD in his post a couple weeks ago made a good case for 200 watts of solar being in the right area. The exception might be if you want to use the van in mid winter in northern climates routinely. Just to keep things simple, I'd go with Renology solar kit or package so that you don't have to worry about getting a compatible charge controller. I'd not worry about whether its MPPT (a bit more efficient) or PWM.

On the Romex, I used Romex for all my AC and DC loads, and if I were starting a new conversion tomorrow, I'd do the same. I like that it has the outer jacket for more protection against abrasion, and it bundles in a single jacket the wires for one circuit, and that its built to a spec that is pretty stringent (made to last the life of a home), and the solid wire bends into hooks that fasten securely to screw terminals without the use of failure prone press on terminals. Its also been used in all of the commercial RV's I've had before. I understand that there are qualified folks who feel there is a risk of vibration causing failures of solid wire. I've looked pretty hard for any cases of this actually happening and have not found any cases for RVs.
For me, the #14 Romex works out well -- its big enough (15 amps) to handle all my regular AC and DC loads. #12 would be fine also, but is a bit stiffer which makes it a little harder to route and hookup.

But, if you feel more comfortable using stranded wire, I'd be sure you get wire that is built to a spec that makes sense for the RV environment. Getting your wire from a place like BlueSea would be good as most of their stuff is made for the marine environment, or buy something like the SJT spec wire from Lowes off their reel. If the wire you are looking at does not have the spec its made to stenciled on the wire, I'd not use it as you have no idea how the insulation will hold up over the years.

I don't use chassis grounds to complete the negative side of the circuit on any of my loads -- I run a full size negative and positive wire (mostly the Romex). To me, this just seems like less work and more reliability. You can do a good job with chassis grounds and may not have any problem with them, but I've spent too much time trying to find electrical problems in old (and sometimes new) cars that turned out to be bad grounds to want to go through that again. I do have a chassis ground from the negative terminal of the house battery to the chassis -- this is a safety ground to make sure the chassis cannot go hot due to a short somewhere without blowing a fuse. Also, when you are hooking up the inverter, I'd follow the advice in their manual to the letter -- including on grounds.

I like the inverter/charger as it makes wiring simpler and takes care of the automatic change over from house battery power to shore power. If I were doing mine again, I'd probably go with a pure sine wave inverter.

One thing to keep in mind when considering these varying opinions is that you probably can't go wrong either way, so, I'd not agonize too much over which way to go -- just flip a coin :)

Gary





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Hi,

I think the butane stove is a good choice-- and (depending on model) it allows you to cook outside easily.

Your loads:

Fridge 42 amp-hrs
computer 15 amp-hrs (3 full charges of my laptop)
phones 6 amp-hrs (2 full charges)
LED lights 2 amp-hr (three LEDs at 4 watts for 2 hrs)
Pump 1 amp-hr (5 amps for 15 minutes)

Total 66 amp-hrs

The fridge 42 AH is based on a test I did on mine, which is an efficient 3 cubic ft - a Norcold NB751. Its about 2/3rd of your total.

If you add a furnace, the furnace blower might be another 15 amp-hrs on a cold day.

So, you need about 70 amp-hrs to go a full day without any charging from solar or running the van engine. If you go with the ground rule of not discharging below 50%, you would need a 140 amp-hr battery.

If you want to be able to go a full two days without any charging from van or solar, then you would be using 140 amp-hrs. In this kind of extreme case, I think it would be OK to discharge the battery to 20%, so you would need a 140/80% = 175 amp-hrs. Batteries will do hundreds of cycles to 20%, so doing it once in a while is not really an issue.

So, I think that the 155 AH battery you gave the link to would OK as long as you don't want to be able to go multiple days without recharging. On the plus side the single battery makes the system a tiny bit simpler and saves some space and about 30 lbs of weight. On the negative side (a pun:) its one heavy battery (90 lbs) and its not going to be easy to move around, and, as RD points out, you could go with a couple AGM golf cart batteries and get 230 AH for about the same price. This would give you some reserve if you end up adding more loads later. I don't think you can really go far wrong either way.

