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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:32 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
not sure if you've gotten this far, but as far as insulation goes, ridged foam board is your best bet versus bat insulation. its lighter by far and has superior insulation properties. for the electrical compartments, DO NOT insulate them! regardless of battery type and electrical low and high temp capacity. just the living space needs the insulation.

My walls will be a sandwich of 1/4 ply outside, 0.75 inch thick boards for the internal skeleton, and 1/4 ply inside. There is a 0.75 inch thick foam board I have my eye on at the local Home Depot that will work well. I was planning on insulating the cabin, but hadn't made a decision about insulating the battery compartment and inverter compartment. Do you recommend not insulating them in case any of it overheats-- there would be little heat dissipation? I could also delete the inner 1/4 ply layer of the walls of the electronics compartments to make them even less apt to hold in heat (so there would be just 1 layer of ply plus the aluminum exterior separating them from the elements).

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:52 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
I was planning on insulating the cabin, but hadn't made a decision about insulating the battery compartment and inverter compartment. Do you recommend not insulating them in case any of it overheats-- there would be little heat dissipation?


every degree counts. the battery could take the temperatures but wouldn't last as long under the inverters load. if you did want to insulate the battery compartment, do the research on the insulation you want to purchase for the trailer and verify the ASTM fire resistance rating.

for insulation for the cabin, spending the money on foil backed foam board will be appreciated in the summer and winter!

when your ready to purchace the insulation, verify the ASTM here: http://www.astm.org/
there's another site that would help you out a lot on insulation, but I can not seem to remember the address.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:01 pm 
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I used to specify products for buildings for work. if you want the document I pulled this off of, let me know. though it would be very difficult to understand.


2.3 POLYISOCYANURATE FOAM-PLASTIC BOARD

A. Polyisocyanurate Board, Foil Faced: ASTM C 1289, foil faced, Type I, Class 1 or 2.

1. Manufacturers: Subject to compliance with requirements, provide products by one of the following:
a. Atlas Roofing Corporation.
b. Dow Chemical Company (The).
c. Firestone Building Products.
d. Hunter Panels.

2. Fire Propagation Characteristics: Passes NFPA 285 testing as part of an approved assembly.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Hmmm, so fire hazard is the biggest concern where you have battery+electronics+insulation. Good to know. I am planning a trip for wood and other supplies tomorrow, so I'll have a look at the insulation they have available. Looks like I should get something that is foil faced, at least for inside those compartments. Or not insulate them at all. Which would you do?

Also, I found a kit by Bostich with a compressor bundled with a couple of nail guns for in the $200 range... Got to check that out!

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:55 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
Hmmm, so fire hazard is the biggest concern where you have battery+electronics+insulation. Good to know. I am planning a trip for wood and other supplies tomorrow, so I'll have a look at the insulation they have available. Looks like I should get something that is foil faced, at least for inside those compartments. Or not insulate them at all. Which would you do?

Also, I found a kit by Bostich with a compressor bundled with a couple of nail guns for in the $200 range... Got to check that out!


fire hazard in the inverter compartment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :banghead: I've gone through so many inverters due to a malfunction. 9 times out of 10, it was just a large spark. don't let this deter you though. proper isolation during a malfunction will save your bacon. the battery compartments main issue is temps.

foil faced definitely in the inverter compartment along with any other electronics. battery compartment; just ventilate it like a battery box but add the foil faced insulation either around the compartment or around the battery. the foil facing should be visible inside the compartments and cab. I.E: foil should not face outside the trailer.

your choice on weather or not to use foil faced in the cabin. only difference would be temps and price.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:03 pm 
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Speaking of the electrical system, it is beginning to take shape. I got a shipment of parts the other day that included cables and battery boxes, so I had to give this a try! ;)

Image

It consists of three Group 24, 12 volt Deep Cycle Marine batteries, hooked up in parallel.

Image

I charged each one separately a couple of weeks ago so they are topped off and about as similar in charge as they can get before linking them together. Each battery stores approximately 80-90 amp hours, so the combined battery bank of 3 should net me at least 240 amp hours at 12 volts.

