In my opinion "Self contained living" in a solar equipped van implies that a one way fridge (12V) can be maintained 24/7. That does not appear to be the case. The capability of this Battery Management System has been assessed for its ability to sustain a fridge 24/7 and provide sufficient daily re-charge the batteries from the vehicles alternator and the Solar panels. Under spec'd systems will require access to AC Mains power (the grid) every few days.
See Jayco's FD19 Campervan brochure - Self-contained living
Ideal for solo trailblazers or dynamic duos, the Conquest Campervan lets you travel light to get you to where you want to go. Perfect for those wanting the features of a motorhome in the size of a campervan.
So, how does the system fare ?
I have travelled more than 10 000 km and tested the system extensively. I have experienced black outs multiple times and been forced to return to the grid frequently after just a few days off the grid. The system is not sufficiently capable to guarantee that the fridge stays on in spite of being very careful with energy use for any other purpose than running the fridge, i.e. lights, TV, pump (no showers)
What's the problem ?
The BMPRO JHUB-J35C under performs when combining AUX and Solar charging. The Solenoid bypass provided by Jayco to address perceived charge deficiencies (boost AUX charge) in the BMPRO-J35 circuit does not make enough of a difference. Modern vehicles have smart alternator charge system.
The BMPRO Miniboost is offered as a necessary Aftermarket system supplement (not installed by the OEM Jayco). On its own it performs reasonable at 15A (spec rates capability at 18..20A) and that with Jayco's original thin wiring for the J35-Aux Input. The Miniboost seems to outperform the thick wire Redarc solenoid bypass that Jayco has installed to boost the AUX charging mode. But the weakest link is now the J35's charging algo. It often selects only one charging source from AUX and Solar instead of both, a loss an underspec'd power supply system can only ill afford.
What could be done to solve the problem ?
What I would expect is that AUX charging and Solar charging via J35 work in tandem all the time full blast until the Battery is at least 80% charged. The currently implemented charge source priority & activation algo that tests loads should only kick in when the battery is nearly fully charged (if at all). Furthermore the J35 may frequently give the highly fluctuating solar charging circuit preference. With a Miniboost and only one solar panel installed in a FD19, Solar is always the weaker source compared to AUX (15A constant vs 9A max). If we can get 15A+9A=24A most of the time, then the fridge (4A) can be sustained in a typical mixed cycle of daily driving and occasional sunshine.
Considering that Jayco and Setec are in a system development partnership and that none of their Engineers are accessible to their customers is frustrating. It takes lots of emails with their respective Service departments to slowly get a picture of the systems performance. I can see no valid technical reason why the "in vehicle charge mode" for the RV house battery should not be more comparable to BMPRO's powerful AC charging modus for the grid. The JHub has been promoted as an advanced technology innovation that makes system modifications fast and easy (via Tablet). So lets hope that Australia's dominant mass manufacturer of Australian RV's (Jayco) and their System Partner (BMPRO/Setec) will be able to improve the JHUB soon to reach its full potential.
The rest of the JHub system does deserve a 4 star rating, but the J35 AUX/Solar twin charge mode deserves only 2 stars, the overall rating averages out at 3 stars.
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BMPRO JHUB-J35C RV-POWER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (JAYCO FD19 CAMPERVAN-MOTORHOME)
Available in Australia since early 2017, BMPRO’s JHub is one the World’s first portable power management systems for monitoring and controlling caravans and motorhomes, operating from Android tablet. Designed specifically for Jayco Australia
Blog › Prepare for your Adventure
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