Author Topic: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car  (Read 1119 times)

Offline Jerika

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Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« on: December 09, 2018, 07:55:51 AM »
Hi All,
I’m looking at putting an Anderson plug on the rear of our Prado 120 V6 to charge the batteries in our Tvan Mark 3 Murranji.  The Tvan is set up with the twin 105AH Full River batteries and does not have a DC/DC charger. The circuit is effectively straight through from the Anderson plug on the draw bar to the batteries with a 30amp fuse along the way. The wiring is nicely shown in the Tvan3batterywiring diagram here -  http://www.tracktrailerforums.com/index.php?topic=86.0

The Prado is a late 2003 and as far as I can tell it has a constant voltage alternator. The Prado is running a dual battery system with a Ctek D250S charging a 120AH AGM, which works well to power our Waeco CF50 fridge in the back. I’m thinking I will leave the auxiliary battery alone and install the Anderson plug to run off the starter battery using the fattest cable I can use to avoid voltage drop, and with a VSR at the battery end to prevent against a flat starter battery.

Does anyone else charge their Tvan batteries this way, effectively straight through from the car without any additional chargers?  How well does it work? Will it bring the SOC up to 100%?  I would appreciate any real-world feedback you have.

Thanks

Jeremy
Jeremy & Erika
Tvan Murranji 2011
2003 Prado 120 GXL V6

Offline Patrol Dude

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 10:51:32 AM »
Hi Jeremy, the answer to your question is yes. Once the VSR picks up that your starter battery has reached its correct voltage it will then allow the charge to top up your batteries in the Tvan. It will charge these to the correct voltage. I also installed another Ctek D250S with a smart pass in the Tvan to help manage the charging of these batteries around 7 years ago and have been extremely happy with the outcome. No issues to date. Make sure you use 2 B&S for the power feed and this assures you of getting the maximum amount of power to the Tvan.



I also run the additional 300 Watts of solar through the Ctek gear with great results.




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Offline Jerika

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 07:54:38 PM »
Thanks for your feedback Jeff. I've read quite a few of your posts and found them very helpful. You've got a great setup that certainly allows you to stay off grid for extended periods.

Still curious about the benefits of adding a DC/DC charger. By adding the Ctek D250S and Smartpass do your batteries charge faster then the simple setup I'm looking at?  Does the charger also look after the batteries better and prolong their life?
Jeremy & Erika
Tvan Murranji 2011
2003 Prado 120 GXL V6

Offline Gumb

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 08:55:42 PM »
I can't see how you can get good charge in to 2 Tvan batteries without a DC DC charger ? I thought any Tvan with twin batteries would have one as standard.

This video applies to cars with dual batteries but it's valid for a van too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6poRPUMKTI&index=2&list=FLnlgmwYommPi0gL9_-G2EaQ&t=0s
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 09:40:39 PM by Gumb »
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Offline Patrol Dude

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 08:57:52 PM »
He Jeremy, yeah your spot on mate - I like the multi stage charging of the Ctek gear, and I think the added advantage of the Smartpass just allows for the maximum amount of charge you can get in the shortest period of time. Which might not be a issue all the time but when you need to get them charged back up quick the bigger 2B&S cable and the Ctek gear really do perform well.
I suspect it certainly does help to get the best life out of your batteries as well.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical when I first installed the Ctek gear, but by having the same set up in both my patrol and Tvan and not having any issues in 7+ years - I'm really happy with the outcome. Cheers


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Offline Jerika

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 06:47:46 PM »
Thanks Gumb for the video link. Very interesting and seemed to explain what't going on, until I read the comments (you need to open the video in the YouTube app).  Most of what Peter articulates is countered by Tom Cardale who claims to have done a great deal of research before posting his comments.  It's a hot topic that's been debated many times in the forums.

So here's what I plan to do.

Install an Anderson plug on the back of my Prado with the fattest wires I can comfortably use, and isolated from the starter battery by a VSR when the engine is off.  I will see how that performs charging the two batteries in the Tvan.  My expectation is that it will work but charge slowly.  Not a problem for now as most of our trips are short.

If and when I need to improve the charging performance in the Tvan, I'll move my Ctek D250s from the Prado to the Tvan.  I've got it under the hood in the Prado which isn't good as the Ctek is only rated up to 50 degrees. I'll add the SmartPass to the D250s which should then provide high current for the bulk charge and handover to the D250s to top up. Same setup as Patrol Dude.  I'll have to find something more suitable for under the bonnet on the Prado.
Jeremy & Erika
Tvan Murranji 2011
2003 Prado 120 GXL V6

