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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Thanks again for the insight.

I have decided to go with AGM battery's for time being. I have 2 100AH Gel battery's from Renogy on the way along with a 1000w pure sine wave inverter. Am I okay to come off the CCP for my direct line to the battery's running in parallel or should I come off the batteries themselves? Also since I am running 2 AGM's would it be a good idea to have a battery charger running first from the starter battery? Any suggestions on which battery charger to consider? I am planning on running a few fuses and circuit breakers as well. Will the Blue Systems 100-300am fuse do the trick?
 

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Looking for some ideas for my house electrical system in my van. If you have photos of your electrical system and mind sharing that would be great!
Check out Mobile Solar Power web site for plans, and I recommend you buy the book "Mobile Solar Power Made Easy!" from Amazon.

Here are a few links to some different systems from the web site:
  1. Minimalist on a Budget
    (estimated total cost: $295-$748)
  2. The Minimalist (Great For Small Van Dwellings)
    (estimated total cost: $1,070-$1,745)
  3. The Classic 400 Watt (RV's, Big Vans, Buses)
    (estimated total cost: $2,000-$3,200)
  4. Classic 400 Watt w/ Alternator Charging
    (estimated total cost: $1,800-$3000)
  5. The Off-grid King (Power anything!)
    (estimated total cost: $3,670-$6,030)
  6. Ultra Sized Systems (Run an Air Conditioner)
    (estimated total cost: $7,340-$10,000)
One thing that bugs me about these systems is he does not select inverters with shore power charging or the ability to hard wire your AC power to a standard wall outlet. Otherwise you get lots of specific details on what you will need to buy with links and how to be safe.

This guy has lots of videos on Youtube to learn from and verifies/test the equipment he recommends. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoj6RxIAQq8kmJme-5dnN0Q

I plan to build option 4 but with a different inverter.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
More specific regarding a charge controller. If I am coming from my starter battery's to my two house battery's (in parallel) based on my research its probably best to go with a charge controller. Renogy has a 20amp and 40amp DC-DC charge controller. With the Max Current on the battery I have being 30amp would it be most ideal to go with the 40amp? Would it be more ideal to come off my CCP (single CCP) ?



Does the charge controller act as a battery isolator or is that something I should but in between starter battery and charge controller?
 

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My house inverter is a 1000 watt inverter/charger/transfer switch. My backup charging method is a 1000 watt pure sine inverter powered by the Transit 12 volt system connected to the CCP terminals. "Shore power" available with the engine running. Have two selector switches so I can use the vehicle powered inverter for charging or shower water heating or to power a 750 watt electric heater.

A house battery should not be directly connected to the vehicle battery for charging. A better method is to use a B2B charger or a vehicle powered inverter. Either will always give you a proper 3 stage charge profile for the house battery. The advantage of using an inverter is the power is available for other uses besides charging.

 

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Discussion Starter #27
Orton, thanks for your insight. It does make sense to me to go a B2B method while not running any solar.

If I come off the CCP to my 2 house batteries it would be safe to go with the 40amp charge controller correct? or what is the best most effective method or device to come from either CCP or starter batteries to make sure my house batteries are staying charged. I have seen the Sterling B2B but is a bit steep in price which is why I was considering the Renogy B2B DC-DC charger.
 

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Orton, thanks for your insight. It does make sense to me to go a B2B method while not running any solar.

If I come off the CCP to my 2 house batteries it would be safe to go with the 40amp charge controller correct? or what is the best most effective method or device to come from either CCP or starter batteries to make sure my house batteries are staying charged. I have seen the Sterling B2B but is a bit steep in price which is why I was considering the Renogy B2B DC-DC charger.
Do not have any knowledge about B2B chargers. Just know that approach is better than a direct connection.

Prefer the vehicle powered inverter due to having 120 volt AC power available with the engine running.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks again Orton, I think it comes down to trial and error on my end at this point!

Ill be sure to keep this updated as I make progress.

Also finally got around to watching your build via YouTube. Way to go, very interesting.
 

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Many have used this diagram a basis for their electrical system:


I spend a great deal of time helping folks develop a system that meets their needs. Please call or write if you desire assistance.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
541 490 5098
Hein,
I'm basing my electrical system off of your diagram so thanks for sharing that. My plan won't have an inverter or shore power. I opted for the Renogy DC-DC charger with MPPT over the Kisae because it has a built-in VSR so the install is simpler. I'm also planning on grounding to the chassis rather than running a negative cable from charger to the starter battery so that omits 4' of cable.
 

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Orton, thanks for your insight. It does make sense to me to go a B2B method while not running any solar.

If I come off the CCP to my 2 house batteries it would be safe to go with the 40amp charge controller correct? or what is the best most effective method or device to come from either CCP or starter batteries to make sure my house batteries are staying charged. I have seen the Sterling B2B but is a bit steep in price which is why I was considering the Renogy B2B DC-DC charger.
The charge rate will depend on your battery/alternator set-up. If it's a single battery, standard-duty (150A) alternator, the Ford BEMM states a max continues draw of 30A, so you wouldn't want to use a 40A B2B charger. I went with a 20A B2B Renogy for ours.

I will say that we now have the charger hooked up & working correctly, but Renogy customer service and tech support was horrible, and their B2B charger manual is vague (and had incorrect DIP switch settings for lithium batteries the last I knew). We also bought a Renogy 100Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate battery. While the price seemed right for Renogy stuff, we wouldn't buy it again because of the horrible follow-up support. It wasn't just bad...1st-level tech support gave me incorrect information multiple times until I questioned the information, and got the correct info from a Renogy engineer.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback Craig, I have heard of the lousy customer service but hope I can avoid dealing with them directly. With there most recent sales and for my build it was justifiable to order with them.

On the Charger that you have did you have to do the alternator ignition circuit wire?
Did you run any circuit breakers between your starter battery and charger?

Thinking I might opt for the MPPT in the chance I want to bring a movable solar panel that I can throw outside when we pitch camp.

Is there any negative reason to ground everything to dedicated negative buss bar?
 

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Thanks for the feedback Craig, I have heard of the lousy customer service but hope I can avoid dealing with them directly. With there most recent sales and for my build it was justifiable to order with them.
Understood. We got our stuff on sale, too. It's just disturbing when tech support gives you information that could shorten the life of the product (or worse)!

On the Charger that you have did you have to do the alternator ignition circuit wire?
Don't tap into the alternator. Morey (who's also here on the forum) had a write-up that helped me understand how to properly get this signal, which the charger does need.

https://moreysintransit.com/engine-on-signal-via-ford-transit-vehicle-interface-connector/


Did you run any circuit breakers between your starter battery and charger?
I'm drawing vehicle power from the CCP on the left side of the driver seat, and yes, I have a 30A breaker within 6" of that positive power hook-up.

Blue Sea Systems has some excellent calculators and references to help determine wire & fuse sizes, too. http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/#

Good luck!
Craig
 

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I have a 150 amp alternator and I have been running 60 amp Sterling BBW1260 for 3 years without problems, The Sterling draws 50 amps from the Transit battery charging three 110 Ah AGM house batteries.
I bypassed the CCP with a circuit breaker hooked the the CCP bus bar under the drivers seat, Sterling recommended a 70 amp circuit breaker.
No need for a ignition switched feed with the Sterling since the Sterling only draws power from the Transit battery when the Transit battery is almost fully charged.

In another forum thread it was determined that the Transit uses 45 amps with lights, AC, windshield wipers and everything else turned on, So 45 amps plus my Sterlings 50 amps equals 95 amps out of 150 amps leaving a decent safety margin for not over driving the alternator.
 
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