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Old 01-31-2018, 10:02 AM   #1
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Canyon Star Help with New Battery Bank

We just traded in our beloved Bay Star 2702 on a lightly used Canyon Star 3510 (both 2009 vintage). Our BS was all set up for dry camping with 520 watts of solar and a custom fabricated battery box behind the front grill holding four Trojan T-145 Plus batteries. We equipped her with FSD Shocks and Sumo Springs and have never noticed the added weight.

The CS also has an owner added four-battery-box in the same location. We were very happy with the T-145's in the BS but we wanted to add as much capacity as we could to supply the bigger fridge, furnace, extra lighting, fans and misc electronics in the CS. Our plan is to live half-time on the road and we want to make sure we don't short ourselves on power.

We thought we could do a better job of distributing the weight by locating the battery bank in the basement, perhaps up on a pass-through shelf. Of course we would have to invest in AGM's so we could lay the batteries flat if we had to.

Our original plan was to invest in lithium but we really like the proven reliability and price of lead-acid. Lithium is slowly gaining mainstream use and we're keen followers of Technomadia but just not sure it's worth the cost to us right now. We're also worried about weight and that's another place where the lithium$ $hine.

Wondering if anyone here has done a similar install. How did you secure your bank, did you use AGM's and are you satisfied with the results? Appreciate any thoughts on this. Cheers.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:04 PM   #2
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We installed 3 lithium batteries in our CanyonStar 3921. We considered placing them in a compartment, but were advised by our installer that the compartment wouldn’t handle the weight unless we added some additional support. We opted to replace the jackknife sofa with a couple of Lazy Boy recliners and mounted the batteries in a enclosure behind the chairs. The added benefit is they stay warm in a cold climate. I can provide pics if desired.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:46 PM   #3
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We considered the same install in our BS but now we have a hide-a-bed sofa so we'd have to change that out too. We haven't got the CS home yet so haven't had the opportunity to measure up all her spaces. Question: do you use solar with the lithiums and if so, what controller and inverter/charger did you choose?
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:55 PM   #4
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Here is a link from CS Section of MOD's in QT's #3 that may help you.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:03 PM   #5
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I installed ten 95AH AGM batteries in the compartment just behind the entry door, which on our Canyon Star is a pass-through. They were located between the chassis rails. To make sure the weight was on the rails I used 2" steel angles widthwise across the raised section of the compartment which made sure they spanned both rails. Batteries are set between two angles which are padded with gorilla tape and supported by the part of the angle that goes under the edge of the battery. I carriage bolted the steel angles through the sheet metal to some steel angles under the coach that went lengthwise from one to the other. It's hard to visualize and I've since removed them due to the lithium battery install but I wanted spread the load so the batteries would not fatigue the thin compartment metal or move in an accident, so I over-designed it. Ratchet straps for every battery held them to the steel angles. I was adding almost 1000lb so wanted to make sure it was secure...

BTW wiring those batteries was fun NOT!, only 1 1/2 inches of clearance between the top of the battery ceiling of the compartment. I prewired each battery and slid it into place and attached the ratchet strap. In order to get at a battery in the middle you had to unwire and remove other batteries.

Our Lithium batteries are in a compartment with the added reinforcement that spreads the 130lb weight evenly through the compartment floor. The compartment in our coach is rated at 200lb. We have over 30K miles on it since the swap and see no issues. I would not have put the lead acid batteries in that location, too heavy.

20-20 hindsight - I agree with putting lithium batteries inside the coach. We camp in winter and I had to put the batteries in a styrofoam box with heaters (actually motorcycle grip heaters) and a thermostat system in to keep them above freezing. That happens naturally when you put them in a living compartment.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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That was the kind of work I hoped to avoid. I might want to hijack my own thread to a discussion on other's experiences running lithium instead ...
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingtip View Post
That was the kind of work I hoped to avoid. I might want to hijack my own thread to a discussion on other's experiences running lithium instead ...


This is what we did

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Old 01-31-2018, 10:08 PM   #8
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Very nice, clean and well thought out install. If you don't mind me asking, where did you have the basement work done, are you pleased with the Victron equipment and are they Victron batteries as well?
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:20 PM   #9
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Canyon Star Help with New Battery Bank

It is 100% Victron and was installed by AM Solar in Springfield, OR. It has performed flawlessly.
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