Announcement

Collapse

Need help?

Please include the year, make and model of your GDRV ("2019 Reflection 315RLTS") along with the make and model of the component with the issue ("Dometic RM1350 refrigerator", "Furrion FMCM15-BL microwave", etc) in your question.
See more
See less

Lithium + Victron + Solar Install and questions

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lithium + Victron + Solar Install and questions

    We are in the process of finalizing our purchase of a brand new Imagine 2400BH. So, we haven't even picked it up yet. We hope to do more off grid camping and as such I have hoped to install right off the bat an inverter and Lithium. Would also like to install solar on the roof. This unit has a 15k AC and we want to be able to run everything off grid. I also purchased a Honda 2200EU generator and propane conversion recently (from Hutch Mountain). I am looking at the following:

    1. (3) Battleborn batteries.
    2. (1) Multiplus 12/3000/120-50 VE Bus.
    3. (1) VE.Bus Smart dongle.
    4. (1) BMV-712.
    5. (1) SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 (size could change once I figure out how many solar panels).
    6. (1) Microair Easy Start 364.
    7. Possibly a Surge protector - Progressive Industries HW30C or LCHW30. I sent them an email to ask what the difference is between the 2 units.

    The dealership we bought the 2400BH from does not do solar installs and had no clue about anything Lithium/inverter (off grid) related. I figure if I know more about it than they do, I don't want them to install it. I am toying with installing all of the above myself, but am tempted to have someone do it who has done it before.

    Questions:

    1. Does anyone have any recommendations for an installer that has experience with Grand Design on the East Coast? I am willing to drive a bit, but we are located in WV.
    2. Should change the BMV-712 for the Smartshunt. I was going to install in the pass through behind the control/docking station so that possibly bluetooth would reach the truck while driving.
    3. Should I go with the Cerbo GX and GX Touch 50?
    4. They have a new MultiPlus-II GX - should I do it instead of the Multiplus?
    5. Should I install a surge protector (hardwired) as the first device that shore power hits?
    6. The 30 amp plug for this unit is on the back, where does it go (breaker/fuse box or control center in pass through?) and how does it get there? Under the floor?
    7. Will we be able to run AC off batteries?
    8. The major components are listed above, but is there a parts list for the little items that someone else has done (bus bars etc).
    9. Does anyone have any recommendation on monocrystalline solar panels? How many / much you need to recharge?

    Looking for videos of others who have installed and were willing to share.

    Very open to suggestions, comments, and feedback. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by bellis; 05-23-2020, 11:21 PM. Reason: added tags
    2020 Imagine 2400BH
    2014 Ford F150 FX4 4x4 Supercrew 3.5 Ecoboost and tow package (not max tow)

  • #2
    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    Looking for...others who have installed and were willing to share.
    Welcome to Grand Design's Technical Forum and congrats on the 2400BH!

    There are two forum members, MidwestCamper (Jim) and tmrgn99 (Tom) with Imagine trailers (though not a 2400BH) that are doing installs right now. Here are their threads:
    https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...-inverter-size
    https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...erter-chargers

    I've installed a similar system to what you're contemplating in my 315RLTS. A comprehensive thread is here: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/operati...lts-f-350-mods

    Before I answer your questions, please know I am not an "expert". I'm simply an owner that has spent a considerable amount of time researching, reading, and I installed my own system. I am comfortable with equipment like this as I spent my career working on electronic equipment in the USAF and also in the civilian world. I expect you to take my responses with a grain of salt. There will be others that will respond with different opinions, which are welcome and encouraged on this forum.

    Now to your questions:
    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    1. Does anyone have any recommendations for an installer that has experience with Grand Design on the East Coast? I am willing to drive a bit, but we are located in WV.
    Sorry--no.

