2014 Hawk Wiring Upgrades

Ben_1987

Advanced Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2022
Messages
45
Hello. I recently picked up a used 2014 hawk. I’m about to wire the truck to camper wiring and possibly perform some updates to the camper 12v system. I called my local FWC dealer to do this work but they never called me back. So after a bunch of forum reading, here we are… I was hoping to just summarize what I’m planning and that one of you might be kind enough to let me know if I’m about to do something stupid. In summary, here are my plans:
  • Remove
    Remove the 2-12v AGM batteries. They’re original with the camper so I thought I’d replace while I as doing other work.

[*]Add
  • 6 AWG welding copper flex wire+ anderson connectors from truck to camper.
  • 14 AWG wire for marker lights. Thinking ill just put it in the same wire harness as the 6 gauge to send to the headlights.
  • 30-amp thermal fuse under the hood and close to the truck battery
  • DC-DC charger
    Victron 12/12 30 amp

[*]Solar panel
  • 175 watt renogy flex panel using polycarbonate backing for an air gap. I’ve read that adhering them straight to the roof can cause them to overheat and fail.
  • Would rather try the flex panel first to save weight. If the panel fails, I’ll buy a solid panel and replace roof struts to support the weight.

[*]Controller
  • Victron MPPT 100 volt 30 amp

[*]lithium battery
  • Battleborn 100 ah 12v

[*]Total upgrade is ~$1,800
[*]Proposed wiring changes in the attached image.

[*]Questions:
  • Any benefits to swapping out the existing battery monitor or shunt to victron to be in the same system?
  • Any other recommendations?

 
Ben, this looks pretty good. I'd use bigger breakers than the 30A. Your DCDC will try to put 30A into the camper battery, and there will be some losses so it will draw more than 30 from the alternator. 60A should be a safe bet. I also prefer Blue Sea 185 or 285 series surface mount breakers, because you can use them as switches too, for maintenance.

No reason to change the battery monitor. What brand is it? If it works, leave it. If not, check out the Victron Smart Shunt. Cheaper than the BMV, and less holes to make for guages/controllers.
 
Vic Harder said:
Ben, this looks pretty good. I'd use bigger breakers than the 30A. Your DCDC will try to put 30A into the camper battery, and there will be some losses so it will draw more than 30 from the alternator. 60A should be a safe bet. I also prefer Blue Sea 185 or 285 series surface mount breakers, because you can use them as switches too, for maintenance.

No reason to change the battery monitor. What brand is it? If it works, leave it. If not, check out the Victron Smart Shunt. Cheaper than the BMV, and less holes to make for guages/controllers.
Thanks, Vic. So a 60 amp breaker at the truck battery on the positive line. Looks like based on your electrical thread that you also recommend one right before the DC DC charger in the camper battery box. I'll add that as well. I've also seen people put an on/off switch after the DC to DC charger and the MPPT controller on the positive. Is that helpful in anyway?

I looked up the battery monitor model in my camper (d85-3051) and it appears to be an unbranded aliexpress unit. The voltage seems accurate but the amperage does not.
 
If its not accurate...

Yes, a breaker on both ends of that fat wire!

A switch on the positives of DCDC and MPPT between them and the battery? Hmm. I use a bus bar that I can easily get to. Not sure a switch is needed.
 
Vic Harder said:
If its not accurate...

Yes, a breaker on both ends of that fat wire!

A switch on the positives of DCDC and MPPT between them and the battery? Hmm. I use a bus bar that I can easily get to. Not sure a switch is needed.
Thanks again. If you're ever passing through Helena, I owe you some beverages of your choice.
 
Hey. Im bad at remembering to take photos when I’m working on stuff but I’ll try and remember. Big disclaimer though that I’m new to solar 12v stuff, so be cautious if duplicating something I do.
 
These upgrades have probably been posted many times before, but there was at least interest from cpt davenport. As an added bonus, posting this may lead to others pointing out some mistakes.

As opposed to using a solid panel and upgrading struts, I started with building up a flex panel to keep weight down. Plan was to add 3m vhb tape to attach the panel to the polycarbonate.

VskcLoR.jpg


Then I added aluminum angle 1.25" x 1.25" x .12" to fasten the panel and polycarbonate to the angle. I'd probably use 1.5" x 1.5" if I did it again to have a little more room for error. There wasn't much flex at all spanning the yakima tracks so I was fine with the thickness.

1eTXVZe.jpg


Next step was to fasten the angle to the yakima tracks. Bonus cat...

t0csezE.jpg


I've read that the polarity can be reversed from the stock FWC wiring to some aftermarket panels. I checked and the renogy flex panel polarity was reversed. Picture of my testing below.

