What did you do to your Safari this week?

Have you made changes to your coach? Improvements? Remodel? New technology? Tell the story and show some pictures here.
Post Reply
ProCycle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by ProCycle »

Did you seal up a roof leak? Bleed your brakes? Get new tires?
Motorhomes need constant maintenance, repairs and upgrades.
What have you done recently?

I'll start.

This week I installed a Victron battery meter.

I put it in the wall on the side of the bedroom closet. Right at eye level and in a convenient spot to check any time.
Battery_meter_1.jpg
Battery_meter_1.jpg (276.4 KiB) Viewed 66 times
Inside the closet the wire runs down the left rear corner. Then through the floor under the drawers.
Battery_meter_2.jpg
Battery_meter_2.jpg (214.62 KiB) Viewed 66 times
That puts the wire just ahead of the battery compartment. I fished the wire through into the right front corner of the engine compartment. Nice and close to the batteries. A good place for the shunt that sends charge/discharge info to the meter.
Battery_meter_3.jpg
Battery_meter_3.jpg (302.57 KiB) Viewed 66 times
Having a proper smart battery meter already taught me a valuable piece of information. My inverter, just idling draws 4.12 amps. That's enough to draw my 800 amp hours of batteries down to 50% capacity in 4 days. That's without actually running anything from the inverter. First lesson - turn the inverter off any time I don't actually need it.
Last edited by ProCycle on Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

TDJohn
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by TDJohn »

ProCycle,

This is why I am a big proponent of using a shunt based battery meter/monitor. One not only will have an accurate way to know exactly what state of charge their battery bank is, but they also can use that same meter to hunt down parasitic drains. They can also learn how much power each appliance uses. Often times, many freakout about the high current appliances, like the microwave or hair dryer, but those items usually run for a very short duration, and don't make a big dent in the amp/hrs used. It is the little and some not so little, constant parasitic drains that really add up over time, that get you.

I'm curious to know, when you measured the 4.12amp drain, was your microwave unplugged???

The reason I'm asking is, my micro wave draws at least 4amps with it just being plugged in and not in use. Things like the TV, VCR/DVD player, etc. add up too. I use power strips on all the mentioned items, this way I can turn the power strip on and off as needed. For most people, I would think that you really don't need to run the inverter at night, unless you have a residential refrigerator. I know of one Safari couple that installed a bathroom fan type of timer that they set when they go to bed and watch a bit of tv. After about an hour or what ever the set the time for, the timer shuts the inverter off, and by that time, they are fast asleep. A very nifty solution indeed. ;) For the ones that need the CPAP machine, most of them can be converted to run directly on 12v, via an adapter. Running those machines on 12v takes much less power and also negates needing to run the inverter.

Do you have solar installed, or do you plan on installing solar on your coach?
John
'95 Serengeti, Cummins C8.3-300
Allison 6spd.

ProCycle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by ProCycle »

TDJohn wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:24 am
...I'm curious to know, when you measured the 4.12amp drain, was your microwave unplugged???
It was not unplugged. I need to do that and check it again. Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't even think about the microwave.
TDJohn wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:24 am
Do you have solar installed, or do you plan on installing solar on your coach?
600 watts of solar coming soon.Installing the battery meter was step one in getting ready for the solar install.
Currently it only has the original factory solar panel.
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

ProCycle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by ProCycle »

TDJohn wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:24 am
I'm curious to know, when you measured the 4.12amp drain, was your microwave unplugged???
With the microwave unplugged the inverter draws roughly 2.1 to 3.4 amps.Goes up and down on about a 2 second cycle.
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

TDJohn
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by TDJohn »

What brand and model inverter do you have?
The cycle might be a search mode, which is designed to save on power when the inverter is idle. If it's an older inverter, it might a primitive version of the search mode, or maybe something else is causing the load to cycle.

What solar charge controller do you plan on using?

What type of solar panels are you planning to install, the 12v type, or the larger, high voltage, grid tie type?

If your original panel, that was designed to maintain you house battery bank, still works, consider leaving it and connecting it to the chassis/engine battery bank instead, to maintain the chassis batteries. I did this and it is working out well maintaining the chassis batteries. Before they would have a tendency to get low if the coach was sitting for a while.
John
'95 Serengeti, Cummins C8.3-300
Allison 6spd.

ProCycle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by ProCycle »

The inverter is newish. A MangaSine MS2800.

For the Solar I have a Tristar-45 PWM it will mount in the engine compartment within a couple feet of the battery bay. I'll be installing three 210 watt Newpowa panels. All in parallel with very short runs to the combiner box. Then about 25-30 feet of 4awg from the combiner to the controller.

My coach has both of the original solar panels which are still working. I agree that charging the chassis batteries from the original house battery panel is a good move.
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

ProCycle
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:28 pm

Re: What did you do to your Safari this week?

Post by ProCycle »

This weekend I reconfigured the undersink drain pipes to free up more space in the cabinet.
sink_pipes_1.jpg
sink_pipes_1.jpg (236.93 KiB) Viewed 30 times
sink_pipes_2.jpg
sink_pipes_2.jpg (217.75 KiB) Viewed 30 times
Jeff
1997 Serengeti Ivory 3740 Cat 3126 Allison

Post Reply