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M380 (Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your M380 model coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.....list your M380 Parts here too.

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  #51  
Old 02-05-2017
BachelorJack BachelorJack is offline
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This is why large solar installations don't work out with lead acid battery banks of even a decently large size.

Assuming the same solar installation and a lithium battery bank of identical size a need for additional batteries would be a moot point. As would needing to top the off with the generator--assuming the same loads and draw schedule.

As you are seeing you cannot straight compare an identical sized LEAD ACID bank to a lithium bank. The charge curve demands are where the lithium batteries shoot out ahead.

I guess you can used some of the money you saved to purchase more lead acid batteries...
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  #52  
Old 02-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BachelorJack View Post
This is why large solar installations don't work out with lead acid battery banks of even a decently large size.

Assuming the same solar installation and a lithium battery bank of identical size a need for additional batteries would be a moot point. As would needing to top the off with the generator--assuming the same loads and draw schedule.

As you are seeing you cannot straight compare an identical sized LEAD ACID bank to a lithium bank. The charge curve demands are where the lithium batteries shoot out ahead.

I guess you can used some of the money you saved to purchase more lead acid batteries...
Aaron, Not sure I understand your statement above?

The power requirements of a 2004 M380 that's had all it's propane removed so it can be 100% electric with all the new fully electric appliances he's added (refrigerator, electric range, parasitic loads, etc..) are a LOT more than your 82FC33.

As you mentioned the charging characteristics & consumption of a lead acid vs lithium are completely different. However, that does not change the advantage of having solar with lead acid. In fact with all the money you save by going lead acid you can afford more batteries and more solar.

I'm running 900 watts of solar with a 675ah battery bank (6x6v) and even in Winter I'm fully charged by 9:30-10:00am in the morning with flat panels. I run a home refrigerator, heaters, and a CPAP machine too and I have not plugged in to power nor ran my generator for my batteries in over 2 years now.

The only time I've run my generator in the last 2 years was to power up the 3 AC units in Arizona while travelling during the day in the summer heat... because I could.

Michael
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  #53  
Old 05-02-2017
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NoGas NoGas is offline
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Default Old Batts Pulled & New Ones Ready To Go

Pulled the three 4D's last night. Picked up 6 replacement L16's and two -31's today. Will install them in former LP bay almost as described in post #47 above. However, have decided to keep existing separate engine & coach battery arrangement. Will add a 1/BOTH/2 manual selector such that they can either operate as before or all combined as one big 1,475 Ah bank . All new batts are AGM's and charging characteristics are the same, so that should simplify things. Kept the three 4Ds for now since they're holding a charge. Might pull a "Putz" and cobble something together with them later . More to follow...
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  #54  
Old 05-03-2017
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Default Warning for M380 drivers - Check Your Battery Tray Vent

While removing the existing battery tray I discovered its bottom vent pipe was completely blocked by spray foam insulation. BB went to a lot of trouble to feed fresh air into the top of the box and provide an exit on the bottom. Unfortunately someone came along later on the assembly line and plugged the bottom vent .

Recommend all M380 owners check the fiberglass battery tray bottom vent to make sure it is clear (use your cell phone and take a picture from under the coach looking up). It should be easy to see if the exhaust port is clear of foam insulation and that you can see the bottom of the battery. If it isn't, cleaning it out with a screwdriver from underneath would be easier than pulling the whole tray! You might also want to verify that the supply pipe is properly connected to the lid of the battery case.

FREE - No longer need so anyone want my nice plastic battery tray? Specially designed to hold three 4D's but might work for GC batts also...
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Last edited by NoGas; 05-03-2017 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Added offer for FREE battery tray
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  #55  
Old 05-04-2017
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I saw mine when the batteries were replaced last, and it was clear. I'm curious, though, why you think it was an exit for air coming in the top?

My assumption, without knowing any better, was that the top was a vent, for gas escape, and the bottom was a drain (for condensation, or whatever). It would also be a good source for air flow to go out the vent. Again a matter of assumption, but since hot air rises...
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  #56  
Old 05-05-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonB View Post
...why you think it was an exit for air coming in the top? My assumption, without knowing any better, was that the top was a vent, for gas escape, and the bottom was a drain (for condensation, or whatever). It would also be a good source for air flow to go out the vent. Again a matter of assumption, but since hot air rises...
I believe the two openings were intended to vent possible hydrogen gas generated by the batteries when charging (even though AGM's vent little if any when the charger is set correctly), not drain water or hot air. Certainly any generated H2 would rise and therefore go up (think Hindenburg ) & out the top vent, as long as the bottom vent was clear. My (bad) assumption was that the top vent pipe exits the compartment to the front and that area would be lightly pressurized when the coach was in motion, meaning airflow in the battery box would be out the bottom. However, I'd now bet the real reason BB engineers routed to pipe this way was as simple as they didn't want another hole in the side of the coach, so it made sense for them to vent the top of the battery box forward. To make this work, two openings were needed to keep the flow going, so a clear bottom vent was provided.