What is that in terms of useful capacity?

Fantastic Fan 3 amps on high
LED lighting 3 amps combined when all on
2 power outlets 15 amps each at max draw for 30 amps
Inverter - about 40 amps at 500 watts
(41.6 amps at 12 V = 4.16 amps at 120 V, for 500 watts of power)

All together = 76 amps, which could run for 3.16 hours.

But there is no way I would use everything all at once!

A more likely scenario:
Fan: 3 amps
Lights: 3 amps
IPad charger: 2 amps
Laptop computer 85 watt charger via inverter: 7 amps
Total = 15 amps

At 15 amps of draw, the 240 amp hour system could last 16 hours, or 5 days at 3.2 hours a day. That's basically what I designed the off-road trailer for: boondocking it where there isn't a place to plug in.

At 6 amps of draw, the system would be good for 40 hours on a charge. That would go much farther.

Ultimately it would be nice to have solar charging, but for now I have a Kussmaul AutoCharge 1000 that runs off of campground or home electricity to charge the system.

Image

I picked up a 1000 watt (2000 surge) pure sine wave inverter over the weekend. Yay Craigslist!

It's a Xantrex ProWatt SW 1000 with a remote on/off switch that can be mounted inside the trailer.
Here's a pic from the web:

Image

And technical info:
http://www.xantrex.com/power-products/power-inverters/prowatt-sw.aspx

Basically the three batteries will be in one compartment (with individually vented battery boxes) and the charger, inverter, and other electronics will be in another compartment.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:14 pm 
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does the battery charger double as a charge controller? like its "smart", knows when the batteries are full and limits the voltage and current to them?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:16 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
Image


hook up the power supply to the middle battery. the batteries will get a more even charge.

the inverter shouldn't be on the same terminals as the charger.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:20 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
does the battery charger double as a charge controller? like its "smart", knows when the batteries are full and limits the voltage and current to them?

Yes, it detects state of charge and only applies a charge to the batteries when needed to top them off, so it can safely be left plugged in. It's a ruggedized on-board charger that is used in ambulances and firetrucks to keep their batteries topped off when parked at the firehouse. Seems perfect for an off-road trailer application. Just wish it had the ability to tie in with solar. That will be a separate controller when the time comes.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:25 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
lfhoward wrote:
Image


hook up the power supply to the middle battery. the batteries will get a more even charge.

the inverter shouldn't be on the same terminals as the charger.

Interesting. So the charger should be on the middle battery, and the inverter on the ends?

I have the power supply on the ends to make sure I'm not putting an unequal load on one of the batteries (so they will last longer). Would the same hold true if I put the charger in the middle?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:35 pm 
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http://www.amazon.com/Xantrex-Charge-Controller-Charging-Sources/dp/B000OYZE58/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438568632&sr=8-1&keywords=charge+controller&refinements=p_89%3AXantrex

pretty good charge controller! id recommend Xantrex

as far as the power supply and solar charging goes, very simple.... buy a dubble throw relay. or a manual switch.

http://www.amazon.com/Painless-80131-Single-Double-Throw/dp/B001G9GRJW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1438568815&sr=8-3&keywords=double+throw+double+pole+relay


lfhoward wrote:
PALiftedKK wrote:
lfhoward wrote:
Image


hook up the power supply to the middle battery. the batteries will get a more even charge.

the inverter shouldn't be on the same terminals as the charger.

Interesting. So the charger should be on the middle battery, and the inverter on the ends?

I have the power supply on the ends to make sure I'm not putting an unequal load on one of the batteries (so they will last longer). Would the same hold true if I put the charger in the middle?