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    [B]2. Should change the BMV-712 for the Smartshunt. I was going to install in the pass through behind the control/docking station so that possibly bluetooth would reach the truck while driving.
    The Smart Battery Shunt looks (to me) like a BMV without the display. With the bluetooth phone app I don't ever use the BMV's display, so the Smart Battery Shunt looks like a good option IMO. I don't think the bluetooth capability of either unit will be different. Placement and distance from the unit to the truck is the key. I've found in actual practice that checking of battery levels is done during a rest stop, and that is easily accomplished while walking around the camper (since I always do a walk-around visual inspection at every stop).

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    3. Should I go with the Cerbo GX and GX Touch 50?
    The GX Touch 50 is the display for the Cerbo GX, not a substitute. The CCGX (that I have) is an option, which is basically the GX Touch 50 and Cerbo GX all-in-one. The Cerbo has more inputs, though, and with the screen separate the wiring is simplified since the Cerbo can be tucked away close to the other components and then only one cable from the Cerbo to the Touch display. I use the display on my CCGX all the time, so if you go the Cerbo route I suggest you get the screen (GX Touch 50), too.

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    ​​​​4. They have a new MultiPlus-II GX - should I do it instead of the Multiplus?
    I'm not familiar with the Multiplus-II GX unit, but after a brief review I don't see the need if you get the Cerbo GX or CCGX. You only need one GX "brain" in the system as far as I know. It appears this device could replace the Cerbo and Smart Shunt and also will integrate with a solar controller. To control the Multiplus GX and have remote monitoring (monitoring other than the bluetooth app) you'd need the Digital Multi Control Panel per the PDF I linked on the device. Really not a bad option for a sleek setup, though I do really like the display on my CCGX and would opt for the Cerbo GX/GX Touch 50/"standard" Multiplus option if buying today. (Personal choice.)

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    5. Should I install a surge protector (hardwired) as the first device that shore power hits?
    Yes, yes, yes. An EMS was the first modification I made to my trailer. The comprehensive thread I linked for my install shows the thread for the EMS install (with many others, too).

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    6. The 30 amp plug for this unit is on the back, where does it go (breaker/fuse box or control center in pass through?) and how does it get there? Under the floor?
    My answer is an educated guess based on the ELECTRIC PLAN I have access to for the 2400BH. From the input power connection the wires will run under the trailer to under the pantry. The wire comes up from underneath and into the distribution panel / converter area that is located at the base of the pantry. Once you get your trailer's VIN, call Grand Design and request they email you an ELECTRIC PLAN. It's not a schematic, but the basic drawing will help you visualize what I'm writing about. 1-574-825-9679

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    7. Will we be able to run AC off batteries?
    With the EasyStart installed and components in your list above the answer is "yes". The gotcha is the length of time it will run. Assuming no other source of power and your three batteries are fully charged, you'll get (maybe) 2.5 hours of run time before it's time to charge them. Running the air conditioner off batteries through an inverter is really not feasible without a massive battery bank. It's a matter of math--each of your batteries can hold a max of 100aH. The air conditioner will pull about 130aH. With three batteries, that 300/130 = 2.3 hours. Solar will help, but won't be enough to run the air conditioner without a generator or shore power for any length of time.

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    8. The major components are listed above, but is there a parts list for the little items that someone else has done (bus bars etc).
    Yes, in my inverter install thread there is a PDF with a list at the end. The link to the thread is shown in the comprehensive thread. TucsonJim also lists his components here: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/solar/9...stall-complete

    Speaking of Jim, check out this thread: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/solar/2...national-rally

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    ​​​​9. Does anyone have any recommendation on monocrystalline solar panels? How many / much you need to recharge?
    This is not a simple question nor is there a one-size-fits-all answer. Please read my solar install thread (the URL is shown in the comprehensive thread). Also Will Prowse's info (links below after the next question.)

    Originally posted by bellis View Post
    Looking for videos of others who have installed and were willing to share.
    There's an active Facebook group called "Solar-powered Grand Design RV" you might want to join. There are several exceptionally knowledgeable individuals in that group and some of the folks there have unbelievable setups. They are impressive! Worth your time to read their input and see what they've done.