Since that compartment on my coach will no longer have batteries, part of the project will be placing the end of that vent pipe directly in front of & toward the inverter/charger's air intake. Rather than seal the now open floor vent hole, I'll stuff it with some steel wool to keep bugs out.
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  #57  
Old 05-20-2017
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Default New coach battery bank in the old LP bay - Phase III almost done

The new coach batteries and wiring are almost done. All that remains is adding the three short cables which will connect the three battery pairs, install the two engine batteries, hook up the inverter LAN, and then button things up inside the coach. Here's a description of what's been done so far - installed six L16 6V 400 Ah AGM's each wired in 2x2x2 series to get 12V, then parallel attached to Neg (left) and Pos (right) bus ties on either side of the new inverter platform. Kept the total length of +/- wire runs equal for each pair. The Pos bus tie feeds a gray HD 4-Position rotary switch that will allow the coach battery bank to feed the coach and inverter/charger by itself separately, or be combined with the two 12V -31 series 115 Ah parallel wired AGM's next door in the engine compartment. The coach and engine banks are all AGM's and have the exact same charging profile so making them into one big happy 1,475 Ah bank should work. Or I can keep them separate while maintaining old Aux Assist combiner switch/solenoid function. There is also a switch on the negative side to remove the engine batteries from what feeds through the shunt. This should keep the Magnum "fuel gauge" up front reading correctly. When changing the way I run the two sets of batteries, I will still need to tell the Magnum how big of a battery pack it's working with. As long as the two engine switches are positioned correctly, the remote readings will be correct because they are taken from the shunt. Next there is a new 4/0 cable pair that runs to the front and ties into the original 12V system at the Aux PSU box. Also ran 3 twisted pair Cat 5e LAN cables between the new Magnum inverter location and the remote display & AGS boxes, which were left up front. Lastly, two new 10-3 with ground 120V lines were run between the new inverter location and the old Inverter Bypass and ATS boxes up front to merge everything into the old AC wiring. Operation of the new system should be totally transparent compared to how it all previously worked, except there is now 1,474 Ah instead of the old 600 Ah total capacity. The 725 lbs of lead won't be shifting around in their new bay because I repurposed the original aluminum battery box hold-down "ladder" to firmly lock the 6 - 125 pound batteries in-place. And lastly, I expect that overall coach weight & balance with be dramatically improved. Plus I've got a new mini storage bay where the old 4D's were located.

I did not include my typical detailed account of this part of the project because it is well beyond what most would consider to be a typical DIY "Remove and Replace" deal. However, if you are considering something like this, feel free to get in touch with me. Please no comments about my dirty engine bay. Been too busy to clean it up, though I have someone in mind who does awesome engine bay detailing.

Everything should be done just in time to clean up all the mess, repack the coach and head to Williams next week. Testing it all during the annual Memorial Day Kaibab Lake get-together will be fun. Naturally we booked a sunny site!
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  #58  
Old 05-20-2017
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Van, what do you estimate total weight in the compartment? Again, very nice work..
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  #59  
Old 05-20-2017
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Thanks Lance. I work cheap but I don't do fast .

Total weight as follows:

Batteries - 750 #
Inverter - 75 #
Wiring and Switches - 50 #
New Compartment (mostly steel plate and reinforcing thin sheet metal behind dual tires - in case of blowout) - 100 #

For total of 975 #. However, I removed the entire LP system/tank. When full I figured that at about 400 lbs, so the net gain on the right rear is approx 575 #. The two engine AGM's add nothing since they are replacements for the existing start batteries. Surprisingly, straight from the factory the stock DS M380 was 1000 # heavy on the left rear. So 575 # added to the right rear should help balance the L-R out. BB has the rear axle at 21,500 # but Meritor docs all say 23,000 # (discussed HERE), so even if over just a little I'm confident I'll be ok by allot. I even did a spreadsheet if you recall - HERE. The front axle is going to be very happy. Not only did I remove 350 # of 4D's with the box/wires and the 75 # inverter but the moment of adding to the rear will also shift a little weight off the front. I'll be curious to see if there is any noticeable difference in how it drives.

And to answer your other question, no the inverter is not on a slide nor are the batteries. With my little HF lift cart (love it!) removing either is relatively simple. The battery retaining bar I built can be unbolted & removed easily, and then the batteries will just slide out. Since they are AGM's that shouldn't be a problem for quite a while, I hope!
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Last edited by NoGas; 05-20-2017 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Corrected batt weight (6x125=750#)
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  #60  
Old 05-20-2017
BachelorJack BachelorJack is offline
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What are you using to crimp the battery cable connectors on?

Did you use kopr-shield on the end before crimping?
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