RV Battery Monitor | RV Power Management | Victron BMV-712 Review

RV Battery Monitor | RV Power Management | Victron BMV-712 Review

– Today we’re gonna talk
to you a little bit about the different types of RV batteries and what features are important, but more importantly
we’re gonna talk about how to monitor those batteries and know how much juice you have left so you’re not left in the dark. – Literally.
♪ Hey ♪ (upbeat music) ♪ Hey ♪ – We see online a lot about people taking their brand new RV out for the very first time and
maybe they’re dry camping or boon docking for an overnight stay on the way to their destination… – [Chad] Maybe a harvest host
or a boon dockers welcome. – Right! And they wake up the next day, and their batteries are dead. – Yeah or they…
– What happened? (laughs) – Or they wake up freezing because their batteries are dead
and their furnace died. – Yeah.
– And the fact is that most RV’s particularly
trailers like ours are gonna come with a standard
cheap battery that’s crap. So we’re gonna talk a little bit about the different types of batteries cause you’re gonna want
to upgrade your batteries but more importantly
we’re gonna talk about how to monitor that. – Was it an option for us to upgrade the batteries when we ordered the RV? – Yes and no. You can probably get a battery
upgrade from your dealer. You’re not gonna find that
on Grand Design’s website because the RV manufacturers
aren’t typically the ones putting the
batteries in, it’s the dealer. – Okay, I didn’t know that. – Yeah, we did buy our first set of Trojan T-105’s from Lazydays. – Oh we did?
– We did. – [Tara] Oh! (laughs) – But they didn’t install ’em. We just bought them and gave them to us cause I wanted to wire ’em. Unless you are going to
never, ever, ever dry-camp, you’re gonna go from RV park to RV park and always be on full hook-ups you’re gonna want a better battery. And you’re also gonna want
to monitor that battery and that’s the focus of today’s video. – This is not going to be an: “everything you need to know
about RV batteries video.” – Yeah that could be probably
an hour long video by itself. In fact… (laughs)
– Which we’re not opposed to. – In fact Jared from All About
RV’s has an excellent video that covers all the
different types of batteries and goes into great detail on that. And we’ll link that below. That’s a great resource to have. We’re gonna talk a little bit about the types of batteries and some of the key numbers you’re gonna want to know in relation to monitoring your batteries, just so we have the right verbiage as we talk about the battery monitor. Mainly we’re gonna focus
on what you can run and how long you can run it…
(Daisy growling) – Wait hold on Daisy’s growlin. She sees something.
– Oh, you got it. (Daisy growls) – I hope you guys can hear that. What’s out there? If you’re new to our channel and you’ve never seen
our mascot, dis Daisy. (Chad laughing)
She’s fierce and she was growling at the mean vicious
hikers outside the window. – Three and a half pounds of ferocity. – That’s right. Okay, anyhow.
(Chad laughs) – [Chad] What kind of battery is best? – And what can you run on
those specific batteries? – Right and most importantly. The things you want to
run, how long can run them? How much do you have left? How much time? How much juice? When are the lights gonna go out? – Yeah. (laughs) – (laughs) Because that happens a lot particularly with a furnace
that draws quite a bit of juice. Every RV has two full electrical systems, an AC and a DC side. Your AC side is going to be
things like your microwave your T.V., your coffee–
– Coffee. – Toaster ovens, toasters,
hair dryers, things like that. – Okay, they get it.
– Yeah. We’re gonna focus on the DC side. Which is direct current. And that comes from your batteries or your inverter/converter. The DC system covers
things like your lights, your hydraulic system,
your control system, probably your radio, all of your controls for like your refrigerator. Even on your air conditioning typically the AC system itself
is running off of A/C. Don’t get those two confused. But the little control
box to turn it on and off is running off of DC. So you really got to have both. But when you’re dry camping and you’re not connected to anything it’s just DC power. And we’re not gonna go to inverters, we have a separate video on that. That converts DC to AC so
you can run everything. We’re gonna focus on the DC side only. Your batteries are your
only source of power when you’re dry camping. You know, obviously you have
a generator, shore power those are other things… – What about solar? – That’s a good question. Solar doesn’t run anything. That’s kind of a misconception
that kind of pervades online. “Oh I can run this off solar,
I can run that off solar.” – So solar charges the batteries? – Exactly, exactly.
– Huh! You see I learn as we do it.
(Chad laughs) – We don’t have solar but
if we had solar panels, they run through a
controller and the voltage and current are variable
depending on the sun. It’s a very unreliable,
unsteady source of power. But it can charge your batteries
as the powers available but you’re still gonna run
everything from your batteries so that’s the key. – We would love to have solar. We will eventually have solar. It’s just expensive. – Mm-hm, and a lot of work. Another quick note on the
batteries we’re gonna discuss. We’re strictly gonna talk
about ‘house batteries’. House batteries are what run the house. Your Class C’s, your
Class A’s, are typically gonna have two separate battery banks. One for the coach and one for the house. The coach is to start your engine, and do all that engine stuff. We are gonna talk a little bit about the types of batteries and
how much they can discharge in just a little bit. But first we’re gonna go
through some other numbers. First up is voltage. I mentioned it’s all a 12 volt system. Most RV’s are 12 volt,