    I recommend watching Will Prowse's videos on YouTube and his DIY Solar page. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj...q8kmJme-5dnN0Q and https://www.mobile-solarpower.com/

    AMSolar has great videos, too, and a ton of information on their website. They are not the most inexpensive source of components, but Garrett and Mitchell are very knowledgeable. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjs..._weqDeNnO47pAA and https://amsolar.com/

    Might make your head spin, but don't miss AMSolar's "archives" link on their DIY page: https://amsolar.com/rv-solar/support

    This response should keep you busy for awhile! I hope you'll come back and keep us updated on your project.

    Howard

    P.S. Finally, the cost of the Victron equipment may be intimidating but to give you an idea of why I'm a Victron "fan boy" read this thread: https://gdrvowners.com/forum/solar/1...to-shore-power The subject matter is not something you need to understand (now) but it should give you an idea of what can be done with their equipment.
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

    Comment


    • #3
      bellis ,

      You have found the right guys howson and TucsonJim who have extensive experience and knowledge on this type of install.

      I purchased the BMV712 smart and since I'm locating it in the passthrough, the control head is not needed where the blue tooth is what I'm after. I would buy the smart shunt if I were to buy a system today.

      Jim
      2017 Imagine 2600RB
      2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by howson View Post



        I'm not familiar with the Multiplus-II GX unit, but after a brief review I don't see the need if you get the Cerbo GX or CCGX. You only need one GX "brain" in the system as far as I know.
        This might not be the appropriate place to interject my question, but I'm SO confused and I'm seizing this opportunity to ask: What are the specific differences between the Victron Multiplus, Multiplus-II, Multiplus-II GX, and Quattro devices. The Victron website provides no useful clarification for me. Moreover, it doesn't seem that all models are even available for purchase in the US. Can someone provide clarification?

        -Steve

        2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
        Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
        2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
        18k B&W Companion, non-slider
        640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
        Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
        Blaine, MN

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by steve&renee View Post

          This might not be the appropriate place to interject my question, but I'm SO confused and I'm seizing this opportunity to ask: What are the specific differences between the Victron Multiplus, Multiplus-II, Multiplus-II GX, and Quattro devices. The Victron website provides no useful clarification for me. Moreover, it doesn't seem that all models are even available for purchase in the US. Can someone provide clarification?

          -Steve
          Steve,
          As we're not in "competition" with any other forum or Facebook group, I feel compelled to recommend asking the question over on Facebook's Solar-powered Grand Design page. (That is a private group, not associated with Grand Design or this forum, though TucsonJim is an Admin on the site.)

          The person that seems to really know his stuff when it comes to Victron in that group is Nathan Galvin. His system is far beyond mine.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	Nathan.JPG
Views:	979
Size:	9.8 KB
ID:	19479

          Click image for larger version

Name:	Nathan's System.JPG
Views:	1036
Size:	159.9 KB
ID:	19480

          If you're not on Facebook, post back and I ( or Jim) can ask Nathan if he's willing to come on and answer your question.

          Howard
          Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

          Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by howson View Post

            If you're not on Facebook, post back and I ( or Jim) can ask Nathan if he's willing to come on and answer your question.
            Yeah, I can't bring myself to mess with Facebook. I don't even trust GMail. If you could ask the question for me, I'm trying to gather information on Victron's pure sine wave 3000 VA converter/chargers -- you know, for when I hit the jack pot in the stock market or win the lottery.