I mean, its really not a big deal where you place the load and chargers at. is all about an even battery load and charge. the charger should be on the center battery though, the way it is currently configured is going to make the batteries heat up faster the center battery will get heated up a lot faster. if the charger is installed on the center the charger can properly distribute the current. all of the batteries will be at the same capacity, voltage and temperature unless theres low water level or the battery gets sulfated. the inverter should be installed ONLY on one battery. you choose which battery you use.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:53 pm 
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Makes sense about equalizing charge and keeping temps down. The reference I was using for hooking up my charger (and the inverter was going to be on the same terminals before I talked to you) is here:
http://caravanchronicles.com/guides/how-to-connect-two-batteries-in-parallel/
And here:
http://caravanchronicles.com/guides/how-to-connect-two-batteries-in-parallel-part-2/

Do you think there is anything to their argument that one of the batteries will age faster if the load comes from just one of the batteries in the bank, instead of being distributed across them (cable on each #1 & #3)?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:02 pm 
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load, draws 100% evenly amongst the batteries no mater the size of the bank as long as it is configured in parallel.

the way you have your batteries wired up is correct. like I said, its honestly not a big deal where the load and charger are terminated at. temperature is your main enemy. the hotter the batteries and inverter, the less efficient they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:14 pm 
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PALiftedKK wrote:
load, draws 100% evenly amongst the batteries no mater the size of the bank as long as it is configured in parallel.

the way you have your batteries wired up is correct. like I said, its honestly not a big deal where the load and charger are terminated at. temperature is your main enemy. the hotter the batteries and inverter, the less efficient they are.


Thanks, that actually makes wiring everything a bit easier, as the inverter compartment will be off to one side. Nice to know it is not a big deal. :D

I have learned a lot this evening for my camper build. Thanks for taking the time to chat! :CAMPING:

Hey, one last question to pick your brain since I have you here. :frankie: I'd like to wire the camper for solar, even though I don't have it yet and it might be a couple of years until I can add it. What gauge of wiring would you recommend I run from the inverter/charger compartment up to the roof? I don't know how big a system I might eventually get, so I guess overkill is better. I don't want to have to tear the walls out later to run wires if I can just build them in now.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:29 pm 
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to be honest, im not quite sure about that. I have 2 runs to and from my solar panel. thick gauge for summer, and thin for winter.

it all depends on the size panel you want to buy. if your buying a 100w panel, 12 gauge is more then enough!

id highly recommend a higher voltage panel though. a 12v panel is very inefficient. well they all are. the higher the voltage the better.

my system is 60 volts, so the dual gauge runs are neccicary for the lighting conditions.

lets say you buy a 24 volt panel at 100w, 12 gauge would be a perfect average. a 12v 100w panel at 12 gauge would be perfect for summer but detrimental for winter.


ok, I know I just confused you :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:


winter has longer days, therefor more light but weaker; producing higher voltage but less amperage. smaller gauge wire carries the voltage more efficiency then (lets say) a 12 or 10 gauge run.

summer has a stronger ray, but the rays stay out for a very brief time so a perfect gauge is required. meaning not under or over.


refer to your marine gauge sheet about gauge to feet. post back here what it says about the gauge is.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:44 pm 
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Dang, I thought I was asking a simple question! :ROTFL:
Now I think I ought to wait until I actually have a solar system in hand to know the volts and wattage before I spring for any cables.
I know of the marine gauge tables you mentioned. I'll check those before installing any wires. I need to know the rating of the system to be able to look up the correct wire size.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:09 pm 
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basically as far as the solar panel goes, find the highest voltage panel possible within reason. don't worry much about the current rating. if its over 40 or so volts, the current should be pretty impressive.

my panel before I rewired it form 280 volts was around 12 amps I believe. I rewired the panel its self to push out 60 volts. main reason being that I didn't want to pay contractors price for a micro inverter, which are balls expensive. the controller I bought was around 100 bucks and can handle voltages up to 100 volts with a continuous full load. had it for 4 years about. I guess Chinese crap does last sometimes.

besides heat loss, going from high to low voltage is very efficient. say 60 volts 2 amps input, the output being 12 volts 10 amps. try finding a 12v 10 amp solar panel :2cents: you'll never find one.


I am currently looking for high voltage panels for your use.

