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A little remodeling

solar dometic fridge Lifepo4

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#11 BlueSky

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Posted 29 April 2021 - 01:54 AM

The  battery to controller should be fused (unless they are right next to each other) as the battery can provide almost unlimited current on these wires.   The panels to the controller does not need to be fused as the panel can only provide limited current which is always going to be less than the fuse rating anyway.    Some folk use a circuit breaker between the panels and controller, but this serves as a switch as opposed to a current limiting device. 

This is correct.  I put a fuse between the battery and controller, and you don't really need one between the panel and controller, but I put one in there anyway. I prevent an arc when I unplug the solar panel from the controller with cardboard or something over the panel to block the sun, and then pull that fuse that I put between the solar panel and the controller. Or, you can use a circuit breaker, if you have one:)

 BTW - It is rather surprising how much of a shock you can get from a 110W solar panel plug end.


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#12 BlueSky

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Posted 19 May 2021 - 10:23 PM

Ok, I have an update.  I finally got the shake-down trip in. But before I left I thought that since I am driving the truck I don't know what is going on in the camper.  Will my water tank, fridge and other things I did stay put?  So I enlisted the help of my wife to drive the truck... 

i-MRzvrN4-X2.jpg

 

While I climbed back in here...

i-MZgGJd3-X2.jpg

 

Note the Lagun table leg on the left, this will be important later.

 

Apparently my instruction to make a few fast starts, stops and curves, "but nothing too crazy" was not heard very well. She backed down the driveway fine, and then she punched it and I went flying back against the rear door hitting my head real hard on the corner of the fridge. Before I could gain my balance she slammed on the brakes and I went flying forward. I lunged for the Lagun table leg just in time before she made a hard left. It was the only thing to hang on to back there. I held on to it for dear life for the rest. Not being able to communicate to her was a big drawback. 

 

My shakedown trip went great. Colorado, Arizona, Southern California, Nevada, Utah, and back home. Lots of boondocking. Solar system worked great even though there were some cloudy days. My Dometic fridge worked fantastic, it is the best upgrade I've made. LifePo4 battery never dropped below 13v even when using the fridge, furnace, lights, stereo, and charging my phone. I have a Victron DC-DC charger on board but didn't use it.  The idea was to have DC-DC charging from the truck's alternator in case the solar was not working for whatever reason. Sort of a back-up. One thing about the DC-DC charger is that my 2008 Tundra has a "smart alternator" and only puts out about 12.4v.  The LifePo4 battery must drop below that voltage before the DC-DC charger starts charging. I'm not yet sure the DC-DC charger will get the battery up to 13.5v like the solar charger does. Maybe there is a setting I need to look into. Something to consider if you don't have solar.


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#13 Vic Harder

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Posted 20 May 2021 - 10:59 PM

LOL, oh, that was funny!!  Glad you are not seriously hurt!   My face hurts from that laugh!  

Thanks!

 

Now about your DC-DC.  I suspect your "Engine shutdown detection" settings need to be tweaked.

5. Engine shuthown detection (victronenergy.com)

 

These settings are also why the wire gauge from the truck to camper are very important.  If the wires are too skinny, the dcdc charger may detect sufficient voltage to turn on, but as soon as it does, the voltage drops enough for it to think the engine is off again, and the cycle repeats.  This is the same behavior we see on the older style battery separators that used to be used in these campers.  

 

6awg wire should be enough.


Edited by Vic Harder, 20 May 2021 - 11:05 PM.

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#14 Mykiss

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 06:31 AM

The solar panel wires are taped down and won't shade, but the Yakima rack tube will.  I actually get plenty of solar to power the battery even with cloudy days, so it is not a big deal to lose a little.  I'm not running an inverter or anything big.
 
It would be nice to have a 90 degree plug into the top of the camper so the wires don't stick up as shown in the photo. I'm on the lookout for that.

Something like this maybe?
https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/B0111RNZDY
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#15 BlueSky

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Posted 03 June 2021 - 01:29 AM

Something like this maybe?
https://www.amazon.c...n/dp/B0111RNZDY

That would work, but I would have to remove the existing plug receptacle that came with the camper.


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#16 BlueSky

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 12:15 AM

I decided that the Lagun table leg had to go. The way I had it attached to the corner of the cabinet was both good (swung around to all kinds of positions) and bad (too flexy, ate up room). We don't use the table much anyway, so I decided to go back to the tried and true floor mount pole style. Here's the cabinet now sans Lagun Table Leg, much more clean looking...

i-r76jtcS-X2.jpg

See that little black rubber grommet screwed to the lower white side panel? That keeps the sliding access door from falling out of the track when you go to tighten your turnbuckles.  ATC should do this.

i-dzw6dGd-X2.jpg

 

and here's the floor mount for the tube of the table. Much more stable, and the tube stows away nicely in the storage foot locker... i-cnwWb86-X2.jpg

 

I also did Vic's suggested mod on the clear window flaps so they don't leak (thanks Vic!)

 

So I have a Lagun Table Leg I no longer need that I'll let go for a good price, just PM me. It has a 3 extra mounting holes in the vertical tube you can see, but works fine... 

i-CGRHjkP-X2.jpg


Edited by BlueSky, 13 July 2021 - 12:27 AM.

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#17 Vic Harder

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Posted 13 July 2021 - 11:39 PM

I’d love to see pictures of your window fix!
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