• Lisa's RV Experience
    23
    Greetings,
    I have a 2018 Winnebago class A RV and have already replaced the cheap coach batteries with 2 drop-in Battle Born lithium batteries (200 amps total). The batteries are right where the old one were. The problem I'm having is the idiotic battery monitor on the RV status board show full charge until the lithiums are about dead. I would like to install the Victron monitor but I have no idea how to install a shut, where it goes and how not to electrocute myself! Is this something I can do myself? There must be some sort of shut already right? or I wouldn't have a battery monitor in the coach? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
  • Greg F
    159
    Hi Lisa, a shunt is different than the voltage. Your stock battery monitor uses voltage. A shunt measures amperage as it passes back and forth through it. The stock monitors on RV's measure voltage as a means to indicate the batteries state of charge. Using voltage can be a good way to measure a conventional battery but only if the battery is rested and is not being charged or discharged while you check the voltage and you are using an accurate meter. (not that thing in your RV)

    Lithium in particular is not a good candidate for voltage measuring. The charge/discharge curve of lithium is basically flat for most of its usable power. So your stock monitor is still reading good voltage when the battery is at a low state of charge.

    Installing a shunt is fairly easy. Ray did a video on installing the Bogart Battery monitor that might be helpful. We went with the Victron unit which is installed in similar fashion. As always with electrical, if you don't feel confident doing it yourself there is no shame in having someone else do the work. The hardest part of adding the shunt will be the routing of cable and mounting the monitor inside the camper.

  • Logan X
    77
    I recently installed the Victron monitor. It was pretty easy to install the shunt and as Greg mentioned, the hardest part is routing the data cable for the display head.

    The shunt should be as close to the batteries as possible and you place the shunt in between the ground cable going from your battery to the frame. The data cable plugs into the shunt and into the back of the display unit like a landline phone. Voila, it’s done.

    The BMV 712 has Bluetooth so you can monitor it with your phone. One of the advantages of that is you can mount the display out of sight near the batteries and you don’t have to figure out how to run the data cable.

    You are only dealing with 12v so you don’t need to worry about electrocuting yourself.

    Good luck!jfh5lxdqups84tht.jpeg
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    I placed the shunt in the small box next to the batteries.
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  • Bruce
    17
    Unlike some of the other battery monitors on the market, the Victron is pretty fool proof and an easier install. As Logan X said with the Bluetooth capability of the Victron running wire is less of an issue as you do not have to mount the display in the coach, unless you choose to. I have found the Bluetooth Victron app so much more convenient than having to go to the display and my coach no longer looks like the NASA launch center. Installing the shunt is easy but as mentioned if you are not comfortable with working around electricity, no harm, no foul in engaging the help of someone who is or hiring a professional.
  • Logan X
    77
    Just to add something to my earlier post, if you do decide to install it on your own, disconnect the black ground wire from your battery. This will shut down your 12v electrical system and make it safe to work on. Don’t reconnect it until you are done working on the 12v system.
  • Eddie Aileen
    89
    Howdy Lisa, if you are installing a Victron shunt be sure to install in a moisture proof compartment. The shunt has a c-board on it with a RJ11 (telephone jack type) connector. Many Class-A's have their house battery bank in a open air compartment, this could cause problems like corrosion & shorting out with the moisture from driving on a wet road.
    I like the Bogart Trimetric battery monitor system, it is fool proof perfection!

    Here is a picture of the c-board on the Victron system..gan0u4t720lshiob.jpg

    And this is a Bogart Trimetric Battery Monitor system......
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    Happy Trails!!!
  • Rick
    8
    Hi Lisa,
    If you do decide to "do it yourself", I suggest taking off any metal rings, bracelets, necklaces, etc. before starting the job. You won't electrocute yourself, but a friend of mine almost lost a finger when his wedding ring became a short-circuit between 12 volts and ground. That ring got hot, fast!
  • Ray
    439
    Good tip. I used to work in electronics repair and got used to not wearing jewelry.
  • Lisa's RV Experience
    23
    Good point about the waterproof box, I'll have to find that since my batteries are indeed still under the steps.
  • Lisa's RV Experience
    23
    Thanks for all these detailed instructions, photos and recommendations. The one thing I needed to know is exactly how to connect the shunt. Like ... the main black wire from the battery pack goes to the shunt connection ... I think I found a Youtube detailing it so I'm ready to buy the monitor! I'll keep everyone filled in. Thanks again!
  • Lisa's RV Experience
    23
    This is great, the picture shows the shunt setup clearly. Thanks Garth!
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