maybe some, a few exceptions here and there, but we’re
gonna focus on 12 volt. Batteries will typically
come in six or 12 volt and those can be wired in such a way that they make 12 voltage. Put two, six volts in a
series and it makes a 12 volt. Again, see Jared’s video
for details on that. We’re just gonna be dealing with some type of 12 volt battery bank. I like to think of voltage, I use an analogy of
water and water pressure when it comes to electricity. Voltage is kind of like
your water pressure. It’s like you’ve got a big tub of water the more full that tub of water is the more pressure you’re
gonna have at the bottom. And that’s really what voltage is, it’s electrical pressure. Electrical potential. – The higher the number
of voltage on the battery is the more pressure? – Yeah. So while we’re not gonna go
into a lot of detail on this because there are other resources for it and we don’t want this
to be a 90 minute video, is when you wire two batteries in series those voltages will add. So two, six volts in a
series you’ll have 12 volts. When you wire batteries in parallel, the voltages do not add
but the current adds, or the potential current or
the amp hours add together. And we’re gonna get into
that in just a minute. – Okay. – Speaking of current,
that’s our next topic. One of the ratings you’ll
have on a deep cycle battery is it’s maximum current
that it can sustain without over heating or having a problem. Back to our water and water tank analogy. This is analogous to gallons per minute. How many gallons per minute can this tank provide and not blow up, right? This is gonna become a
factor when you talk about what you can run, that kind of stuff. Amp hours is a rating of how much power over how much you time you can supply. Let’s take a good example, it’s easy math of a 100 amp hour battery. 100 amp hour battery is
rated that way at 20 hours. Meaning it’s been tested
that it can supply five amps of power for 20 hours. That’s 100 amp hours; 5 X 20. It could also do one amp for 100 hours or 100 amps for one hour,
or 200 amps for half an hour – Gotcha.
– So it’s all just a math thing. And again, that 200 amps for half an hour, probably not. (laughs) That’s just a theoretical thing. Most batteries, like
even our Battle Born’s which we’re gonna get to
are rated at 100 amps total. So you can do 100 amps solid for one hour. When using this math you
can also kind of reverse it and you can figure out how
much stuff you need to run and how long you need to run it. That will tell you how
many amp hours you need. I want to run a 50 amp
device for 10 hours straight. I know I’m gonna need a
500 amp hour battery bank. Another key factor about your
batteries amp hour rating is that’s it’s rating to zero. And depending on the battery type which we’re about to get into, that’s usually not–
– It doesn’t go down to the real zero.
– The real, yeah the real amp hours. When you’re talking about
flooded cell batteries and AGM, it’s usually 50% of that. So you might buy 100 amp
hour battery thinking, “Woo I got 100 amp hours!” When in reality you’ve only got 50. But we’re gonna get into that right now. – Doesn’t really make any sense. (Chad laughs) It doesn’t. I mean why put it on there then? – Because it sells batteries. – But that’s false advertising! – Well it’s the real
rating of the battery. It’s up to the consumer to know the type of battery they’re getting how much of that they
can actually discharge. (Tara sighs deeply) – This is why I don’t get into this stuff. (Chad laughs) It was all making sense
until you were like, “But that’s not really what it is.” – Well it is if you’ve got
lithium ion Battle Born. – Okay. (sighs)
– Okay. So let’s talk a little
bit about battery types. – Hey!
– Yes. You’ve got basic flooded cell. That’s almost like a standard car battery it’s got a liquid electrolyte that does have to be maintained as those batteries charge they do off gas, hydrogen, and oxygen and they have to be sealed and vented because of that. While those are your
least expensive option, they’re also gonna be your heaviest and the highest maintenance. – Is that what we had first? – That’s what we had first. When we first started out we
got four Trojan T-105 six volts and they were wired in series in parallel. That’s what we had initially. – And I remember it was sealed and vented and all that stuff.
– And it was very heavy. And I had to put supports underneath. It was a pain. But it was our least expensive option and it was what we could
afford at the time. – Mm-hm, and it did okay. – Yeah, it did great. Another type of battery that you’ll see is called AGM or absorbed glass mat. Or sometimes just called
glass mat batteries. And it is a sealed battery. Does not require any maintenance. Which is good.
– I’ve never heard that before – Hmm?
– I’ve never heard of that before.
(Chad laughs) – Yeah it’s, it’s… – I mean shocker. But sorry go ahead. – So those are still gonna be heavy, but they’re not gonna
require any maintenance and they are gonna be a
little bit more expensive then your flooded cell. So it’s kind of a one notch
up from your flooded cell. Now one thing to remember about
both AGM and flooded cell, I mentioned the flooded
cell off gases, so does AGM. So both of those types of batteries have to be sealed and vented. And the other key thing
about flooded cell and AGM is they can realistically
only be discharged to 50%. So that’s something to keep in mind when you’re using these batteries. If you go below 50 it’s okay, but the further you go down the
more you risk damaging them. If you went down past
80% you can pretty much chuck the thing, it’s probably no good. If you go down to zero, if you’re camping in your RV overnight and your battery goes boom! All the way to the floor. It’s a goner. – Wow.
– Yeah. – It’s a goner. So this is why you want to be
