Battery monitor? Surge protector?

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by JimPH, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. JimPH

    JimPH New Member

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    Have any of you installed a battery monitor on your Aliner? Or small camper? Do you use a surge protector when plugging in your camper? I have a 2016 Aliner Classic and have an AGM marine battery. Use a 80 w solar panel about half the time. Not having problems but trying to avoid them. Since I added the larger more powerful battery I don’t have issues with enough energy over night. The battery that came with it couldn’t get us through the night. Using gas for fridge. Thinking a monitor would help me see where the battery is at so I don’t run out.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The other battery was probably bad. You should be able to go 1 night on a small battery unless you have the heater on all night. Addint a monitor shouldn't be a problem. Dont get a surge protecter but one that diconects for both low and high voltage. Like a progressave dynamics, there like 300$.
     
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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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  4. DiamondGirl

    DiamondGirl Adventures with KODI in AZ Diamond Supporting Member

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    I agree with @SMJ911...

    Your battery was bad. We used a Group 24 for years before going to a Group 27 AGM on our Classic. DH installed a battery monitor on the outside of the battery box. I wanted a nice surge protector like SMJ911’s. But we use this instead since it was more affordable and the Classic doesn’t have all the expensive appliances like KODI does. I will upgrade on KODI.

    https://www.amazon.com/Surge-Guard-...=1615900251&sprefix=surge+protector+rv&sr=8-3

    Happy Camping...[put&hy]
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We don't plug in anywhere, home or away, without our Progressive EMS (electrical management system). We did not have it for our popup, which had fewer power items than our small TT has, but - knowing what I know now - I wish we had had one then. It has cut power for low voltage on a number of occasions, once at home, as power came on in the rest of the city after a widespread outage, we had not lost power. Low voltage can damage microwaves, air conditioners, and the like. We didn't have those, but I don't know how low voltage might effect the convertor, but we also h ad the motor on the furnace.
    It has not allowed power through due to unsafe conditions at the power column. We still seldom camp with power, so I'm betting would would have experienced more "protection" incidents if we always had power.
    We do try to keep an eye on battery usage. Common camper batteries do not do well when drained below 50% state-of-charge. We switched to dual golf cart batteries on the travel trailer, since they cope better with draining them lower. However, we still conserve power, and monitor it. We had an electrical gremlin the first full season with the TT, so we appreciate it when things are working well. We have solar panels, and it is part of our routine to set them out unless it's an overnight stop, or we have power.
     
  6. Papa Glenn

    Papa Glenn New Member

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    I installed a 12V power meter to keep track of voltage. The one got had a touch switch to turn the display on & off. Less than $10 on eBay. Easy to install. I put ours next to the power converter.
     
  7. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't see how low voltage can damage anything that does not have a high power motor (microwave, or maybe a compressor fridge). These days even microwaves use switching power supplies, which should tolerate low voltage. Switching power supplies are used on all your electronic device power adapters, including televisions, computers, monitors. It would not bother our Engel, which turns AC into DC for the internal "swing" motor.
     
  8. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I use only a reliable fixed volt meter to check battery voltage, under load and no-load (and rested) conditions (switchable for either battery). I have a fancy shunt load meter in my parts drawer - but don't see a need to add yet another gadget to the Aliner. I also have a bluetooth voltmeter across my battery system.
     
  9. jeepster04

    jeepster04 Active Member

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    Dont have a surge protector on my house and Ive yet to have any issues, certainly wouldnt be a bad idea though.

    Dont have one for the camper either. I do have a shunt to see how many amps Im pulling, which also tells you how many watt hours youve used and the current voltage. You cant really monitor the voltage of a battery under load, which is why I like the watt hours.
     
  10. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Usally the house is a bit more stabe, as the voltage cant be drawn higher then your panel. But, you can still drop a leg, or have overvoltage from down wires. I have seen, stuff from blown tvs, burnt out fridges, blown acs and worse fires throughout. Its rare but can happen. I dont have protection in my home also. But if i notice stuff happing if i am home , i shut off the breakers.
     
  11. S4nsc

    S4nsc Member

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    I bought the more expensive surge suppressor/monitor.

    I’m not too worried at home, there aren’t a bunch of random people coming in and out of my house plugging who knows what in. At a camp site those random people do exist so I take more precautions.

    I am still relatively new to pups but at some camp grounds I kind of wonder how much work really went into the water and electrical installation. Some things look a bit sketchy so I figure a couple of hundred bucks to protect my several thousand dollar investment makes sense.

    Now the DC monitoring is interesting. I hadn’t really thought about that and I like gadgets...
     
  12. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    We are considering a real battery monitor. If you want a cheap alternative use a
    voltage meter similar to this
    "https://www.amazon.com/Deyooxi-Ciga...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    Go to your battery manufacturer's website and look for the discharge graph. On mine 12.73 volts is fully charged and 12.1 volts is 50% discharged.

    After hiking all day I don't like bending over. Got something similar to the above and installed under the radio at the entrance door. Easier to check voltage level.
     
  13. S4nsc

    S4nsc Member

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    What are you considering for a real battery monitor? I see there are a lot of options.
     
  14. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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  15. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    I have a cheap Chinese one to learn on. Its in the stack of incomplete projects. <GG> A voltage meter does a decent job so I;m in no hurry to install it. It is a 'one way" monitor. ie only measure current in one direction. A video we watched said you could spend twice as much and get a two way that would give net numbers.
     
  16. S4nsc

    S4nsc Member

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    The Renogy monitor looks pretty handy and isn't super expensive. There are significantly more expensive ones available and some less expensive. Just a plain voltmeter will give you an idea of status but I do like more information.
     
  17. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    I saw the price on a Victron and it took my breath away. Have been using the plain old voltmeter for years and as you say it's close enough. The way I use it is when the voltage is projected to get below 12.2 volts the next morning is get out the generator.

    A youtube video said a 40.00 chinese one isnt bad for a 2 way.

    Gotta go. The NWS raise the threat area up to a level 5. This is the first 5 I remember in the last 10 years and the party has started early. there are 8 circulations going right this minute.
     
  18. S4nsc

    S4nsc Member

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    Good luck and stay safe!
     
  19. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Be safe.
     
  20. Econ

    Econ Well-Known Member

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    @S4nsc
    @Sjm9911

    First wave wasn't that bad. Had about 25ish circulations in this TV market. Appears we had more rain this morning than predicted and the rain took the energy out of the atmosphere so we had tornadoes that didn't have the power that was expected. Temperatures in some places were 10 to 15*F lower than expected. Expect a lot of F-0, F-1s etc after they do the count tomorrow.

    One track got close to my chill campground that I was going to stay at this week but cancelled due to this party. Hope the CG is ok. Wave 2 starts at midnite. Its supposed to be the main one.
     

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