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Messages - bobkbusch

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After a bit more troubleshooting, the blown 30 amp fuse was for my driver seat - not sure why it was blown. I am also now not sure why the ignition wire was not working the other day when I tested it for voltage. Since the ignition wire did not have a 12 volt signal, it couldn't activate the solenoid and begin alternator to coach batteries charging.  However, now that I've disconnected the ignition wire from the solenoid (no longer need it attached to the solenoid since I installed a DC-DC charger), and have it attached directly to the white mirror wire, the ignition wire has 12 volts even if I pull the 30 amp fuse.  Obviously the fuse was not the issue - still not sure what was, and I apologize for any confusion!

I think you will like the Victron unit.  Lance also helped me with figuring out the wiring.  Too bad he is no longer a participant here!

Lance is a treasure!  I told him PC should hire him as a consultant.  I should also mention Dave Berman was a big help!

I've now installed a Smart Shunt, Solar Controller, and DC-DC charger, all Victron.  I really enjoy being able to monitor what is going on.

I believe I saw pics of your PC battery compartment on FB.  VERY nice work!

General Discussion / No Longer Charging from Alternator to Coach Batteries
« on: September 21, 2022, 04:20:32 pm »
In Lance's thread about his lithium battery install, I mentioned that my alternator was no longer charging my lithium batteries.  Thought I'd post a follow up.

Initially thought it was the 40 amp auto-reset circuit breaker under the coolant bottle, but that was fine.  I had a blown 30-amp fuse.  This was the fuse for the ignition wire that connects to the control side of the solenoid under the coolant bottle.  Without the ignition wire active, the solenoid never activated to charge the coach batteries when the engine was running.  I have the newer 7.3L "Godzilla" engine and this fuse, as well as others are "MCASE" fuses.  I didn't have MCASE spares, but now I'm stocked.

Not sure why the fuse blew, but after replacing it, I subsequently installed a Victron DC-DC charger - works great!  Part of that install, which was kindly assisted by Lance (still active, but on Facebook), included disconnecting the ignition wire from the solenoid - hopefully no more issues! 

General Discussion / Re: Lithium Battery Install
« on: August 30, 2022, 05:58:33 pm »

No alternator current to the house batteries due to a faulty  40A self-resetting breaker under the coolant reservoir is a common failure mode, not necessarily due to excessive amps. I carry a spare just in case. Refer to the engine  compartment part of the schematic linked here:

Excellent info, and the referenced schematic by Keelhauler is very helpful - thank you!

General Discussion / Re: Lithium Battery Install
« on: August 30, 2022, 02:18:23 pm »
Looks like a well thought out and very capable setup Lance!  I'm still considering putting a DC-DC charger in my 2022 2552, but I don't quite understand the wiring.

As it is installed from the factory, it goes through the solenoid and breaker under the coolant bottle in the engine compartment, to...I don't know where...then eventually to the coach batteries.  I have a Victron Smart Shunt in my setup and never saw more than 20 amps coming from the alternator.  However, now I don't seem to be getting any charge from the alternator and don't know where to troubleshoot.  (Battery charging to the chassis/engine battery is working well.)

Even a rough sketch wiring diagram would be helpful. 

General Discussion / Lithium Battery Follow Up
« on: August 13, 2022, 10:16:51 pm »
I have a few trips under my belt after swapping my AGM batteries for two 100Ah Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries.  I thought I'd share what I've learned (or at least think I've learned) thus far.  Hopefully, this will help anyone else considering the swap, and also documenting what I've learned, in case I forget!  There are also some excellent threads on this board with great info that have helped me tremendously.  First my equipment (all factory installed):  2022 2552 with Progressive Dynamics PD4575TB (PD told me the TB stands for Terminal Board) converter charger and easy access switch for Lithium or Lead Acid charging profiles, two 150w solar panels, Samlex SCC30AB 30-amp solar charge controller with both Lead Acid and Lithium charging profiles, no dc-dc charger between the alternator and the coach batteries.  I added a Victron Smart Shunt to monitor the batteries and charging. 

Before I swapped batteries, I called the PC factory, and they told me Battle Born had visited the factory and concluded no modifications were necessary to change the AGM batteries to lithium.  In fact, they said that when someone orders a new coach with the lithium battery option, they don't change any equipment, except the batteries.  (This applies obviously to newer coaches.) The batteries charge in one of three ways: 1) From the alternator when the engine is running, 2) From the PD4575 converter/charger when hooked to shore power or if the generator is running, 3) Solar.   I'll address each separately.