I think RD in his post a couple weeks ago made a good case for 200 watts of solar being in the right area. The exception might be if you want to use the van in mid winter in northern climates routinely. Just to keep things simple, I'd go with Renology solar kit or package so that you don't have to worry about getting a compatible charge controller. I'd not worry about whether its MPPT (a bit more efficient) or PWM.

On the Romex, I used Romex for all my AC and DC loads, and if I were starting a new conversion tomorrow, I'd do the same. I like that it has the outer jacket for more protection against abrasion, and it bundles in a single jacket the wires for one circuit, and that its built to a spec that is pretty stringent (made to last the life of a home), and the solid wire bends into hooks that fasten securely to screw terminals without the use of failure prone press on terminals. Its also been used in all of the commercial RV's I've had before. I understand that there are qualified folks who feel there is a risk of vibration causing failures of solid wire. I've looked pretty hard for any cases of this actually happening and have not found any cases for RVs.
For me, the #14 Romex works out well -- its big enough (15 amps) to handle all my regular AC and DC loads. #12 would be fine also, but is a bit stiffer which makes it a little harder to route and hookup.

But, if you feel more comfortable using stranded wire, I'd be sure you get wire that is built to a spec that makes sense for the RV environment. Getting your wire from a place like BlueSea would be good as most of their stuff is made for the marine environment, or buy something like the SJT spec wire from Lowes off their reel. If the wire you are looking at does not have the spec its made to stenciled on the wire, I'd not use it as you have no idea how the insulation will hold up over the years.

I don't use chassis grounds to complete the negative side of the circuit on any of my loads -- I run a full size negative and positive wire (mostly the Romex). To me, this just seems like less work and more reliability. You can do a good job with chassis grounds and may not have any problem with them, but I've spent too much time trying to find electrical problems in old (and sometimes new) cars that turned out to be bad grounds to want to go through that again. I do have a chassis ground from the negative terminal of the house battery to the chassis -- this is a safety ground to make sure the chassis cannot go hot due to a short somewhere without blowing a fuse. Also, when you are hooking up the inverter, I'd follow the advice in their manual to the letter -- including on grounds.

I like the inverter/charger as it makes wiring simpler and takes care of the automatic change over from house battery power to shore power. If I were doing mine again, I'd probably go with a pure sine wave inverter.

One thing to keep in mind when considering these varying opinions is that you probably can't go wrong either way, so, I'd not agonize too much over which way to go -- just flip a coin :)

Gary





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Gary,

Why would you choose to go pure sine this time?

BTW,

Even though much of this info is found throughout the forum this is a great thread. Useful reading for me as the electrical is one thing I have zero experience with.

Josh

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The 200 watts can run your list and the induction cooktop BUT the battery might not and to run it you will need a much more expensive sine wave inverter to really do it right. I’d go butane and save a bunch of money for other stuff. See: https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Po...495382408&sr=8-1&keywords=double+butane+stove for a great stove and grill. It can be use inside on butane bun not on propane.
KOV has just researched the refrigerator and found the sweet spot so he might chime in on that. 4 cu ft should be enough.

I’d opt for a bigger battery and Sam’s has AGM 6 volt golf cart batteries in their stores in the spring as a seasonal item. They would give you 230 amp hours for about the same money and don't need venting. Not as good as FLA but if venting is the issue do that.

You can do the grounding either way. If you use a chassis ground make it a good one, I have a cutout switch on mine for safety. See: https://www.amazon.com/Qiorange-Bat...=1495382610&sr=8-8&keywords=disconnect+switch If you decide to, ask how, it is easy.

Don’t use Romex except in a rare case perhaps for 110V and tie it so it cannot vibrate. Stranded wire and small conduit can be had at Home Depot cheaply and in colors. I used nothing less than 12 gauge. 4 gauge for high current fused at 50 amps.

You will want an interconnect to the van for when the sun really doesn’t shine for days as the refrigerator has to have power. Lots has been written about it. I used a simple solenoid as I expected to rarely use it and they are proven and reliable. See: https://www.amazon.com/Emerson-120-...rd_wg=4WPCf&psc=1&refRID=WR7QV6329EDZBY3QWNDT Mine is on a micro switch to keep it from engaging. I have used it about 5 times in 2 years. It is needed.
No propane inside the van?