            -Steve

            2018 Solitude 310GK, disc brakes
            Morryde CRE3000/XFactor with heavy duty shackles, V-Brackets in spring hangers
            2012 Ram 3500 SRW 6.7 Diesel, air bags
            18k B&W Companion, non-slider
            640 watts solar, 400 amp-hour Lion Safari UT 1300 battery bank
            Aims 1500 watt inverter/charger with ATS
            Blaine, MN

            Comment


            • #7

              Originally posted by howson View Post
              This response should keep you busy for awhile! I hope you'll come back and keep us updated on your project.
              Howard: Thank you so much for your response. You are right, that will take me a while to digest, but I do hope to post back with updates (maybe pictures) as I kick this off. If nothing else, maybe it will help pay back some of the help you and others have given to others or even for you and other to reference in future posts.


              Originally posted by MidwestCamper View Post
              bellis ,

              You have found the right guys howson and TucsonJim who have extensive experience and knowledge on this type of install.

              I purchased the BMV712 smart and since I'm locating it in the passthrough, the control head is not needed where the blue tooth is what I'm after. I would buy the smart shunt if I were to buy a system today.

              Jim
              Thanks Jim, I hope to call Battleborn Tuesday and modify my quote. For those who do not know, the shunt is a little cheaper than the 712 (MSRP $206.55 vs $130.90; cheaper if you work with them to get a quote/buy all at once). Perhaps that is comical when talking about a several thousand dollar install, but every little bit helps and I don't see the value of a display with buttons in the pass through storage.

              Originally posted by steve&renee View Post

              This might not be the appropriate place to interject my question, but I'm SO confused and I'm seizing this opportunity to ask: What are the specific differences between the Victron Multiplus, Multiplus-II, Multiplus-II GX, and Quattro devices. The Victron website provides no useful clarification for me. Moreover, it doesn't seem that all models are even available for purchase in the US. Can someone provide clarification?

              -Steve
              Steve: I am not an expert on any of this. I hope to discuss this with Battleborn next week. I also share you pain on Victron's website, it leaves a lot to be desired. Short of reading manuals, they do not communicate in a simple fashion as to what their products even do.

              From what I can gather, the new Multiplus-II GX simply adds the Cerbo GX to the Multiplus-II all in one unit. I think it has less inputs than the Cerbo GX though. I hope to get some clarification from Battleborn, but am partly asking to see if Multiplus-II + Cerbo GX is cheaper OR if Multiplus-II GX is cheaper. Even if it has less connections, I could see where the all in one unit may appear to be a cleaner install.

              According to: https://community.victronenergy.com/...-charge-c.html

              The Multiplus vs Multiplus-II have the same functionality, but the Multiplus-II has an extra grid relay built in AND the Multiplus is being phased out by Victron.

              I think (please take with a grain of salt) that the Multiplus-II GX just has the Cerbo GX built in (but possibly with less connectivity?) Maybe I am wrong and it is the Venus GX? See this link where they are asking:

              https://community.victronenergy.com/...d-3000-gx.html

              Quattro devies - according to Victron can have 2 source power inputs. IE grid and generator; whereas the Multiplus series can only have one at a time.
              Source = https://community.victronenergy.com/...s-between.html
              2020 Imagine 2400BH
              2014 Ford F150 FX4 4x4 Supercrew 3.5 Ecoboost and tow package (not max tow)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by howson View Post

                Steve,
                As we're not in "competition" with any other forum or Facebook group, I feel compelled to recommend asking the question over on Facebook's Solar-powered Grand Design page. (That is a private group, not associated with Grand Design or this forum, though TucsonJim is an Admin on the site.)

                The person that seems to really know his stuff when it comes to Victron in that group is Nathan Galvin. His system is far beyond mine.

                Click image for larger version

Name:	Nathan.JPG
Views:	979
Size:	9.8 KB
ID:	19479

                Click image for larger version

Name:	Nathan's System.JPG
Views:	1036
Size:	159.9 KB
ID:	19480

                If you're not on Facebook, post back and I ( or Jim) can ask Nathan if he's willing to come on and answer your question.