1)  Alternator to coach batteries:  There has been some excellent discussion on whether a dc-dc charger was necessary to keep the alternator from providing too much current due to the very low internal resistance of lithium batteries.  Using Ohm's Law, V=IR, or I=V/R, the lower the resistance, the higher the current for a given voltage.  Since the voltage in the equation is the difference between the supplied voltage (measured at the batteries) from the alternator and the present voltage of the lithium batteries, it is typically only going to be somewhere around 1-2 volts.  I've never measured the exact voltage supplied by the alternator at the batteries, but due to the smaller wire gauge (hence higher resistance in the wire and some voltage drop), the voltage supplied from the alternator isn't much above the battery voltage (which of course varies depending on the batteries' State of Charge or SOC).  I don't know for sure what wire gauge PC uses from the alternator to the batteries, but I suspect it is small enough that the wire resistance plays a small role and somewhat makes up for the low internal resistance of the batteries.

The upshot of all of this is that I did not install a dc-dc charger and the most I've seen supplied via the alternator is approximately 20 amps - no problem.  I suppose if I let the batteries drop to an SOC=0, resulting in a very low voltage, I could see a significant spike in the amps, but since I have solar, I don't anticipate this.  If, for some reason I did let the batteries drop to a very low voltage, I could just run the generator a bit, to get them to a reasonable voltage before running the engine, to prevent a possible over amping situation.  A dc-dc charger would eliminate any concerns, but I monitor the battery parameters and charging via my Smart Shunt on the Victron Connect app while driving, and again, I've seen no reason to install one at this point.

2)  PD4575 converter/charger:   I switched the charging profile on the PD4575 to the "Li" position for the lithium profile.  This has caused me problems.  The Li profile supplies a constant current until the batteries reach 14.6 volts.  However, when the batteries are not quite topped off, this resulted in the PD4575 supplying almost 55 amps.  Unfortunately, PC installed a 50 amp auto-reset Type 1 mini-breaker, and this kept tripping and resetting.  When the batteries approach a high SOC, the current drops off and the problem resolves.  However, in the Li charge profile, the PD4574 remains at a constant 14.6 volts.  I watched a video with the CEO of Battle Born and he said "floating" the batteries at 14.6v for a week or so, is not a problem for the batteries, but some DC devices in the coach might not like constant 14.6v.

To keep the 50-amp breaker from tripping, and to avoid the constant 14.6v float issue, I tried the LA, or lead acid position.  It has three modes PD calls Boost, Normal, and Storage.  Boost mode (which I believe is a constant current mode, commonly called Bulk mode) supplies a constant current until the batteries reach 14.4 volts.  This resulted in a constant 48 amps and did not trip the 50-amp breaker.  After approximately 4 hours at a battery voltage of 14.4v, the charger switches to Normal mode and supplies a constant voltage of 13.6 volts.  This is ideal for a float voltage for the Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries.  However, if there is no "significant" battery usage for 30 hours, the charger switches to Storage mode and supplies 13.2 volts.  It then increases voltage to 14.4 volts every 21 hours for a 15-minute duration. (Battle Born states that the batteries should be charged at 14.2-14.6v for approximately 15 minutes for each battery in the bank, or in my case 30 minutes, to balance the batteries.)  The problem is that the LA profile will not switch back to the Boost mode until the batteries reach 11.9 volts.  This works well for lead acid batteries but is far too low for LiFePO4 batteries and it is not adjustable.  Fortunately, the PD4575 has a built in "Charge Wizard" and you can hold the small blue button on the front, until the LED is solid green, and it will put the unit in Boost mode for up to 4 hours.  Not sure whether it drops back to Normal or Storage after the 4 hours.

3)  Solar:  The installed Samlex SCC30AB solar charge controller is a PWM controller and has two options for lithium charging.  They are both very similar and only change voltage by .1 volts.  In the lithium profiles there are three phases, Bulk, Absorption, Float.  Bulk is a constant current until the batteries reach 14.3/14.4v.  The charger then switches to Absorption, or constant voltage of 14.3/14.4v for 30 minutes.  According to Battle Born, this is perfect for "balancing" the cells.  It then switches to Float of either  Again, ideal Float voltage.  Unfortunately, it does not switch back to Bulk mode until the batteries drop below 13.0v, which is about a 30% SOC.  This is not adjustable.  You can put a heavy load on the batteries, by disconnecting shore power or the generator, and running the inverter and some heavy load devices, to drop the voltage below 13.0, but that is a bit kludgy.