Ku3h0XT.jpg


I then wired the panel to a controller that came with the camper uninstalled. I could keep using this controller but I ended up buying a victron controller to install with other parts at a later date. You can see that the PV polarity wires are reversed at the controller since the panel is reversed when connected to the stock sae connector on the roof.

nde9QQP.jpg


Tomorrow I'll plug in the panel once it gets some sun in the morning to make sure I didnt mess anything up. Then after this next trip I'm planning to do the following:
-add some eternabond to the roof panel wires
-run 6 AWG wire + anderson connectors from truck to camper
-run 14 AWG wire for marker lights
-install 60-amp thermal wall mount breakers at truck battery and at camper batteries.
-install victron DC-DC 12/12 30 amp charger
-install victron MPPT 100 volt 30 amp controller
-install victron shunt
-install a few bus bars to keep things tidy
-install battleborn lithium 100 ah 12v battery with the heater kit since the camper will be getting some winter use
 
I did the same thing with my Renogy 175 panel. I used aluminum z bar to make a frame and added some cross members to strengthen it up a bit and minimize flex. All riveted together and used VHB tape to stick on panel. Then eternabond on the leading and following edges to prevent any lift. Attached to yakima tracks and so far so good.

Whole thing only weighs about 8 pounds.
 

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That is going to be a nice dual input set up. I took the liberty of grabbing a screen shot. Nice crimps on the cable ends
 

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TacomaAustin said:
That is going to be a nice dual input set up. I took the liberty of grabbing a screen shot. Nice crimps on the cable ends
If that photo is oriented as the board will be installed, that Orion dc to dc charger is not being installed per the manual and may have cooling issues based on the comments in previous threads. The MPPT also is supposed to be installed “right side up,” but likely can better withstand the non-recommended mounting because it does not generate quite as much heat. The manual for both calls for the fins to be vertical with specified clearances.
 
Hmm… clearances aside, I thought as long as the fins were vertical that it didn’t matter. The plan is for them to be fastened in that orientation but to the wall - I was just using a template on my work bench to get spacing down. I’ll check the manual again. Thanks
 
Ben_1987 said:
Hmm… clearances aside, I thought as long as the fins were vertical that it didn’t matter. The plan is for them to be fastened in that orientation but to the wall - I was just using a template on my work bench to get spacing down. I’ll check the manual again. Thanks
Sorry. By “right side up” I meant on a vertical surface with the fins vertical. I don’t think it matters if the terminals are up. On my phone the picture was oriented to make it appear you might be installing it with the fins horizontal, so that was why I commented.
 
I'd want the fins vertical too. Not sure it matters, but... when I was building mine I posted a pic, and someone commented that having such short lines of heavy gauge wire meant that the wires could vibrate loose more easily. It would be better to put a loop in them so they can flex/bounce without loosening their connections. That said, I do like how clean yours looks!

Is there a reason you have a buss bar for the -ve side of the solar/PV input? Seems to me there would be just the one wire for that.
 
Vic Harder said:
I'd want the fins vertical too. Not sure it matters, but... when I was building mine I posted a pic, and someone commented that having such short lines of heavy gauge wire meant that the wires could vibrate loose more easily. It would be better to put a loop in them so they can flex/bounce without loosening their connections. That said, I do like how clean yours looks!

Is there a reason you have a buss bar for the -ve side of the solar/PV input? Seems to me there would be just the one wire for that.
That is a good thought on the loops, I’ll think that through some more, thanks. I have a bus for the positive and negative pv inputs since my camper is pre wired for two solar ports (one to the rear wall and one to the roof). Is that what you’re referring to?
 
The stars finally aligned and I made the upgrades that started this post.

Before:
OCuE3YV.jpg


After:
qWkX6Sb.jpg

-Ended up listening to Vic's recommendation on adding extra wire to allow for movement
-I had more room above the battery to the left, so I ended up moving the shunt and bars over there to allow for more dcdc clearance
-The roof solar panel is reverse polarity, so that's why you see pos/neg reversed on the PV bars.
-Despite googling beforehand and seeing that an upside down dcdc unit would be fine, the manual clearly states terminals down; so my mockup kind of went out the window and I had to prep a few more wire runs
-Need to organize the battery heater switch wiring

Battery heater switch:
DY9y9bj.jpg

-Need to make a faceplate for the switch to also cover the hole of the old faulty battery monitor (I'll tidy or shorten the wiring after this)

Truck battery breaker:
oXIgMlO.jpg

-need to figure out how to wire in the camper lights (blue wire)...

Victron app:
fP1XzcU.png

-I need to get a grasp for how to interpret these data. I'm a little confused why the dcdc charger and solar controller are showing bulk for charging when the shunt says the SOC for the battery is 100%.
-I followed some recommended settings for the solar controller, dcdc charger, and shunt use with a lifepo4 battery. The controller wasn't setup for lifepo4 batteries until after this screenshot.
-Anyway, if anyone sees anything glaringly wrong please let me know.
 
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