FWC Victron DC to DC charger upgrade help / 2017 Hawk

Sorry for not addressing that part of your post. You would no longer use the 1314a battery separator. The positive and negative wires from the truck engine compartment should be directly connected to the positive input and the common negative of the Orion (located close to your camper battery) via your bus bars and appropriate fuses or circuit breakers. Other strings have discussed wire gage and fusing, but ask if you aren’t sure.
 
RHarries said:
I also plan to installed fused 6 AWG to replace the 10 AWG , however I am unsure if this upgrade is necessary if I don't rely on or need the truck alternator charging capability (?)
Jon R seems to have capably answered all of your questions so far. My turn, I have a question about the above sentence. The only reason you replaced the surepower separator with a DCDC converter IS to charge off of your alternator. So, yes, I would replace it with 6awg... but I am confused by your statement above.
 
Vic Harder said:
Jon R seems to have capably answered all of your questions so far. My turn, I have a question about the above sentence. The only reason you replaced the surepower separator with a DCDC converter IS to charge off of your alternator. So, yes, I would replace it with 6awg... but I am confused by your statement above.
Hi Vic,
Sorry for the confusion, I understand now that statement was incomplete.

I want to try and run the setup with the OEM 10 AWG initially to see if/how I will benefit from increased charging capability with the 6 AWG upgrade. Upgrading the wiring will require removal of the camper from my vehicle, which is complicated for a variety of reasons.

I was/am concerned that the 10 AWG may generate excessive heat and damage the Victron DC-DC charging system.

The reason for installing the replacing the Surepower battery separator with the DC/DC charger was to allow proper charging of the the new LiPO4 battery, albeit slowly until the wiring upgrade is made.

FWIW, I dont use much electric power, and historically the 100 AH AGM battery and 90 watt solar panel were sufficient for my needs, until Starlink came along and started depleting my power supply rapidly. I felt the LiPO4 battery would be more robust, and allow deeper discharges. Now I have the Victron MPPT, Orion DC-DC to supplement the 712 BVM.

Presently I have all installed as planned, yet now I am mired in trying to understand if my alternator is a "smart" alternator or not (2015 Tundra). Voltage is measure at 13.9 V at the camper battery at start up and 13.4 after idling for ~15 minutes. I want to make sure i set up the Orion thresholds properly.
 
I also got mired in the "smart" alternator issue for our Tacoma. Our Renogy dual charge controller has a sensor wire that I have hooked up to the trailer positive line to sense engine on. But to be honest we don't use that. We seem to get 25-ish amps from the 30A charge controller into the battery, (and close to 30A with the sensor wire). I never did fully determine if our 2018 Taco has a smart alternator.

Our power needs sound similar to yours before you added Starlink, and the 90W solar seems to keep our battery up to 100% SOC on sunny days.
 
Toyota? My 2002 Tundra had a smart alternator, so you likely do as well. The 10AWG won't damage your DCDC. And you can used the voltage settings for "engine running detect" on the Victron to set yours up, anything over 12.9 v is likely more than the resting voltage of your starting (AGM) battery, so setting it to 13.3 will likely kick off the charging processes. Only question is how much voltage drop you will get at 30A over 10AWG. Good thing to test and see.
 
I am finding (as many others have), that the 10 AWG wire is causing cycling of the DC charger. I plan to upgrade the wiring this weekend, and am curious about mounting the Anderson power pole connections to the truck bed and camper. Does anyone have photos of a good way to affix these terminals?
 
I ran 2 lengths of 2awg from my engine compartment to the bed of the truck. On one install I drilled holes in the truck bed, installed rubber grommets and the Anderson Powerpole connectors just lay in the truck bed.

Current install uses insulated through-hull power studs from Summit Racing. The powerpole connectors have a hole in the middle for a screw. You can buy mounts for them or simply screw the it to the bed.
 
Vic Harder said:
I ran 2 lengths of 2awg from my engine compartment to the bed of the truck. On one install I drilled holes in the truck bed, installed rubber grommets and the Anderson Powerpole connectors just lay in the truck bed.

Current install uses insulated through-hull power studs from Summit Racing. The powerpole connectors have a hole in the middle for a screw. You can buy mounts for them or simply screw the it to the bed.
in addition to what Vic states, one time after a trip (we drive rough roads) I discovered the two halves of my powerpole connectors had vibrated apart. I now wrap a plastic cable tie around the two joined halves and no more issue with this.
 
When i first bought my truck and camper, intended to mount a permanent connector in the bed wall, but had so many other things to figure out at the time I punted and just made a 6 awg pigtail with split loom over it that comes over the top of the front bed wall. I used an SB50 connector with the optional rubber environmental boots. I stow the pigtail under the bed when the camper is off for a long period.

