After a trip to visit family in Canada I came back with some goodies for project Sin Rumbo. I brought back a Sterling Power battery-to-battery charger. It is a smart charger that works with modern engine technology to better charge deep-cycle auxiliary batteries. A simple switch to connect the secondary battery to the vehicle battery is not sufficient to properly nor fully recharge the secondary battery. The result is a battery that never charges fully, and still takes too long to get to that partial charge. Deep-cycle batteries should not be discharge below 50% capacity if you want to get enough life out of the battery, and so the useful margin of use ends up being very narrow – maybe from 50% to 75% capacity. The Sterling Power B2B charger claims fast recharge to full 100%. It is a marine-grade sealed and waterproof unit using high-tech electronics to do its job.
The other component of the 12V installation is a US Battery 12V – 105 A/h deep-cycle battery, made in USA. It was sourced from the authorized distributor in Argentina.
The 800W inverter is now connected to this secondary battery and will supply 220V to the lights, outlets, and fridge when bush camping. When shore power is available then the whole installation can be switched to shore power. A digital battery monitor will show me the state of charge of the secondary battery as well as the number
of hours of use of the system. I also brought back a 12V DC water pump for the kitchen unit. It is a pressure-sensitive automatic pump: open the tap and the pump detects the pressure chan
ge and activates itself. I bought locally an RV-type faucet and hose
to connect the pump to the tank and to the tap.
Everything is now installed. Below are photos of the electrical box, and of the water pump installed below the sink.
The system has been tested and seems to perform properly. More extended testing will be done to verify that the secondary battery is charging according to expectations. The water pump works well. It activates immediately to build up the pressure, then turns off when the proper pressure is reached. It activates again as soon as the tap is opened, and shuts down as soon as it is closed.
The curtains are ready too, so I installed them and this what they look like. The interior now looks very comfy. We will do some day trip tests. Once the electrical system is fully tested we will be ready to add the last piece which is the hotel room type fridge. We have settled on a 48-Litre model that locks, so that there is no chance that the door will open while we drive.