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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of these posts, and I've read them, and tried to absorb everything I can from them and the OEMs info, few youtube videos, and even a book I have. I sketched my plan up here and I'm interested in you shooting holes in it.
Building for my mom in a month or two who will use this van occasionally for the next several years on road trips, and then at some point when she retires for longer duration trips. Probably not much boondocking. She's in a 2015, 250, long wheelbase mid-roof.
Thanks in advance!
 

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If you are already installing shore power, maybe switch from an inverter to an inverter charger so you have shore charging from the start. Wiring will be simpler to install and use. Along that line you might want to consider a single 200ah battery, just need to make sure it charge/discharge rate are in line with needs.

FYI - That Renogy B2B charger will only charge off of alternator at 25a if solar voltage is detected. The work around if you do add solar and still want 50a alternator charge capacity (say driving on a cloudy day where solar is not adding its 25a) then mom can shut of the solar breaker. If stationary to driving ratio is low enough, then it may not be necessary to ever add solar.
 

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Looks like it'd work. Nice work with the sketch.

I'd drop the Renogy combo unit in favor of their dedicated B2B unit. (Because of what @njvagabond mentions.) Then add their MPPT later if you decide to add solar. But you'd be fine either way - since it's just a vague, "add some power," thing without clear expectations. 🤷‍♀️

Agreed with @njvagabond: I'd look at a larger single battery; but, again, nothing really lost with what you've spec'd - just more efficient use of space and easier to add another later.

Definitely some devil in the details on your cable specs based on locations of everything; but too early to worry until you start laying it out. Just don't purchase the cable until you know where the gear will be installed to assure the cable sizing is appropriate.


I've used the Renogy gear as well as Victron, Magnum, Morningstar, and tinkered / helped with Outback. Renogy is probably a decent bang-for-buck setup; though it's not in my favorites list. But I don't know another brand I'd recommend in the same price range. And I'd go Renogy as you've designed it before going Bluetti or Goal Zero or one of those setups.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are already installing shore power, maybe switch from an inverter to an inverter charger so you have shore charging from the start. Wiring will be simpler to install and use. Along that line you might want to consider a single 200ah battery, just need to make sure it charge/discharge rate are in line with needs.

FYI - That Renogy B2B charger will only charge off of alternator at 25a if solar voltage is detected. The work around if you do add solar and still want 50a alternator charge capacity (say driving on a cloudy day where solar is not adding its 25a) then mom can shut of the solar breaker. If stationary to driving ratio is low enough, then it may not be necessary to ever add solar.
I considered the inverter/charger combo that but was scared off by price and the lack of options in the 1000-2000W range for lithium batteries. I also read some people's concerns regarding a single point failure taking out both charging and inverter capacity. At the moment I don't think there's a real estate problem but I also haven't fit this all together yet.

I was also thinking about single point failures when I leaned towards 2 x 100Ah batteries. If one is defective or toasted I can isolate it and limp on with one until it's replaced. As the highest dollar components I hope I picked a good brand. Renogy seems to fit the bill. Not cheap. Not premium priced either.

Good point on switch for solar on cloudy days. I'll add that to my schematic for future reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
...
I've used the Renogy gear as well as Victron, Magnum, Morningstar, and tinkered / helped with Outback. Renogy is probably a decent bang-for-buck setup; though it's not in my favorites list. But I don't know another brand I'd recommend in the same price range. And I'd go Renogy as you've designed it before going Bluetti or Goal Zero or one of those setups.
Victron appears to be the primo stuff. What I'd pick if I had a big budget and wanted bulletproof stuff I could drive into the Amazon with. I'm sure there are a lot of opinions out there on that question. For this project for mom, we have a budget and while I don't want to to be stranded without her coffee maker...she'll live. If she ends up spending more time in the van I'll think of upgrades to help add reliability and flexibility; like charger/converters.

It's been interesting learning about these systems. One day I may get myself a van or some overland rig. Also working on an off-grid cabin idea. Lot of the same solutions will be in place for that it seems.
 

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Are you connecting directly to the vehicle battery or going through the CCP? (does a 2015 have a CCP?) I have the same renogy B2B charger thinking I would expand into solar but after 2 years I find the 50 amps when I drive is a enough charging for me. I rarely stay in one spot for more than 2 days and sized my battery for ~72 hours worth of power, but I have a fairly light load. I have the renogy B2B, charger converter and an agm Battery and monitor. they all seem to work fine, my usage is maybe one weekend a month.
 