able to monitor your batteries you don’t want to just run your batteries. “Oh, we’ll just run ’em til they’re dead.” You know, it’s not like
a Duracell nine volt that you’re just gonna chuck. The third type of battery we’re
gonna talk about is lithium. Sometimes called ‘LiFePO4′. Which is lithium, iron, phosphate. Your lithium batteries
are your best batteries. But they’re also the most expensive. Which is why we didn’t buy them initially. The cool thing about lithium is you can take those things
all the way down to zero. In most cases. Check with the manufacturer. Battle Born’s are rock solid. Another thing about most
lithium ion batteries is they’re gonna have a
battery management system or a BMS built in to each battery. And that is like a
little brain inside there that shuts off your
battery if it’s too cold. Shuts off your battery if it’s too hot. Stops the outflow of current
before it gets too high. It protects that battery
and also balances the cells. They’re really, really good. But they are really expensive. If you want to do what we did, we bought some flooded cells
for our first like year and then we upgraded to Battle Born. – Which we did pay for ourselves. – Yes.
– No partnership there. – We’ll have a link
below to our Amazon page. That’s an affiliate link. But yeah, we paid for our Battle Born’s and yes, they’re expensive. And again, zero maintenance with lithium. You just put ’em in there. And they’re super light. Way, way! They’re like 1/3 or 1/4 of the
weight of their equivalent. I’m making that number up. But they’re super light. (both laughing) So let’s talk about
monitoring your batteries and how you can tell how much is left. What percentage are you? Are you at 100, 50, whatever? Our RV came… – I’m gonna get out of the way. – Okay.
– This is all you anyhow. (Chad laughs) – Our RV came with this LCI-1 control, and in here I can see our battery voltage. And generally in a new RV your voltage is the only indication you have of how charged your batteries are. – [Tara] So is that like
what you were talking about with the water in the tank
and the voltage and stuff? – Yeah, exactly. So if you go back to our analogy of the water tank and the water pressure. If that water tank is
full you’re gonna have maximum pressure down at the bottom, and if the water tank is half empty then you’re gonna have less pressure. So that’s really your only way to know. And if you go out and Google: “battery charge percentage by voltage.” You’ll see some charts out there that say, based on the type of
battery this voltage is your 100%, and 75, and 50. But again, there’s nothing
that’s super accurate about that voltage because
of a couple of things. A- this system right here is hooked up who knows where, on this whole DC system. It’s certainly not connected
directly to the batteries. Also DC systems in an
RV are always in use. So when you have a system
that’s pulling current the voltage is gonna drop even though it might really be higher. So it’s never an accurate measurement unless you shut everything off and measure it at your batteries. Which you’re never gonna do
unless you have a problem and you need to see what’s going on. But most of your RV’s,
particularly your fifth wheels, and trailers, and toy haulers,
you’re just gonna have some kind of system like this to see the voltage and that’s it. The only way to really
truly know what’s going in and out of your battery
and how much has been used and how much is left is with
a shunted battery monitor. That is key. And the thing is with
that is there’s a shunt that sits between the negative
side of your battery bank and everything else. So it acts like not really a traffic cop cause it’s not gonna stop anything, but it can watch and
monitor all of the traffic in and out of your battery bank and know exactly how much has been used, how much is left, and give
you a very, very accurate representation of your battery condition. So let’s go outside and
I will show you our shunt and how I’ve got it wired out there. We have a few changes
up here probably since the last time we filmed. First off, you can see we have three Battle Born’s in series. Positive, positive, positive. Negative, negative, negative. If you are familiar
with the front of these there’s quite a bit different up here. This guy right here is the biggest thing. You’ll notice the wires coming out of it. One of them is just a sensor
for the positive side. And the other is isolating
the entire thing. So here’s the big thing with this. When you get an RV and
whatever battery they put in it is probably gonna have everything connected to the battery bank. So, your generator start, your 50 amp bus, the hydraulic systems,
whatever else was connected right to the battery system is gonna be connected right to the batteries. And to be able to properly
monitor via a shunt at least the things that
are on the negative side of the battery have to
all come off onto a bus. And that’s what we have right here. You can see that the negative
side of the battery here has nothing else on it. Just the temperature sensor
and that goes straight to here. And then every other thing that was on the battery bank is now on that bus. Key thing about the bus
it has to be rated for the highest amperage you’re gonna pull. These are rated for 600 amps. Which is way more. And even though I didn’t need too you’ll see that I also did the same thing with the positive side
of the battery bank. Except it goes through a cut-off switch before it goes to the bus bar. That way I have a cut-off
directly connected to the batteries that I
know when I shut that off there’s no DC power anywhere in the RV. Even though the RV comes
with it’s own cut-off switch it’s further down the line and doesn’t isolate things like the hydraulic system. Another note about the
way I have this wired if you watch some of our
other wiring install videos you know I had a really tough time getting the wires to that front cabinet. So I waited until I was
