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Truck Campers

With truck campers, space is at a premium and you need a subsystem. With truck campers, space is at a premium and you need subsystems specially designed for small roofs and tight storage compartments. Follow the guide below to build a customized kit.ms specially designed for small roofs and tight storage compartments. Follow the guide below to build a customized kit.

Battery Bank

1.  Select a battery bank: The battery bank is the heart of the system. We recommend Lifeblue lithium batteries because of their built-in Bluetooth monitoring, high quality, and ability to expand over time. Depending on the size of your truck camper battery bay, you may only be able to fit one or two batteries.

We sell LifeBlue batteries individually, or as a base kit, which includes one battery, a Victron BMV-712 battery monitor, cable, lugs, and heat shrink, plus expansion kits, which include one battery and parallel cables. For two batteries, select one base kit and one expansion kit.

If you plan on running an inverter, you will want 100Ah of LifeBlue battery capacity per 1000W of inverter capacity.

LifeBlue batteries come in three size configurations, choose what will fit best for your application.

100Ah: H 9.4″ x W 12.5″ x D 6.5″ 28lbs

200Ah: H 10.8″ x W 20″ x D 6.9″ 57lbs

300Ah: H 9.5″ x W 20.25″ x D 11″ 83lbs

Do not let your lithium batteries get below -10° F. Lithium batteries will not charge below 32° F.

 

Estimated Installation Labor

200Ah LifeBlue Lithium System with BMV-712
10 hours / $1,450

  • LiFeBlue LiFePO4 12V Drop-In Battery

    LiFeBlue lithium batteries have integrated controls to automatically protect against overcharging, overly discharging, and frozen charging. This integration makes installation much easier for DIY projects. LifeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage, current, cycle life, battery health, Faults and...

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  • LiFeBlue Lithium Battery Bank with BMV-712 Monitor

    This is a complete LiFeBlue lithium RV battery base kit with a Victron BMV-712 Bluetooth battery monitor. The monitor is included to provide cumulative battery bank data, compatible with Victron VRM monitoring. LiFeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage,...

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  • LiFeBlue Lithium Battery Expansion Kit

    This kit is designed to be an add-on to an existing LiFeBlue battery system. LiFeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage, current, cycle life, battery health, faults and state of charge. These batteries can only be parallel connected due...

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Alternative Charging

2.  Establish Truck Alternator Compatibility:  A 7-pin connection won’t allow for high current alternator charging, but you can get up to about 30A when you use a Victron Orion DC/DC charger on the camper side of the connector. Another advantage of this kit is that it will prevent unwanted current flow from the camper to the truck’s starter battery. This kit is not necessary with Flooded or AGM batteries.

With most trucks, the 7-pin connector allows alternator charging of the camper’s battery bank. The camper’s seven-pin connector is typically hardwired leaving the truck responsible for charging the two battery systems. Unfortunately, many vehicles don’t have any protection built-in, which leaves both battery banks tied together when the trailer is plugged in. This is a major concern for lithium house batteries as their resting voltage is much higher than a typical tow vehicle engine battery. This causes the lithium battery to slowly discharge into the tow vehicle battery and because lead-acid batteries can dissipate energy in the form of heat, this will continue to happen until the lithium battery is below 20%, which could potentially cause damage to the lithium battery. This isn’t good for the system and can be avoided by installing this kit.

This article on high current alternator charging may be interesting:

High Current Alternator Charging and the 7-Pin Connector

Estimated Installation Labor

Truck Camper Kit
1.5 hours / $218

  • DC/DC Charging: Trailer, Truck Camper, 5th Wheel

    Enable DC/DC charging from your alternator to a secondary Lithium, AGM, or Flooded battery bank. This kit is ideal for systems with older alternators or lithium batteries with input current limits under 100A. Ideal for: Trailers/5th Wheels/Truck Campers *Please note that cables length...

