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Old 02-12-2018, 01:00 AM   #1
4x4
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Upgraded my new-to-me 2007 Essex v2.0

I've continued to upgrade my 2007 Essex and needed to start anew as the old thread (Upgraded my new-to-me 2007 Essex) is closed.
I've since removed the Magnum MSH-3012 inverter, the 6 flexible 100 watt panels, the Magnum PT100 solar charger, and the externally mounted 8 AGM 220ah 6v. batteries. They were replaced by AMSolar with 1720 watts of glass solar panels, dual Victron Solar chargers, dual Victron 3000 watt Multiplus Inverter Chargers and 4 x 300ah Victron Lithium batteries. This was a MAJOR overhaul of the energy storage system. I've been in the PNW so really do not have a chance to see how the solar system does in a more normal situation where it is warmer and has more sun.

I need to say that AMSolar is amazing. They will do anything they can to get the system working as it was spec'd. My install was quite unusual as it has dual inverter chargers and getting two of them to play nice with my generator had some issues that even Victron was unfamiliar with. They worked flawlessly charging the batteries at 240 amps (120x2) on shoreline power but the second inverter did not like the power from my generator. I even had the generator rebuilt by a factory service center yet the sine wave remained rough and not totally pure which is why the second inverter rejected the input from it. Because of the large bank of batteries I really needed the high current charging so AMSolar installed 2 additional 60 amp Victron chargers to augment the 120 amp inverter charger that was working while on generator power to bring me back to 240 amps. It would have been simpler to install a single Victron 5000 watt Quattro inverter/charger but their power assist mode (hybrid) is 19amp minimum which would kill it being used on a standard 15amp outlet.

Lithium batteries are best served being put inside the motorhome because of temperature variance as they are much happier being above freezing and below 94F. The other important thing was putting the Multiplus inverter/chargers away from the batteries as they generate heat and have fans run for cooling so noise in the bedroom could be an issue. The only place for my motorhome was in the basement which required a 20ft run of cable. AMSolar ended up running dual 4/0 cables for EACH inverter for minimal power loss (a total of 8 4/0 cables!!!!).

The system is designed with each inverter on opposiong legs of the 220 wire. AMSolar moved a few things around to balance the load between both legs. The coach is now wired through the inverters. The batteries can run a single A/C or heat pump for 8 hours continuous with minimal solar (cloudy rainy day) or any shoreline input. The difference between the 1200ah Lithium and my previous 880ah AGM is staggering (though same with the cost!!!). I get up in the morning, turn on the electric tea kettle and portable induction cooktop without any worries. They can draw over 200 amps and the batteries still stay at 12.8 volts. Charging is a pleasure. Lithium batteries are perfectly happy being recharged to any percentage below 100%. If they need to recharge between 80 and 99% they can take the full amount instead of a much lower absorption charge rate.

If push came to shove the #1 upgrade that I would recommend would be Lithium batteries. They are a game changer. There are 3 caveats:
1: Cost... they are very expensive but if taken care of most likely cheaper than AGM in the long run, ie 10 years.
2: Location... They need to be stored away from extreme temperatures.
3: The inverter/charger should be mounted in a separate compartment because of heat output so this may entail heavy wiring if long runs are required.

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Old 02-12-2018, 07:44 AM   #2
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Congrats on the upgrade. Sounds like a power house of a system. You will really enjoy the benefits from lithium compared to the old batteries and the amount of solar is icing on the cake. After 2 years with our lithiums it was well worth the extra cost. Plus when using high amp draws to see so little drop inverting. Enjoy
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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Great writeup! Do you have any pictures?

FYI, you could add this to the existing thread, you have to click the checkbox saying "I am aware...". It makes sense to keep the mods together, perhaps a mod can help move this thread, or you can add a link to the new thread from the old one.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:49 AM   #4
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Ah, I started this new thread too quickly and did not see the "I am aware..." Hopefully a moderator will combine the two into one. In the meantime I posted a link to this one from the old one. Thanks for the heads up! I'm traveling today so photos to come in a few days.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:03 AM   #5
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I'm dying to know where you put the new batts IN the coach.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:11 AM   #6
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Wow, That is some battery charger you got there! Cost range; $15k to $20k? >$20K? >$30k?
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:44 AM   #7
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That's a home run for sure. Would like to see some photos or diagrams of your layout. We have almost the same coach.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:57 AM   #8
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Thanks for the threads 4x4 they are added in the ESSEX OWNERS information thread.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruzbill View Post
Wow, That is some battery charger you got there! Cost range; $15k to $20k? >$20K? >$30k?
>$30k

I just wanted to do this once and be done with it. I believe the batteries (other than lead acid chassis batteries) will be the last batteries this coach will ever have so I feel justified about the cost. I may have gone a bit heavy on the battery power but the batteries will last longer with a smaller discharge rate and total discharge per battery. Not only that they allow a tremendous amount of discharge to run electrical appliances without the need to start the generator. They'll also permit the coach to run without the generator longer so the sun will start charging the batteries before the need to turn on the generator. Many advantages of adding the 4th 300ah battery.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:03 AM   #10
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Three Photos of rear closet, there first 2 are without the wood cover over the batteries.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:06 AM   #11
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Nice and clean !!!
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:21 AM   #12
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4X4,

Very nice install. Overboard on the 1200 AH of lithium?...............Never!! We also have 1200AH and are loving it.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:19 PM   #13
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Two more shots. One of the Silverleaf and Victron control panels mounted together on the bathroom wall and the other of the 2 inverters mounted in the storage bay on the back wall with the chargers on the near wall and between the beams above where the original Magnum MSW (then replaced by the Magnum MSH-3012 PSW) inverter was located.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:39 PM   #14
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Very nicely done.
Do you notice any heat or smell in the closet?
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