2014 Hawk Wiring Upgrades

Ben, This is looking mighty fine. A few things:

1) That big negative cable by the brake booster in the engine bay... grounding to the body is not ideal. Can you add to the length of the ground wire to go to a battery post? Worst cast, add another fat wire from that ground to the battery? You are asking for ground problems with using the body/frame to carry that much current

2) Re: 100% SOC - The shunt will have a setting for "Synchronize" to reset the SOC. I would put the batteries in a no draw situation and let them charge overnight to make sure they are really full up, and then synchronize the battery monitor.

3) Make sure all the charging settings are the same for all devices. I use 14.4V charging and 13.4 float for my Victron/BB gear. The only exception is my ACDC which I set to 13.2 resting so that it sits at about 65% SOC when plugged in.
 
To elaborate on what Vic said for #2, the smart shunt measures current, and its processor mathematically integrates that current over time to keep track of a percent of the user-entered battery capacity. You need to set the battery capacity in the smart shunt software so it knows how many amp-hours used corresponds to 0% after you reset the reading to 100% after a full charge (called “synchronize” by Victron). Then you need to fully charge the battery to the voltage you choose to use as your maximum (Vic’s recommended 14.4 volts is appropriate for your Battleborn battery). Finally, when the battery is fully charged, hit the synchronization button in the smart shunt software to set the monitor to 100%.

The shunt from that point will integrate current out and in to keep track of the charge state of your battery. You can set the shunt software to resync the charge tracking every time it reaches the target charge voltage and the tail current falls below a set level, or you can set it to only resync when you hit the software button.

The Victron manuals are well written. You can read about all the charger settings and shunt settings in the manuals.
 
Resurfacing this thread in hopes someone can help me out. I finished the wiring upgrades posted in this thread before a desert trip last spring. When leaving for the trip, I found that how I wired the DCDC charger, the power in the camper would not run as desired. My memory was that the power would only run when the car was running. So I bypassed the DCDC charger for the time being to circle back at a later date.

Fast forward 6+ months, I finally had a weekend to work on finishing the DCDC wiring. I did some research and found that how I drew the wiring changes previously may not have been correct. I found this post https://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/topic/20049-installing-dc-dc-charger-in-2015-fleet-fd/ from Jack and it seemed to be the most applicable to my 2014 hawk front dinette. I'm not concerned about maintaining the iota (I'm fine with solar and DC/DC and I can just hook up my trickle charger if I need to top them off with 110V). So I followed these steps from Jack but some had already been completed previously.

