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DIY toy hauler camper build

  1. #176
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build


    I would get a real AGM from Napa. They have a good price at around 300? But a 99 dollar battery is just a lead acid and not really a deep cycle. At that point, 2 6V trojans would be a better choice. (maybe the best choice anyway).

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  2. #177
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    What charges the battery when you are plugged into shore power? The WFCO unit appears to have that capability, but how does that impact the solar charging setup? It appears it is capable of charging the deep cycle battery via the input/output hot to 12vdc line, but is it smart enough not to overcharge like the solar unit is? Is the Schneider smart enough to stop charging from solar while the WFCO is pushin electrons?
    I don't know. I almost never plug into shore power now that I have the solar.

    I don't know or can't remember if I ever figured out if it is a problem to have the RV load center/charger and the solar charger plugged into the same battery at the same time or not. But I currently have it set that way. So theoretically if you plugged my trailer into shore power the RV unit would start to try to charge the battery with the solar doing the same. As far as I know there is no way to disable the charger portion of the RV unit.

    I'd remove the RV unit at this point. Except that it serves as the 110VAC and 12V load protections. It has the breakers and fuses for those circuits. It is also convenient for wiring. ... And a UL sticker, which makes me feel a bit safer than something I cobble together. In the end it is cheaper than a bunch of individual 110VAC and 12VDC boxes and such bought individually.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    105Ah deep cycle marine battery ($99 at SprawlMart) x2 if capacity isn't enough eventually
    That's what I have. Mine came from batteriesplus. But yeah. 3rd year or whatever and it still tests as good.

    Two thoughts:
    - I don't have a battery meter, thus I have no idea how low I actually draw my battery. I just surmise that I'm okay as it continues to take a charge and test well. I do make sure to keep it topped off with water and I do bring it into the basement in the freezing weather and keep it on a tender. I believe I may actually be under-utilizing the ~100Ah. But I have nothing to confirm that

    - If you are thinking of more capacity then strongly consider 6V golf cart batteries. By my math when I did it you could get 4x the capacity for 2x the cost with a pair of 6V batteries. Downside is initial cost as you have to buy two cells to get the 12V voltage you need. Nothing will charge a single 6V load and naturally the loads want 12V as well. Add a 2nd 12V battery later and you'll still be paying 2x the cost but only get 2x the capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    100w solar panel up top (also x2 if capacity isn't enough)

    Solar charge controller

    WFCO 12amp unit for 120v shore/gen power input and 12v/120v distribution

    MaxxFan 5100k vent fan (5 amp max draw)

    LED 12v lights for interior ceiling/exterior loading

    USB for phone charging off 12v system

    12v heated blanket ($9 at wal-mart, draws just under 5 amps)


    Strongly recommend the brand name vent fan with hood, not the shitty e-trailer fan I bought.

    You'll need some misc brackets and such for mounting the panel, plus the wiring harnesses, fuse and such.

    Can't remember if I linked to it before or not. But this is the charge controller I have. It works well.

    West Marine is a great source for wire, terminal connectors, blocks, etc.


    Sounds like you're on the right track. Doeit.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 04-09-19 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #178
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    I would get a real AGM from Napa. They have a good price at around 300? But a 99 dollar battery is just a lead acid and not really a deep cycle. At that point, 2 6V trojans would be a better choice. (maybe the best choice anyway).
    Why? $300 is a hell of a lot of money for this.

    IMO AGV is not required here. Service the battery annually and vent your battery box and a cheap wet cell will do fine. I am pretty sure this is the battery I have. It works just fine.

    6V batteries do give much, much better $/capacity. But as I say, you have to buy 2 just to start your system.

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  4. #179
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Just the venting.

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  5. #180
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    RE two chargers, one batt, as long as they're decently designed, there isn't an issue having them both going at the same time. They'll both stop when they see the voltage come up to the charge target, if you can adjust those targets set one below the other if that gives you more piece of mind.

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  6. #181
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    It's not really a big deal.

    Amazon shopping history knows all:

    Vent kit
    Box vent

    + some RTV or silicon caulk..

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  7. #182
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    And IF you need the capacity. AGMs perform better over time in applications like this.

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  8. #183
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    RE two chargers, one batt, as long as they're decently designed, there isn't an issue having them both going at the same time. They'll both stop when they see the voltage come up to the charge target, if you can adjust those targets set one below the other if that gives you more piece of mind.
    That sounds right. Now that I think harder I think there may have been some pots on the solar charger that let me tune this. I can't remember.

    As I say, I almost never plug into shore power anymore.

    Maybe the load center isn't even needed. Just go 12VDC for everything and run an extension cord from shore or a genny in the rare instances where you do need 110VAC?

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  9. #184
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    It would be nice to have the ability to charge the batteries during the day with the generator, but also have the ability to turn that functionality on/off while also leaving the generator going.

    I guess a simple 120v circuit off a decently protected fuse protected power strip, plus a Battery Tender, would achieve the same result. Keep the 12v solar system on it's own loop.


    Now for 12v, do you guys ground to chassis, or run a negative?

    Need to find a ceiling LED light, and a switch panel with 3 switches.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 03-25-19 at 01:39 PM.
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  10. #185
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    I ran negative. The trailer lights and factory inside lights (small, useless) already use the chassis and I didn’t want any crossover there.