Also which amp hour rate do you look at when buying batteries. Many have an entire list. This is the only 6v agm I could find at sams

https://m.samsclub.com/ip/duracell-...hTax=auto-tires:batteries:golf-cart-batteries

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I tend to use the 20 hour rate, so that battery is 190 amp hour battery in my mind. Their much cheaper FLA ($84) are 215 A-H. I felt that the nearly $200 saved was a better deal for a battery that will last longer, need little or no service, has greater capacity but should be vented. The vent cost me $16, I have yet to add distilled water 2 years on.
https://www.amazon.com/MTS-Company-...rd_wg=Gndb6&psc=1&refRID=Y4X94W8FQ5P1FYFFDVP9
No Propane in the van. I do carry a small propane grill for doing a steak, roasting peppers for chile verde, or grilling a burger outside.
https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Fold...qid=1495452483&sr=8-18&keywords=coleman+grill
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks guys. This really does help.

I am now thinking the solar kit probably would have been the way to go but I already have the panels so will call Renogy and see if I can piece the other parts together.

Gary so you are suggesting a Pure Sine Wave inverter charger? Any models you like? Is the wattage rating the total watts that might be in use at one time?

Does make sense to go with multiple smaller batteries. We'd prefer not to have to vent them, as location won't be finalized till the final build. Any good recommendations for 6V AGM batteries that would give over 200ah (with two)? I think having more is better, as we are absolutely positive that there are going to be things we do not know we need. As you point out Gary, a furnace is probably in the future too.

I think I'm going Romex for all the reasons you state. How do you attach it when not in a chase/beam?

I'm going to try and sketch up a wiring diagram (most likely a copy of many of yours but with product names. I'd love to get your guys 2 cents before purchasing.

Believe it or not, just having comfort on the wire type helps me move forward. I can start laying the wiring in and can think about closing some of the panels.

thanks guys
 

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thanks guys. This really does help.

I am now thinking the solar kit probably would have been the way to go but I already have the panels so will call Renogy and see if I can piece the other parts together.

Gary so you are suggesting a Pure Sine Wave inverter charger? Any models you like? Is the wattage rating the total watts that might be in use at one time?

Does make sense to go with multiple smaller batteries. We'd prefer not to have to vent them, as location won't be finalized till the final build. Any good recommendations for 6V AGM batteries that would give over 200ah (with two)? I think having more is better, as we are absolutely positive that there are going to be things we do not know we need. As you point out Gary, a furnace is probably in the future too.

I think I'm going Romex for all the reasons you state. How do you attach it when not in a chase/beam?

I'm going to try and sketch up a wiring diagram (most likely a copy of many of yours but with product names. I'd love to get your guys 2 cents before purchasing.

Believe it or not, just having comfort on the wire type helps me move forward. I can start laying the wiring in and can think about closing some of the panels.

thanks guys
Hi,
I'd likely go with a pure sine inverter/charger for a new conversion as the price difference between the modified sine and the purse sine has come down. The pure sine should run any device without problems where the modified sine wave inverters can have problems with some delicate electronics. I've not kept up with the details on these, but one forum member here recommended the Xantrex HFS: http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/inverter-chargers/freedom-hfs.aspx
Just looking at the manual, the specs look good.

As you say the inverter rating should be equal to the sum of the AC loads you plan to run at the same time, but it can be a little more complicated. A lot of devices have startup surges that can be quite a bit more than their steady current, but inverters have a surge capability that should normally take care of this. And, microwaves are different in that a 1000 watt microwave will use more 1400 or 1500 watts -- they are rated on cooking power, and their input power is greater. So, a 1000 watt inverter will not run a 1000 watt microwave -- it might run a 700 watt microwave.

I never looked much at AGM batteries -- others may have some recommendations. Trojan does make an AGM golf cart battery of the same size as their FLA golf cart battery -- its the T105 AGM. I don't think you could go wrong buying Trojan batteries, but there are probably better deals around.

Please do post your wiring diagram when you get there.

