Looking for a Good Volt/Amp Meter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2009, 02:35 AM   #1
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looking for a decent digital volt/amp meter to install in my trailer. not looking for anything from ebay. hopefully something reliable and accurate at a decent price. i just want to be able to monitor my battery level and charge rate when i add the new solar panel. thanks
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:19 AM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: 2000 16 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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looking for a decent digital volt/amp meter to install in my trailer. not looking for anything from ebay. hopefully something reliable and accurate at a decent price. i just want to be able to monitor my battery level and charge rate when i add the new solar panel. thanks
Here is one I use:
http://www.bestconverter.com/Voltminder_c_107.html. Plus it has an alarm that sounds whenever it drops below 12.1 V or you can change it to whatever level you feel comfortable with. I just plugged it into the 12 V outlet in my trailer and double face taped it to a good visible spot.

There are cheaper plug in variety ones from auto discount stores, Walmart, etc that you can plug into 12 V outlets to check battery status. But these both monitor battery voltage, not amps.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:12 AM   #3
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Name: George
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Link_10 best but expensive.

George.

I paid about $200 for it and had one on my boat and have the newer one now on the trailer. For me the price matched its value.
<a href="http://"http://www.wiredparadise.com/shop/product.php?productid=33765"" target="_blank"> $213.33_seems_as_good_price

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Old 05-13-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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Trailer: 92 Bigfoot 13.5 ft / 05 Freestar
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looking for a decent digital volt/amp meter to install in my trailer. not looking for anything from ebay. hopefully something reliable and accurate at a decent price. i just want to be able to monitor my battery level and charge rate when i add the new solar panel. thanks
Hi Curtis,
Checking the voltage to determine battery level is not a very accurate method(maybe you already know this). A monitor that records amp/hours is what you need. The link 10 does that and a Trimetric TM-2020 will also do it($169 in Canada). Make sure you get a shunt($27) with it. Both of these will also give volts and amps from the panel as well. I have just ordered the Trimetric monitor and a Blue Sky Solar Boost SB2512ix MPPT solar charge controller($269) from www.renewcanada.com. I bought a 24V 115 W solar panel closer to home.
The MPPT charge controller 1)converts 24V solar panel output to 12V for the battery, 2) can pull 10 to 30 % more power from the solar panel, 3)Provides 3 level charging for deep cycle battery, and 4) the x means optional equalizing charge plus battery temperature sensor. The 24V panel allows using lighter wire to the charge controller and if I had to add a second panel this controller will accept 48V(panels in series) and maintain the same amps for wire size. I hated to spend that much on the controller but after looking at it decided it made sense for a number of reasons.
I'm stuck now on design for the roof mount for the panel. I want to try leaving the panel flat on the roof but may have to tip it to get enough power. I would like to incorporate hinges in the original mounts so I don't have to redesign later.
Bill
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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yes that looks very nice. i just have to make sure it will be worth it with my converter to swap out the panel. its got a small 5w panel on it so im not sure if the system will handle the new panel. i still need to reserch my stuff. i was planing on mountint it to the roof using angle iron with holes in it and putting "feet" that can swing down on each side of the panel so i can tilt it at diforent angles or take it of the roof and put it on the ground. eventually ill get to it, i just like to get as much info as possable befor i start a project.
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