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Old 07-07-2024, 07:33 PM   #1
RoyHelsing
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Need Help Understanding My Electrical System

About two weeks ago we purchased a 295RL HC - and since then I have been reading everything i can on this forum and elsewhere to try to understand my system - what it can do, what it can’t do, or should I upgrade the electrical system. Unfortunately, while there is a wealth of knowledge on this site - my brain is in a fog so I though I might just write what I have, and what my questions are.

What we have: 2024 Montana High Country 295RL with SolarFlex 220 Protect package + 2x 100Ah DragonFly LifePO4 heated batteries. The 220 Protect package includes - Future Solutions 220-Watt Solar Panel (upgraded for 2024!)
30A Solar Roof Port with MC4 Connectors & 10 AWG MPPT Solar Charging Circuit
30A 12V Only Victron SmartSolar MPPT Controller with Bluetooth app (upgraded for 2024!)
Inverted 110V Loop Prep with Up to 7 Outlets (inverter not included)
Zamp Solar Sidewall Charge Port with 15A Solar Charging Circuit

I also purchase it with a Magnum Dimension CSW 2012-HX Convertor

While we do not normally boondocks - just in case i also purchased as portable Champion 5500 watt inverter generator for charging (and they said while only 30 amp would have plenty of power for the A/C

So - here are my questions:
1. The SolaFlex 220 protect. Package looks like a 400i system (MPPT 100 30 charge controller) but without the Smart Shunt. Therefore, there is no way to see what the battery percentage is. My gut is telling me that knowing battery percentage in important and I should purchase and install the SmartShunt - opinions on this would be appreciated.
2. It is sitting in our driveway for a week now with the refrigerator off. Solar seems to be keeping the batteries up (at least it is always in “BULK” state. If I am going to be storing it outside (mild winters here - no snow) why would I disconnect the batteries. It seems like I should just always leave the solar on.
3. It I connect it to my 15 amp house circuit - would that also charge the batteries of might I harm something?
4. How long on just solar with 2 100Ah Dragonfly Lithium Batteries should I expect the refrigerator to operate (will it last all night without shore power), or if it runs the batteries too low what’s happens and do I ruin anything?
5. I am boon docking do i simply connect a 30 amp adapter and plug in as if I was just plugging into 30 amp shore power?
6. I I am at a site that only has 30 amp shore power do I harm anything other than I think the A/C will not work.
7. Any recommended upgrades for our usage which is normally at tv sites - but sometimes we end up in a relatives driveway of lot for a day or two?

Any comments would be appreciated.
 
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Old 07-08-2024, 02:36 AM   #2
LJSantore
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yes just use a dog-bone. Monitor your AMPS 15A will keep the converter happy and that will keep the Batteries topped off. the 30A Service will run one Air Conditioner (I recommend soft starts in the Air conditioners) When I run Air on 30a I put one on High fan and one on High Fan and cool. That way you only have one compressor on at a time,the ducts in ours are shared and that gives you the Air flow. I have a surge guard that has a display showing the AC line volts and amps (right where I plug in) this is nice because I can see if I have a voltage drop and how many amps the rig is drawing. Lower voltage = higher amp draw
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Old 07-08-2024, 03:41 AM   #3
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Check your documentation on your roof ACs. I thought 2024 model ACs came with built-in soft starts. Maybe someone here will know.
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Old 07-08-2024, 06:33 AM   #4
Daryles
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1. Cant help you with the Super Solar package. I built and installed my own. BUT, Im very surprised they did NOT install a shunt. Thats the cornerstone of any 12vdc power system. I think i would make some phone calls about that.
2. Charging and Lithium batteries. Lithium batteries do NOT like to be charged in below freezing temperatures. Make sure they have battery heaters or low temperature cut off in the BMS. Excellent article on lithium batteries. How to find happiness with lithium batteries
https://www.solacity.com/how-to-keep...tteries-happy/
3. Connecting to a 15A house circuit. Thats how i started until I installed a 50A receptacle. Be aware, RVs and plugging into a house GFIC, dont get along. RVs have many current "leaks" and will trip the GFIC. This is a known issue. Plug into a non GFIC and you will be fine.
4. Two 100Ah lithium batteries will have no problem running the residential fridge all night. Having said that, without a shunt, you dont know your total current draw. Other parasitic drains could draw down your batteries. Once they reach a low voltage cut off, they will turn off to protect themselves. They will have a specific "start up" procedure to bring them back to life. A trick to monitor your fridge, freeze a clear (see through) cup of water (in a plastic container so it doesn't bust). Put a penny on the surface of the frozen water. If the penny sinks, the water thawed. You will want to evaluate your food safety.
5. Boondocking, I'm guessing you mean you are plugged into a 30A generator receptacle. Yes, treat this like you would be plugged into a 30A pedistal at a Campground. Power management is very important so as not to overload your generator. You should be able to run one AC unit. Two IF you have SoftStartRV installed in the AC units. It reduces the start up surge when the AC compressor starts.
6. See 5.
7. Make yourselfs comfortable. You will figure out as you go what you want to change that fits your camping style. Look up "Moochdocking" on YouTube.


