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  1. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    Between the truck charger run and the various cables within the battery compartment, I needed about 36 feet of each color. It was about the same price to buy a 50 foot roll of Ancor 6 awg as it would have been to buy 36 feet by the foot, plus that way I knew I’d have enough. I think it was just...
  2. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    Ancor 6-2 will work, but I did individual wires and covered them with split loom along the whole run. I bought a 50 foot roll each of red and black. That left plenty for making cables to use within the camper.
  3. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    One of the main benefits of the dc to dc charger is it will step up the voltage coming from the truck to the voltage needed to charge your battery per your set parameters. Because of that, you don’t need to be so concerned about voltage drop along the wires from the truck. (You do want the Orion...
  4. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    Nothing wrong with using 4awg wire, but the terminals on a Victron Orion Smart TR 12/12-30 accept maximum 6 awg. If you use 4awg, at some point you will need to reduce to 6awg for the connection. Also, I know from my own installation on my 2021 GMC crew cab long bed with a smart alternator...
  5. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    I wasn’t going to recommend either way because I respect the desire for margin, but a 30 amp charger would be my choice given those loads, your large battery, and the driving expectations you mentioned, especially if you just have a single alternator with 110 amps output.
  6. J

    FWC Electrical basics and upgrading to lithium!

    While i share Wandering Sagebrush’s value of symmetry, and my OCD tendencies would probably drive me to do 6 awg end to end, if it’s a 30 amp dc to dc charger that very short stretch of 8 awg is fine. I would fuse it at the camper battery or bus bar with no more than a 50 amp fuse to be...
  7. J

    Rear solar SAE port

    My camper just had the FWC factory wiring provisions for solar, with the wire from the paralleled exterior connectors taped and coiled in the battery compartment, so the FWC provisions seem to be done the same way.
  8. J

    Rear solar SAE port

    Determine polarity of the solar SAE plugs by measurement with a voltmeter as you are doing. Mine were both “backwards” on my 2021, which seems to be intentional as lots of others have said the same thing. On mine, the rear solar connector is paralleled with the roof solar connector. If you put...
  9. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    Here’s a link to the manual. https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/Orion_XS_12-12-50A_DC-DC_battery_charger/en/index-en.html It says mount to nonflammable surface, but also says the back plate will never exceed 90 degrees C (194F). I have my 30 amp Victron Orion (which has the same mount to a...
  10. J

    MPPT controller at 13.64v - Blue Sea meter at 12.35v - Batteries not charging

    Glad I was able to contribute a little to you figuring it out yourself. Good job troubleshooting!
  11. J

    MPPT controller at 13.64v - Blue Sea meter at 12.35v - Batteries not charging

    Sounds to me like the solar charger is not actually connected to the battery. It could be an open switch, circuit breaker, or fuse. Was any wiring work done immediately before the charging stopped?
  12. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    You definitely want a dedicated ground wire for the entire path from the truck engine compartment to the camper battery that is equal in gage to your large positive wire. Don’t rely on the chassis and camper mount conduction to serve as the negative path for battery charging current.
  13. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    Yes the dc to dc Charger functions as a battery isolator and never allows the truck battery to receive energy from the camper battery. The engine running logic determines when the camper battery can receive energy from the truck, and you set the parameters so it only provides current when the...
  14. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    The non-isolated charger is what you want unless you have a specific reason you want to isolate the truck ground from the camper ground. Isolated versus non-isolated refers to whether the grounds of the input and output sides of the charger are kept isolated or are connected. Others have said...
  15. J

    Solar replacement and 2 agm batteries

    You would put a fuse at both ends of the positive battery to battery wire to protect the smallest wire from excessive current. We can talk about sizing that fuse later. Can you estimate the length of the wire from your truck battery to the camper connector, and estimate the length of the wire...
  16. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    First, I hope I didn’t come across as looking down on camping in a truck cap with a DIY setup. It’s what i would be doing if my wife didn’t insist on more amenities for the road trips we hope to take when I retire in a year. We’re only one or two steps up from a topper with our pop-up slide in...
  17. J

    Solar replacement and 2 agm batteries

    When you are charging a 12 volt dc battery from an alternator that is 25 to 30 feet away via the wire, the voltage drop along that 50-60 feet of overall circuit wire will limit how much charging current you can achieve. Using 10 gage wire (typical truck and camper factory wire size for this...
  18. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    For most camper users, I imagine there are occasionally trips where you really need your solar to work (you want to sit several days or more in one sunny spot) or you really need your truck charging to work (winter overcast camping or forest camping for several days or more). That’s why many of...
  19. J

    Need help planning for Solar and DC to DC

    It looks like your project is power for camping in a truck cap. We need to know a bit more before we start telling you how to spend your money. What are the loads you want to be able to supply (fridge, fans, lights, etc)? How long do you want to be able to camp with no solar and without...
  20. J

    FWC running lights issue

    Same suggestion I was going to make, but with maybe a 10 amp fuse in line in case something wacky is going on.
  21. J

    Can Jacks Lower FWC to Floor?

    I spent around $200 building my dolly. I support the recommendations for using a small trailer as long as the wheel configuration of a trailer (fixed wheels at the midpoint of the floor tub) allows you to put the trailer where you want to put it. In my case, I could not tuck the camper into the...
  22. J

    FWC running lights issue

    That’s why I wanted to better understand how it’s wired. If there is no connection of the camper negative bus bar to the camper battery negative terminal, none of the camper DC equipment would work. Did I understand your description correctly?
  23. J

    FWC running lights issue

    Set aside the details of the running light wiring for now. Can you describe the 12 volt negative wiring arrangement between the truck battery, the specific dc to dc charger connections, the camper battery, and the negative bus bars? Can you do the same for the positive?
  24. J

    FWC running lights issue

    Well if it’s the non-isolated charger my theory above about why your running lights are behaving the way they are is not correct. Let me stew further upon this and I’ll post if I come up with any ideas. I suspect Vic and others will see this soon and may have suggestions.
  25. J

    Tailgate on or off?

    I’m curious how you have the camper anchored to the truck with it shifted that far back.
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