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Old 07-24-2020, 06:17 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,668
THOR #12189
Calling all Customizers

I picked up a small battery monitor so I wouldn't have to test my entire battery bank's output with a voltmeter. I'll still use it to test each individual battery but want to get a collective reading without having to prop the step up with a screwdriver all the time to test total output. I like the idea of pushing a button - one and done.

I'd like to mount the monitor in or near the factory panel, though the countertop cabinet would be much easier.

I guess the first question would be where the factory panel Batt indicator lights get their reading from? I'd like to use the factory panel in a couple of ways.

1) so everything is neatly pulled together in one place
2) cut the factory panel in the lower left corner to house the monitor
3) possibly leverage the Batt indicator inputs to drive the new monitor instead of drilling through the floor to run entirely new lines.

Can anyone shed some light on this approach before I go tearing into things? I believe the factory panel is plastic so cutting it shouldn't be a big deal. I full time and can't afford to have it totally out of commission or let it sit in storage until I fix whatever I broke in the process. The LP and FW indicator lights well. Just the tank sensors that are worthless.

Thanks in advance for insight you can provide. If you have examples, I'd appreciate that as well.

Safe Travels.

p.s. oddly enough, it didn't come with instructions or they forgot to pack them? I used 'battery monitor install' for search. I read the Victron Monitor install, but that mostly addresses wiring and not mounting. Jerry's Hurricane Mods came up in a general search but not in any specific post(s)? It seems search is treating the keywords separately instead of as a phrase. Time is money and search results are cumbersome at best.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:00 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 2,334
THOR #6411
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Breeze View Post
I picked up a small battery monitor so I wouldn't have to test my entire battery bank's output with a voltmeter. I'll still use it to test each individual battery but want to get a collective reading without having to prop the step up with a screwdriver all the time to test total output. I like the idea of pushing a button - one and done.

I'd like to mount the monitor in or near the factory panel, though the countertop cabinet would be much easier.

I guess the first question would be where the factory panel Batt indicator lights get their reading from? I'd like to use the factory panel in a couple of ways.

1) so everything is neatly pulled together in one place
2) cut the factory panel in the lower left corner to house the monitor
3) possibly leverage the Batt indicator inputs to drive the new monitor instead of drilling through the floor to run entirely new lines.

Can anyone shed some light on this approach before I go tearing into things? I believe the factory panel is plastic so cutting it shouldn't be a big deal. I full time and can't afford to have it totally out of commission or let it sit in storage until I fix whatever I broke in the process. The LP and FW indicator lights well. Just the tank sensors that are worthless.

Thanks in advance for insight you can provide. If you have examples, I'd appreciate that as well.

Safe Travels.

p.s. oddly enough, it didn't come with instructions or they forgot to pack them? I used 'battery monitor install' for search. I read the Victron Monitor install, but that mostly addresses wiring and not mounting. Jerry's Hurricane Mods came up in a general search but not in any specific post(s)? It seems search is treating the keywords separately instead of as a phrase. Time is money and search results are cumbersome at best.
The voltage at the control center pad is measured at the input to the fuse panel. in the power center. The only problem with is the voltage read when on shore power or when the generator running is is the voltage of the converter and not the battery voltage. The shunt for the Victron is the actual battery voltage and can be read with the use/store (master power off) in store. In my coach the bathroom's hall wall is hollow with a wire chase. From under the bed, a wire can be chased around the bathroom and under the sink into the wall chase. there is plenty of space to mount the EMS monitor and the Inverter control and display (which monitors battery voltage) panel.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:25 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: Florida
Posts: 5,365
THOR #7035
Which monitor did you get? It looks like a simple + and - battery voltage connection.

The problem with trying to pick voltage from the Thor display panel is; that voltage is coming from the DC buss, not the house batteries. If you want a battery monitor you want to pick the voltage straight from the batteries through new wires. The wires carry almost no current so the smallest telephone or network wires would work.

My monitor is a current monitor as well and uses a shunt at the batteries. I also have an AC side monitor (voltage and current). This is my installation; the monitors are inside a flip-up cover. Why would I put monitors inside a flip-up cover? You may ask? Because my wife is a cave sleeper. Any light, even little LED displays "penetrate" her closed eyelids and keep her awake.

So that's for her convenience.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:47 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
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Thanks to you both. I'll run new wires. Damn. Where's the drill? LOL
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:52 PM   #5
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Model: 25.2 Axis
State: Arizona
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THOR #3471
I’m thinking of getting a voltmeter to connect to battery. Something similar to this. Could I mount it straight to the battery’s and just mount it under the steps. Axis 25.2
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:03 AM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 31L
State: Florida
Posts: 1,668
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I just thought of something and wanted to go back to Beau and Ace with this question:

I'm currently hooked to electric and guessing the same would occur with the gen running. I just measured total output with a volt meter. 13.65 total output. While that may be capacitive charge (I do listen) from sitting on electric, wouldn't the same be true for the OEM Batt indicator when not hooked to shore power? It currently shows charging and/or full.

The more I sit without the gen when dry camping the indicator lights show the drain. I measure output and run the gen when I get near 70% remaining capacity. That's where I intend to use the monitor, so I don't have to dive under the steps to know my current situation and start the gen if needed. Save AGS for later.

Even with SP or gen, the capacitive charge - while meaningless to longer-term usable capacity, is usable energy and an interesting data point to acknowledge and track (e.g. how long can capacitive charge be consumed before it's exhausted and you're relying on the true state of charge).

If I didn't connect the dots in the above posts, I apologize. Please try to set me straight one more time?

Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:44 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: California
Posts: 608
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Originally Posted by Hugh.vines@att.net View Post
I’m thinking of getting a voltmeter to connect to battery. Something similar to this. Could I mount it straight to the battery’s and just mount it under the steps. Axis 25.2

Probably could but you will be using a small amount of electricity to power it even when in store more. I connected mine directly to the switched side of the Use/Store solenoid which is under the dinette seat on my rig.
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