FAQ: Batteries

Krenovian

New member
In addition to the Wind-Sun site Icarus has a link to above the associated forum he has provided a link to below, I found the following sites helpful in designing and building the electrical system in my conversion.

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/. Lots of practical information about RV solar installations, wiring, and batteries from an electrical engineer who has been boondocking for 7 plus years without resorting to a generator and rarely having to plug in. He lambasts RV dealers and RV solar "experts". Well worth reading his blog.

http://www.vonwentzel.net/Battery/index.html. Lots of information about batteries from a marine standpoint. The author works through some of the myths and misinformation that abounds concerning batteries, battery types, and their use.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f14/. Link to the Batteries, Generator and Solar forum on Cruisers Forum. The information is geared to marine systems and sailing in particular but applies directly to RV systems as well. These folks' lives depend on their systems functioning properly and safely. Lots of information available using the search function.

http://www.amplepower.com/index.html Like Handy Bob these folks are iconoclasts. They manufacture and sell electrical system components and controls for marine electrical systems as well as land based solar PV systems. Click on the Technical Documents tab to get started. I ended up ordering their Ample Power CD which contains two books, Living On 12 Volts with Ample Power and Wiring 12 Volts for Ample Power.

Curt
 
Last edited:

icarus

Active member
Since this was imported from another thread, I will provide the other link.

The following is a solar energy forum, that is tightly moderated, filled with some very smart folks who have forgotten more about solar and solar installations (including off grid and Rv installations) than most of us will ever know.

I invite anyone with some interest in the subject, or anyone who is pondering doing some solar installation on a vehicle to come visit, and use the resources there:

http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/search.php?searchid=722177

While the site is sponsored by a well respected retailer, there is no pressure to buy from the vendor. It is an open forum for discussion, idea sharing and real world problem solving

Icarus
 

jackbombay

Active member
I invite anyone with some interest in the subject, or anyone who is pondering doing some solar installation on a vehicle to come visit, and use the resources there:

http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/search.php?searchid=722177

While the site is sponsored by a well respected retailer, there is no pressure to buy from the vendor. It is an open forum for discussion, idea sharing and real world problem solving

Icarus

Awesome forum there, quick responses and very knowledgeable, they even let me know I had wasted my money on a junk charge controller very politely.

Doh!


For anyone planning a solar system for their van its certainly worth posting up your parts list there and having the pros make sure you're getting a good set-up for your money.
 

icarus

Active member
Jack,

Glad we could help. Just an FYI to anyone out there, don't consider a "BZ" controller. They are not only not worth the money, but they actually perform worse than no controller at all in many cases.

Icarus
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Often people are looking for battery information, but they really should keep in mind that they are dealing with a system. I thought this thread should be included here so it doesn't get lost. Some of the links may have been highlighted already, but it can't hurt to duplicate.

Thanks goes to KL2BE.

As an aside, I would really encourage anyone to do their homework and read up before attempting to install a vehicle electrical system or even have it done professionally. Not all "professional" installers are created equal so you really should have some idea of what is going to be safe to help you monitor the work. Keep in mind that you will most likely be sleeping in that closed box into which they are installing the wiring/system.

vic

Read this before any major 12V system purchase
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12556
 

Ossie

New member
, I found the following sites helpful in designing and building the electrical system in my conversion.

http://www.vonwentzel.net/Battery/index.html. Lots of information about batteries from a marine standpoint. The author works through some of the myths and misinformation that abounds concerning batteries, battery types, and their use.

Curt
The VonWentzel site is the best I've seen for taking one from novice to expert in just a few pages and laying out the pros and cons of varrious battery types and sizes. It is easy to miss though that there are NINE pages on battery selection criteria. Pay attention to the arrows at the tops of the pages to not miss all the data and conclusion.
 

HeadyTeddy

New member
Quick question...Hopefully someone can answer here... I purchased a 200Amp Dual battery isolator, meaning that it is intended to charge two Aux batteries. I currently am only using one Aux battery (Optima Yellowtop) and was wondering if it is okay to use this isolator with only one Aux battery? Any input would be much appreciated!
 

fog cutter

New member
lacking extensive electrical skills and even at this juncture a clear need for the amount of technology i want to be burdened, i'm leaning towards a "plug 'n' play" system. is there a general consensus, whether for technology, endurance, or simply good customer support (located in the US), for either of these power blocks?

#1. Goal Zero 400
#2. Blue Sea
#3. ArkPak

i would prefer future additions be like manufactures for consistency. tried a search but came up dry.

thanks
 

icarus

Active member
The only thing I can say is BlueSea, in general makes very good products. Can't Opine on the others.

Icarus
 

NavionIQ

New member
The group 49, H-8 replacement batteries have changed their size in 2016 and I cannot find a replacement battery for my sprinter RV that will fit in to foot well! It is a really tight fit and previous attempts have resulted in burning a hole in the floorboard. Everything is 7 1/2 " tall and 7 1/4 is my max. Any thoughts?
 

Daystar

Member
Could you file 1/4" off the terminals? Also, some battery manufacturers give the option of different style terminals. Some may be shorter. Or, you could build another battery cover that gives you more clearance.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Could you file 1/4" off the terminals? Also, some battery manufacturers give the option of different style terminals. Some may be shorter. Or, you could build another battery cover that gives you more clearance.
Along similar modification thoughts...

Use a large socket or pipe nipple as a die with a ball pein hammer to "dimple" the area above the terminals. I would then line the dimpled area with some tough plastic sheet for insulation.

Added: Cut out the areas above the terminals and use some clear epoxy with fiberglass cloth to rebuild the cover high enough. That would make some good tough electrical insulation. (I wouldn't use JB Weld. I believe it contains enough metal that it could be conductive.)

vic
 
Last edited:

Anthony 340B

New member
Well I'm having trouble finding the answer to using the vehicles stock alternator or buying and higher output secondary alternator to produce a voltage and frequency that is compatable with charging a lithium battery. Someone or everyone tell me how bad of an idea this is. Just buy some decent amp/hr agm deep cycle batteries for under the hood, use the stock alternator (for now) run a cheaper (non UL) inverter and an actual Li battery off that. That way when I'm driving it's charging and when I'm it's off. Perfect profile charge. Say the charger was a 30-45a charger. Can an agm transfer that much amperage? This way in can trash my under the hood agm ($200-$300) and throw them away in 18 months. Please geek out on me. I'd rather not ruin a $3k Li.
 

Top Bottom