  • Download Victron app.
  • 60 amp thermal breaker at both ends (I dont think it's needed at the camper end since I have a DCDC charger, but I kept it wired in anyway).
  • Check the voltage on the “Main Bat” terminal of your battery separator – it should be the truck battery voltage. If not, stop here and troubleshoot or get help. Label the wires connected to the battery separator with tape (“Aux” and “Main”). in case you have to troubleshoot. I assumed the main bat terminal was the single white wire shown in the photo below (found some nice leftover popcorn while I was in there:
    7Uwy9I9.jpeg
  • Disconnected battery, unplugged solar panels, opened 60 amp breaker on DCDC and truck battery ends, unplugged truck from camper.
  • Find a location to mount you DC-DC Charger. Unless the DC-DC has remote voltage sense or adjustable charge voltages, the closer to the battery or the thicker the wire gauge, the better. If you can do the math to adjust the voltages, you can use 10 or even 12 gauge wire with the Victron. NOTE: The Victron can get hot, so make sure it has air flow.
  • Disconnect the wire from the “Main Bat” terminal of the battery separator. Connect this wire (or an extension to it) to the input on your DC-DC charger. I took off that white wire from the main bat terminal and connected to the 60 amp breaker here:
    AZRMPga.jpeg
  • If there are two wires connected to “Aux Bat” post on the battery separator, disconnect them from the battery separator and connect them together. One should go to a 30 A auto-reset fuse – you can leave the fuse in the circuit or remove it. Be sure to tape the connection. If there is only one wire, disconnect and tape it. The Eaton 1341A battery separator has a black wire connected to a spade post. Disconnect it and tape the end. I had the two wires on the aux post so I fastened them together and taped them shown here (also taped the spade connector):
    LCCRvFm.jpeg
  • Connect the output of the DC-DC Charger to your battery. If the DC-DC is not isolated(most likely), connect the single common ground terminal to the battery. If there are two ground terminals on the DC-DC, connect them together and then to the battery. This is one of the steps that confused me. I used the negative wire that came over to the battery box with the positive wire form the battery separator, and connected this to the input of the DCDC charger. The output I sent to the negative bus bar. [img[https://i.imgur.com/AZRMPga.jpeg[/img] UPDATE- THIS IS THE STEP THAT CAUSED ME ISSUES. IF YOU HAVE THE ISOLATED DCDC, I FOLLOWED THIS STEP BETTER AND CONNECTED THE MAIN GROUND TO THE NEGATIVE BUS BAR, THEN CONNECTED NEGATIVE WIRES TO EACH TERMINAL ON THE DCDC.
  • Reconnect the camper to the truck (or connect the camper wire to the truck battery). Verify that you see the truck battery voltage on the input to the DC-DC controller. If not, check your wiring – trace the voltages from the truck to find the problem.
  • For the Victron, with the engine running, open the App and set your parameters for battery type and engine running levels. The default Bluetooth pin is 000000. (The Victron website has detailed instructions on setting up and using the App.) You can change the Pin now or later. For a new Pin, choose something easy to remember – like your birth date in 6 digits. Write the Pin on a label and stick it on the controller. Also write the PUK number on the DC-DC Charger on the label as well. The PUK resets the Pin code to 000000.
  • If you don’t already have a circuit breaker now is the time to add it. Close the circuit or connect the wire back to the positive terminal of the battery.
  • Measure the battery voltage. Start your truck again, and verify that the voltage at the battery is greater. With the Victron, just check your App to verify the DC-DC Charger is charging the battery. I started the truck and was only pulling 12 amps with the DCDC charger but it said I was at 100 percent SOC. So, I probably need to calibrate that again and check all my settings (particularly since both chargers were in bulk despite being 100 %SOC) once I get things wired in but at least the DC charger wasn't cycling and I voltages seemed ok..
    uc2BI7G.png
After all of these steps, I don't have any power to the camper. I Initially taped the positive wire from the battery separator thinking this was getting abandoned, but then I was thinking this is the power to silver switch/fuse block. No power to the camper with or without that positive wire connected to the battery. I checked the two inline fuses by the battery separator and all of the ones in the fuse block, and didn't see anything blown.

Anyway, if anyone is able to decipher this rambling and help me out, that would be much appreciated!

UPDATE: I CORRECTED MY MISTAKE ON THE MAIN GROUND AND CONNECTED IT TO THE NEGATIVE BUS BAR, THEN A WIRE FROM THE NEGATIVE BUS BAR TO EACH OF THE NEGATIVE PORTS ON THE DCDC.

Thanks,
 
Nice write up. I'll have to read it in more detail tomorrow, but my spidy sense says that you should not have to tape up any wires. The wires going to the separator should all move over to the DCDC....
 
When I saw the picture that showed you had kept the separator and the factory 30A breaker, I saw that as the issue. The DC/DC charger and your new 60A breaker replaces all that.
 
Thank you both. I posted some of my initial thoughts based on both of your comments in the following photo. Let me know what you think.
zuMXBde.png
 
One thing to consider with the Surepower isolator is that the relay coil consumes about .9 amps when energized. On my 2014 Hawk, I ran into an issue with that relay getting turned on and not turning off due to the camper LiFe pO4 batteries being at a higher voltage than the AGM truck battery.

The good part was that it kept my truck battery fully charged. The bad thing was that the camper batteries never got fully charged as there was about 1 amp being used to generate heat in that relay coil. I finally disconnected the wire to the truck to solve the problem. Solar is now the only charging method for the camper batteries unless I plug into shore power.

Without disconnecting camper from truck, that was throwing away about 13.3 * .9 ==> 12 watts * 24 hours ==> 20 Ah / day. It was actually about twice that bad as parasitic loads in the truck consumed another 1+ amps from the camper batteries or another 20+ Ah per day. This stuff adds up.

