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Adding a second battery..how to...with photos FAQ
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New avatar? I miss the one with the nose picker. It suits your personality better Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Razz
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AEROMECH; I put the fuse block next to the battery for the tutorial ,it isn't even hooked up. I didn't wan't to confuse the issue by showing how i ran 3/4 inch flexible conduit through the rear tire wheelwell to a custom made box inside with the inverter and the fuse pannel. The inverter is hard wired direct to a double outlet box in the wall with the faceplate painted orange so you know it is inverter voltage and not shore power like the unpainted one next to it. The pump for the sink works now too
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay okay sooooorry I said anything.
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is awesome! I have been looking for this
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has been added to the FAQ
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirledTraveller wrote:


Personally I spent the money and bought a really fancy ACR...this one which you can find for around $150 if you search.

...

The magnetic latch function also eliminates one of the main drawbacks of the other ACR, which is that the ACR draws about 350ma when it's combining. For my solar setup, this was not acceptable. the magnetic latch version draws only about 10ma or can be manually combined so the draw is zero.


Hi WT, can you please expand a little on this statement? I would like to eventually go solar as well and would like to understand why the other ACR is not acceptable. Thanks.
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Mountain Minstrel
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job Pete! I have considered doing this, but to be honest I have not found the need for a second battery. When we took the bus camping last Christmas, we ran Christmas lights off of inverters and watched a movie on the laptop and the battery still had plenty of power left to start the bus the next day. I suppose if I didn't drive the bus somewhere everyday I would need the second battery, but for now I will run just the one.
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WhirledTraveller
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hiwaycallin wrote:

Hi WT, can you please expand a little on this statement? I would like to eventually go solar as well and would like to understand why the other ACR is not acceptable. Thanks.


Sure.

When I added a solar charger to my bus I wanted the charger to charge both batteries, but to charge the camping battery up first since that's the one most likely to be drained during camping.

The normal VW relay design only combines the batteries when the engine is running, so that was out.

A normal ACR is basically a voltage sensitive relay... it combines the batteries when either battery is above a certain voltage (13.2 volts if I recall). This ensures that the batteries only combine when they are receiving a charge, and when they are discharging they are separate. So far so good, does what I want.

The problem with an ACR is that internally it's a really heavy duty solenoid type relay, and it takes power to run the solenoid. You can think of it as a momentary switch. It takes power to keep it pressed. Remove the power, and the solenoid is off. Just like your starter solenoid. When the alternator is running 350ma is not a big deal. But when you're trying to trickle-charge with a solar panel in shady light, that 350ma is fighting against you.

The magnetic latch ACR is internally not a momentary switch, it's more like a two-position switch. It uses power to "throw the switch" but once it's there, it stays either on or off. So when the solar panel is charging, it will charge the camping battery first. When the voltage gets above 13.2 volts, the ACR will "throw the switch" combining the batteries, and allowing the start battery to charge as well. But won't continue to draw much power so it won't be a vampire sucking power.

It also is heavy duty enough to pass the full start current, it's rated for 500amps continuous which the regular ACR is not. And it contains a manual switch which enables me to combine or disconnect the batteries manually.

It even comes with a remote switch which I could wire up in the dash somewhere to combine or disconnect the batteries remotely. I haven't done that, though.

This theoretically allows me to "jump" the bus by combining the batteries. With the normal ACR, the limit is 100amps so you need to either use jumper cables or a separate manual switch to have that function.

I should note that there is another option for a dual-battery solar setup. They make solar charge controllers that are designed to charge two batteries. But for various reasons, I felt this ACR was a more useful and elegant solution.
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hiwaycallin
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirledTraveller wrote:
hiwaycallin wrote:

Hi WT, can you please expand a little on this statement? I would like to eventually go solar as well and would like to understand why the other ACR is not acceptable. Thanks.

Sure.
...

Excellent explanation, thanks!
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mountain minsterl; I am setting up this bus for my retirement days ; one of my interests is civil war re-enacting. I f you have the time you can go friday morning through to monday morning...3 days can drain the start battery,now i never have to worry.
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grandpa pete wrote:
I am setting up this bus for my retirement days
Are you hurrying? And did you check out the June Hot VW's issue?
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what's in the june issue?
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

grandpa pete wrote:
what's in the june issue?

Hadn't I recently sent you a PM about the June issue and our mutual friend?
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea...you know ,,,old guy,,,forgets stuff...thks [edit to aeromech...you got to be 60 to use this excuse Laughing Laughing ]
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

grandpa pete wrote:
yea...you know ,,,old guy,,,forgets stuff...thks


Thank God I just turned 55 and became an old guy. I've been looking for a good excuse all these years and now I have one.
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Mal evolent
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the rest of the RV industry says "House battery" and "coach battery"

electronic technician since LBJ lived in government housing. I will use a Blue Seas ACR to power bank of ham radios in my retirement home.
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Greg in GA
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been doing some reading about how to add a 2nd battery etc and I have a question. What would be the down side to moving the entire vehicle electrics over to the 2nd battery except for the starting circuit? IE: the only thing on the main battery would be the starter.
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What would be the down side to moving the entire vehicle electrics over to the 2nd battery

Just more work
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grandpa pete
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greg; the reason for the second battery is to have enough stored energy in a (CAMPING BATTERY) to use any electric item that you want (within peramiters) for a day, weekend or week that you could even run down to nothing without worrying about having a charged (STARTING BATTERY) to start your bus and drive home...Connecting any electricals necessary to start or run your bus would defeat the purpose of having a CAMPING battery separate from your STARTING battery.....and it would be; just more work Laughing Laughing
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