advice for car and van battery setup

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 18:12
ThreadID: 139845 Views:8862 Replies:2 FollowUps:6
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Hi all,

We ended up placing order for a Jayco Journey Outback (instead of building my own camper). Yay.
I have a 70Ah lithium battery in the boot of the Prado that runs my fridge.
It has been running off a VSR and alternator for a few years successfully, but I feel the lack of proper charging is affecting it (I top it up here and there with 240V Victron charger).
I am planning on putting an Enerdrive dcdc in the boot to charge the battery properly and with solar if needed.

I also bought an additional 100Ah lithium for the camper that I never built, then intending to put it in van to run the fridge and TV.
Now the caravan threw a spanner in the works as the morons at Jayco only allow the BMPRO J35D (lithium capable) BMS on the Adventurer and Silverline models.
Therefore I'm stuck with J35B which is AGM only and a spare 100Ah LiFePO4. What would you do?
(PS. I intend to use the standard AGM in the van for lighting and charging devices and use the 100Ah lithium for TV and fridge duties in the van).

1. Easiest is to keep lithium in my car and just plonk another AGM in the van bringing it up to 250Amps. Cheapest option. Easiest option. Heaviest option. Will 250Ah AGM deal running fridge, TV, lighting and charging phones for 2-3 days (Van has 160W solar too).

2. Put the 100Ah lithium in the van and just run cables from the boot battery to simultaneously charge the van lithium leaving the stock AGM system alone.

3. Get 2 Enerdrive units, one for the car and one for the van. Most expensive option. Well apart from purchasing the J35D standalone for $1000.

I dont want to totally dismantle the standard system as it is already wired up and monitors everything conveniently. I'm also trying to avoid weight as Jaycos have a poor payload as it is.

What are your thoughts.
Thank you
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Reply By: RMD - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 19:37

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 19:37
Didn't know Pardos had a boot! Why not use an inverter to supply the Victron with 240v AC and charge the vehicle aux battery? You could also use the larger lithium for the van fridge and have it supplied via an enerdrive which is running off vehicle 12v input and solar. You said the van has 160w solar. Is that really true performance or simply a claimed statement. Best to verify the solar ability because I would expect much more solar panel size/ ability is required.
AnswerID: 630737

Follow Up By: shmick - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 20:32

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 20:32
hahaha, how about the rear end of the cabin. more accurate i suppose.
I never thought about running inverter with the victron. I will look into that. thank you.
I will look at both those ideas actually.
The panel is marketed as 160W. What it produces, well will need to wait until August, unless Jayco goes on Corona holiday.

So for my info, the inverter will be hard wired to starter battery and i will just plug the victron into it?
FollowupID: 906270

Follow Up By: RMD - Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 22:37

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 at 22:37
I presume you mean, hardwired through a VSR from main battery, otherwise it will drain the main when engine is off.
FollowupID: 906274

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 06:48

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 06:48
Hi shmick,

If it was me, once the van is in your possession, I would “bite the bullet”, and install the 100 aH Lithium, buy & install a suitable Lithium charger and replace the existing set up in the van. You are looking at around $600 for a lithium suitable charger, and whatever labour costs to install. You could sell the J35B & the AGM battery from the van to help offset the costs.


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AnswerID: 630743

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 10:21

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 10:21
I,d do the same. You will have the van for a long time so bite the bullet and set it up properly from the beginning...otherwise you will be chopping and changing as you go. Sell the stuff you dont want and get quality gear from the go. Dont forget about the fridge either..If it is the 3 way fridge most vans have..running on 12 volts can flatten a battery in less than a day...I,d go for 200amps lithium in the van, an extra panel..300 watts total and a good dcdc charger and a good 240 volt lithium charger (enerdrive 40amp..does all batteries). A couple of thousand dollars ...but a long, trouble free life if set up properly. Good luck.
FollowupID: 906280

Follow Up By: shmick - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:26

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:26
I thought about this option, it is the best one, but I think it will impact on warranty. I will ask however if I use licensed installer with paperwork whether I can uphold any warranty.
From what I've learnt overnight, as you said, the 3 way fridge is no good on 12V, well a power hog, so I will probably use the car fridge for frequent use items like drinks and only keep food in van. Worst case I'll put the spare compressor fridge in the van with its own battery.
I will definitely get some more solar.
FollowupID: 906286

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:28

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 11:28
If all wired up correctly with fuses there will be no warranty wont be claimimg on anything they have supplied anyway..Vastmajority of vans and campers have electrical and 12 volt upgrades and if all done to rules/laws/specs there is no issue.
FollowupID: 906287

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 12:24

Friday, Mar 27, 2020 at 12:24
Shmick. If you do have a 3 way fridge you can , when switched to run on12v , have a VSR in the van to switch on the fridge while driving. I have three , claimed 160 W panels on the vehicle which charges an aux 140ah AGM via a Projects 25A DC DC unit. That battery is also connected to the van which has 120Ah battery and 200w panel through a MPPT REG. With both linked and driving I didn't use the vehicle system at all to supply and run the 15 amp drain on the 3way fridge. The two regulated solar inputs kept ALL aux batteries in rear of Ute and van at 13.3v . This is above the 12.8 v cut off of the little VSR wired into the fridge 12v input. Just parked for lunch, both solar kept the car locked in and fridge ON. After the recent 500km trip the fridge was running at 2.7C purely on solar and arrived at that temp. In cloudy weather the vehicle has a switched relay which will power the rear system if needed either direct 12v +, through Anderson or to the DC DC unit to batteries.
FollowupID: 906292

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