That is about 4 to 8 hours of fridge run time with my Dometic fridge.

Paul
 
I just recently did this, though I rewired from the truck, so my white wire that comes from the 3-way trolling connection is left taped up. I also chucked the separator. I didn’t take pics, and tbh am more of a schematic guy. I remember 2 wires of the same/similar gauge. 1 is from/for shore/camper power connection and goes to the camper, I think through the kill switch. It goes through the existing 30a fuse on my setup, and the other end goes to my batts. The other lead is from the truck to the separator, which you have connected to + in on the DCDC it seems. Though I cannot tell from pics what is going on.

I’ll look and take pics of mine in a bit.
 
This shows my unused positive from truck, yours should go to dc2dc as I understand it. It also shows the original 30a thermal fuse with the red wire that goes to batt+ (I have it going through an additional breaker to disconnect batteries from everything). The other end of the 30a thermal fuse white wire goes to the camper fuse block/silver cutoff switch. If i open the silver switch camper has no power, and shore power charger cannot charge batts. My battery separator is removed since the dc2dc replaced it. 2015 Hawk side dinette here.

“ My memory was that the power would only run when the car was running. So I bypassed the DCDC charger for the time being to circle back at a later date.”. I noticed you are running an isolated dc2dc. How is the grounding setup? How is your camper lights getting ground?
 

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You have done a great job of writing this up and documenting the process. It is so hard to visualize what something like this looks like when not present! OK, JollyRogers asks a good question about the grounds. The isolated version of these DCDC units is for marine applications. In effect, we want to join the two separated sides together. That could be at a ground buss bar or at the shunt, or some other common grounding point. I am not fond of grounding to the chassis/frame and hoping those grounds all see each other.

Your screenshots of the Victron display are helpful. Your batteries are charged, and the DCDC is seeing that on both the input and output.

Re: your taped wires. A wiring diagram of the surepower unit may help - Sure_Power_ 1314A_Battery_Separator.pdf (fourwheelcampers.com) There are only three wires hooked up by default by FWC/ATC. Your first picture shows they followed that diagram. Referring to that first picture, the ground wire is visible top left, with a blue connector on it. That's redundant if you have run new grounds to the DCDC. This ground is for the isolator relays to function, and no longer needed.

Now to the red wire. I see it comes in from the back and connects to a thermal breaker. That breaker is now redundant. The wire that feeds it is likely the +ve wire coming from the truck. Confirm that you have 12V on that wire, until you disconnect the camper/truck, then it should have 0V. If that's confirmed, then that is the input to your DCDC from the truck.

Again, back to that first picture. The single white wire by itself of the top post of the isolator should be the wire coming from the camper's wiring system. So with charged batteries, you should see 12+V on that wire. If not, it is possible the 12v kill switch is off. Check that. Confirmed?

That leaves the OTHER white wire in this picture. I'm a bit puzzled over that one. Is that the wire you have wired/taped together with the red one it was joined do in this pic? Looking at the wiring diagram, the only place two wires are shown like that is at the Main Battery, and Aux battery +ve posts. Since we are IN the camper (The auxilliary system), this should be the Aux side of the picture. BUT, that red wire goes to a breaker we confirmed as connecting to the TRUCK (MAIN) battery. Or am I missing something????
 
Vic Harder said:
That leaves the OTHER white wire in this picture. I'm a bit puzzled over that one. Is that the wire you have wired/taped together with the red one it was joined do in this pic? Looking at the wiring diagram, the only place two wires are shown like that is at the Main Battery, and Aux battery +ve posts. Since we are IN the camper (The auxilliary system), this should be the Aux side of the picture. BUT, that red wire goes to a breaker we confirmed as connecting to the TRUCK (MAIN) battery. Or am I missing something????
If we’re looking at the area where the isolator was installed and the wiring is like my 2021 Grandby was from the factory, one white wire is connected to the hot bus of the 12 volt dc fuse block, and the other is the positive wire from the original truck connector jacketed 3 conductor wire which was white positive, black negative, and green running lights.
 
