updating a 31k to lithium 400 amp and solor

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recon1st

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Duluth, Mn
Hi all. I am new to forum, and RVing. I will have a lot of questions.

The first thing I am having trouble with is the charging systems. I believe there are 3 (shore, generator, and alternator)
From what I've learned so far putting in 400 amps of Lithium batteries, and solar, I should really understand the standard
systems. I have a minnie winnie 2021 31k.

Has anyone done this type of upgrade?

I am the kind that has to do these things with my hands. I have a basic understanding of electricity, but for sure am I am no sparky

Dean
 

HueyPilotVN

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I did a similar upgrade to my Class C.

This link is to a long post on the system but it does have lots of information.

 

Mark_K5LXP

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I believe there are 3 (shore, generator, and alternator)

Shore and generator are functionally equivalent, using a 120V sourced charger (converter). So your three sources are AC (shore/generator), alternator and solar. From there it comes down to compatibility between your charge sources and your storage. If the minnie winnie has systems meant for lead acid, you can add replacing those on top of your solar and storage expense. Or, decide that a compromise in operation (variations in sources and capacity) is an acceptable tradeoff.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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recon1st

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I did a similar upgrade to my Class C.

This link is to a long post on the system but it does have lots of information.

Bill on my way now. I always take advice from you truck drivers. I am
Marine in country 70-71

Tnaks again
Dean Ackman
 

recon1st

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Bill on my way now. I always take advice from you truck drivers. I am
Marine in country 70-71

Tnaks again
Dean Ackman
Bill just finished your thread on your project.
wowww If I had to go that far I think I would park close to a fast running stream
and throw out a paddle wheel attached to generator

I think I have come to the right forum, sounds like a good bunch

I would call my self an extreme boondocker. I have been in all 50 states and I've only seen
a couple of them. I do not consider driving thru on a freeway seeing anything.

My wife and I plan to see the country and very very few camp grounds.

For my needs I think I need about 400 amp ability. I have to have my coffee in the mornings
and no generator running for at least a few days.

Also liked the reference to a motor cycle. I just bought 2 enduros I have mounted a reece hitch
thing to carry them. I for sure do not want to tow anything.

You are helping my ignorance in this field. Solar going thru inverter to power an AC charger.
One thing I want to do is use all 4 of the charging methods seem less.
Thanks for the great start
Dean Ackman
 

Mark_K5LXP

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For my needs I think I need about 400 amp ability. I have to have my coffee in the mornings
and no generator running
For extended boondocking you probably can't have enough solar or batteries, but offering that power not used doesn't have to be stored or converted. Meaning, if you learn to make your coffee on a gas stove then you may not need as big an inverter or as much battery. Once I weaned DW off her goofy keurig thing and I made her coffee on the stove, the stock electrical in the RV was suddenly more than adequate for days of boondocking.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

recon1st

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Duluth, Mn
For extended boondocking you probably can't have enough solar or batteries, but offering that power not used doesn't have to be stored or converted. Meaning, if you learn to make your coffee on a gas stove then you may not need as big an inverter or as much battery. Once I weaned DW off her goofy keurig thing and I made her coffee on the stove, the stock electrical in the RV was suddenly more than adequate for days of boondocking.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
Mark I have gone the conservative route, I had a small camper I used to spend 30 days a year
for about 25 yrs. I spent the time mostly in the wilds of the Arrow head of Mn exploring. This
33k minnie winnie is going to be our home for extended exploring trips all over the US. A few
more comforts of home are in order.

To get me started does anyone out there know what type of charging systems AC vs Dc are in
my 2021 Minnie Winnie 33k, and where the heck they are pysically located?

I need to have existing chargers working with a 400 wh solar system with Lithium batteries. I understand
that the rate of charge increase for the Lithium. Just want to it right.

Dean

p.s. my original small class c, in 25 years never saw a camp ground
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Gary RV_Wizard

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The first thing I am having trouble with is the charging systems. I believe there are 3 (shore, generator, and alternator)
Those three are actually only two, alternator and shore/generator. Generator power in a motorhome is simply an alternate source for shore power, supply AC voltage from an external source. The "charging" is the same, regardless of where the 120vac comes from. A converter/charger device converts the incoming 120vac to 12vdc for use in battery charging and direct 12v appliance & lighting use. The alternator, however, is a different thing altogether, producing 12v power directly and sending it to the batteries to charge them.