I have decided to switch to a Victron 100/30 SmartSolar charge controller.  It will allow me to check parameters via the same Victron Connect app that I use to monitor the Smart Shunt connected to the batteries.  I currently have to crawl on the floor to see the display of the Samlex if I want to see any info.  It will be nice to just use the app for the Victron.  The biggest advantage is that it is much more programmable and has a "re-bulk" mode.  You can specify an offset voltage, below the Float voltage, to trigger the bulk mode.  For example, if the Float voltage is 13.6 and you set an offset of .2v, the unit will re-enter the bulk mode when the batteries reach 13.4 volts. This would allow me to keep the PD4575 in the LA mode (to avoid the constant 14.6v float in Li mode) and control entering the bulk mode much more precisely with the Victron solar controller.  I'll eventually figure out a proper replacement for the 50-amp mini breaker (and wiring if necessary), since even in the LA mode, the PD4575 pumps 48 amps.  I believe the rule of thumb is to have a breaker that gives you a 20 percent buffer.

As for the lithium battery performance, I'll just say, I'm glad I switched.  Much less voltage drop under load, more actual capacity because you can drain them further without worry/damage, they don't lose charge when sitting in storage, and I don't have to remove them in the winter. Long-winded...sorry, but perhaps this will give someone considering the swap to lithium a starting point for their research.



General Discussion / Re: Exterior silicone
« on: June 23, 2022, 06:56:33 am »
Typically that would be ABS cement.

Thanks Don!  I just read a technique that said you can heat the joint and it would "suck" ABS cement into the joint, much like sweating copper pipe.  I don't think I could separate the joint and reglue, so I'm going to try this and for good measure, add a coat of JB Weld PlasticWeld Putty.  Sorry for hijacking the OP's thread!

General Discussion / Re: Exterior silicone
« on: June 22, 2022, 12:36:27 pm »
I have to seal a leak at the fitting between two pipes in my dump system plumbing.  Do you guys recommend the Geocel Pro RV stuff, instead of silicone, for something like this?

General Discussion / Re: Heat Pump Fan Cycling
« on: June 09, 2022, 11:20:42 pm »
Thank you guys for the feedback!

General Discussion / Re: Heat Pump Fan Cycling
« on: June 08, 2022, 06:56:05 am »
After more research and a little bit more “experience,” here’s what I believe is happening.  This is my first RV with a heat pump, so I’m learning as I go.   Apparently, heat pumps don’t work well below 40 degrees.  They will start going through more defrost cycles as the temperature gets colder. 

In my case, although the fan was set to constant “LO,” the fan would shut off as the unit was presumably going through a defrost cycle.  As the temp dropped below 40, the unit kept working, but went through more frequent defrost cycles.

Last night, at 2:30 am, I woke up because it was 80 degrees ((I have a portable thermometer) in the bedroom area!  The front thermostat was set to Heat Pump and 66 degrees.  However, I noticed the display was blinking between Heat Pump and Furnace.  The heat pump wasn’t running but the furnace was.  Apparently there is some logic that below a certain outside temperature, it will automatically switch to the furnace.  I’m camping in Yellowstone and the outside temp had dropped below freezing.  Not sure how low, but the outside hose was frozen. 

The temp differential between the forward thermostat and bedroom actual temp was 14 degrees warmer in the bedroom due to only one furnace vent forward of the bedroom.  Next trip, we will bring our ceramic heater and try to balance forward and aft temps better.

Also, just for grins, I tried to turn the rear heat pump on, using the bedroom thermostat, but it wouldn’t even turn on, most likely due to the outside temperature in the 20’s.

Time for a nap…

General Discussion / Re: Heat Pump Fan Cycling
« on: June 06, 2022, 10:11:32 pm »
Tried calling Dometic, but so far haven’t reached an “expert.”  Also spoke to Doug at PC, but he hadn’t heard of the issue, and wasn’t able to provide an answer.  BTW, he is always super helpful and knowledgeable if I call for help! 

I have a heat pump, not heat strip.

I did find this…possibly related… post #18 in the linked thread.


General Discussion / Heat Pump Fan Cycling
« on: June 06, 2022, 01:20:47 pm »
I have a 2022 2552 with two Dometic ac/heat pumps.  I’m camping in Grand Teton NP where the temps are dropping to the low 30s at night.  I have my front unit set to heat pump at night with the fan speed set to “ LO.”

This does a nice job keeping the coach warm and the constant fan noise helps us sleep.  However, after 5 or 6 hours, the fan shuts off for a minute or so.  After a minute or so, it starts up again and then randomly shuts off/starts up the rest of the night.

