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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We have a 2008 F250 that we use for a daily driver and for camping. We like to disperse camp/boondock and we are looking at a way to power a 12v cooler, our LED lights and charge our USB devices. Since we are typically out in the boonies without cell service, we don’t want to use either of our 2 start batteries. We have enough mechanical and electrial experience to build and install something ourselves, but not enough knowledge to really be confident that we are designing a safe system. I know there are companies out there that will do a great job of installing a system for us, but we are looking for more of a DIY/Budget build. Eventually we would like our system to be able to run off of solar, shore or vehicle power (alternator), but we thought it would be easiest/less up-front cost to start with the alternator option.

If you have some time, take a look at our plan and let us know what we are doing wrong/right.
Our top concerns:
1. Will the battery be ruined by not having a battery charger regulator (something like this battery to battery charger or this Renogy DC DC charger that is solar ready)?
2. Can we wire in on/off switch and LED notification to the smart isolator? I want to know when the isolator is charging the house battery.
3. I’m not 100% sure on what amperage circuit breakers/fuses we need.
4. Best way to secure battery in truck bed? We have a metal topper.

Visual representation and parts list below:
768500

Already purchased:
Alternator: Factory, 200 amp PN: 7C3T-10300-EE
House Battery: 29DC, 114 Amp hours
Smart Isolator: KeyLine 140 Amp kit (still in the box)
Fuse Box: 6 way
Marine 12v socket: cigarette lighter socket, voltage, USB, on/off switch

Future purchases:
Battery Monitor: Victron (I’m hoping to find a suitable sub)
Circuit breakers: 100 AMP; 60 Amp
 

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Instead of a single 12v battery, get 2 6v.
I don't think a 12v cooler can run off a battery. I just don't think a battery can handle the draw. Everything else will work, although the life of the alternator will probably be short. You should plan on a 100 Amp solar charger, maybe a briefcase style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Instead of a single 12v battery, get 2 6v.
I don't think a 12v cooler can run off a battery. I just don't think a battery can handle the draw. Everything else will work, although the life of the alternator will probably be short. You should plan on a 100 Amp solar charger, maybe a briefcase style.
Thanks for your response, but even solar systems use batteries to store power. We would eventually add solar panels to the set up to charge the battery while its in use.

We have a 114 amp hour deep cycle ”house battery”, not a car battery. From my estimates, the cooler I bought uses ~1 amp per hour, since a deep cycle battery shouldn’t be discharged below 50%, I figure that gives me 48 hours of cooler charging (if I don’t use it for anything else or charge up the batteries with solar panels). I’m really leaning towards the DCC50S from Renolgy (link in my first post) since it can isolate, adjust the charge to the house battery, Monitor temperature, is a battery monitor (with the BT-2 module), and is a solar controller. It’s pricey ($300) but keeps us from having to buy all of those controllers/monitors/isolators separately.
 

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I like to disperse camp also
so I installed 2 AGM H8 batteries in front of the bed wheel wells and the camper has two 6v trojans

the truck batteries are isolated with an ACR and the camper can switch between the 6 v torjans and the AGM's with an onboard battery selector
the solar has a dual bank capability

the plus side of this setup is the truck can always jump start itself if need be but the truck primaries are always separated from the camper
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like to disperse camp also
so I installed 2 AGM H8 batteries in front of the bed wheel wells and the camper has two 6v trojans

the truck batteries are isolated with an ACR and the camper can switch between the 6 v torjans and the AGM's with an onboard battery selector
the solar has a dual bank capability

the plus side of this setup is the truck can always jump start itself if need be but the truck primaries are always separated from the camper
That sounds like a very similar set up. We want to disperse camp for longer without having to worry about ice, so this is all in an effort to run a 12v cooler. How many Amp Hours are your H8s? What do you run off Your set up and how long does it last? Would you mind posting pictures of the batteries mounted? I need some inspiration :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my next batteries wil be LIPO no more 6v or AGM for the camper
LI are so expensive though I’m going to stick with my SLA and AGMs for now. Make sure you have a battery charger that charges in stages or you might ruin them. LIs really have their own charging profiles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
This is what I ended up purchasing (paid links):

DCC50S On Board battery charger with MTTP: $399.99 All-in-1. Smart isolator to isolate my start batteries from my aux/house battery. Battery charger that will charge my sealed lead acid deep cycle battery in stages, but can also charge gel, AGM, flooded, or lithium ion batteries. Solar Controller that will use solar power to charge my AUX battery, and once it is full, it will trickle charge my start batteries with solar power. Battery monitor, with the BT-2 module, I can view the entire status of the solar/charging system with the DC home app .

BT-2 Module: $39.99 Allows me to use an app to monitor my battery charging, solar inputs, load power consumption.

Waterproof 70 amp circuit breaker: $24.99. Safety measure between the start battery and the Renogy DCC50S controller. Don’t want to accidentally fry my battery charger. I choose circuit breakers over inline fuses, so I wouldn’t need to replace fuses while camping. It saves on money and allows me to quickly reset the breaker while on the road.

Waterproof 60 amp circuit breaker: $26.99. Safety measure between the Renogy DCC50S controller and the AUX battery.

Ampper Battery Master Disconnect Switch: $17.97 allows me to disconnect my start battery from the Renogy DCC50S controller or disconnect the AUX battery from the controller

6 way fuse block: $17.98, to connect my loads to the battery.

4 Gauge AWG, clear black, ground wire, 25 ft: $15.63 f or the ground wiring

4 gauge AWG, clear red, 25 feet: $17.71 for wiring up my system

4 gauge copper terminals with heat shrink (10 pack): $11.95. for connecting my cables to battery/controller

625 piece, Heat Shrink Tubing Kit: $9.89 extra heat shrink for connecting my battery terminals to the cable

Already owned:
Sealed Lead Acid Deep Cycle 114 amp hour battery

How we will wire it up this weekend:

Technology Diagram Electronic device
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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LI are so expensive though I’m going to stick with my SLA and AGMs for now. Make sure you have a battery charger that charges in stages or you might ruin them. LIs really have their own charging profiles.
if you get a LIPO and do not want to change your charging equipment you buy one with onboard management
plus they have smart batteries with apps so you can monitor usage

I honestly do not remember the AMP hour for the h8 AGM they are autozone platinums
i was not impressed with my 6 volt trojans I would not do that again

I made my battery trays for the rear wheel wells plus they are fused at each end for safety sake
since you are basically running welding cable a dead short could cost you the whole show
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
if you get a LIPO and do not want to change your charging equipment you buy one with onboard management
plus they have smart batteries with apps so you can monitor usage

I honestly do not remember the AMP hour for the h8 AGM they are autozone platinums
i was not impressed with my 6 volt trojans I would not do that again

I made my battery trays for the rear wheel wells plus they are fused at each end for safety sake
since you are basically running welding cable a dead short could cost you the whole show
Thanks @ZMANN. I definitely think LI are the way to go, I’m just starting out with a budget build. So far I have about $500 invested, which is 1/2 the cost of just a 100 amp hour LiFePO4 battery.

You haven’t had any issues with road debris or water with the batteries in your wheel wells?
 

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Thanks @Got Dirt?. That’s the same smart isolator I bought at first. How are you keeping it from over charging the AGMs?
From what I know which is very little, the voltage regulator inside the alternator reduces output amperage as the batteries' voltage rises, basically shutting off around 14.4 V.

I could be wrong; it's happened before! o_O
 
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