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  11. #186
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Hmmm, not sure the math is adding up for me on the golf cart batteries.

    Looks like about $240 for 2x 235Ah 6v batteries.

    Using deep cycle marine 2x 105Ah 12v, it's $197.

    So going with a pair of 6v, it's $240 for 235Ah.

    Going with a pair of 12v, it's $197 for 210Ah.

    Trojan T-105 Duracell models of 6v, it's $203 for 215Ah.


    Where are you guys seeing that it's WAY cheaper per AH to go with 6v golf cart batteries? Am I missing something?

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  12. #187
    Expert Agitator GearHd6's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Literally pick up a 6v golf cart battery then pick up the marine 12v and you'll see the difference pretty quickly. Those marine batteries aren't a true deep cycle.

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  13. #188
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    These are prices/specs from batteries-plus's website:

    Duracell Ultra BCI Group 31M Deep Cycle Marine & RV Battery (SLI31MDC) - 12VDC x 105AH - $ 109.99
    Duracell Ultra 6V Deep Cycle Golf Cart Battery (SLIGC125) - 6VDC x 235AH - $ 129.99

    2x the 12V cells => $219.98 for 210AH
    2x the 6V cells => $259.98 for 470AH

    More than twice the AH for only about 20% more $. The problem is you HAVE to go with 2x 6V cells to start where you can do a single 12V cell and then add on later if you need/want with the marine and RV cells. I think the group 31 and group GC2 cells here are of comparable size.


    I went with the single marine and RV cell listed above. (Pretty sure it is the same model.) It's done me okay. I believe this is a "true" deep cycle battery. It is not one of the starting/deep-cycle hybrid batteries. They have an almost identical hybrid battery as well. Definitely be careful and get a real deep cycle not a hybrid.

    I couldn't find any reasonable prices on AGMs when I looked. I don't remember what the premium was. But it was enough to rig up a vent and deal with maintaining the battery.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 04-09-19 at 08:32 AM.

  14. #189
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Uh, don't you lose half the AH capacity when doubling the voltage in series, Bubs?

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  15. #190
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Fuck me with a rusty pole. No wonder I got a D in EE-301.
    Disregard my inaccurate bullshit. As you were.

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  16. #191
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Still a better path to use 2 6v deep cycle batteries as far as longevity and ability to truly deep cycle, so don't feel bad.

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  17. #192
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    /Need to find a ceiling LED light.
    eTrailer has a bunch in the RV section.

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  18. #193
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    We are going to replace our boat battery this season. It's a BMF (I'll look up the size) Exide Marine, new in 2015. Kept on a Battery Tender off-season September - May.

    There's nothing wrong with it: I subscribe to the "Large ocean, small boat" school of boat maintenance so I'm buying a new AGM. If someone wants it for their trailer I'll give it to you for whatever the core charge is these days, probably $15-20.

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  19. #194
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Still a better path to use 2 6v deep cycle batteries as far as longevity and ability to truly deep cycle, so don't feel bad.
    There is a thread about this on the Sprinter forum. The 6v golf cart batteries last many more deep-discharge cycles than starting/deep cycle hybrids: like 200 vs 30. Avoiding deep discharge with a one battery system can be a challenge.

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  20. #195
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    For someone not looking to break the bank with a Pitbull TRS system yet (eventually, just not this year), what chock would you use to keep the bike from moving back and forth in an enclosed trailer? I have E-Tracks to tie down to, but nothing to prop the front tire up against.

    It would ideally be removable so I can move around without tripping over it. This is also my living space.

    Thinking one of these little guys would do the trick. Anyone used one?


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    Last edited by TheIglu; 04-18-19 at 02:50 PM.
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  21. #196
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  22. #197
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Thinking one of these little guys would do the trick. Anyone used one?
    I have those. Not made by pit-pose but they are functionally identical. I have 2. I planned to buy a bunch more key-hole mounts and position them in a few different places but haven't had the need. One primary on the back right and one secondary on the left offset forward and I'm good to go. They work very well and stow nicely when in camper mode.

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  23. #198
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    If it could rotate 90 degrees, it would be perfect.

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  24. #199
    Member Zolden's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    For someone not looking to break the bank with a Pitbull TRS system yet (eventually, just not this year), what chock would you use to keep the bike from moving back and forth in an enclosed trailer? I have E-Tracks to tie down to, but nothing to prop the front tire up against.

    It would ideally be removable so I can move around without tripping over it. This is also my living space.

    Thinking one of these little guys would do the trick. Anyone used one?

    One of these came in my semi built out trailer. It is better than nothing but it is way too large allowing lots of play in the wheel. So it won't really hold the bike up for you entirely on its own while strapping down (like the awesome chocks in a Kendon). And mine does not really lock into the mounted plates, it just slides right out if knocked slightly on one side.

    But like I said, without it I would have had problems bringing both my bikes on a first outing. The supermoto was fine strapped down against the ramp door without a chock, but a big heavy v-twin needs more stability.

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  25. #200
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: DIY toy hauler camper build

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    If it could rotate 90 degrees, it would be perfect.
    There isn't a great E-Track pre made solution. Check this link. Not the entire cargo box, but if you look at the item photos you'll see a pair of square mounting plates with an E-Track clip. These + steel flat bar + chock of your choice and you make whatever solution you like for very little headache. Problem is....I haven't found those backing plates as an individual item, just part and parcel to and item such as above.

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