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Old 05-27-2020, 09:22 PM   #1
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Electrical Upgrades on Minnie Winnie

Hello! I have a few questions regarding upgrading the battery management stuff in my Minnie Winnie. I'm hoping other class c folks have done most of this, as everything I can find is about doing it in a trailer or a Class A, which have different packaging constraints.



So, after a great Memorial Day spent dry camping, I realized that I needed better visibility into my batteries, better charging, and possibly more capacity.



I have 2 Group 24 12v batteries in the compartment under the entry steps. The charger is the stock WFCO 55 amp unit, and the monitoring is just the 3 lights on the tank gauge panel.



I ordered a Victron 712 battery monitor, a Powermax 75 amp smart converter, and am still pondering the battery upgrade. The first issue is with mounting the shunt for the Victron. This thing is pretty large, and not weatherproof. I can't see an easy way to fit it in the battery compartment. Maybe in the relay box nearby, though it will take plenty of rearranging. Seeing how someone else did this in a class C would be helpful.



For potential extra battery capacity, I'm tempted to replace my existing flooded batteries with AGM, and add 2 more AGMs under the dinette. That's maybe 4 ft of wire between the current pair of batteries and the second pair. All would be 12v. Obviously, this would mean that all the interconnection battery cables aren't the same length. Does that matter in a parallel install like that? And there's the question of whether you really have to vent AGMs, or if they can be in a living space.



Sorry for the long post, and thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:42 AM   #2
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Not sure on the layout of the 2018, my old Minnie has 2 ,24 under steps, I was able to cram in a 27 and a 29/31,, 2 29/31 would have went in but only left 1/4" to solonoids,, did not like that..

I took another 29/31 AGM and put in the opposite side bay that houses water pump etc.. 7 ft of heavy 2/0 weld cable to connect to the step batteris..

As for mounting a shunt, you will need some new soft HD cables to locate the shunt under RV on out side of step compartment..

The new controller charger is nice,, Wire it direct to battery or the shunt, DO NOT wire it to replace the oem convt.. I learned last weekend that my oem conv.chr was a 9140 PD, prev owner changed it to 9160PD and I updated with a charge wizard controller,,
The OEM Winnie wiring is a #8 good for 40 amps,, and is circuit brakered to 30 amps,, upon bulk charge, my 60amp chger kept tripping OEM circuit..

JUST A FYI.. on the circuit,..

Hope this helps

Last option is dump in 2 lit batteries.. My winni did not have height for 2 6V... I tried and returned them..
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:33 AM   #3
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Not sure on the layout of the 2018, my old Minnie has 2 ,24 under steps, I was able to cram in a 27 and a 29/31,, 2 29/31 would have went in but only left 1/4" to solonoids,, did not like that..

I took another 29/31 AGM and put in the opposite side bay that houses water pump etc.. 7 ft of heavy 2/0 weld cable to connect to the step batteris..

As for mounting a shunt, you will need some new soft HD cables to locate the shunt under RV on out side of step compartment..

The new controller charger is nice,, Wire it direct to battery or the shunt, DO NOT wire it to replace the oem convt.. I learned last weekend that my oem conv.chr was a 9140 PD, prev owner changed it to 9160PD and I updated with a charge wizard controller,,
The OEM Winnie wiring is a #8 good for 40 amps,, and is circuit brakered to 30 amps,, upon bulk charge, my 60amp chger kept tripping OEM circuit..

JUST A FYI.. on the circuit,..

Hope this helps

Last option is dump in 2 lit batteries.. My winni did not have height for 2 6V... I tried and returned them..

Thanks, that's really helpful! And dang it, at one point I was worried about the OEM wiring for that charger, and it somehow slipped my mind. Did you bother fusing the output line, or do you just trust the internal fuses in the converter?

The only easy place to mount mine is that dinette. I've been meaning to measure to see if I could fit larger batteries in the existing battery box in the step, so I'll look into that, too.

Finally, have you noticed any weirdness on your setup with a 3rd battery on a much longer cable? As in, more wear & tear on one battery or the other. And maybe it's as simple as just running really fat cable like you did to bring the resistance lower. Or maybe it's simply not noticeable. I mean, the discharge rate is typically fairly low for me. So only charging rate is the concern on battery wear... maybe that's just not a big issue.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:04 PM   #4
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I ordered a 45 amp push button breaker from mouser... The chger puts out 50 amp in bulk if needed. I rigged a 60 amp as a test .. Not to bore us. I had a 4 bank 31d battqerys. In a equipment at 60%..CHG. Took the charge wire off and on my equip. Using 100 amp shunt.
I had it peak a t. 43 amps 14.4 v.... Wire did not get warm for the hour it was on.