doing our new surge guard before I reran that wire. And that’s this wire right here. And you can see that it
goes up and that goes to the cabinet that we
showed you on the inside. Now the cool thing about this BMV-712 is since it’s Bluetooth
if you don’t want to run the wires just leave it in here. Mount it somewhere. I think for about six months or so I had it just laying in here and I would connect to it via the app. The advantage to having
it up here versus inside is that I could reach it from the truck and we like to travel with our propane off and use our inverter to power the fridge. And that way I could keep an eye on the batteries while we were driving. Now I have to wait till we stop and get out and then I’ll check ’em. So, the advantage is
it’s nice and convenient to have the control panel right there. I don’t have to get the app out if I just want to walk by and look at it. Disadvantage is that the Bluetooth doesn’t reach it from the truck now. Just a real quick, in case you’re curious about the other stuff in here. Obviously you can see three Battle Born’s, but the other things
that I’ve done in here are the separate 80 amp
breaker for the hydraulics. We’ve got a blog post on that. We also talk about in our hydraulic video. And everything up here,
that’s all for the inverter. This is high amperage fuse. Those go right over to here,
and this is the inverter and you can see both the
DC and AC sides to that. Again, not an inverter video
but do check out that video. And that’s all we really
had to show you up here. I’ve got plenty of room
up here if I want to add. I could probably rearrange these and get three more up here
to have 600 amp hours. Which we want to do eventually. Just because it’s so nice
to have that extra power that extra capacity
when you’re boondocking. Not have to worry about it on travel days, and things like that. So you can see the install is
really not that complicated. The most difficult part is
gonna be getting everything off of the negative
blocks and onto a bus bar so that you can put the shunt in and then of course running that cable. We ran ours up here. In regards to configuring it,
it’s really pretty simple. As soon as you powered up and use the app it’ll ask you like what type of battery, what the amp hours are. The rest it pretty much figures out. If you’re confused about
any of the parameters reach out to Victron, they were great. I had a couple questions for them. They helped me out, they’ll help you out. Let’s get to a quick little
demo of how this thing works. I’ve shut off outside
power, so the A/Cs off. It’s a little bit warm. Let me fire up the Victron Connect here. The first thing you’ll see is that we have a “Device List.” This means you can control more
than one Victron component. More than one battery monitor. If you wanted to have all
kinds of battery banks and put them all in here you can do that. But we’ve got one. So we’re gonna go into there. And we can see right now
my batteries are at 99%. My voltage is 13.22, just went to .21. The current coming out of the batteries is right around 24 amps,
which equates to 314 watts. Watts is just amps X voltage. It’s kind of a good
way to talk about power whether you’re talking about
12 volts DC or 120 volts AC. Wattage is wattage. So that’s kind of why sometimes you’ll see watt hours on batteries versus amp hours, but usually they’re rated in amp hours. So you can see that our
inverter is running. And right now the inverter is saying it’s pulling about one amp, but I can see on the battery it’s pulling much more than that. And that is what the inverter is pulling. The rest of the draw that
we see in that 24 amps are lights, the refrigerators on propane. Just RV stuff running. And you can see at this current level we would last for 11 hours and 25 minutes. Let’s turn on some things
and see what we get. I’m gonna start with the fridge cause we usually run that on travel day. So right now it’s on propane. I am gonna switch it to auto. Which will actually detect
that we’ve got power and it will switch to AC. Looks like it just switched. We are currently pulling
72-73ish amps from the batteries. And you’ll notice that my
time remaining is going down. It’s starting to adjust. I’m not sure exactly how far back, you know what kind of average it uses. But you’ll see that
when you change the draw on the batteries this
does take a few minutes to kind of recognize it and
give you a new estimate. You can see on the inverter
that we’re now pulling 52 amps. That’s of course now supplying
power to our refrigerator. And it’s starting to level out now. You can see we’re gonna last probably a little bit less than five hours, maybe four hours 45 minutes-ish. And there in lies the problem sometimes on our travel day is we have to keep an eye on this and make sure we don’t
drain them all the way down. We can do that, it’s not gonna hurt ’em. But we want to have at
least enough DC power to power the fridge on propane. So we kind of keep an eye on that. We do want to add more batteries. Right now what we do is
when we stop for lunch or something we kick on the generator, charge the batteries back up and voila! – Lunch break. – Lunch break at a truck stop. So this is what we do sometimes. We get all the way to
the left side of the stop put this slide out that way
we’ve got all this room here we got the generator running to charge the batteries back up for the remainder of our drive to run our refrigerator. – [Tara] We got some healthy quinoa food. – Healthy food. – Healthy food. – A lot of people want to
know how much juice does the A/C pull, can you run
your A/C off the inverter? And yeah we can, let’s do it. I’m gonna turn the fridge back on propane. Let’s kick on the A/C and see it really start drawing some amps. So that initially was just the fan, now the compressor just kicked on. (compressor whirring) The inverter is now drawing
