In my latest RV mod, I install a high amperage 30A 12VDC port into the bed of my 2018 Ram 3500 pickup truck. I also test out using an old Bogart SC2030 solar charge controller I have laying around for alternator charging.
Disclaimer: Working with electricity can be dangerous. The following is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as instructional. If you decide to do the same, then research and beware of the risks involved. I don’t advise it without advanced knowledge of electricity. I accept no liability. You have been warned! – Ray
I explain how I ran various cables and installed the connections and then show the results of my amperage tests. I saw a charging current of between 9-15 amps. Not too bad but nowhere near the solar controller maximum of 30 amps.
12VDC Port + Alternator Charging Mod Video
My theory for why the low results are the .6V drop I’m getting in the wires or the fact my truck’s smart alternator regulates the alternator charge voltage. So, at the truck battery, I see anywhere from 13.8V to 14.3V DC. Furthermore, I’m charging lithium batteries, which have a higher resting voltage than the lead-acid type.
I’ll continue to play around with the system and experiment and come back with another video if my results improve.
Bogart Engineering Test showing the SC2030 solar charge controller acting as a DC-DC converter
UPDATE Feb 27th, 2020 – I decided to buy myself a Renogy DC-DC charger meant for the task. I picked the 40 amp model and have beefed up the wiring and connectors, and tests indicate a 39 amp charge rate, so I’m happy with that.
I’m going to give it a towing test tomorrow for a few hours and will have a video out soon with a look at the Renogy charger, my installation, and a demo.
Renogy 40A DC-DC Charger Install and Demo
- Renogy 40A DC-DC Charger
- 60 Amp Switchable Breaker
- 50 Amp Switchable Breaker
- Battery Terminal Fuse Holder (if not already on battery)
- 60 Amp Terminal Fuse
- 4 GA Cable
- 20 FT 100% Copper Booster Cables
- Anderson Type Connectors
- 4 GA Lugs and Heat Shrink
- Hydraulic Crimper
- Bernzomatic Torch
- Vamplier Electrician Scissors
- Uni-T Clamp-On Amp Meter
- My RV Mod Videos
- Lion Energy Lithium Battery Review Videos
- Building Custom Cables
- Boondocking Videos
- Bogart Trimetric WiFi Monitor Demo
- VIAIR 12V Trolling Motor Plug Install
- My Ram Truck Videos
- Uni-T Clamp Meter
- 100W Ground Solar Panel Mod