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Tapping 12V from the truck to charge Battle Borns

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  • Tapping 12V from the truck to charge Battle Borns

    4 Mar: Read the entire thread as multiple changes were made due to "lessons learned"!

    Goal
    : Use what I have already in the truck to charge or maintain my batteries while towing to the maximum extent possible without expending mega $$. That means the available amperage is 40A (through upfitter switch #5).

    Note that the current 7-pin connector only provides 9A of 12vDC. (I've measured it using the BMV-712.)

    Below is my system as it still is today:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	System1.JPG Views:	208 Size:	117.9 KB ID:	8790

    Here's what I'm planning:

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    These are what I'm considering using to install the system:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Components.JPG Views:	153 Size:	113.8 KB ID:	8792

    The issue that has me perplexed is how to limit what the Battle Borns will draw through the Victron should they be discharged enough that the charger goes into BULK mode. When connected to shore power the batteries can pull more than 100A (of 12vDC). That's way too much for the system I've configured.

    What I *think* I need to do is change the highlighted CHARGER setting in my Victron Multiplex through their software VE Configure. A setting of 39A should do it. I've sent an email off to AMSolar's engineer asking for confirmation. I'll report back when I get an answer. (The obvious downside is my batteries will charge slower on shore power, but as long as that doesn't hurt the batteries it is not a major issue.)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Charger Settings.JPG Views:	154 Size:	110.3 KB ID:	8793

    If you have any thoughts or recommendations I'd be very glad to read them.

    -Howard

    P.S. I'm sure I haven't figured this out completely yet. Research, research, research...
    Last edited by howson; 03-04-2020, 10:17 AM.
    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

  • #2
    Anderson SB120 connector is a bit smaller than a 175A connector and can be fitted with their environment boot (Load/Source) for better protection against water getting into the contacts and wire connection.
    https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power...0&pageNumber=1
    Gene and Kim
    2015 Grand Design Reflection 317RST
    2017 RAM 3500 CC, LB, 4x2, 6.7L CTD

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by gbkims View Post
      Anderson SB120 connector is a bit smaller than a 175A connector and can be fitted with their environment boot (Load/Source) for better protection against water getting into the contacts and wire connection.
      https://powerwerx.com/anderson-power...0&pageNumber=1
      Thanks, Gene.

      I'm concerned about voltage drop over the long run I'm contemplating. I'm anxious to read the AMSolar engineer's response. Hope he has time to respond soon.

      1/3/20 Update: AMSolar never responded to my inquiry.
      Last edited by howson; 01-03-2020, 07:48 AM.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by howson View Post

        Thanks, Gene.

        I'm concerned about voltage drop over the long run I'm contemplating. I'm anxious to read the AMSolar engineer's response. Hope he has time to respond soon.
        Howard - I'm curious what the wire gauge is in the 40amp upfitter switch. That may become your primary voltage drop point.

        Jim
        The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

        Jim and Ginnie
        2017 Reflection 297RSTS

        Comment


        • #5
          Howard - another point to consider. You state that the "current 7-pin connector only provides 9A of 12vDC." I know you measured 9 amps with your Victron. But how did you set up the test? If you were just measuring current to charge the batteries, it may not be fully drawing from the alternator depending on the battery's state of charge.

          The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

          Jim and Ginnie
          2017 Reflection 297RSTS

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TucsonJim View Post
            Howard - another point to consider. You state that the "current 7-pin connector only provides 9A of 12vDC." I know you measured 9 amps with your Victron. But how did you set up the test? If you were just measuring current to charge the batteries, it may not be fully drawing from the alternator depending on the battery's state of charge.
            That's an excellent point, Jim. I'll run the batteries down a bit with the air conditioner and try it again.
            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


            • #7
              Howard
              I cant tell from the drawing, but be sure there is a good fuse where you pull the power tap from the truck. If the upfittert switch will not handle the power, use it to power a relay to provide the high amp your wanting to the trailer. In other words draw power directly from the truck battery using a relay.