about 145-ish, 144 amps. (sensor beeping) And I can see coming out of my
batteries is about 160 amps. And you can do some math in your head, 160 amps, 300 amp hours is
gonna be less than two hours that the A/C will run, but it will run. Another key note here
about your battery bank, I mentioned that I had three
Battle Born’s in parallel. Each one of those Battle
Born’s can provide 100 amps of continuous power. In parallel it’s 300 amps total. But if I only had one Battle
Born with 100 amp hours this would not be possible. I’m pulling 155 amps,
the battery would say, “Pfft, no.” So I got to have at least two batteries to be able to supply
that kind of amperage. If you think about the maximum
that our inverter can supply it’s a 3,000 watt inverter. 3,000 divided by 12 is 250. So if my inverter is
maxed out at 3,000 watts it’s pulling 250 amps from the battery. So when you’re sizing
things like an inverter, inverters probably gonna
be the biggest draw, but if you’ve got some big DC appliances. Oh, and let’s try running the furnace and see how many amps that pulls. The furnace runs off of
DC to power the fan– (fan whirring) Just kicked on. Running the furnace we
are only pulling 30 amps. That’s not too bad. We were pulling 24 before. The inverter is back to
drawing just two amps for you know, the clock on
the microwave and computers. So the furnace is only
drawing about 30 amps. Let me turn the furnace off now. Furnace just shut off finally and we’re drawing roughly 23 amps. You can see the furnace
we were drawing like 30. So it’s about seven amps,
that wasn’t too bad. That’s the cool thing
about this battery monitor is it monitors everything. If you know your furnace is
seven amps and you think, “Oh, well I’ll just divide 300 by seven. “Then I’ll know how many
hours I can run the furnace.” Well the problem is lots
of other stuff is using it. Lights, right now we’re using 23 amps. Let’s turn off some lights
and see how much those use. Those were all the lights we had on. And we’re still drawing about 15 amps. That was what about nine
amps all that stuff. Turn that stuff back on. The bottom line is, I know. I know exactly what’s going
into or out of the batteries. I know exactly how long it’s gonna last based on that current load. And I know exactly how
many amp hours I have left. So it’s really, really cool
to have that information. When you’re looking at just voltage it’s a guessing game. It’s like, pfft, I don’t know. You can’t tell how much is being drawn out just by looking at your voltage. So a couple of other quick notes about features that are on this. I can set SOC alarms which
are state of charge alarms and I can have this notify
me when my battery percentage gets to a certain level, I can say, “Hey when it gets to 25%, wake me up. “I want to know, I want to go
check my furnace, whatever.” so that’s really the gist of it. I know we went through
a lot of little things to get to the monitoring piece but we wanted to give you a base for that. And we’ve really, really liked
having this battery monitor. (Chad laughs) And the thing to keep in mind is when you’re looking at your time remaining remember that’s based
on your current draw. It’s not magic or psychic. It doesn’t know what your
gonna be using in the future. But it can tell you based
on what’s currently going on how long your batteries are gonna last. And honestly a shunted battery monitor is the only way to do that. – But if you are planning
on doing any kind of boondocking or dry camping
you should get yourself a shunted battery monitor for sure. – Absolutely. Whatever kind of battery
you have this system will monitor it down to the electron. – Ooh! Fancy.
(Chad laughs) – That’s it. – Thanks for watching. – Bye. – Sorry, okay. – So the biggest thing
we want to cover is, how you can get the information… (Daisy growls)
Daisy! – All right.
– Just close that door. – [Tara] Enough! It’s cute and all but you
know, we’re trying to film. Okay we forgot to dog proof this video. All right, take three. – The advantage to having
it up here versus inside… (clears throat) (Chad squeals) – Noisy campers. – Are they like right behind us? You know, we haven’t had
anybody behind us for days. – Well, that’s what happens
when we start to film. – We’re filming…
– We’re even inside and we’re still getting noise. Okay, it was family photo
time outside of our RV. – I say we throw on some Metallica or some real, just some death metal. – No they’ll be…
– Get some Seether going. – I think they’re gonna be leaving soon. (Chad laughs) – And of course there’s an
airplane going over right now. (plane engine whirring) So we’ll wait for that. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what it is, as
soon as we film somewhere something noisy happens every time. – Daisy!
(Daisy whining) He does look like a
crotchety old man right now. (Chad laughs) “You kids get off my lawn!” I think they’re yelling
cause they’re trying to get– – Trying to get the kids excited. – Kids excited to smile and stuff. (Daisy growls)
No! – Hey! – I don’t think I’d have moved much. – Why not? You don’t
like being close to me? – No I said, “I don’t think
I’ve moved that much… – It is similar to a flooded cell… Oh wait… (Chad imitates tape rewinding) Go back. AGM down here.
– Oh, okay. – Yeah.
– All right you got start over cause you burped. – I know. (laughs) Most of your better
batteries like Battle Born… Pfft, try to say that! (laughs) Better batteries Battle Born. They’re super light and… Yeah that was, that was great. – Cool.
– Yeah. – That was awesome.
(Chad laughs) – Unless you’re talking
about like a $400 Tiffin… – $400 tippin?
– $400 (laughs) – [Tara] I’ll take a $400 tippin all day! – Okay, do that over.
(Tara laughs) – Right outside our RV. In the whole!
– Who would think in this giant park–
– Campground. – Right in the back of our RV is a whole family of people going, – [Both] “Whoo! Whoo!”

