New Texas Kodiak Owner - Dutchmen Owners

Go Back   Dutchmen Owners > Dutchmen RV Owner's Community Forums > New Member Introductions
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-02-2018, 11:24 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
Texas
New Texas Kodiak Owner

Just purchased a 2018 Kodiak Ultimate 2711 BS. We plan on using it for weekend travel and perhaps quarterly week-long trips.

A little background to make the next bit easier to understand: Yes, I'm an engineer. I have a MSEE in radar and microwave communications and an MBA in Marketing and Strategy. You don't want to know what my day job consist of **smile** Having said that -- perhaps the next bit will make some sense:

I have to admit that I'm already planning on some upgrades, because the RV folks just don't understand how to build campers. Not just Dutchmen, the entire industry seems mostly mired in the 1980's. For instance: you have a 20K trailer ... minimum. Most likely 30K-40K. Please, Please, Please spurge $15 and put a 10W solar panel to trickle charger the battery on the darned things. I mean, come on **smile**. While you at it, put in the circuit to prevent people from completely discharging the battery while you're at it (i.e. you forget the outside lights and run the battery completely dead).

Having said that, -- the goal is to put in a lithium 24V/85AH battery system in along with a hybrid boosting inverter, multiple solar options, and a wireless monitoring system for the whole things (solar,battery, inverter, generator power, etc) ... without modifying the trailer in any way. Neat, huh? I figure the conversion will take me about 2-3 months to build. If anybody's interested, I'll keep you posted. The purpose is that I must have 110V power and enough to guarantee that I can run a CPAP overnight. The other plus is that we'll be able to run a 15,000BTU AC off a 2000W generator without breaking a sweat (which makes it quieter), or we can extend a 3000W generator's run-time by a minimum of 25% during the day and probably closer to 50% assuming the AC is running.

BTW -- a 24V 85AH battery is equivalent, roughly, to a 12V 170AH battery. And being lithium, you can use 80% of that capacity compared to 50% of a lead-acid battery's capacity. Which means that if you run the math, (engineer, remember?) that makes the 24V 85AH battery equivalent to approximately a 12V 272AH lead/acid (or AGM) battery but one that can be recharged via solar, generator, or shore power in < 2 hours. Plus, it's good for 2500 recharges compared to 500-1000 for an AGM battery. There will be room for a 2nd battery pack later if this proves not to be enough. Total weight should be approximately equal to a single 12V 200AH AGM battery.
__________________

saturnengr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2018, 12:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,893
Florida
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnengr View Post
Just purchased a 2018 Kodiak Ultimate 2711 BS. We plan on using it for weekend travel and perhaps quarterly week-long trips.

A little background to make the next bit easier to understand: Yes, I'm an engineer. I have a MSEE in radar and microwave communications and an MBA in Marketing and Strategy. You don't want to know what my day job consist of **smile** Having said that -- perhaps the next bit will make some sense:

I have to admit that I'm already planning on some upgrades, because the RV folks just don't understand how to build campers. Not just Dutchmen, the entire industry seems mostly mired in the 1980's. For instance: you have a 20K trailer ... minimum. Most likely 30K-40K. Please, Please, Please spurge $15 and put a 10W solar panel to trickle charger the battery on the darned things. I mean, come on **smile**. While you at it, put in the circuit to prevent people from completely discharging the battery while you're at it (i.e. you forget the outside lights and run the battery completely dead).

Having said that, -- the goal is to put in a lithium 24V/85AH battery system in along with a hybrid boosting inverter, multiple solar options, and a wireless monitoring system for the whole things (solar,battery, inverter, generator power, etc) ... without modifying the trailer in any way. Neat, huh? I figure the conversion will take me about 2-3 months to build. If anybody's interested, I'll keep you posted. The purpose is that I must have 110V power and enough to guarantee that I can run a CPAP overnight. The other plus is that we'll be able to run a 15,000BTU AC off a 2000W generator without breaking a sweat (which makes it quieter), or we can extend a 3000W generator's run-time by a minimum of 25% during the day and probably closer to 50% assuming the AC is running.

BTW -- a 24V 85AH battery is equivalent, roughly, to a 12V 170AH battery. And being lithium, you can use 80% of that capacity compared to 50% of a lead-acid battery's capacity. Which means that if you run the math, (engineer, remember?) that makes the 24V 85AH battery equivalent to approximately a 12V 272AH lead/acid (or AGM) battery but one that can be recharged via solar, generator, or shore power in < 2 hours. Plus, it's good for 2500 recharges compared to 500-1000 for an AGM battery. There will be room for a 2nd battery pack later if this proves not to be enough. Total weight should be approximately equal to a single 12V 200AH AGM battery.
I agree with you about the Lithium batteries. I looked into them last year but it seems like they never quite caught on for the larger systems. maybe it was the expense, roughly 2 - 3 times the cost of a "normal" battery. Then there's the fire hazard. And it probably would require a different charger than the one that comes with the TT.

I installed a 100 watt solar panel on my unit and tied it directly to the battery through an IP66 style regulator to stop that annoying vampire drain from things like the radio display, the TV waiting for a remote command, the gas detectors, etc. So far, it's working out great. I used ETERNABOND to fasten the panel to the roof so if (and when) i replace the roof I will probably need to buy another panel.
__________________

franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2018, 01:06 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: tampa
Posts: 1,893
Florida
DIY RV newsletter has an article concerning batteries

http://rvlife.com/lithium-ion-batter...m_medium=email
franktafl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2018, 06:12 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
Texas
Thank you for your reply. Yes, you get a different charger than the one with the travel trailer. Depending on the fire causes, most have been solved. The newer prismatic, CALC, and Winston batteries can be punctured with a steel rod and not catch fire, but please don't ask me to demonstrate.

Having said that, these batteries deserve respect. Your talking about a battery that can easily supply 300, 400, even 600Amps of current. At one blog I read put it (I'm paraphrasing here) "if you accidentally drop a wrench across the terminals, armageddon will occur"

Aside from just basic functionality, there are two things in concerned about. Primary is safety, so that means fuses, circuit breakers, and cutoff switches. All connections will be wrapped inn shrink wrap, the batteries tied down, and the entire compartment will be wrapped in rubber sheeting so heaven forbid somebody hits me and the entire camper flips and the batteries come lose there is nothing to short. Thus no fire.

The other thing is worry about is heat, which should be fun mitigating in Texas. The heat affects the performance but my main concern is that it affects battery life. Luckily I can program an alarm triggered by temperature which enables multiple 12V cooling fans to vent. The nice thing is that this will be all automatic.

Your 100W panel should do everything you need. I just have a need for 400WattHours of power nightly and need to ensure that the power is available rain or shine, gas or no gas, shore power or no shore power. No, we won't always be boondocking, but I want to guarantee it's possible no matter what
saturnengr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2018, 06:16 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5
Texas
Thank you. I've already found that one. I've been reading up on heat and how it affects battery life and installation issues. Lots of "I did this wrong" blogs and videos. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from others
saturnengr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
introduction

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Dutchmen RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×