Chad Heiser

Our new 2017 DRV MS 40KSSB4

106 posts in this topic

I just received some photos of our new 5er from Rolling Retreats. Here is a link to them on my Google Drive. They just picked it up from the factory and will now have some time to complete their PDI and install some additional dealer add items. These will include an Onan 6500LP commercial generator and Winegard Trav'ler Dish Network satellite dish (among other things). I won't be able to get back to pick it up until the end of February, but at least I know where it is now. :P It is going to be hard to wait to pick it up.

 

I will be bringing 4 Fullriver DC-260 AGM (8D size) 12v batteries with me to install in it when I pick it up.

 

Once I get it home, I will be installing 1410 watts of solar on the roof (6 Canadian Solar CS6P-235PX solar panels). The panels will be installed in 3 strings of 2 panels in series/parallel and they will be powering a Magnum PT-100 solar charge controller. This controller will integrate with the dealer installed Magnum 3012 Hybrid inverter, Magnum ME-ARC remote display, Magnum ME-BMK battery monitor and Magnum ME-AGS-N generator start module. There are lots more details if anyone is interested, but I figured this is a good start.

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Chad,

Congrat's on the new rig.......looks great! Doesn't the factory install sat dishes? Did you ask them to build a larger compartment for those batteries? Had you thought about a diesel genset? Look forward to seeing it!!! :)

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Chad,

Congrat's on the new rig.......looks great! Doesn't the factory install sat dishes? Did you ask them to build a larger compartment for those batteries? Had you thought about a diesel genset? Look forward to seeing it!!! :)

The factory does do sat dishes, but it was cheaper to have Rolling Retreats do it. I considered a larger diesel genset, but I decided I didn't want to add the weight of a diesel tank and the heavier genset to the trailer. If I would have gone to a triple axle model, it would have been more feasible weight wise. I did go with the commercial version of the genset that does put out 240v power though. This will allow us to run the 240v dryer from the genset when needed. The batteries will be a custom install at Rolling Retreats. They are going to eat up a little bit of my basement area, but I gain some additional storage compartments that are normally filled with the factory six volt batteries so it is mostly a wash. I did have the factory add some additional steel supports in the basement area to deal with the weight of the genset and the big batteries.

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Chad, something to consider if you are using a 240 volt generator. If you have a 6500 watt gen set, you are only getting the equivalent of two 3200 watt gen sets. If you have 2 AC units on the same leg, you might not be able to start the second AC unit you do not have your full 54 watts of power on a single leg, you only have 27 watts per leg available. This becomes a real issue with some coaches.

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Chad, something to consider if you are using a 240 volt generator. If you have a 6500 watt gen set, you are only getting the equivalent of two 3200 watt gen sets. If you have 2 AC units on the same leg, you might not be able to start the second AC unit you do not have your full 54 watts of power on a single leg, you only have 27 watts per leg available. This becomes a real issue with some coaches.

Thanks for the tip. I am aware of this. The trailer has three AC's. The front and rear are on separate legs. The center AC is wired on the same circuit as one of these (I don't have the trailer yet to see which leg it is on, but I am guessing it is with the front AC). I will be able to run the two AC's on separate legs while on generator power.

 

With the hybrid inverter and my large solar and battery banks, I may eventually wire the third AC on an inverter circuit that would allow the inverter to supplement power from the batteries to allow all three AC's to run at once without shore power. Some other parts will also be needed (like soft start modules), but it should be doable if I find it is necessary. I don't know if I will ever go this route, but it is an option.

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That will be great storage capacity for the battery bank (1040ah) and at just under 700lbs will get some more pin weight for you.

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That will be great storage capacity for the battery bank (1040ah) and at just under 700lbs will get some more pin weight for you.

 

I think I should have just enough battery and solar with 1040 AH and 1410 watts. :P

 

The trailer has a "shipping" weight of 18080 lbs and a GVWR of 21500 lbs. By the time I add solar and batteries, I will be at an approximate 19000 lb dry weight. I'll run it accross a scale once everything is installed to get the exact numbers. This will leave me with 2500 lbs of carrying capacity for everything else. I know some DRV owners complain about light pin weights, but most of those are the triple axle models. I don't mind that my batteries will add a little pin weight and I certainly have a tow vehicle capable of handling the weight. ;)

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I just added a video of the new style stove and cooktop DRV is offering and a picture of the Cheap Heat installed in our unit to the link in my first post.