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Old 07-08-2024, 08:43 AM   #5
RoyHelsing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJSantore View Post
yes just use a dog-bone. Monitor your AMPS 15A will keep the converter happy and that will keep the Batteries topped off. the 30A Service will run one Air Conditioner (I recommend soft starts in the Air conditioners) When I run Air on 30a I put one on High fan and one on High Fan and cool. That way you only have one compressor on at a time,the ducts in ours are shared and that gives you the Air flow. I have a surge guard that has a display showing the AC line volts and amps (right where I plug in) this is nice because I can see if I have a voltage drop and how many amps the rig is drawing. Lower voltage = higher amp draw
Thank you very much. I appreciate the help.
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Old 07-08-2024, 08:44 AM   #6
RoyHelsing
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Thank you very much,
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Old 07-08-2024, 08:48 AM   #7
RoyHelsing
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Very informative. I did check with them nd with Keystone on the shunt - definitely not provided with the 220. I am going to order one. FYI I did buy a masinator for my previous camper and love it - not nearly as complicated as thast video shows. I use it at camp grounds 9with an adapter that fits over the 3” line in the ground. It is easier to hook up than the normal 3” sewer lines, and the vacuum seems to do a much better job ov clearing the tanks. At home, I just put it into one of the sewer clean outs - much better than trusting to put it into a bathroom! Very informative - I thank you very much.
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Old 07-08-2024, 09:08 AM   #8
Foldbak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyHelsing View Post

What we have: 2024 Montana High Country 295RL with SolarFlex 220 Protect package + 2x 100Ah DragonFly LifePO4 heated batteries. The 220 Protect package includes - Future Solutions 220-Watt Solar Panel (upgraded for 2024!)
30A Solar Roof Port with MC4 Connectors & 10 AWG MPPT Solar Charging Circuit
30A 12V Only Victron SmartSolar MPPT Controller with Bluetooth app (upgraded for 2024!)
Inverted 110V Loop Prep with Up to 7 Outlets (inverter not included)
Zamp Solar Sidewall Charge Port with 15A Solar Charging Circuit

I also purchase it with a Magnum Dimension CSW 2012-HX Convertor

While we do not normally boondocks - just in case i also purchased as portable Champion 5500 watt inverter generator for charging (and they said while only 30 amp would have plenty of power for the A/C

So - here are my questions:
1. The SolaFlex 220 protect. Package looks like a 400i system (MPPT 100 30 charge controller) but without the Smart Shunt. Therefore, there is no way to see what the battery percentage is. My gut is telling me that knowing battery percentage in important and I should purchase and install the SmartShunt - opinions on this would be appreciated.
2. It is sitting in our driveway for a week now with the refrigerator off. Solar seems to be keeping the batteries up (at least it is always in “BULK” state. If I am going to be storing it outside (mild winters here - no snow) why would I disconnect the batteries. It seems like I should just always leave the solar on.
3. It I connect it to my 15 amp house circuit - would that also charge the batteries of might I harm something?
4. How long on just solar with 2 100Ah Dragonfly Lithium Batteries should I expect the refrigerator to operate (will it last all night without shore power), or if it runs the batteries too low what’s happens and do I ruin anything?
5. I am boon docking do i simply connect a 30 amp adapter and plug in as if I was just plugging into 30 amp shore power?
6. I I am at a site that only has 30 amp shore power do I harm anything other than I think the A/C will not work.
7. Any recommended upgrades for our usage which is normally at tv sites - but sometimes we end up in a relatives driveway of lot for a day or two?

Any comments would be appreciated.
I have a 295 with a 400.
  1. Smart shunt is a must
  2. Solar always on. Storage, Mine is plugged into 30 amps at home, solar always on.
  3. You can plug into 15 amps without harming anything.
  4. Fridge will last all night. Example: we camp at the coast often. I top off the batteries with the gen before bed. They have been as low as 90% at bedtime. When I get up they might be 50%. By 1:00 they are 100%. I leave my inverter on so I have parasitic loads.
  5. 30 amp dog bone yes.
  6. Your whole RV will operate on 30 amps. Both AC's will run (soft start) but you have to manage your power usage as you're close to maxed out. Example: Don't use the microwave. Turn off one AC unit if you need to run the microwave. I run my fridge on LP to minimize the AC load.
  7. My only upgrade suggestion is a portable Renogy solar panel and plug it into the Zamp input and upgrade to 300 AH lithium.
As I stated I have a 400 with an Onan gen, we dry camp a lot without any issues. The gen runs about 50 minuets a day. 30 minuets at night to top off and 20 minuets a day for coffee, vacuuming and microwave.
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Old 07-08-2024, 09:12 AM   #9
RoyHelsing
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Thank you very much - very informative.
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Old 07-08-2024, 10:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RoyHelsing View Post
Very informative. I did check with them nd with Keystone on the shunt - definitely not provided with the 220. I am going to order one.
Get a Victron BMV-712 for a shunt. More expensive but well worth it. Network it with your other Victron products for accuracy.
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Old 07-08-2024, 11:07 AM   #11
RoyHelsing
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Get a Victron BMV-712 for a shunt. More expensive but well worth it. Network it with your other Victron products for accuracy.
Thanks. Been Googling the BMV-712 and the SmartShunt IP65 - Other than the 712 has a screen, I am not sure what the others advantages are? Am I missing something?
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Old 07-08-2024, 06:29 PM   #12
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The BMV-712 is older but it has a better BT range. The BT transmitter is located in the display mounted higher up than the shunt. I can connect to my system from the house over 100' away.
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Old 07-08-2024, 08:20 PM   #13
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Thank you.
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Old 07-09-2024, 08:38 AM   #14
Foldbak
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I agree, I have to be close to my shunt to connect BT.
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Old 07-09-2024, 08:49 AM   #15
RoyHelsing
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i agree, i have to be close to my shunt to connect bt.
thank you!
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