Offline debian

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 07:48:03 AM »
You won't be able to get your batteries up to 100% without a DC/DC charger. The Smartpass will bring charge up to 80% quickly and will work on your car because your alternator is constant voltage output. We find ours is not effective/doesn't provide the advantages due to our alternator which is newer/'intelligent' and drops its voltage down to the appropriate charge state of the start battery. But we keep our Smartpass in our system because it provides overdrain protection. If it's a choice of one or the other I would suggest that you purchase a D250S for your Tvan and forgo the Smartpass. We have used the Ctek systems (D250S and Smartpass) for years in our cars and campertrailer then Tvan and have been very happy with how it works. We went Ctek because when we were setting up back in the day Redarc didn't yet have available a product that had solar input.
Ian & Deb
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Offline MarkA

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 05:21:27 PM »
I’m no expert but the statement “you won’t be able to get you’re battery to 100% without a DC-DC charger” is certainly incorrect for me,  I have a piranah duel battery system and the AOR chip fitted to my alternator and have had no issues charging the vehicle main battery and the 3 auxiliary batteries (1 in the car and 2 in the van) to 100%   
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Offline Gumb

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 06:11:44 PM »
This is from the Redarc website regarding one charger and batteries in the car and van

https://www.redarc.com.au/faq-tech-tips/one-bcdc-for-two-batteries-in-different-locations
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Offline Humra

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 07:42:06 PM »
Hi all, first question for me on the forum although been a viewer/reader for a while. I have a MK3 and been looking at upgrade options. So I have 2 x 105 A/HR batteries and the std solar system provided by TVAN. If i go with a BC/DC charger system, does that mean I need to remove the existing Morningstar controller system and then if I do that can I add addition portable solar and feed that in through the anderson plug at the tow point when camping? interested in ideas. thanks.

Offline William_Foster

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 12:21:17 AM »
Hi all, first question for me on the forum although been a viewer/reader for a while. I have a MK3 and been looking at upgrade options. So I have 2 x 105 A/HR batteries and the std solar system provided by TVAN. If i go with a BC/DC charger system, does that mean I need to remove the existing Morningstar controller system and then if I do that can I add addition portable solar and feed that in through the anderson plug at the tow point when camping? interested in ideas. thanks.

Jeremy,

I am by no means an expert, but usually the anderson plug at the tow point is used to access power via the tow vehicle alternator.  On the TVANs with a BCDC installed by standard you get an additional anderson plug near the driver side rear of the TVAN which is used for additional solar.  One thing to look at is the power of your standard solar panel is its output, if it is a 60W unit you could potentially update that quite cheaply and have limited costs for wiring, if at all.  Not knowing the Morningstar product, you might be able to plug additional solar into that via a secondary point, or alternatively get an electrician to do up some additional wiring; it depends on the amount of input the Morningstar can handle.  I am a big fan of the Redarc products and have them in my tow vehicle and TVAN, but they do add additional expense you may not need if you only want to get a bit more solar input.  The other thing to consider is the type of solar panel you want to get additionally, the new blankets are more expensive but lightweight and small, where as the more rigid panels are cheaper but are heavy and big to carry around.

Hopefully someone with the Morningstar system can help you out.  The key thing is to find a good auto-electrician in your area that won't charge you the earth for mods.
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Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2019, 07:40:01 PM »
As William has said.
Talk to an Auto-electrician.
The capacity of the Solar Controller/Charger must exceed (be greater than) the capacity/output of the Solar system/panels you hook up to the Tvan.
If there's a solar panel on the Tvan. that has to be included in the capacity of the system.
Because all the panels have to be controlled by the one controller. 
More than one controller and they fight each other and you don't achieve the charge/input required.
Most solar panel makers use Watts as the measure for panels output of power.  Usually only possible in ideal conditions.
Controller systems can be PWM.  or  MPPT. 
PWM is more common. 
MPPT is more expensive but more efficient, especially on marginal days.
If it's put together by someone who's in business, you can always take it back if it goes 'T*ts up.'
If you do it yourself, you have to stand by your own warranty and fix it yourself.  Or start again.
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Offline Humra

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2019, 10:35:47 PM »
Cheers and thanks. I believe the system is as per TVAN original. but i do get what you are saying and may flick the morning star and go with a bigger BCDC unit and feed the fixed and portable solar panels through that. I will do more homework first. cheers again.

Offline Frankrhona

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Re: Mk3 Murranji battery charging from car
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2019, 07:17:12 PM »
Quote
flick the morning star and go with a bigger BCDC unit and feed the fixed and portable solar panels through that

Hi Humra,

You are on the right track. All "smart" controllers like both the Morningstar and the Redarc BCDC rely on voltage feedback from the battery to workout their charge cycle. If you have two charging circuits they will get a false reading and can result in under or overcharging the battery. Better to run it through the one BCDC unit and let it workout what proportion of each input (solar or alternator) it uses. Secondly, using voltage feedback is the main reason it is recommended to locate the smart controller close to the battery.

Just a comment on the Ctek "Smartpass". We have a Ctek D250S, but elected not to include the Smartpass, because we usually travel some distance between campsites and with a 105W solar panel on the roof of the Patrol find that the batteries are fully charged when we arrive and do not need a "fast" charge.

Cheers Andrew
Andrew & Clare
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