Gary
 

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Even if you have large inverter capacity to run multiple big AC loads at once it may not be wise. Think about the health of the battery bank. The battery will be happier if the DC current draw is kept low and the battery allowed to rest for a few minutes between big loads. If the battery voltage drops below a certain threshold depending on the inverter, the inverter will sense low voltage and shut down. Ideally the battery should not drop below 11.8 under load. For a 200 to 250 amp hour battery it is best to keep the draw below 100 amps and to allow that for only 3 minutes before resting the battery to allow its resting voltage to recover. Most lead acid batteries are happier if recharged when the resting voltage gets down to 12.2 or 12.1.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's what I pieced together. Part is from the Renogy site. Even though I didn't buy a kit taking Gary's suggestion buying the parts to the kit may make sense. The rest of it I've pulled from a few of the diagrams you guys have done.

there are still a lot of question marks on here. Any insight you guys have would be great.

thanks
 

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200 watts of solar only requires a 20 amp controller why 40?
 

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Hi,
Looks pretty good.

The wire from the house battery to the PD5000 should have a fuse or breaker in it, which should be as close to the house battery as possible. To size the wire, I'd add up all your DC loads and then add some margin and use that to size the wire and breaker for this line. They describe the PD5000 as a 30 amp panel, but the 30 amps refers to the AC side of it -- the DC is not limited to 30 amps. You can use the Bluesea circuit wizard to size the wire, but if you use pick 60 amps, the wire will be about 8 AWG. The negative wire from the distribution panel to the house battery should be the same size. If you use one of the breakers that can also be used as a switch, it will give you a place to turn off all of your DC loads.

The wire from inverter/charger to the PD5000 could be 10 AWG. This would go with using a 30 amp AC breaker for the main AC breaker on the PD5000. If you used a 20 amp main breaker, you could use 12 AWG wire.

The line from the van battery to the house battery should have a breaker or fuse at each end as close to the battery as possible. That is, one breaker in the middle does not protect this line as there are heavy duty current sources at each end (the batteries).
The 2/0 wire may be more than what is needed, but it depends on how long the wire is -- use the Circuit Wizard to get the right size.
It looks like from the data on the maxtanks says that the charging current should not be over 55 amps. I'd consider sizing wire and breaker for about 60 amps (instead of 100) so that you will be alerted if the charging current is too high by the breaker opening.

The current in the wires from the house battery to the 2000 watt inverter is going to be about 2000 watts / (12 volts)(0.9) = 185 amps. So, the 60 amp fuse seems way to small? The circuit wizard gives a gage of 2 AWG for a short wire at 185 amps, so the 4 AWG is probably to small. The inverter/charger is one area where I think its really important to read the manual carefully and do what they say for both the power wiring and the grounds.


I'm not sure what all the fuses in the solar setup are achieving, but I guess if that's what Renology shows, best to use it.
The solar panels are self limiting on current, so you don't really need a fuse or breaker to protect the wire from overcurrent, but a lot of people put in one of the breaker/switch combinations where you have the 20 amp fuse so that the solar can be shut off manually.


Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was thinking of going with the 40A Solar controller so that we could add a portable panel if we wanted later...if we find we need it.

Thanks Gary for the thorough review. I'll make the changes and repost. It appears from your response that you think I know more about this stuff than I do. At this point I'm just copying what others have done...comprehension is coming slowly.

What are peoples thoughts on the Battery Doctor or the Isolator between the house and van battery? Pros and cons of each?

Thanks again guys for your review.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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I was thinking of going with the 40A Solar controller so that we could add a portable panel if we wanted later...if we find we need it.

Thanks Gary for the thorough review. I'll make the changes and repost. It appears from your response that you think I know more about this stuff than I do. At this point I'm just copying what others have done...comprehension is coming slowly.

What are peoples thoughts on the Battery Doctor or the Isolator between the house and van battery? Pros and cons of each?

Thanks again guys for your review.
Sounds good -- I think you are getting very close.

I think the Battery Doctor might be a good choice. Its a little easier to hook up in that you don't need to find a source of 12 volts thats only on when ignition is on that the regular isolator requires, and it has the jump start mode to put the house and van batteries in parallel for jump starts with a dead van battery. Several people on the forum using Battery Doctors and like them.

Gary
 
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