Installing a House Battery Voltmeter Adds Peace of Mind

NOTE:  This is a handy addition since I am not using solar and don’t have a battery monitor.  At some point if adding solar, I will just use the charge controller’s built in monitoring…  At least the wall space has been reserved for that future upgrade.

The voltmeter came from an Ebay auction.  You can get various digital meters quite inexpensively.  Most come straight from China so the shipping is pretty slow but the price is right! 
They look cute, too.  Red, green, blue, and LCD are all available.
The board you see the meter mounted to was necessary because the difference between the case and the maximum hole width (that the meter can snap in to) is very tight – they don’t give you much extra trim around the edges, either.  It was easier to put the meter on a board and mount the board to the wall.

It only takes four wires to hook this thing up – two for negative and two for positive.  I used a few little brass screws so I can take it on and off if need be.  

I like this handy gadget because now one can check the battery voltage while in bed and know that the batteries are okay or if they need a charge.  Using the chart on a previous post, it is easy to tell the relative charge state and plug in the generator if needed. That will help if camping in remote areas without power.

By the way, in the picture you can see the battery bank is being charged at the 14.2V absorption rate, thus the higher voltage reading level… When being maintained (float state), the meter will sit at about 13.6 and then the numbers will taper to 12.7 with the charger unplugged. 

New toy + one big nerd = fun stuff.

Thanks for reading.  Make it a good one!

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

5 Responses to Installing a House Battery Voltmeter Adds Peace of Mind

  1. Nice blog, Brad.

    And good luck with your weight loss.


  2. Brad says:

    Thanks Van. I was teasing my sister last night and told her by paying me $10/lb I’m going to end up in the anorexia ward at the hospital and she’ll land in bankruptcy court.

    It’s been a fun journey so far. It’s kind of interesting how the van and this lifestyle have helped with the progress, too. The best part is that the twin bed mattress in the van is feeling bigger and bigger as the body is starting to shrink. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Brad,

      As I had said in a previous comment, losing weight is it’s own reward. But hey,$10 bucks a pound, sure can’t beat that!

      Glad to see the great progress,


  3. Wolf says:

    House Battery Voltmeter …. great idea !
    Hope to meet up with you one day my brother !

    • Brad says:

      Thanks. I hope to meet up some time, too! It would be a lot of fun to see some real faces. There is sure a nice group of folks online with similar camping/living interests.