Covered RV bottom. Don't know how to install battery monitor

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All50States

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You guys recommended a battery monitor. I would like to install one.  My RV has a covered RV bottom. This is a Freedom Express trailer with the batteries on the front of the camper.  I'm not sure where to install the shunt or run the wire into the RV.  Could I install the shunt in battery box if there is room?  To run the wire, I think I would need to drill blindly into the floor not knowing what is above it.  There's only about 2 - 2.5 feet of battery cable available before it runs into the covered bottom.  How have you guys installed this?

I really need to get this figured out.

Thanks! 
 

Back2PA

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The shunt has to be installed at the battery. You may have to unseal the belly and find a way in, every RV is different.


You might consider this monitor which is Bluetooth enabled. You could mount everything near the battery and monitor on your phone
 

Utclmjmpr

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With a covered bottom,(like mine) you have to go thru the individual storage bays to run lines lengthwise of the coach.
The other trick is to run thru the hanging cabinets along the ceiling.>>>Dan
 

Koodog

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I ran mine right on the neg batt post in the batt box.
Wires run along frame and into coach in a cabinet space.
Not hard to figure out where to drill thru floor.
 

HappyWanderer

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I'm not convinced that Bluetooth apps really serve any useful function in RVs. Everything from battery status to TPMS can route to your phone, but what if your phone isn't present or turned on. Not to mention that all these apps will have a detrimental effect on the phone's battery life.
 

Gizmo

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HappyWanderer said:
I'm not convinced that Bluetooth apps really serve any useful function in RVs. Everything from battery status to TPMS can route to your phone, but what if your phone isn't present or turned on. Not to mention that all these apps will have a detrimental effect on the phone's battery life.

I was of similar mindset and went to the Victron BMS kicking and screaming and now I would not be without it.  Yours as was my concerns are largely unfounded. At least for me I always have my phone handy and it is so much easier to check the battery status.  I in fact installed the BMS in my basement near the cargo door where it is easily accessible, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have looked at it.  It is nice because it is one less gadget cluttering up the interior of our rig and easier to install. Another benefit is the ease to which you can check amp draw on individual components through out the coach.  As for battery draw, it is essentially a non issue.
 

All50States

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This is a really newbie question, but what's the thickness of the wire I should use from the shunt to the battery? 

I'll see if there is enough room to install in the battery box. 

Thanks for the BM suggestions!  I like the bluetooth option.
 

Gizmo

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All50States said:
This is a really newbie question, but what's the thickness of the wire I should use from the shunt to the battery? 

I'll see if there is enough room to install in the battery box. 

Thanks for the BM suggestions!  I like the bluetooth option.

Battery monitors, at least the ones I am familiar with come with the appropriate wiring and can vary.  As far as mounting the shunt in your situation, as mentioned each rig will vary as to how wiring can be routed.  In a travel trailer we owned a few years ago, as we had at the time lead acid batteries I was reluctant to mount the shunt in the battery box.  What I did instead was mount it in a waterproof electrical box I mounted on the frame just behind the battery box and routed the wiring from the shunt into the battery box.  It worked well and I had no issues.
 

Kevin Means

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All50States said:
This is a really newbie question, but what's the thickness of the wire I should use from the shunt to the battery? 

I'll see if there is enough room to install in the battery box. 

Thanks for the BM suggestions!  I like the bluetooth option.
The shunt itself should be as close to the battery bank as possible, and I'd recommend using as thick a gauge wire as practical from the shunt to the battery terminal. The RV's 12 volt loads are going to be passing through the shunt so the battery monitor can accurately measure amps flowing in and out of the battery bank, so you don't want to induce unnecessary voltage loss with thin gauge wire, or unnecessarily long wire runs. FWIW, our shunt is mounted to a three inch steel strap, and the other end of the strap is attached directly to the battery's negative terminal.

Kev
 

Drewd

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I do solar installs on the side for money to upgrade my RV.  What takes me the most amount of time is figuring where to put stuff with respect to wiring. 

In my personal camper, I ran the wiring from the shunt under my camper and then up the drain for my sink and installed the battery monitor on a side wall next to my sink.  I was limited by the length of the cable from the shunt to my monitor and this worked out perfectly with minimal drilling.
 

Gizmo

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Drewd said:
I do solar installs on the side for money to upgrade my RV.  What takes me the most amount of time is figuring where to put stuff with respect to wiring. 

In my personal camper, I ran the wiring from the shunt under my camper and then up the drain for my sink and installed the battery monitor on a side wall next to my sink.  I was limited by the length of the cable from the shunt to my monitor and this worked out perfectly with minimal drilling.

I agree, there are often several options to running wires, but trying to find them, and then execute can be quite time consuming.
 

All50States

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Amazon just dropped off my new Victron BMV-712 with Bluetooth!  My weekend project is to find a way to run the wire into the camper. 
 

rbrdriver

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Just cut through the bottom covering, making a hole big enough to work/explore in, and when done tape it back up with eternabond tape or something similar. I've been in the bottom of my rig with several upgrades and other projects so you should see the bottom of mine.
 

FunSteak

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All50States said:
Amazon just dropped off my new Victron BMV-712 with Bluetooth!  My weekend project is to find a way to run the wire into the camper.

We have this one and I LOVE it! 

The Bluetooth functionality is much more useful than I may have thought at first.  It's very nice to be sitting outside and be able to check the battery situation without getting up.  I like the ability to set alerts, too.  Ours goes under 55% SOC, my phone lets me know.
 

Drewd

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Removing the bottom cover isn't difficult, just time consuming.  I"ve had mine off 4 times since last Summer.  First to install and wire water tank heaters, 2nd to upgrade to 50 amp service and install 6 new outlets, 3rd was to install an independent brake controller for my ATV trailer, and most recently replace a bad black water drain valve.

 

All50States

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I installed the battery monitor and there is no power to the display nor is bluetooth working.  I replaced one red battery temperature power cord with another power cord that came with it.  Could not get bluetooth working. I also plugged the display in and still no power.  I checked the fuses and they looked OK.

Any ideas?
 

Lou Schneider

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All50States said:
I installed the battery monitor and there is no power to the display nor is bluetooth working.  I replaced one red battery temperature power cord with another power cord that came with it.  Could not get bluetooth working. I also plugged the display in and still no power.  I checked the fuses and they looked OK.

Any ideas?

Did you install the wire and fuseholder that runs from B1 on the shunt to the positive terminal of the battery?  Is the inline fuse intact?

Did you use the supplied UTP cable between the shunt and the meter?  If you substituted a Cat5 Ethernet cable, it may not have the same pinouts as the supplied cable.
 

All50States

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I have connect 2 6V batteries to make 12V.  I have connected the red wire from the other open positive terminal to the B1 port. I originally had the temp monitor connected to both the B1 and B2 port.  Still no luck.
 

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