 

The new oven sure beats the standard RV oven most companies offer.

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I just added a video of the new style stove and cooktop DRV is offering and a picture of the Cheap Heat installed in our unit to the link in my first post.

The new oven sure beats the standard RV oven most companies offer.

 

What is "Cheap Heat"?

 

 

Thanks

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What is "Cheap Heat"?

Thanks

Cheap Heat is an add on to a gas RV furnace that allows the furnace to run on electricity rather than gas. It sends hot air through all the same ducting, keeping bays warm, etc. It is nice to have in colder weather when you are at a site that has electricity included.

 

It is produced by RV Comfort Systems. Here is a link to their website with more detailed information.

 

http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com

Edited by Chad Heiser

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Very nice Chad. I'm thinking Jen is excited as well. I just showed Jodi. Think that was a mistake. Looking forward to seeing it in Idaho in June. Congratulations.

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Cheap Heat is an add on to a gas RV furnace that allows the furnace to run on electricity rather than gas. It sends hot air through all the same ducting, keeping bays warm, etc. It is nice to have in colder weather when you are at a site that has electricity included.

It is produced by RV Comfort Systems. Here is a link to their website with more detailed information.http://www.rvcomfortsystems.com

 

Awesome, sometimes the internet is cool.

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Looks great! Should be a fun adventure driving out to pick her up.

 

Looks like DRV didn't wire the shunt for the BMK properly just like Hitchhiker did with mine. It will only count the current flowing to/from the inverter they way it's wired in the pics. Easy fix though.

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Looks great! Should be a fun adventure driving out to pick her up.

 

Looks like DRV didn't wire the shunt for the BMK properly just like Hitchhiker did with mine. It will only count the current flowing to/from the inverter they way it's wired in the pics. Easy fix though.

 

My dad is going to make the trip back to get it with me. Jen's starting to count her vacation hours and is realizing we have too many trips planned this year and she doesn't have enough time on the books. She's going to have to wait even longer than me to see the trailer.

 

I noticed the same thing about the shunt. I will be fixing that with my battery install. I'm adding distribution blocks where all the positive and negative 12v connections will go. The shunt will get moved between the battery bank and the negative distribution block so it tracks all 12v loads instead of just the inverter.

 

I'm not a big fan of the way DRV wires their battery banks typically. They pay more attention to weight distribution (which is good), but they divide their power distribution into two separate battery banks when you upgrade to the big Magnum inverter setup. They wire the inverter to two batteries on one side of the trailer and the rest of the trailer 12v loads to two batteries on the other side of the trailer. They do run 4/0 cable between the two battery banks, but it definitely is not the best set up to keep the batteries charged up properly. I had them just put one 12v battery in the trailer and run all 12v connections to that battery as a special order. This way all my connections will be in one spot for my distribution blocks. I will remove the single 12v battery supplied for delivery and replace it with my own larger battery bank of four Fullriver DC260 (8D size) batteries when I pick it up..

 

Very nice Chad. I'm thinking Jen is excited as well. I just showed Jodi. Think that was a mistake. Looking forward to seeing it in Idaho in June. Congratulations.

 

She is definitely getting excited. It's going to be hard to wait until the end of February to go get it.

 

Chad

That's a nice looking rig. Hope you enjoy it.

 

Jim

 

We are definitely going to get some good use out of it. The plan is for this trailer to get us into our retirement and then we can make some decisions about which way to go after that.

 

Awesome, sometimes the internet is cool.

There's definitely a lot of good information out there. I learn new stuff all the time. Edited by Chad Heiser

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Chad,

 

Our home heating is hybrid electric/propane. It has saved us close to $800 a year in heating costs.

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With my wife and I still working, our current travel style (mostly long weekend trips) puts us in RV parks with hookups and included electric about 70% of the time. The Cheap heat cost $1500 to install. It will eventually pay for itself in propane savings, but it will take a while. Once we retire and hit the road for longer periods, that payback time shortens up with the same percentage of park stays.