Thanks for the help all. I tested the wires at the separator and I assumed correctly that the single wire on top was to the battery and the one on bottom was to power the fuse box. Turns out my problem was a grounding issue. I followed that step in the original directions a little closer and based on feedback from others in their replies, and everything seems to be working as intended. I moved the main ground from the input of the DCDC negative and moved it over to the negative bus bar. I then sent a wire from the negative bus bar to each of the negative ports in the DCDC. This brought power back to the camper and everything now seems to be working. I'll probably still remove that wiring I fastened together at the battery separator to remove the extra connection and redundant breaker - but I'll do this at a later date.

Thanks again,
 
Vic Harder said:
Ben, This is looking mighty fine. A few things:

1) That big negative cable by the brake booster in the engine bay... grounding to the body is not ideal. Can you add to the length of the ground wire to go to a battery post? Worst cast, add another fat wire from that ground to the battery? You are asking for ground problems with using the body/frame to carry that much current

2) Re: 100% SOC - The shunt will have a setting for "Synchronize" to reset the SOC. I would put the batteries in a no draw situation and let them charge overnight to make sure they are really full up, and then synchronize the battery monitor.

3) Make sure all the charging settings are the same for all devices. I use 14.4V charging and 13.4 float for my Victron/BB gear. The only exception is my ACDC which I set to 13.2 resting so that it sits at about 65% SOC when plugged in.
I just realized I never responded to this, but based on your recommendation, I changed the truck side of the truck to camper ground so it was grounded through the battery and not to the frame. I don't think I ever posted a photo. I also syncronized the SOC monitor but will probably do this again and check all of the PV charger, DCDC charger, and shunt settings now that things seem to be working. I have never seemed to get great watts out of the flexible solar panel so that might be something I check at a later date. I seem to never get more than 100 watts and its a 200 watt panel.
 
I cleaned up the wiring a little bit and added a disconnect to make it easier for me to disconnect and pull the battery if I need to. I also removed that funky ring connection that I had after the DCDC install. On another note, regarding some poor solar performance last summer, I contacted renogy about the lower wattage I was seeing from my solar panel (max maybe around 70-80 watts with 175 w panel). They ended up warrantying my panel and sent me another 175 watt flex panel. I tested both in the roof and rear solar plugs when I received the replacement and saw about the same watts from either panel. Not sure why I had poor performance in the past (probably due to being further north and trees?) but may try things again this summer after some of my recent rewiring work. Now that I have two 175 panels that presumably work fine, I would like to put both on my roof and run in series through the existing roof connection which would run through the victron mppt 100/30. Any problems with two 175 watt panels on the roof in series running through the stock plug to the victron mppt?

LpxOFMn.jpeg
 
Ben_1987 said:
. Any problems with two 175 watt panels on the roof in series running through the stock plug to the victron mppt?
Ben,

Nope. To be absolutely clear, your MPPT is rated at 100V input at 30A. 350W total is what you have for panels, and as you have noticed, that's highly optimistic. Even if you had 360W/12V = only 20A. And most higher power solar panels only put out 40V or less so your good there too.
 
Nominal specified PV power for the MPPT 100/30 is 440 watts, and there’s no reason you can’t overpanel it as long as you stay within the PV array voltage maximum limit of 100 vdc. I have two 200 watt panels into the same MPPT controller and I have never maxed out the output. Even if you did hit the maximum the MPPT controller just limits the panel current by raising the input load voltage the same way it does when optimizing output.
 
I just realized that, while Vic and I both assumed you were asking about the MPPT input capacity, on second look it appears you were really asking about whether the FWC wiring could handle the current from two 175 watt panels wired in parallel and connected to the roof connector.

On my 2021 Grandby I believe the wires are 10 awg, and I have my two 200 watt panels wired that way. Because when the panels are generating 50% or more of their rated levels their output voltage to the MPPT is 25 to 30 volts, the current from both panels totals under 20 amps. The 10 awg wire is more than adequate for that current.

The conservative way to check wire size adequacy for a PV array (for simple wire heating, not voltage loss for long runs) would be to use the short circuit current of the array in sizing the wire. The 10awg wire is adequate when checked this way as well.
 
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