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Are you connecting directly to the vehicle battery or going through the CCP? (does a 2015 have a CCP?) I have the same renogy B2B charger thinking I would expand into solar but after 2 years I find the 50 amps when I drive is a enough charging for me. I rarely stay in one spot for more than 2 days and sized my battery for ~72 hours worth of power, but I have a fairly light load. I have the renogy B2B, charger converter and an agm Battery and monitor. they all seem to work fine, my usage is maybe one weekend a month.
I've read some about a connection point under the driver side seat. I haven't gotten into the year-specific questions yet but you bring up a good one. Is the CCP rated to provide for 60A the DCC50S wants? This snippet below indicates its an option that might be present. I'll have to ask mom what's installed on hers.
Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Technology

Rectangle Font Parallel Diagram Engineering
 

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Some may say the content I provided below is overkill. They would be correct in that your proposed system is less powerful. However, my system follows the guidelines provided to me from Lithionics, and was drawn up by a marine engineer. So, yes scale down some of the components appropriately, but keep the safety features.


1) Depending on the rack you use and the number of vents installed it can get tight getting 400 watts of solar on the roof of a shorter van. Just something to keep in mind when you install vents and select a rack.
2) If the solar is optional I would go with a bigger DC to DC charger. Can that renogy unit charge more than 25 amps DC to DC?
3) I like the inverter chargers, but it is all I have worked with.
4) It is recommended to get a Class T fuse to protect your inverter investment. The link is what I used, but I have a more powerful system with a 3K inverter charger.
5) I would add a fuse between your buss bar and the fuse block.
6) Is it just the one AC plug direct from the inverter that has a plug on it? If it is more than that one plug you should have it going through a breaker box with a 15 or 20 AMP breaker.
7) What are you using for your battery monitor? My understanding is it should be installed on your negative line just before the negative buss bar.
8) You will want to combine your negative lines before going to the negative buss bar so you can enable number 7. I used the victron battery monitor shunt to combine my negative lines from my batteries. These lines should be equal in length. I did the same for my positive lines before going to my positive bus bar.
9) Add capability to kill/stop DC power to your inverter.
10) This is what I used to combine positive ANL 250 AMP fused lines from my batteries before my positive buss bar. It also gives you the ability to kill the DC power to the bus bar. Again, this is sized for my system you won’t needs a single circuit 3K unit. These lines should be equal in length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some may say the content I provided below is overkill. ...
Thanks for the great details. This is what I'm looking for actually.
1. Noted.
2. The DCC50S will put 50A into the batteries from the Alternator OR Solar OR a combination of both but with limits (<=25A Solar + <=25A Alternator). What I think @njvagabond was trying to say is that if you have a cloudy day and the solar is putting out 3A, the unit will only allow a max of 25A from the alternator (28A total). So in that case it would pay to isolate the panels to allow the full 50A to come through from the vehicle battery/alternator. I might have misunderstood however.
3. What brands and sizes have you worked with? Any reliability issues with them?
4. Class T, slow blow. Noted
5. Noted
6. I fudged downstream of the inverter. Will update that soon. That 2000W inverter has 3x 15A socket connections built into it and one higher current hard wired termination point. I'll probably wire from the terminal block to remote sockets where they're easier to get to. Sounds like you recommend breakers between the inverter and sockets if so.
7. The DCC50S comes included with this monitor unit Monitoring Screen for DC-DC MPPT Battery Charger Series
8. I had a separate battery monitor in my shopping list before I realized the DCDC came with one. If it turns out to be junk I"ll add one line you've got.
9. I do have a 1-2-Both-None battery switch which I'll put on the positive leads between the 100A breakers and the bus bar. I noticed that after I printed out a hard copy and looked at the parts that showed up on my doorstep today. It's a Kohree 200A rated.
 

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The DCC50S will put 50A into the batteries from the Alternator OR Solar OR a combination of both but with limits (<=25A Solar + <=25A Alternator). What I think @njvagabond was trying to say is that if you have a cloudy day and the solar is putting out 3A, the unit will only allow a max of 25A from the alternator (28A total). So in that case it would pay to isolate the panels to allow the full 50A to come through from the vehicle battery/alternator. I might have misunderstood however.
Correct.

I believe this is BEMM that covers your mom's 2015. It has the alternator output curve, which are useful in determining how much additional load you can pull for charging. There are anecdotal statements from members on this forum to the effect that 50-60a of charging from the stock 150a alternator has worked well. I'd be reluctant to pull much more from that alternator. If the van has the 240a alternator, then you could obviously add more charging. But it seems to me that for 200ah of battery and what seem to me like not very high electrical loads (unless you mom drinks a LOT of coffee) plus somewhat frequent driving the 50a B2B should be sufficient.
 

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I've read some about a connection point under the driver side seat. I haven't gotten into the year-specific questions yet but you bring up a good one. Is the CCP rated to provide for 60A the DCC50S wants? This snippet below indicates its an option that might be present. I'll have to ask mom what's installed on hers.
View attachment 166238
View attachment 166239
I installed a DCC50s in my mother's 2019 Ford Transit 250 in October. Her model only came with the single CCP. So far, everything seems to be working well. We've successfully charged at the full 50A with the Solar Panels switched off and at 25A with the panels on.

The biggest challenge was locating a suitable chassis ground as Ford's documentation leaves much for a beginner to desire. Ultimately, I used the ground point in between the driver and passenger seat ensuring the ground cable is adequately protected.
 

