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Old 05-31-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
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New Battery Monitor

I would like to install a better battery monitor near the current "gauge panel" in my 242BHS. Can anyone advise on the best way to fish a wire from there (by the door) to my batteries?
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:46 PM   #2
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I just hooked up my digital voltmeter display to the 12 volt side of a cabinet light, didn’t think it necessary to go all the way to the battery. When plugged in it shows the output of the converter, when the pump is running you can see the voltage drop just a bit, and when disconnected from shore power it shows just the battery voltage. Works great.

There should a good source of 12 power behind your “gauge panel”.

This is what I got from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Kins...motive&sr=1-25
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:06 PM   #3
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Unless you will want to measure current in addition to voltage, you do not really need to run a wire all the way to the battery. You can tap off any 12 volt source.

Granted, the measurement at the battery is what you actually want to monitor to make sure it doesn't drop too low. By measuring inside at some 12 volt source the measurement will read a bit lower than actual battery level. This is not a problem.

You can compare measurements with a voltmeter connected across the battery and compare it to your reading. If your inside reading is a couple of tenths of a volt lower, just make a mental note. Otherwise you can just watch the display and when it gets to a reading where you want to recharge, you will actually have a nice safety margin built in because it is displaying lower than what the battery is.

For my chassis battery I have a plug in cigarette lighter display. It reads about .2 volts lower than the battery which is basically only about 18" away on the other side of the firewall. Shows what losses are experienced with wiring.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:46 AM   #4
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Thanks, don't know if it matters, but this is the monitor I'm looking at. They recommend running the wire from a shunt installed directly to the battery -



https://www.amazon.com/AiLi-Battery-.../dp/B07CTKYFTG
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Old 06-01-2020, 09:15 AM   #5
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Thanks, don't know if it matters, but this is the monitor I'm looking at. They recommend running the wire from a shunt installed directly to the battery -
The shunt has to be installed to read the amps. If you just want to monitor volts, then you can do what's explained above.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:06 AM   #6
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X2

In this case you will need to run the wires to your battery. I installed a meter that read current also and ran the wires from the battery, under the coach, and then up under the fridge where there was an access panel.

I would recommend putting a fuse in line (at the battery) with the +12 volt line to your meter. If the shunt hooks to the negative side of the battery like mine did, you don't have to fuse that. Just fuse the one wire that connects to the positive side of the battery.

I also ran my wiring in spiral wrap (split loom) for protection. Not required but a good thing to do.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:20 AM   #7
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I suppose that would be useful while boondocking, but if you are plugged into shore power your converter is supplying the 12 volts to the RV; current from the battery would be minimal. When running solely on battery you could see what is pulling the most power; furnace, water pump, lights, etc.

Just seems a bit overkill to me. Most of the time we are plugged in or running off the generator and battery status isn't of great concern. I am one who believes in the KISS way of doing things.....


**Just read some of the reviews. One mentions the cable is too short. The Specs say the cable is 2 Meters long so that might be a problem for you if your gauge panel is more than 6 1/2 feet away from your battery.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:29 AM   #8
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I suppose that would be useful while boondocking, but if you are plugged into shore power your converter is supplying the 12 volts to the RV; current from the battery would be minimal. When running solely on battery you could see what is pulling the most power; furnace, water pump, lights, etc.

Just seems a bit overkill to me. Most of the time we are plugged in or running off the generator and battery status isn't of great concern. I am one who believes in the KISS way of doing things.....
Yep, if you are hooked up you don't need to look at your battery. I boondock 90% of the time which is why I wanted to keep tabs.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:30 AM   #9
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Just seems a bit overkill to me. Most of the time we are plugged in or running off the generator and battery status isn't of great concern. I am one who believes in the KISS way of doing things.....
I actually use my voltage gauges more when I'm not plugged in, like when the rig is sitting in the driveway at home. I don't keep it plugged into shore power here 24/7. So, I glance at the voltmeter plugged into the dash outlet, and I glance at the coach battery gauge when I'm puttering around, and if they look low, I plug them in to top off the batteries.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:40 PM   #10
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Thanks, we're always boondocking. I use a portable 120W solar panel to keep the batteries topped off and like to keep an eye on the level and I'm tired of pulling the covers off and using a multimeter. Maybe all I need is a voltmeter and this is overkill but I thought I might get a more sophisticated solar system in the future and this wasn't too expensive. I do have a little champion generator but never seem to use it.


I think I'll just get this voltmeter and keep it simple
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:35 PM   #11
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Here is what I did with voltmeters, so I can take a quick glance to see what all my voltages are. I really don't like getting caught with a dead battery or no power.
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Gauges2.jpg   Gauges1.jpg  
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Old 06-11-2020, 05:54 PM   #12
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I just hooked up my digital voltmeter display to the 12 volt side of a cabinet light, didn’t think it necessary to go all the way to the battery. When plugged in it shows the output of the converter, when the pump is running you can see the voltage drop just a bit, and when disconnected from shore power it shows just the battery voltage. Works great.

There should a good source of 12 power behind your “gauge panel”.

This is what I got from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Kins...motive&sr=1-25

So I bought the one you suggested. Any suggestions tying it in at this location for a non-electrician kind of guy?
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Old 06-11-2020, 06:12 PM   #13
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All you need is a +12 volt source and ground. I installed mine in the kitchen and just tapped into the power from a light on the bottom of a kitchen cabinet and mounted it on the wall where it is easily visible. I also have a 120 VAC display plugged into a wall outlet that is in close proximity to the 12V display. One glance and I can see both the status of the 12 volt and 120v systems. The 120v display comes in handy when I am running the generator for power.

I had thought about mounting it in the panel in your photo but it wasn’t easily visible, plus I didn’t want to drill any holes in the panel. My 12v display is mounted to the wall with double sided tape. Hasn’t fallen off in the 2 years since I mounted it.

This is similar to my 120v display...just plugs into any 120v outlet:
https://www.amazon.com/Eversame-80-3...1921053&sr=8-5
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Old 06-12-2020, 09:36 AM   #14
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Here's a photo on my voltage displays:


Click on the Thumbnail for a larger picture
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Old 06-12-2020, 12:54 PM   #15
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All you need is a +12 volt source and ground. I installed mine in the kitchen and just tapped into the power from a light on the bottom of a kitchen cabinet and mounted it on the wall where it is easily visible.

I just want to stick it on the wall in this area too but can't seem to power it. I tried off of the switch in the kib panel, and also the awning switch, but no luck. I did hook it up to my boat battery and verified its working.
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Old 06-12-2020, 02:22 PM   #16
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lol...that's what I found when I opened my panel. That's why to simplify things I just tapped into the 12v power to one of my lights. I didn't want to mess up anything behind the panel. Too many different colored wires.


In your photo it looks like the black wire (2nd from the left), and the white wire to the left of it may be 12v and ground(white wire). However there doesn't look like enough slack in the wires to install a splice or a wire tap. To be on the safe side maybe you should consider another location.
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