Best way to monitor battery-Centurian 3000 30amp converter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2016, 01:45 PM   #1
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Trailer: 2002 13' Deluxe Scamp
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Best way to monitor battery-Centurian 3000 30amp converter

I am, as they say, electrically challenged. Plan to install a new AGM battery in the Scamp this weekend and would like a simple way to monitor it from inside the trailer. Looked at the Bayite but the wiring is not in my playbook. Plan to get a good deep cycle "Battery minder/charger" for the off season, but would like a way, at a glance to see how the battery is performing during my upcoming travels to the southwest. To ease charging concern is there a way to add a "charge wizard" of some sort to the mighty Centurian to control how the battery is charged, or would that mean a converter change? If so which converter would be best for the pretty standard array of electrical equipment on the Scamp (no ac)? Progressive Dynamics 45amp with power wizard? Thanks as usual.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:00 PM   #2
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If you are looking for something fast and simple to keep a eye on where your at in regards to battery level then for under $10 you can get something like this that just plugs into the socket in the trailer.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
If you are looking for something fast and simple to keep a eye on where your at in regards to battery level then for under $10 you can get something like this that just plugs into the socket in the trailer.
I bought one, going boondocking at a National Park in a couple of weeks. Need to monitor the batteries.

It's waiting for me now at an Amazon Locker
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:19 PM   #4
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If you are looking for something fast and simple to keep a eye on where your at in regards to battery level then for under $10 you can get something like this that just plugs into the socket in the trailer.
Thanks. Our 2002 Scamp Deluxe is like it was new from the Scamp farm in MN but unfortunately in 2002 it was ordered without a 12V socket indoors or out. Plan to install at least one soon. A battery charging safeguard associated with the converter instead of a steady stream of 13.6 to the helpless battery when plugged in would be ideal. For boondocking portable solar is in its future as well.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:22 PM   #5
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I have had good results with this


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013PKYILS...472764879&sr=1
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:44 PM   #6
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You might want to print and laminate a copy of this chart, so that your battery voltage has more meaning.


This chart is courtesy of The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

There is a great deal of information here to bring you up to speed. There is also information on this site which will help you calculate your projected daily amp hour usage, which is key to projecting how much usable power you have remaining.

While I have a plug in meter such as Carol suggested and use it from time to time, over the long haul you will want a decent digital Volt-Ohm meter. I would normally suggest a battery hygrometer, but since you are going with AGM, that wouldn't do you much good.

Do what you can up front to reduce usage, such as switching your fixtures to LED lighting.

And remember, you don't want to run your battery down below 50%. Sometimes that might be unavoidable, but don't do it often. You will get more life out of your battery.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:45 PM   #7
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Yes, that is the Bayite I mentioned. Did you wire it yourself?
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:58 PM   #8
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You might want to print and laminate a copy of this chart, to that your battery voltage has more meaning.


This chart is courtesy of The 12 Volt Side of Life at The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)

There is a great deal of information here to bring you up to speed. There is also information on this site which will help you calculate your projected daily amp hour usage, which is key to projecting how much usable power you have remaining.

While I have a plug in meter such as Carol suggested and use it from time to time, over the long haul you will want a decent digital Volt-Ohm meter. I would normally suggest a battery hygrometer, but since you are going with AGM, that wouldn't do you much good.

Do what you can up front to reduce usage, such as switching your fixtures to LED lighting.
Thanks for the info Clif, After a couple of years with an Airstream Sprinter 3500 Interstate with dual group 27 Lifelines and 100W solar, I learned a lot about distribution charts and how to read the gauges. Kind of like learning foreign language basics but never learning how to speak it. All of that was installed on the Sprinter by pros. Now I would like to learn enough to either install a different converter with more control over the charge or, more simply, how to install a monitor like the Bayite. LEDs are forthcoming, along with solar. Changing bulbs I'm good at and I know a little bit about solar from 7 weeks house sitting off the grid in Panama and the AS Interstate.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:04 PM   #9
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If this guy can do it so can you.

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Old 09-01-2016, 04:12 PM   #10
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:45 PM   #11
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For me unless I am trouble shooting something the simple meter gives me what I need to know. I have the chart above laminated and stuck on the wall by the meter socket.

If I am getting into the low 12's its time to put my solar panel out or bring out the generator if the sun is not shining.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:52 PM   #12
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I thought it was worthwhile to know the current and power used.
My setup is attached all the time and I can look at it and the companion AC unit when I walk into the Scamp.
If you are happy with your setup then so am I. The meter will show you the voltage, but the current and power are a little more involved.
I have the shunt in the negative led of the battery an it shows the current if on the battery or the converter.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:56 PM   #13
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I thought it was worthwhile to know the current and power used.
.
Oh it is worthwhile to know such things! Particularly if you are someone who has never camped off the grid with your trailer before.

Just feel that once I have a handle on what eats up power & how much in my trailers and how much power I can expect or not expect from my solar under various conditions to provide, my main concern is watching the battery level. As at the end of the day that is the number you really need to most concerned with.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:09 PM   #14
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Carol,

I think that you are correct, but it takes some time and measurements to figure it out.
The power meter as instrumental in figuring out exactly how much the Reefer used.
If you know how much power is in the battery you can know exactly how much you have removed as well.
I find I am not as concerned with the readings, but if I want to know the voltage it is there all the time.
It is interesting that the current and power is easily measured when you turn it on and off.
Since you are happy with your setup then that is what you should use.
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