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I installed a DCC50s in my mother's 2019 Ford Transit 250 in October. Her model only came with the single CCP. So far, everything seems to be working well. We've successfully charged at the full 50A with the Solar Panels switched off and at 25A with the panels on.

The biggest challenge was locating a suitable chassis ground as Ford's documentation leaves much for a beginner to desire. Ultimately, I used the ground point in between the driver and passenger seat ensuring the ground cable is adequately protected.
(y)
So you connected to the CCP? That would infer that the charger is > 83.3% efficient (50a output/60a input).
Interesting that Renogy calls for a 75a fuse on the input side of the unit. 🤷‍♀️
 

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Thanks for the great details. This is what I'm looking for actually.
1. Noted.
2. The DCC50S will put 50A into the batteries from the Alternator OR Solar OR a combination of both but with limits (<=25A Solar + <=25A Alternator). What I think @njvagabond was trying to say is that if you have a cloudy day and the solar is putting out 3A, the unit will only allow a max of 25A from the alternator (28A total). So in that case it would pay to isolate the panels to allow the full 50A to come through from the vehicle battery/alternator. I might have misunderstood however.
3. What brands and sizes have you worked with? Any reliability issues with them?
4. Class T, slow blow. Noted
5. Noted
6. I fudged downstream of the inverter. Will update that soon. That 2000W inverter has 3x 15A socket connections built into it and one higher current hard wired termination point. I'll probably wire from the terminal block to remote sockets where they're easier to get to. Sounds like you recommend breakers between the inverter and sockets if so.
7. The DCC50S comes included with this monitor unit Monitoring Screen for DC-DC MPPT Battery Charger Series
8. I had a separate battery monitor in my shopping list before I realized the DCDC came with one. If it turns out to be junk I"ll add one line you've got.
9. I do have a 1-2-Both-None battery switch which I'll put on the positive leads between the 100A breakers and the bus bar. I noticed that after I printed out a hard copy and looked at the parts that showed up on my doorstep today. It's a Kohree 200A rated.
#2) Two in one charging unit just does not sit well with me. Don't like the idea of solar and DC to DC not working if single unit fails. No negative experiance to justify concern. To each his own.
#3) I have Xantrex 3K Freedom XC pro now with the bluetooth capability. Purchased because of good reputation, but Victron 3K inverter charger has a little more capability than this unit. However, the Xantrex unit is much more compact and lighter. You can get the 2K Xantrex Freedom XC pro. I recomend paying more for the Bluetooth remote. Dramaticly simplifies set up. My Xantrex has a GFI plug on the unit - paid a little more for it. I think it is also an option on the 2k Xantrex.
#6) I am not a electrician. I just followed detailed instructions. Check out Explorist Life videos on youtube. He also worked or works for Victron and the videos a very detailed.
This install/setup is the breaker and fuse box I installed but he is no longer pushing it.
In this video he is got a seperate breaker box and fuse box.
 

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So you connected to the CCP? That would infer that the charger is > 83.3% efficient (50a output/60a input).
Interesting that Renogy calls for a 75a fuse on the input side of the unit. 🤷‍♀️
Yes, the efficiency seems quite good. Although, I should point out that our 50A tests and 2-3 subsequent 50A charges have only been done when the batteries (2x SOK 100AH LiFePo4) were discharged below 60%. The solar panels have so far been more than capable of topping off the house batteries in roughly 3-4 hours of daylight in Central California and Arizona. Since the power usage has been quite low, we've found that alternator charging has been relegated to an "as needed" status.
 

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Not sure what your plan is as far as her switching from the inverter to shore power for the AC loads but you may want to look at an inverter with built in automatic transfer switch.

At one point my planned electrical system was to hook up an inverter with a built-in transfer switch to the CCP and then have it power this WFCO load center with built in converter/charger. You would also then run your shore power to the same inverter. It would be pretty simple to operate and then you get DC-DC and shore power battery charging and your DC and AC load distribution is all in the same place and pretty easy to access.
 

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Maybe this is the right time to ask my question to the experts. I have a Renogy DC to DC Charger hooked to my 2x 100AH AGM batteries. I also have a Progressive Dynamics charger hooked to the same battery bank for charging while plugged in to shore power. Everything works fine as it shouuld. I have been concerned that someone in my family, whom I won't name, will get in the van and start it while it is plugged in to shore power. Any idea what would happen if both the shore power Progressive Dynamics and the DC to DC charger were both attempting to charge the house battery at the same time. Would one just cancel the other?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
….At one point my planned electrical system was to hook up an inverter with a built-in transfer switch to the CCP and then have it power this WFCO load center with built in converter/charger. You would also then run your shore power to the same inverter…
Good price for sure.

I was just going to let her move plugs if she wanted. Label certain outlets “Inverter” and others “Shore”. Not elegant. But it is simple.


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