I decided I like it that way and that is now my permanent method. The connection is completely out of sight, and the wires coming over the front wall are not noticeable unless you look for them.
 
Jon R said:
When i first bought my truck and camper, intended to mount a permanent connector in the bed wall, but had so many other things to figure out at the time I punted and just made a 6 awg pigtail with split loom over it that comes over the top of the front bed wall. I used an SB50 connector with the optional rubber environmental boots. I stow the pigtail under the bed when the camper is off for a long period.

I decided I like it that way and that is now my permanent method. The connection is completely out of sight, and the wires coming over the front wall are not noticeable unless you look for them.
This what i did also, I use a reusable zip tie to stow it. Plus since I didn’t drill my bed, if I replace the truck or sell
camper, I can just pull the wires and reuse.
 
RHarries said:
about mounting the Anderson power pole connections to the truck bed and camper. Does anyone have photos of a good way to affix these terminals?
I'll dig around on my other computer for some photos in a few daze [EDIT: couldn't find the photos]. Basically I used the existing hole that the Four Wheel Camper installer drilled. But I turned the 6awg wire and Anderson connector so it plugs in pushing forward (instead of outboard). I figured next time I remove the camper and forget to unplug, it'll pull out going backwards without damage. Yes, I bent our previous plug! Yes, I have a camper remove/replace checklist. No, I didn't use it...

As a bonus, I can plug/unplug through one of the turnbuckle doors. It ain't easy plugging in because I'm a weakling, but I can just do it. I like to unplug the last two days of a trip, so the battery comes home at about 50% charge.
 
Thanks all for the guidance and helpful information. One (hopefully) last question: Is the thermal breaker that was installed for the original camper install still necessary, or does the Dc-DC charger now provide this functionality?

I am trying to make the wiring as simple and direct as possible while maintaining proper functionality.
 

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Vic Harder said:
When running your 6AWG (or bigger) wires, remember to add breakers at both ends so that a short won't cause a catastrophic disaster. I used Blue Sea 285 series surface mounts on mine.
I’m sure this has been explained somewhere, but I can’t find it. I clearly understand why a breaker/fuse is needed, but why one at each end?
 
I am planning to include a 60 amp fused connection at both battery terminal ends (as specified by Victron). I understand that one at each end is necessary to ensure the current is interrupted at its origin location (which could be either battery).

My limited understanding of the thermal breaker function is to act as a "check valve" that will allow current to only flow downstream from the truck power supply. I believe this functionality is also inherent to the Orion DC Charger (assuming it is set up properly)
 
There needs to be a fuse on either end IF there is a battery/power source on either end.

When there is no a (edited) DCDC converter in the circuit path, then there is no “battery” at the camper end, and no need for a breaker/fuse there.

Thermal breakers like what FWC used are inexpensive and just one type of breaker. If installing a BlueSea breaker, you don;t need to keep the existing thermal breaker, which is only rated at 30A anyway. For a 30A DCDC charger you want at 40-50A breaker.
 
Thanks Vic,
To save space, I was planning on installing a simple terminal fuse blocks on the truck and camper batteries like this:
https://a.co/d/56xoKry
However I like the idea of the Bluesea breaker to avoid the need to carry spare awkward fuses.

Per Victron recommendations, I am planning on 60 amp fuses/breakers at BOTH batteries for my 30 Amp Orion Dc charger.

I don't understand your statement, "When there is no DCDC converter in the circuit path, then there is no “battery” at the camper end, and no need for a breaker/fuse there." Is this correct? it seems that a fuse WOULD be required at the camper battery if no DC charger was present (?)

Apologies for my simple questions, I am very appreciative for your and others patience as I learn more about this complicated discipline.
 
Good catch

RHarries said:
Thanks Vic,
To save space, I was planning on installing a simple terminal fuse blocks on the truck and camper batteries like this:
https://a.co/d/56xoKry
However I like the idea of the Bluesea breaker to avoid the need to carry spare awkward fuses.

Per Victron recommendations, I am planning on 60 amp fuses/breakers at BOTH batteries for my 30 Amp Orion Dc charger.

I don't understand your statement, "When there is no DCDC converter in the circuit path, then there is no “battery” at the camper end, and no need for a breaker/fuse there." Is this correct? it seems that a fuse WOULD be required at the camper battery if no DC charger was present (?)

Apologies for my simple questions, I am very appreciative for your and others patience as I learn more about this complicated discipline.
Good catch. Yes, if no DCDC then a fuse is required at both ends, because both ends have batteries on them.
 

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