EDIT: I had absolutely no luck. if I found a high voltage panel, the company wanted a minimum order of X panels. so, go with a 12 volt system.

so far the best 12 volt panel I've seen. buy 2 panels. one panel would just barley get you buy.

http://www.amazon.com/RENOGY%C2%AE-Polycrystalline-Photovoltaic-Battery-Charging/dp/B00DCCOSV0/ref=sr_1_45?ie=UTF8&qid=1438637029&sr=8-45&keywords=solar+panel

if you manage to find a panel above 45 volts, BUY IT.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:18 pm 
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So you got me thinking about solar and I checked Craigslist... :juggle:

There is a guy in Phoenixville who has a 24V 140Watt panel plus an MPPT charge controller for sale for $160 for the bundle. Seems like a crazy deal. Says he bought it last year for "some testing" but it has just sat in his garage.

This solar panel is made by Goliath. You are not the first person to suggest Renogy panels to me, and I like that they are made in USA. Goliath seems to be an Australian company when I looked them up. I haven't heard of them before.

Here is a link to the panel the guy has:
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Goliath®-Solar-Module-Battery-Charging/dp/B00DQFAMQI[/url]

And his charge controller:
http://www.amazon.com/Tracer1210RN-Solar-Charge-Controller-Regulator/dp/B008KWPGS6

What would you think of that setup to charge my 240 amp hour battery bank? Sufficient? And decent quality stuff? And could the 24 volt output be easily converted to 12 volts to charge my 12 volt system with that charge controller?

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:48 pm 
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lfhoward wrote:
So you got me thinking about solar and I checked Craigslist... :juggle:

There is a guy in Phoenixville who has a 24V 140Watt panel plus an MPPT charge controller for sale for $160 for the bundle. Seems like a crazy deal. Says he bought it last year for "some testing" but it has just sat in his garage.

This solar panel is made by Goliath. You are not the first person to suggest Renogy panels to me, and I like that they are made in USA. Goliath seems to be an Australian company when I looked them up. I haven't heard of them before.

Here is a link to the panel the guy has:
[url]http://www.amazon.com/Goliath®-Solar-Module-Battery-Charging/dp/B00DQFAMQI[/url]

And his charge controller:
http://www.amazon.com/Tracer1210RN-Solar-Charge-Controller-Regulator/dp/B008KWPGS6

What would you think of that setup to charge my 240 amp hour battery bank? Sufficient? And decent quality stuff? And could the 24 volt output be easily converted to 12 volts to charge my 12 volt system with that charge controller?



that panel is alright. nothing really special. it advertises 24 volts, but real world voltage would be around 30 volts. amperage (discard description) around 4 amps.

his charge controller is what I own. I highly recommend tracer! I had an issue about a year into my first controller and the company sent me a brand new one for free. brand new, not a refurb.

24v systems are more efficient, but if you have a 24 volt battery bank and bring it down to 12 volts, its less efficient then a bank of 12 volts (hence the heat loss).


take my set up for example, the panel puts out 60 volts at 8-10 amps in direct sunlight. my battery banks are 12 volts. the charge controller detects the battery voltage and sets a base line voltage around it. usually a 12/24 volt config. the tracer is a """"""""quality"""""""" :roll: built product. if you do some research on the charge controllers, 99% of them support 12/24 volt configurations, BUT most also only have a maximum of a 14 volt input or is thermally shut down at a low high temp.


when ever you want to purchase panels and charge controller, please post it up here! try to get a panel that outputs above 12 volts though. the higher the voltage, the less the time it takes to charge the bank.



if you want to meet up and check out my set up, pm me. im available almost every day.

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 Post subject: Re: Teardrop camper
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:51 pm 
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also, the tracers have a "remote" I whish I had one. their so useful!!!


http://www.amazon.com/Remote-Meter-Display-Regulator-Meters/dp/B008KWPGLI/ref=pd_sim_86_5?ie=UTF8&refRID=1SWGNVCKZYHXWJ153QAA

_________________
2012 Jeep Liberty KK 84k miles
4" lift.
Gen 5.5 A-Arms
Maxxis 31x10.50x15

Jeep Photos: https://plus.google.com/+Ryantechtips/posts
M1101 Trailer Build- BUILD IN PROGRESS / 70% http://www.lostjeeps.com/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=88&t=83940


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