100 thoughts to “RV Battery Monitor | RV Power Management | Victron BMV-712 Review”

  1. Chad & Tara love your videos, keep the bloopers, love Daisy 🐶. Chad you did a great job explaining technical material in simple words, not an easy task. Lithium battery is the way to go.

  2. I was riding through the middle of Wyoming, pulled off to catch a photo of the scenery with the bike mirror in the photo. Hadn't seen a car for two hours and of course, I get the pickup in the mirror right when I'm taking the photo. To the guy's credit, he did ask if I was OK since there usually was not a whole of traffic through the area. Thanks for the info about the batteries – I'll be upgrading when I get my rig and I'll definitely get the battery monitor!

  3. We've got to stop meeting like this! Another fine video, I must say.
    And now for the inevitable question: do you get any meaningful charging from your truck when traveling? I know Mark and Trish at KYD added something to their truck when they upgraded batteries but they didn't explain it in detail.

    Thanks again for the great work.

  4. The Battle Born Lithium Iron Phosphate are more expensive for the initial purchase, BUT in the long haul, they are less expensive. They are warranted for ten years but that is as far as they have been able to get in their Accelerated Life Testing (ALT). As soon as they have the data to warranty them further, they plan on doing so. We don't know how long they will last because we have not seen a failure. The testing continues.

  5. I have a question that I have not been able to get answered. I am hoping that you can help me out. I really want to know what the R value is of the shunt on your battery monitor? Can you help me out?

  6. Another very informative video guys! Thank you this is perfect timing we are trying to figure out what the heck we are doing with batteries and solar ..thanks for posting

  7. Making my plans to go full time and your videos are so helpful. I’ll be a pro before my first day on the road. ☺️

  8. Another great video. With each and every one of your tech videos, my bucket list continues to grow. Thanks Chad & Tara. 👍

  9. Great video as usual! Who do you contact at Victron for support? I only see the user forum or "call your distributor". My "distributor" was Amazon, so there's no help there. The forum can be helpful, but there's also a LOT of opinion there, not always fact.

  10. Great video, but you lost me when the pup started growling. Not really. LOL. I know some electrical, mostly residential. I do get confused on AC, but I get buy. You're video's help a lot to understand more about it, plus other U Tubers. Thanks to all.

  11. I have ha my 4 bb gc2 batteries for 1 month now and does better than 8 lead acid 200 amp batteries. Time will tell. Thanks for your video, it is a Good basic video for this subject.
    You are a great 3 some. All your videos are exciting , informative and has great personalities 😉 in it. Keep up the good work .😁

  12. I noted a glaring error at 15:35 when you stated you have "3 Battle Borns connected in series, positive, positive, positive, negative, negative, negative." That's a parallel battery connection, not series. You might want to edit in a correction so as not to misinform anyone. Great video, again. I enjoy your channel. 🙂

  13. If only we could connect that shunt monitor to my brain to see how much current is flowing trying to understand all of this! 🙂 Awesome video, thanks guys!

  14. I have around 500 ah of Power chair AGM batteries in my van I live in and a 1500 watt xantrex freedom 458 inverter charger and a 335 watt 40 volt Trina Solar panel on my roof plus as I drive my alternator keeps it charged up my van has the setup

  15. Since you have put so much time into your electrical system what are your thoughts on running the generator while driving instead of batteries?

  16. Great and informative video regarding battery usage. Thank you guys for this great video, and I always enjoy your videos. I also appreciate your no nonsense videos.

  17. Really, really excellent explanation of current draw. For a while I was thinking, "100 amp draw for lights and fridge?" But it's 100 amps AT 12 VOLTS DC. We're used to thinking of 15 amp outlets on 120 VAC!