                Howard
                Howard: I realize that is probably Nathan's setup. But, one of the things I have been looking for (or to build) is something to house or contain the 3 batteries. Do you know what is in the picture of Nathan's setup you posted? OR do you have a picture of your setup and are you using something to hold your batteries?
                2020 Imagine 2400BH
                2014 Ford F150 FX4 4x4 Supercrew 3.5 Ecoboost and tow package (not max tow)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by steve&renee View Post

                  Yeah, I can't bring myself to mess with Facebook. I don't even trust GMail. If you could ask the question for me, I'm trying to gather information on Victron's pure sine wave 3000 VA converter/chargers -- you know, for when I hit the jack pot in the stock market or win the lottery.

                  -Steve
                  I posted to Nathan on Facebook. Hopefully he replies here himself. If he responds via Facebook I'll copy-and-paste his response here.
                  Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                  Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If we go the GX Touch 50 (+Cerbo GX - required) route...and I am leaning that way. Does anyone have suggestions on where to mount in the coach? Thanks again in advance...you all are fantastic.
                    2020 Imagine 2400BH
                    2014 Ford F150 FX4 4x4 Supercrew 3.5 Ecoboost and tow package (not max tow)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by steve&renee View Post

                      Yeah, I can't bring myself to mess with Facebook. I don't even trust GMail. If you could ask the question for me, I'm trying to gather information on Victron's pure sine wave 3000 VA converter/chargers -- you know, for when I hit the jack pot in the stock market or win the lottery.

                      -Steve
                      Steve,
                      The response on Facebook:

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Answer.JPG
Views:	1061
Size:	30.9 KB
ID:	19514

                      Howard
                      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                      Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bellis View Post
                        ...do you have a picture of your setup and are you using something to hold your batteries?
                        There's a plethora of pictures in the threads I linked. All you (should) have to do is follow the links in the "comprehensive" thread. There is a LOT of information to digest.

                        I hope this doesn't sound condescending--by no means is that my intention, but I'd urge you to make sure you understand what you're buying and why. This equipment is stupid expensive. Knowing what you expect it to do and why you're getting a specific piece of equipment is vital. (For the record, three 100aH Battle Born batteries with a 3000/12 Multiplus is a great match for a 30A trailer. I'm also a huge fan of the EasyStarts--I put them in both of my air conditioners.)

                        For where to put the equipment in your coach--that's a highly specific question that depends on the unit and your personal needs and desires. As you'll see when you study my install, everything went in the pass-thru for multiple reasons. TucsonJim decided to put his batteries on the tongue. Neither is "right", it all depends on what you choose to do. Both have advantages and trade-offs.

                        Look at MidwestCamper's and tmrgn99 's installs--they have an Imagine, too, and are the closest (I think) to what you're planning.

                        As a general rule, the closer you can put things together the easier it will be to wire it all up.

                        Good luck, and I look forward to reading your project notes.

                        One more thing: make sure and watch Will Prowse's video on wires and connectors. Do not skimp on quality wiring or connectors. Buy the right tools to make good connections.

                        Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                        Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bellis
                          I have spent several hours going through the content above and starting to plan a few things on my end. I did call Grand Design and request the electrical drawings. Attaching here and I will re-post in the electrical forum for others benefit.
                          I'm going to have to delete your post--Grand Design does not allow posting of their diagrams on social media. (Sorry--I couldn't figure out how to just delete the pics.)
                          Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                          Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            bellis -- please do not post the diagrams anywhere, on any site. Thank you for your cooperation! (I should have included this in the prior post--got in a rush.)

                            Howard
                            Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

                            Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by howson View Post
                              bellis -- please do not post the diagrams anywhere, on any site. Thank you for your cooperation! (I should have included this in the prior post--got in a rush.)

                              Howard
                              Howard: Apologies....I did not realize that this site qualifies as social media. I guess I think of social media as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
                              2020 Imagine 2400BH
                              2014 Ford F150 FX4 4x4 Supercrew 3.5 Ecoboost and tow package (not max tow)

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X