Just to be clear, the "12vdc" in this discussion is more like 12.7v-14.4v. A fully charged 12v battery should show about 12.6v, and a running 12v lead-acid battery charger or engine alternator delivers 13.3v-14.4v. A charger designed for lithium batteries runs a bit higher.

Odds are the 12v converter/charger in your Winnie is integrated into a "power center", which has the 120v circuit breakers, 12v fuses, and the converter/charger all in one physical package. However, there are several packaging variations in use and you will want to check the wiring diagrams referenced in earlier posts in this thread. And if the coach has an inverter, the charger function may be part of the inverter instead of the power center.
 

recon1st

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Duluth, Mn
Those three are actually only two, alternator and shore/generator. Generator power in a motorhome is simply an alternate source for shore power, supply AC voltage from an external source. The "charging" is the same, regardless of where the 120vac comes from. A converter/charger device converts the incoming 120vac to 12vdc for use in battery charging and direct 12v appliance & lighting use. The alternator, however, is a different thing altogether, producing 12v power directly and sending it to the batteries to charge them.

Just to be clear, the "12vdc" in this discussion is more like 12.7v-14.4v. A fully charged 12v battery should show about 12.6v, and a running 12v lead-acid battery charger or engine alternator delivers 13.3v-14.4v. A charger designed for lithium batteries runs a bit higher.

Odds are the 12v converter/charger in your Winnie is integrated into a "power center", which has the 120v circuit breakers, 12v fuses, and the converter/charger all in one physical package. However, there are several packaging variations in use and you will want to check the wiring diagrams referenced in earlier posts in this thread. And if the coach has an inverter, the charger function may be part of the inverter instead of the power center.
Mark and Gary thank you for your very helpful posts.
The spec sheets and the basic configuration of the charger will get me started

THank you
Dean
 

recon1st

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Duluth, Mn
There are a number of explanatory articles on RV electrical stuff in the RESOURCES area of this site at https://www.rvforum.net/resources/categories/electrical-power-systems-and-hookups.7/
Well after all the distractions of late holidays and such, I am back at it.

A question I now have. My 2021 ford chassis has a boost button, that allows me to temp tie in
my starter battery with my house batteries. Can I use the cable that is attached to my
starter battery as the input for my DC- DC charger?

The parts I have in hand:

Renogy 60 amp DC-DC charger
VIA meter
6= Ampere Time LiFeP04 12v 100AH in parallel

Dean Ackman
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Maybe. If the positive lead terminates to a high current bus connection/relay box for the chassis then this would be a good place to connect the converter. If the high current cable only goes to the starter then I would probably add a new cable for the converter.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

recon1st

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Location
Duluth, Mn
What cable are you referencing?
Mark and John, there is a momentary switch that allows me to connect my starter
battery to my house battery. I have used it once. Ran out of power in house batteries
over night running furnace. I could not start the generator. Hit switch and then I could
fire up the generator. Heavy wire goes to a selenoid that is activated by switch on dash.

I think this wire could be used. The newest problem I have is the shore power converter/ charger.
It is not capable of charging the Lithium properly.

My new idea is to disconnect that charger and using my DC-DC to handle both sources.
I am thinking if I tie into the input of the DC-DC with the DC output from the converter
everything should be good.

Any thoughts?

Den
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Albuquerque, NM
Clever idea if you can work through piping the DC inputs correctly. After that it comes down to voltage drop in the wiring.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

John Canfield

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I must be a little dense this morning because I'm not quite sure what the plan is. The solenoid that connects the house and chassis battery bank together is called the battery mode solenoid. It is energized whenever the engine is running or when you operate the "Battery Boost" switch on the dash (or whatever your label says.) The wire from the dash switch to the solenoid is probably 16 gauge wire.

So is your current battery charger part of an inverter or standalone? You call the charger DC-DC - does this mean its input is 12VDC and outputs some other DC voltage?
 
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