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Solar Charging

3.  Design a solar charging system without utilizing a prewire: If you want more than 300W of solar or don’t have a factory pre-wire, here are our recommendations. If you have a solar pre-wire, check out section 3a of the Airstream page

For a complete explanation of everything you would want to know about how to design a solar charging system, check out our Solar Charger Design Guide

These solar charging kits use the AM Solar combiner box and give you everything you need to create a solar charging system.

If you want to use a portable panel, we recommend oversizing the central charge controller so it can handle both the roof array and the portable panel.

The Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controllers are compatible with any battery type, can work on 12V or 24V battery systems, and communicate status via Bluetooth.

Estimated Installation Labor

2x 100W on 20A Controller
11 hours / $1,595

  • Complete Solar Charger (20A)

    These kits offer everything one may need in order to put up to 290W onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, these kits form an ideal foundation for a small power system mounted to a rigid...

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  • Complete Solar Charger (30A)

    These kits offer everything one may need in order to put up to 440W onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, these kits form an ideal foundation for a medium power system mounted to a rigid...

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  • Complete Solar Charger (50A)

    These kits offer everything one may need in order to put up to 700W onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, these kits form an ideal foundation for a medium power system mounted to a rigid...

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Add solar panel kits ending in Cable and get one tube of Dicor for every three panels.

  • NOIR 100W Solar Panel

    Custom designed by Grape Solar for mobile applications, this 100W panel is ideal for Airstreams trailers, vans, truck campers, and any application where roof space is limited. The Grape Solar NOIR 100W panel comes in several kit variants.  Select the correct kit to...

    • Wattage: 100W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Operating Voltage (Vmp): 19.1V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.1V
    • Operating Current (Imp): 5.23A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 5.59A
    • Size: 41" x 22" x 1.38" 15.4lbs
    • Frame: Black Anodized Aluminum
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  • NOIR 110W Solar Panel

    Custom designed by Grape Solar for mobile applications, this 110W panel is ideal for Airstreams trailers, vans, truck campers, and any application where roof space is limited. The Grape Solar NOIR 110W panel comes in several kit variants.  Select the correct kit to...

    • Wattage: 110W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Operating Voltage (Vmp): 21.3V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 25.7V
    • Operating Current (Imp): 5.18A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 5.60A
    • Size: 68" x 15.4" x 1.38" 17.9lbs
    • Frame: Black Anodized Aluminum
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  • Rich Solar 200W Solar Panel

    High wattage, using 6" cells, this panel is ideal for large systems where there is ample roof space. These modules come in a standard and higher-voltage version*. Please be sure to match your kit and/or module(s) to similar voltage profile modules. Please reach...

    • Wattage: 200W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Nominal Voltage: 12V / 24V
    • Operating Voltage (Vmpp): 20.4V / 37.6V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.3V / 45.4V
    • Operating Current (Impp): 9.80A / 5.32A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 10.2A / 5.83A
    • Size: 58.7" x 26.8" x 1.38" 26.5lbs
    • Frame: Silver Anodized Aluminum
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  • Dicor Sealant

    Dicor protects the VHB tape from the elements. Use it to seal around mount feet, cable management hardware and combiner boxes attached to roofs.

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  • Zamp Side Port Integration Kits

    These kits integrate a Zamp side port to either an existing solar charging core or directly to the battery bank. Ideal for Zamp folding panels that are regulated (Zamp Side Port to Battery Kit) or unregulated (Zamp Side Port to Central Controller Kit).

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  • Zamp 15' Extension w/ 2 Pole plugs

    Zamp 15' Extension w/ 2 Pole plugs

    15' extension cable for use with Zamp panels AM Solar Part Number:  CABLE-10GA-2-15EXTNSN

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  • Zamp Z140 - 140W Folding Panel with Case

    Zamp Z140 - 140W Folding Panel with Case

    Portable panels are an excellent option for rigs with limited roof space and the Zamp folding panels are some of the best we have found. These portable panels do not have a charge controller. They are meant to be used in a "solar...

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  • Zamp Z230 - 230W Folding Panel with Case

    Portable panels are an excellent option for rigs with limited roof space and the Zamp folding panels are some of the best we have found. These portable panels do not have a charge controller. They are meant to be used in a "solar...

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