  18. I have a travel trailer that will charge the battery off of my 12 volt 7 pin plug. Do fifth wheels not have that as you are towing? Just wondering since our next trailer is going to be a fifth wheel and you said you monitor while you are towing.

  19. Chad, you forgot to mention the huge plus of Lithium batteries is that the voltage stays at a full 12 volts until nearly fully discharged. Unlike AGM or flooded. With my old AGMs, by morning, the voltage would be down around 11 volts. Otherwise, a good clear description. Thanks

  20. Chad's battery, voltage, amperage and drawing of power information was beautiful. Now a note to my dealer/maintenance. " Can you just turn the battery kill switch to off so you don't drain my battery"

  21. Laughing at the out takes!
    Great vid and information.
    Sure wish the Battle Born's were less expensive – especially in Canada. 🙁

  22. Love the informative videos.

    Just my $.02 here… I see a lot of people saying they want lithium now. As a word of caution, I would not cheap out on the lithium batteries without a BMS. The BMS on lithium batteries is absolutely essential, in my opinion. Improper battery management on a lithium battery for charging and discharging rates is a sure fire way (pun intended) to have a battery catch fire and/or explode. Do you remember all of those hoverboards and cell phones a few years ago that were burning up? Improper battery management was the culprit. Usually the fires/explosions are due to overheating and then thermal runaway, which results from charging or discharging too quickly. This will cause the battery to get hot. Without some type of BMS, there is no way to catch the overheating in time.

  23. Tara, I totally get where you’re coming from. When I was helping my husband build a deck I couldn’t believe a 2×4 wasn’t 2”x4”. Why don’t they just say what things really are? It’s so frustrating especially when you are learning new things and what it’s labeled as it isn’t!

  24. We feel you on the outtakes! Why is it that it can be silent, the kids can be great, the weather can be perfect and the instant you get the camera out is all does a 180!? 🤣🙈🤷🏻‍♀️

  25. Appreciate so much these types of video's (& Tara's questions) and how you break things down. Thank you thank you thank you! Loves to Miss Daisy too!

  26. You heaved the Harley and bought an Indian??? Good job Welcome to the 21st century!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Air cooled air compressor!!!!!!!!! That Indian is sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Thanks for ya video. Loved it. Eventually I would like to get that same as your rig. But would give with solar power right away. Eventually have a 24 volt batteries to 12 volt.. hope all is well. Safe travels

  28. Chad , I notice in “ Morton on The Move “ . There new series Morton go North episode 4 that Tom had the truck charge his batteries ( Battle Born ) as they drove . But I think the truck also had a second alternator to help with this . Know he did modify the heating and hot water heating on the Lance camp to his spec. Working with Lance Camper manufacturer. For there trip to Alaska. I believe Tom is an electrical engineer . Please don’t get me wrong , your great at electrical wiring . Just a thought ! Really enjoy you and Tara adventures and trips!!!! Take care and safe travels !!

  29. You are cool, it's a pity that Russia does not develop the direction of large campsites. Looking at you I thought about the development of tourism infrastructure in my huge homeland, we have something to see and show tell us and show more how the communication system of campsites for vacationing tourists on trellers is arranged! Thank You!!!👋🏻

  30. Hi.
    From talking about 3,000 Your video crashed out ! ! Tried re booting ! Still the same

    Surely you charge your battle batties via the truck when travelling. ? ?

    Great video and explained In such a way that is easy to understand


  31. I suggest a follow-up video ( "Part II") is required, Chad. At least in GD trailers, the stock WFCO converter is not the best for a lithium like Battle Born. Then the wiring from the converter to the battery must be considered. OEM's put the smallest gauge wire (weight and cost consideration) that may not be able to handle what a lithium-capable converter is capable of supplying to a lithium battery bank. There's a lot of "gotchas!" with this topic! Separate note–wish I'd had my solar and DC-DC Charger setup installed at the National Rally last year so I could have showed you (we were about five trailers down–I had the Goldwing). I'm sure you and I would have enjoyed geeking out talking about our configs. That is if Daisy allowed it. 🙂

  32. Doesn’t the 12v hot wire from your truck when your hooked up on travel day connect to your 12v system in the coach? The only reason I ask is I have never had more than one battery in my rvs due to the fact I don’t dry camp much and if I do I just use the onan. On the days that we pull I’ve never had a issue with the reefer running while I was plugged into the truck. Y’all have a good channel keep up the great content.

