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Author Topic: Looking for a DIY Smart'er RV  (Read 189 times)

mrcrash

  • Posts: 4
Looking for a DIY Smart'er RV
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:57:07 PM »
I just googled that, and nothing to with that brand.

I am a programmer, with an automotive as a hobby.

I was not looking very hard but I came across a deal on an 88/89 Komfort MH I could not pass up, I am overlooking the Chevy Chassis

I am cleaning and poking around the unit now, this is a very early stage, but what to ask since Google has not been very helpful.

I bought a project RV MH, my intent was just something to pull my truck to the trails and a little more comfort when hanging out, now I am interested in checking into some of the RV spots and actually go camping.

I am learning a lot along the way, the chassis I'll be able to work out but the actually RV stuff is where I am lacking.
Since it is an older unit (88 Komfort) I was thinking of mixing some of my nerdiness into this project.

Since the original equipment will be hard to find ( i am told ) and I'm still working on my list of items that don't work, I was thinking when I start to replace items, I like to keep in mind of integrating it into a "smart RV".

Googling around I found this blog https://community.blynk.cc/t/smart-rv-project/6968

that about the only reading I have found.

I am sure I am not the first one to tinker/think in this way and I am very ignorant of actually RV'ing. I am not looking to reinvent anything and I am sure they have these features in a box attached to a price tag I know I cant afford. I rather build it myself any case.

I would like to ask if any other RV'ers have done such projects, or share some links to such or better keys words to search.

Thanks for reading!
 

Isaac-1

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  • Posts: 505
Re: Looking for a DIY Smart'er RV
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 11:18:49 PM »
Following the link it appears this guy is obsessed with measuring how much power he is drawing from his batteries, personally while I am all for technology, a simple volt meter tells me all I need to know.  It works with about the accuracy of a typical analog fuel gauge (which is not all that great either, often with poor linearity), but hey I think we all get along ok with full, half a tank, 1/4 tank, and running on fumes, and don't really need to know we are 83 miles to empty most of the time.  So instead of worrying if I am drawing 2 amps or 2.6 amps, I just look at the volts and ask, do I have enough to last until morning when the solar panels will start filling it back up again, and I check in the afternoon if it is cloudy to see if I need to crank the generator to top them back off for the next night.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

QZ

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  • Posts: 310
Re: Looking for a DIY Smart'er RV
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 11:55:12 PM »
As Isaac1 said, a digital voltmeter is simplest way to know how your battery is doing. Many rv'ers set 12 to 12.2 volts as the minimum that they like to see in the morning.  If using wet batteries there is one other valuable tool and that is a hydrometer. An hydrometer is used to suck some of the electrolyte out of the battery to test it's specific gravity. It's sort of messy and  isn't used all the time like a voltmeter but it does tell you the real battery condition. This specific gravity is very important and can be searched on line to fully understand. Always wear goggles because you are dealing with sulfuric acid.   NEVER create a spark near the top of the batteries as hydrogen gas is produced when charging and can linger after charging and explode like a bomb.

Do a lot of research and come back with questions before you start climbing a ladder of buying part after part. It's best to identify what your power consumption will be before buying anything.  Some people use something like a "kill a watt" to monitor consumption. It lets you properly size your battery bank and charging or solar needs.

Your battery bank is your savings account.
Your charging ability (converter, generator, solar, correct size wire) are your income.
Your number of amp hours used (or low voltmeter reading) is your spending.

Can your account hold you overnight - If not you need more battery.
Can your income fill the battery in a reasonable time without your neighbors wanting to kill you.

Dont even waste your time with the little lights on the RV battery monitor.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:59:46 PM by QZ »

 

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