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Old 04-28-2018, 07:24 PM   #43
4x4
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Finally have a trial run boondocking... Have been using about 30% of my available battery capacity (960 of 1200 ah LiFePO4 total ) overnight before the solar surpasses usage in the morning. Thats about 300ah overnight thanks to a full size refrigerator, laptop computer, large computer monitor, TV, satellite and electric cooking in evening and the morning. The 1720 watts of solar recharge the batteries around 1 pm. I could see needing to run the generator every other or third day on cloudy days but with 240+ amps of charging the generator would not have to run much at all. The other thing that is really nice is being able to run one AC while driving without having to run the generator. Between the solar panels and the alternator supplanting them, the batteries actually still charge while driving without really taxing the alternator. The alternator runs about 500 watts charging which is only around 40 amps on a 200 amp alternator so no worry about burning it up.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:01 PM   #44
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Nice set up.

I tend to install 48 volt systems to overcome some of the challenges of a larger installation, but yours seems to be working out well.
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:38 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryn View Post
Nice set up.

I tend to install 48 volt systems to overcome some of the challenges of a larger installation, but yours seems to be working out well.
Both options have advantages/disadvantages, you just need to pick your poison.

BTW, I'm at Camp Newmar for the night as it was on my path so tomorrow I'll do the tour!
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2007 Newmar Essex 4510, Spartan K2, 500HP ISM, Allison 4000
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Old 04-30-2018, 06:50 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4 View Post
Finally have a trial run boondocking... Have been using about 30% of my available battery capacity (960 of 1200 ah LiFePO4 total ) overnight before the solar surpasses usage in the morning. Thats about 300ah overnight thanks to a full size refrigerator, laptop computer, large computer monitor, TV, satellite and electric cooking in evening and the morning. The 1720 watts of solar recharge the batteries around 1 pm. I could see needing to run the generator every other or third day on cloudy days but with 240+ amps of charging the generator would not have to run much at all. The other thing that is really nice is being able to run one AC while driving without having to run the generator. Between the solar panels and the alternator supplanting them, the batteries actually still charge while driving without really taxing the alternator. The alternator runs about 500 watts charging which is only around 40 amps on a 200 amp alternator so no worry about burning it up.
Looks like you got it figured out - thanks for sharing the update, have fun!

Mike
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:15 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4 View Post
Finally have a trial run boondocking... Have been using about 30% of my available battery capacity (960 of 1200 ah LiFePO4 total ) overnight before the solar surpasses usage in the morning. Thats about 300ah overnight thanks to a full size refrigerator, laptop computer, large computer monitor, TV, satellite and electric cooking in evening and the morning. The 1720 watts of solar recharge the batteries around 1 pm. I could see needing to run the generator every other or third day on cloudy days but with 240+ amps of charging the generator would not have to run much at all. The other thing that is really nice is being able to run one AC while driving without having to run the generator. Between the solar panels and the alternator supplanting them, the batteries actually still charge while driving without really taxing the alternator. The alternator runs about 500 watts charging which is only around 40 amps on a 200 amp alternator so no worry about burning it up.
In your system, do you have control over how much the alternator charges the battery?

In looking at your build and prior posts, it looks like you have a fantastic set-up (your 4 lithium Ion batteries with 960 usable amp hours makes the 2018 King Aire with 16 AGM batteries with only 880 amp hours look kind of silly!).

Compared to a brand new Mountain Aire (which has a similar engine/transmission as your 07 Essex), do you feel there are any big features you are missing? In looking briefly at the brochures, the only big ones I saw are the passive steer axle and power MCD shades.

With the upgrades you've made, it seems you've found a way to get about 80 - 90% of the benefits of a high end diesel pusher while saving about 300K as compared to getting a new one.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:00 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Sipester View Post
In your system, do you have control over how much the alternator charges the battery?

In looking at your build and prior posts, it looks like you have a fantastic set-up (your 4 lithium Ion batteries with 960 usable amp hours makes the 2018 King Aire with 16 AGM batteries with only 880 amp hours look kind of silly!).

Compared to a brand new Mountain Aire (which has a similar engine/transmission as your 07 Essex), do you feel there are any big features you are missing? In looking briefly at the brochures, the only big ones I saw are the passive steer axle and power MCD shades.

With the upgrades you've made, it seems you've found a way to get about 80 - 90% of the benefits of a high end diesel pusher while saving about 300K as compared to getting a new one.
Thanks! Never thought about it like that! The only things that would be difficult to get would be the multiplex light/blind controls. I looked at getting full MCD electric shades but not sure about spending the $7k for that upgrade as I've heard a number of issues with that.

The only thing I'd really like is the electric floor heat. To get that I'd have to rip out the tile floor, so that's not happening.

Finally, yea I'd never trade my LI batteries for 16 AGM's on the King Aire. The ability of not needing to float the batteries every charge cycle to maintain them is enough for me to prefer LI over and lead acid product. Then of course all of the other benefits of LI over LA.

After sitting here at Camp Newmar I've seen some coaches with the stainless steel along the bottom and in the steps and wheel wells etc. Boy does that make a difference. I may just have to go for that. The other thing I need to do is have the diamond shield replaced. Again just saw a 2007 Essex that had theirs done and it looks like a brand new coach.
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:00 PM   #49
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The Li batteries definitely have advantages and we install them when it makes sense.

If you are going to spend a significant amount of time in colder weather, where the battery temperature will hit sub 40 F, then the difference in performance between good quality AGM and Li narrows considerably.

Much more than is first apparent.

Of course if the battery temperature hits 30 F, then the Li are just boat anchors since they cannot be charged, and AGM are the obvious choice.
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:57 PM   #50
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Oops, passed over a question. I do not have manual control over the alternative charging the Li batteries. It is automatically controlled by a custom device AMSolar installed.

On another note my Li will drastically outperform even AGMs as the temperatures drop because they are mounted in a very comfortable temperature controlled enclosed interior space which you cannot do with any type of lead battery.
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