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Old 08-02-2008, 03:16 PM   #1
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WILL I NEED A SECOND AGM 4D 210 AMP BATTERY?

I am new to the forum and it has helped me immensely.

I am in the process of ordering a SMB EB E350 V10 with a cruiser top. I am getting a 12V 3CF Isotherm refrigerator, 110 A/C and solar. I do not want the refrigerator to stop working if I am in the clouds/ rain for a while. I am not getting a generator.

The A/C is for the rare times I plug in, such as visiting friends. I might want to run it a couple of times a year, for a short while, without being plugged in.

I have not decided which inverter. Since I am one of the 9% of SMB purchasers that are woman, I have a lot of questions.

Thanks, Angel
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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Howdy and welcome....

Well, we are only three months into our SMB journey, but we chose to get a second house battery.

It sounds like you will have the Danhard AC.

If you want to run the Danhard AC for very long when not plugged in, you would probably like the second battery.

If you might add a portable generator to your gear someday, then I would suggest the Xantrex Prosine 2. inverter. We started with a higher model, but back tracked to this one; this inverter will allow you to run your AC as long as the generator has gas. The Prosine also provides clean power that is nice to electronics as well.

You did not say how much solar you will have, but that also makes a difference as to how long the battery could last in a remote/bondock situation without a generator.

If a second battery is an option, I would go with it.

.
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:28 PM   #3
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Angel....

Check with SMB and let us know how much solar you will have. In general, solar (which will still work in shade) will recharge your single house battery by mid-morning (depending on how much solar you will have) and a second house battery shouldn't be necessary.

If you want to run the AC just once in a while without plugging in, you can always just run the van for a short while.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:19 PM   #4
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Hi Angel. I started out with a single 4-D and added a second battery. I found that if I used lights for a couple of hours before bed time and running the Airtronic heater all night plus the Hydronic water heater for a couple of hours before dawn I had dropped the level of the single 4-D its low point. These batteries are expensive and are damaged if the voltage drops too low. You have to be careful. I don’t know about running your A/C with two batteries but one battery would more than likely be insufficient. Talk to SMB about this. The other thing to consider is the expense of replacement. They seem to last about 5 years but I’ve heard of some lasting longer and figure the batteries that have to be replaced sooner is probably due to running them too low or not charging them correctly. Solar is worth it when it comes to battery maintenance plus helps charge without having to run the vehicle. I do wish I would have ordered the vehicle with twin alternators. While solar will charge the batteries, it takes time even if you have more than 120 watts up there. I added a 200 amp alternator and it will charge them up much quicker than the 180 watt solar array I have. Most ambulance vehicles have a twin alternator system which works better and is stock OME so no issues with your warrantee.
There is a battery called an 8-D which is larger (and cheaper than twin 4-D’s) but does not have the storage capability as two 4-D’s. So like Greg I would suggest looking into twin 4-D’s. Remember to factor in the weight during your design as well. Good luck on your ride.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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RE; AMP HOURS FOR BATTERY AND REFRIGERATOR

The Isotherm Cruise 85L Marine refrigerator ASU (www.emarineinc.com) max amp hr @ 12V usage is 60AH a day (2.5AH x 24 hr). My other big draw is the SMB forced air I opted for instead of a catalytic heater. I will have to wait till Mon. to get the spects from SMB. Maybe one 210 amp battery will be enough

I am having someone I know put in the solar for me. He is reasonable and I know he will do a good job (Wires will be hooked up properly and the right gage used.) I am going to have SMB do the behind the cabinet wiring per his instructions. The amount of solar to get has not been determined. I was thinking about 200 watts. What do you think?

Two of SMB 12V inside bulbs will be replaced with LEDs by me. TV will not be used much.

Angel
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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12V REFRIGERATOR

This may not be the place for this, but, I can order an Isotherm marine refrigerator as a 12V DC or as a AC/DC refrigerator. Which is more efficient? Or,does it matter when you are plugged in and the 110 has to be converted to 12V. Just seams like that would work the batteries more.

Angel
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2000 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD
2006 Chalet LTW 15ft. Folding Travel Trailer with flipped axle & 14 in. tires
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1971 Super Beetle VW Bug "Restored by Papa and Me"

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Old 08-03-2008, 09:41 AM   #7
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Looking at the specs for the frig, it has an average draw of 0.2 amps/hour. If you have solar and are not charging for 14 hours over night (worse case, winter, low sun angle), the refrigerator would draw 2.8 amps over the 14 hours. That is very low...only 40 AH or so. The 210 AH AGM battery can go down 50% so the frig would consume less than half of that capacity.

We also have the SMB forced air heater (love it) but it doesn't run that much. We have never had it come on at night and it will typically run for less than 30 minutes in the evening since it only needs to keep the van warm. It will run for an hour or more in the morning on very cold days in order to get the temperature back to 70 degrees or so.

We have one AGM battery and 240 watts of solar. Except for the refrigerator pulling the battery down faster than it seems that it should, we have no problems.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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A different perspective:
Since you will not be using the A/C without being plugged in, take that piece of equipment out of the equation. The refrigerator now becomes your biggest power draw. With the Isotherm ASU unit, a lot depends on how long you are going to boondock. Once you start your engine and the house battery gets above 13.2 volts, the ASU unit starts charging. Think of it as a big block of ice that gets made when there is excess power being generated by either the solar system or the motor's alternator. The fridge is able to sustain itself with the ASU unit for a long time once its charged meaning there is very little draw down on the battery. So far into our 5 month SMB adventure, we have never stayed in one place over a day without taking a small side trip somewhere, nor had any rainy days, so either the alternator and the single 130w solar panel with one 4d battery has worked out just fine.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
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When I had my galley unit installed, I made sure to request that the fridge unit had the extra insulation added (mylar bubble wrap), though it can be relatively easily done as a DIY project later. The extra insulation reduces the cycling of the fridge and therefore reduces the amount of power drawn over time.


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Old 08-03-2008, 11:42 PM   #10
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ALTERNATOR & &BATTERY

Thanks for all your input.

I am going to get the PROsine 2.0 inverter/charger and one AGM 4D 210 AMP battery.

Isn't there in the system an automatic shut off so the battery will not go too low? If not, is that an option? I used a portable one between a 12V item and the 12V cig lighter so the vehicle battery would not go so low that it would not start.

If I had ordered a 2009 van I would have gotten the 195-amp heavy duty alternator. I still plan on getting it if need be.

Sounds like I need around 250 watts of solar.

Angel
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285/75/17E tires; Named: "The Lighthouse"
2000 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD
2006 Chalet LTW 15ft. Folding Travel Trailer with flipped axle & 14 in. tires
2001 Kia Rio
1971 Super Beetle VW Bug "Restored by Papa and Me"

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