              Hope this helps
              2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Yoda View Post
                Howard
                I cant tell from the drawing, but be sure there is a good fuse where you pull the power tap from the truck. If the upfittert switch will not handle the power, use it to power a relay to provide the high amp your wanting to the trailer. In other words draw power directly from the truck battery using a relay.

                Hope this helps
                The Upfitter circuit is ab_solutely protected. Circuit #5 on my '17 is protected by a 40A fuse, thus that's why I have to ensure the Battle Borns don't try and call for more than that if the only charge source is the truck. What's attached is a Ford Service Bulletin that may give you all the info/background if interested.

                Ford Upfitter Switches Service - Ford.pdf
                Attached Files
                Last edited by howson; 12-09-2019, 06:50 PM. Reason: Fixed grammar...
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by howson View Post

                  The Upfitter circuit is a**olutely protected. Circuit #5 on my '17 is protected by a 40A fuse, thus that's why I have to ensure the Battle Borns don't try and call for more than that if the only charge source is the truck. That's Attached is a Ford Service Bulletin that may give you all the info/background if interested.

                  [ATTACH]n8858[/ATTACH]
                  Everyday I learn something new - Thanks

                  The PDF is great - now I have one more option to add to my wish list on my future truck
                  2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel. Reese R20 Titan hitch, Steadyfast system, 2004 F350 King Ranch dually

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This looks really interesting: https://www.renogy.com/dcc50s-12v-50...ger-with-mppt/

                    Click image for larger version

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                    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


                    • #11
                      Dang...looks like I'm going to get a DC-DC converter. Check out this video by Will Prowse!

                      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 howson View Post
                        Dang...looks like I'm going to get a DC-DC converter. Check out this video by Will Prowse!
                        I'm so impressed with that young man. That was another great video. If I didn't have solar on the roof of the trailer, I'd certainly consider that device. And you can energize (or turn it off) if you hook it to an upfitter switch.

                        Jim

                        The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

                        Jim and Ginnie
                        2017 Reflection 297RSTS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TucsonJim View Post

                          I'm so impressed with that young man. That was another great video. If I didn't have solar on the roof of the trailer, I'd certainly consider that device. And you can energize (or turn it off) if you hook it to an upfitter switch.

                          Jim
                          My thinking was completely messed up--the charger settings on the Victron inverter have *nothing* to do with the charge current coming from the truck. In fact, while in inverter mode it's pulling amperage from the batteries, not sending amperage to them. Thus the settings in VE Configure won't make a hill of beans of difference. That setting is only applicable when on shore power and the inverter is acting as a charger.

                          So the answer is I *must* have a DC-DC converter that acts as a load limiter. Otherwise it is possible that the Battle Borns will attempt to draw more amperage through the circuit I'm contemplating than it can handle. (I've seen the batteries consuming >100A while recharging off of shore power.)

                          Here's version 2 of the system I'm contemplating. Naturally the low cost criteria is out the window. :(

                          What I like is that I can turn on (or off) the Renogy as desired. Hmmm...but as I'm thinking about Will's video I wonder if I can't just run the ignition sense line through an upfitter switch and skip the SSR.

                          More to come, I'm sure.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          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
                            I was going to suggest a dc to dc charger, but was not intimately familiar with your setup and did not want to put my foot in my mouth lol. I have considered this many time, even with my solar I really feel like I should be able to capitalize on my dual alternators to put some extra charging into my rig while driving. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’ve considered it.
                            Neil Citro
                            2018 Reflection 28bh
                            2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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                            • #15
                              Took a photo of some Anderson SB connectors SB50, 120, 175.
                              I tend to use a contact sized for next smaller welding wire for a snug wire fit in the contact, that's just my preference.
                              The 1st two are SB50 6 Awg contacts with 6 and 4 wire. Then SB120 4 Awg contact with 2 Awg welding wire.

                              Gene and Kim
                              2015 Grand Design Reflection 317RST
                              2017 RAM 3500 CC, LB, 4x2, 6.7L CTD

                              Comment

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