  33. I just love your videos so much. You have helped us out with tech things and so much more. For my self I can relate to Tara and her illness, about 2 years ago I was diagnosed with a hereditary nerve disorder which gives me chronic pain as well as chronic fatigue and eventually the loss of my legs. The statement you guys made about if your going to be sick you might as well be sick while travelling if able too. So it made me think and research and we decided to buy our rig and new truck and talk to my doctor. He gave me his blessing and all documents I would need to cross border with my meds, so this spring we are heading out thanks to you guys. But you guys should come to Canada and visit the east coast, we’d love to have you sometime 😊🇨🇦

  34. Always learning. I have a generator but I'm thinking of buying a portable solar panel since mynunit is prewired.

  35. Sparky, you need to dress the wiring. Get it in the harness and breakout the tie wraps. Didn’t they teach you anything in the NAVY?

  36. Interesting your truck doesn’t charge your house batteries while your driving all day. Why not? Did you retire or feel it wasn’t enough?🤔😜

  37. The Victron is a great device, especially if you have solar. Side note- the info you gave about AGM's is not completely accurate. They don't need ventilation (But should not be put in a box because they do need to breath) and you can safely draw down to 30%. (70% usage) BB are down to $800 each. By the time I wear out our AGM's the BB will be affordable.

  38. Excellent job and explanation! Also thanks for the mention. Hope our paths cross some day and we get to meet in person!

  39. Love y’all and your attack dog. She will probably attack your hand with her belly for you to scratch until she gets tired.

  40. Great video. One clarification. Your Battleborn (BB) batteries are controlled by its internal bms that only allows 100ah out of the fully charged battery before cutting current. My understanding is that if you removed the bms and drew all the power from the batteries, it would ruin them. Kudos to battleborn for labeling their batteries for usable capacity unlike most other manufacturers. Keep making these wonderfully informative videos.
    Can you make a video on trash while boondocking? Especially for longer periods and in areas with preditors (bears)? Who doesn't like some goodhearted trash talk!

  41. Thank you for going thru all the differences in batteries between about the currents and amp hours. Last summer we had some batteries die several times while boondocking and that wasn't fun especially with no fan capability. Batteries are always a hot topic in the RV community and we have heard a lot of good things about the battle horns. Maybe when we upgrade our RV we will do that.

  42. Great presentation , and very informative. What I have noticed is no one talks about dry camp and CPAP machines. It seems like no one discusses this area. CPAP machines seem to be a very common need. RV makers don’t address it and I would guess a majority of there customers uses them. Could you put a presentation together showing us weekend warriors what kind of battery supply they might need. The two machines we use have power requirements are 24v , 3.75 A the other 12v draws 6.67A. I would guess most use a generator to recharge during generator hours.

  43. Thanks for the video very informative I really appreciate what you guys are doing my family and I plan on traveling full-time here within the next two to three years your videos and other videos of others make have educated us more about what we're going to need to have and do

  44. Q.  Have you thought about a battery charging system that uses the truck alternator to charge the RV batteries as you travel between destinations. I have a friend that does this with his boat batteries as he heads to the lake.. Not sure if this will work on a RV.. Great videos guys I enjoy watching and getting to travel with you thru YouTube. Hope to run into you all someday..

  45. As I’m watching this I’m wondering what do I need to buy next. My wife is going to ban me from your videos. Just kidding but UPS will be delivering something next week.

  46. Hi you two! Great job explaining the best solution for how to provide battery power especially when you really need it! Gave me some good ideas and will definitely set up our RV much better now! Thank You Always!!!!

  47. Chad – I am curious why you are not charging the house batteries from your tow vehicle while driving? This is a very common, I am surprised that is not part of your setup. Great information – so well covered.

  48. It looks like you have 2 shut off switches; one for the batteries and one for the inverter. Why do you use 2? Thanks. We're trying to get our head wrapped around this, also! Brendan & Lena
    Frozen Sneakers, Pa.

  49. No one who has done these videos has covered the charging through the truck/alternator(s). Is there a way to run something from the truck to boost the charging if it's not enough while it's hooked up and running? Does the truck being hooked up charge very much?

  50. Good morning sir I hate to disturb you with this question but I noticed that you have a toy hauler and then watching your videos thumbs up to both of use the question I asked for you is we are seasonal campers and we’re thinking about selling our seasonal and buying a toy hauler for the reason of us just bought a new Harley Davidson Street glide wanted to know how difficult it is to put the bike in the toy hauler into remove it thank you

  51. What are the inside dimensions of the battery box you are using? I know the size from another of your videos, but the size of the bottom, inside of the box will be the determining factor as too what batteries can fit. I was fooled by another box that I thought would fit. Perhaps you could just tell me what the foot print of your four batteries is. Thanks

  52. I know victron is known as a quality manufacturer. Have you tried other after market battery monitors? The victron is a bit pricey. There are other options. But most rv reviews just keep reviewing the victron……

  53. Chad, I had recently bought a Vectron 712 and frankly, it was giving me fits understanding the proper install. I have a couple of Golf Cart batteries wired in series and for some reason, the monitor and my rig wiring were just not cooperating. Your explanation and presentation of your install finally straighten me out. I got the entire thing sorted out and running and monitoring properly. Thanks for the clear, lightly technical, which I needed video look at your install.

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