So if I don't kill my 3 below 40%. I may be OK.
I did this an hour ago...
Last weekend I took my 3. Bat to 11..9 v. As a test. ... Chger tripped 30 amp OEM....

Long storey. If I have to. I will rewire. But. I don't plan on over use.


If you add battery to four.. Up grade all cables. And follow cross pattern connections.. Pos. First bat to load.. Neg of last battery to load. Or chassis
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:08 PM   #5
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Fuses and breakers are to protect the wire your using from overheating and starting a fire from overloads and short circuits.

Use a fuse/breaker that protects the wire gauge your using. Keep the fuse / breaker as near the batteries as possable. THATS where the high, wire melting, amperage is, not at the converter/charger or item your powering.

If you have a 60 amp converter, you need about a 65 amp breaker, near the battery, and wire capable of handling that same amperage.

As far as the converter, if fused properly, it will never blow the fuse. It can't create more amperage then its designed to. The battery can.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sibe View Post

So if I don't kill my 3 below 40%. I may be OK.


You can safely draw your batteries down to 10% capacity, without " killing them ".

If you do go down to 10%, each time you do, you take one day of life out of them, compaired to 50% discharge.

As an example,
At 75% you get 1500 cycles.
At 50% you get 1000 cycles.
At 10% you get 500 cycles.
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:33 AM   #7
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You can safely draw your batteries down to 10% capacity, without " killing them ".

If you do go down to 10%, each time you do, you take one day of life out of them, compaired to 50% discharge.

As an example,
At 75% you get 1500 cycles.
At 50% you get 1000 cycles.
At 10% you get 500 cycles.
THANKS/// so i can get 8 years. 25 weekends of use each year..

As for the chargers and wire, you arecorrect but If i can slide by for that one in a bluemoon, oops,,, I have a roll of #6 at shop... I may just run it.. and be done.. I have to get creative as there is a buss it lands on then continues to battery.. I may just add a new home run and remove the branch from buss/circuit breakers to battery.. I have room at converter to add a lug..
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:27 AM   #8
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THANKS/// so i can get 8 years. 25 weekends of use each year..

As for the chargers and wire, you arecorrect but If i can slide by for that one in a bluemoon, oops,,, I have a roll of #6 at shop... I may just run it.. and be done.. I have to get creative as there is a buss it lands on then continues to battery.. I may just add a new home run and remove the branch from buss/circuit breakers to battery.. I have room at converter to add a lug..

The problem for me isnít finding the wireólike you, I have that available. But Iíd be working in extremely tight spaces that Iím not convinced are even doable. Everything was obviously wired before the bed was built around it, and there doesnít seem to be any thought to later access.
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:18 AM   #9
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Talking

Curious if this is your layout..

Adding batterys under dinette seat should not be to hard,, it is next to step,,

is there a compartment under dinette.. I cannot find too much detail on the 25B....
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:55 AM   #10
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Group 24 is 75 to 85 Ah capacity. If there is room, a switch to GC2S is more than a 50% increase in capacity at 60% discharge.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Curious if this is your layout..

Adding batterys under dinette seat should not be to hard,, it is next to step,,

is there a compartment under dinette.. I cannot find too much detail on the 25B....
Yep, thatís the layout. Yes, thereís a compartment there. Thatís my thoughtóitís right there, and it isnt the easiest space in the world to access for regular storage. Kinda perfect, really. It is indoors, though, where the step compartment is outside. I donít know if itís pretty common for people to install AGMs indoors, or if itís dumb.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:00 PM   #12
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Have you considered 2x6v batteries, we converted our Winnebago access 24v with 2 lifeline agm and couldnít be happier we also got a new converter from bestconverters.com
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:47 PM   #13
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Have you considered 2x6v batteries, we converted our Winnebago access 24v with 2 lifeline agm and couldnít be happier we also got a new converter from bestconverters.com

I considered it a little after it was posted above. I'm not sure I have enough vertical depth in the compartment, as they seem to be quite a bit taller than my group 24s. I need to take some more measurements. I agree with you guys that if I can get those to fit, that's easier than dealing with a second set of batteries, and adds significant capacity. I was shocked how much it adds, in fact.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:06 PM   #14
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I considered it a little after it was posted above. I'm not sure I have enough vertical depth in the compartment, as they seem to be quite a bit taller than my group 24s. I need to take some more measurements. I agree with you guys that if I can get those to fit, that's easier than dealing with a second set of batteries, and adds significant capacity. I was shocked how much it adds, in fact.
If your batteries are under the side entry step I think they will fit, we just picked some threaded rod and extended the battery tie downs, been working for several years, we did lifeline agm, spends. But worth it.
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