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I like the Cheap Heat modification! We found the heat pumps didn't work all that well at winter fun fest when the temps were below 40° and it would have been nice to use the electricity we were already paying for.

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I also put heat pumps on two of the three AC's and we have the electric fire place heater. We should be able to really "take advantage" of free electricity when we need to heat the trailer. ;)

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Chad, what voltage will your battery bank be running at? I ask, because the PT100 on a 12-volt bank is current-limited to an array of about 1200 watts. Only on higher voltage battery systems can you go up to 6000 watts. The PT100 is current limited on input as well as output. So you do not want to overpower it.

 

Congrats on the new rig. I can't wait to see it one day.....

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Chad, what voltage will your battery bank be running at? I ask, because the PT100 on a 12-volt bank is current-limited to an array of about 1200 watts. Only on higher voltage battery systems can you go up to 6000 watts. The PT100 is current limited on input as well as output. So you do not want to overpower it.

 

Congrats on the new rig. I can't wait to see it one day.....

I will be running my battery bank at 12 volts. I am aware of the controller limits and I had some concerns. They don't really give a good explanation in the controller's owners manual about parallel and series/parallel panel installations (typical in RV's). They only discuss series installations for panels and how to calculate limits for those series installations. I have had a couple of conversations with Magnum engineers about this. They gave me the thumbs up on connecting three strings of two series connected panels. This increases the voltage, but allows for lower amperage. The MPPT controller can compensate for the voltage and the amperage stays lower and under the max the controller can handle. Under ideal conditions there is a chance of over powering the controller, but it is almost impossible to get ideal conditions north of the tropics with panels laying flat on an RV roof. They did tell me they did not recommend running all six panels in parallel. This would allow too much potential amperage to get to the controller. They said the likelihood of over powering the controller went up in this configuration and they said not to do it.

 

I know I take more chances on having shading issues with the series/parallel configuration, but I should be able to minimize this with proper roof placement and it is the only way I can utilize all my panels. I know I have more solar than I really need and am at the upper end of my chosen controller, but I got a really good deal on a pallet of the panels from a liquidator. It was something I couldn't pass up (similar to the deal I got on my batteries). I split the pallet with some friends who will be putting almost identical set ups on their trailers (or having me do it ;) ). I will have significantly less invested in this system than if I had paid retail or even wholesale for the same components, so I am taking as much advantage of it as I can.

 

The next time we cross paths, I will definitely be happy to give you the grand tour. I'm also interested in seeing you 45 footer. I really liked your last one when we sa it in Colorado and I'm interested in seeing the latest one (and your new truck) in person. Pictures are nice, but there's nothing like seeing it up close and personal. :)

Edited by Chad Heiser

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I split the pallet with some friends who will be putting almost identical set ups on their trailers (or having me do it ;) ).

 

 

Sometimes a guy like me gets, really, really lucky!

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Jack, I'm one of the partners in the pallet of panels and am using the same controller with plans to install the same. I'm not concerned about overpowering the PT100 with 1410 watts as it's likely we will never see peak as Chad mentioned. Going to do the same three string configuration since after calculating temperature coefficient of the panels, VOC was too high for a 12V system to run all in series. Since I camp in the winter I wanted at least 72V into the controller as the last configuration was 90V and it even charged in low light conditions off the moon!

 

The last 5 1/2 years, my toyhauler has run and Outback FM80 with 1110watts on the roof and I have only seen over 80A current once.......Must have been a super cold controller, batteries, panels, and lower battery voltage first thing in the morning while making coffee on the inverter. It was in early June while staying in the northern NV desert and it flashed 96A momentarily.

 

My FM80 is only rated at 1000 watts NEC and I would adhere to that IF this was a residential installation where I was going to tilt the panels to optimized angles and need to get the absolute max output/reliability from the components. My thought has been that these smart MPPT controllers won't burn themselves up as long as the voltage doesn't get too high, so why not over watt things a bit to optimize for winter boondocking?

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Chad,

We were at Rolling Retreats this week and saw your beautiful new rig, Very nice.

Hope we get to see the battery and solar setup some day.

 

Roger

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