Anyone else experience this? Is the fan stopping for a deice cycle?

Lance, I think your concerns about DC-DC charging are valid.  I just installed the Battle Born batteries last week, so I have limited observations on how it is working.  The Battle Borns ship with a 100% SOC, so I have not seen what happens with alternator charging at a low SOC.  So far, all I've done is turn on my inverter and run a number of items to create a load on the batteries, then start the vehicle.  I monitored the load with my Victron SmartShunt as a 12amp draw and I think I recall the battery voltage drop to 13.1v.  When the alternator kicked in, I saw a 6amp charge which nets out at an 18amp charge rate, so not a concern.

Again, both the factory and Battle Born told me a DC-DC charger isn't necessary.  Perhaps they assume the battery should never drop in voltage enough to be a concern, because of my solar, generator, wire resistance or whatever, I'm not sure.  In any case, I'm still considering a DC-DC charger for the reasons you mentioned.  I looked under the hood and figuring out the wiring for the charger will be a bit of a challenge for me.

"2 Frazzled", I haven't even camped with my new 2552 yet, but so far, I haven't seen the inverter turn on, unless I manually turn it on.

On a side note, I bought a Bluetti AC200 Max portable power station.  It has LiFePO4 batteries like the Battle Borns, 2048Wh capacity, and a 2200W pure sine wave inverter.  It even has a 30amp RV plug.  If my microwave isn't on an inverted outlet, I can just plug it in to the Bluetti (I bought a 6' 20amp extension cord).  The Bluetti costs not much more than 2 Battle Borns and doubles my capacity.  Of course, it takes up some space, but I think I'm going to like having it with all the outlets, inverter, and convenient wireless phone charging.  I bought a portable solar panel to keep it charged, and this might come in handy if I'm parked in the shade - I can move my portable panel to the sun and keep charging the Bluetti.

...What is the factory install for this?...

I recently traded my 2014 2350 for a slightly used (3500 miles) 2022 2552.  The 2552 has a factory installed Progressive Dynamics PD4575TB converter/charger.  It is a 50 amp coach and there is an easily accessible dip switch on the front of the distribution panel to switch from a Lead Acid to a Lithium charge profile.

The inverter is a Xantrex Freedom X 2000W pure sine wave inverter.  To be honest, I don't even know if the microwave is plugged into an inverted outlet.

The factory installed solar charge controller is a 30amp Samlex SCC-30AB that has dip switches to set a lithium charge profile.

There is no DC-DC charge controller between the alternator and house batteries, which is possibly an issue for lithium batteries because of their low internal resistance.  That is a complicated discussion, but Phoenix told me a DC-DC charge controller isn't necessary and also said Battle Born visited the factory and agreed.  I called Battle Born, and the rep I spoke with also agreed that it was not necessary.  I suppose it depends on specifics of your coach to include wire gauge, fusing, alternator size, solar, etc.  I just replace my AGM batteries with two Battle Borns this weekend, along with a Victron SmartShunt.  The most current I saw from the alternator to the house batteries was 18amps.  Not a problem, but I'm going to keep an eye on it and may revisit the DC-DC charger issue.

General Discussion / Re: Cable Hanging Below Refrigerator
« on: March 28, 2022, 04:53:21 pm »
Was able to talk with Doug M. at Phoenix Cruiser today - great guy.  Apparently, the cable is the 120v line for the fridge.

Lance, you were correct.  When my slide is extended, there are two "channels" on the bottom of the slide that extend from the outer wall, towards the inside of the coach, i.e. in the same direction the slide travels in/out.  Those channels have rubber flaps (on each side of each channel) - I didn't notice those yesterday.  On my coach, the left channel has the 12v cable and the 120v cable.  The 120v cable is coiled to allow extension when the slide travels - that was the cable being pinched at full slide extension.

With the slide most of the way out, I could reach into the channel and pull the cable out and repair the exposed insulation.  Doug had me just stuff the cable back up into the channel above the rubber flaps.  One end of the cable goes to a metal junction box, to the left of the channel, and I could not feel any other cable going in/out of that box.  The other end of the cable, goes down through the floor, not up to the fridge, so a bit confused by that.  I suspect there was a cable going up to the fridge from the junction box and I just missed it - will feel around again, out of curiosity.

The coiled cable appears to me to be at least twice as long as necessary, so I expect there's a good chance it will end up in the same position, bunched between the trim and wood behind it, when the slide is extended.  I'll be looking for a clip of some kind to anchor the cable, leaving enough on either side for slide extension/retraction, to prevent this from happening again.

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