• Lost
    2
    Curious what anyone is doing with solar. Never really meet anyone with solar setups when we travel. Love to hear about wins and loses,or just what your setup anything really.
  • RichardM
    54
    Our setup is 4x100 watt Renogy monocrystaline panels. Non-tiltable, all parallel connected. Home Depot combiner box on roof, 4 AWG wiring to Morningstar Tristan 45 amp PWM charge controller next to 4 flooded golf car batteries. Raspberry Pi3 to log data from the charge controller every 30 sec and using MRTG with RRD to collect data for display on the RV internal web server. System is sized to double the number of panels so all cables are overkill. I.e. 2/0 AWG battery and inverter cables, 2 or 4 AWG for solar charge cables, 2 AWG to the DC breakers and panel. For us, the increased efficiency of tillable panels isn’t worth the hassle of going up on the roof all the time. Easier to just add more panels. Battery monitoring with Bogart Engineering Trimetric monitor w/500 amp shunt. This system was installed on 32’ 2001 fifth wheel RV. Total cost was about $2000 including everything solar related, batteries, and 2000 watt full sine wave inverter w/auto transfer switch. Most of this was purchased through Amazon and installed in 2 days. Pretty straight forward.

    There are numerous YouTube videos available including Ray’s and Eddie’s on how to set things up.

    After winter boondocking in Quartzsite, I plan to add 3 or 4 more panels to compensate for the low sun angle. January max current is 15 amps. July, 24 amps at around the same latitude.

    %255BUNSET%255D
  • RVsolar
    111
    Hi all we have a modest system 2880 w Yes I know it seems like a lot but the wife is on a box of oxygen concentrator so we have to keep it running overnight and when you're at home you have to keep it running all day long so we need the extra power this year I put in Chevy volt lithium batteries in the front compartment of our fifth wheel and we still have the two big red batteries In the back of the toy hauler .

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zNXW9ceRZ7Q
  • Logan X
    51
    I recently upgraded our house batteries from 1 12v lead acid battery to 2 6v lead acid batteries connected in series. I gained quite a bit of amp hours with that upgrade. I am considering adding solar in the future, but for now I’m happy using a 2000w Honda generator when we are off grid.

    I love the idea of solar, but I’m not sure I can justify the cost at this point since we mostly use the trailer for weekend trips.
  • Logan X
    51
    Thanks for posting the video. It looks like you have plenty of solar panels! I also like that you didn’t drill into your roof.
  • Lost
    2
    I may have given impression that we don’t have any solar. We have 6x160=960 on roof, then we will bring 2 to 3 100watt ground panels to try and grab that sun just out of each of roof panels. Then outback flex80 for roof and a cheap china controller for ground panels. We got a aims 3 k inverter with transfer switch and battery charger built in. Disconnected factory converter. 4x6volt Duracell’s and 2x12v marine. Just couldn’t let the 12v go to waste sitting in my garage. Might I also say we filed for a tax credit on our system and got a decent amount back. Rvsolar I feel you on putting all those holes in the roof,was hard for me to put that first hole in roof and then proceed to put dozens more. The roof is so weak on our trailer I wouldn’t even really say it’s walkable unless you make sure to step on trusses.
  • Lost
    2
    @RichardM I am very interested in the combiner box you chose any info would be great. Also does anyone fused each panel, wasn’t sure if it was really needed. I did fuse mine.@RichardMdo you think I would get much use out of the trimetric as a battery monitor considering it would kinda be a stand alone and really might just give me daily and live draw but wouldn’t know what is going in to the batteries. Right now we mostly go off experience and resting battery voltage and we get by.
  • RichardM
    54
    I think that the Trimetric monitor or something similar should be the first thing installed. Then you have a real good idea of not only your consumption but the true state of your batteries based on all current in/out of the battery bank and not just relying on voltage. For voltage to be accurate, you can’t be pulling any current in or out of the battery for some finite amount of time. The Trimetric or Victron (I think that’s how it’s spelled) use shunts to measure all current. They also report voltage but the percentage is based on cumulative current measurement.

    The combiner box is an outdoor j-box from Home Depot with underground cable entries (sorry, I don’t know the actual term, also from HD) glued into the box and all sealed with rtv. A hole was drilled into the bottom and another conduit fitting attached to where it goes through the roof. The bus bars were from a local solar distributor and had terminals for both the 4 AWG wires feeding down to the charge controller and the 10 AWG UV resistant wire from the panels. This was the smaller box. They had one double the height as well as some larger ones. When I add more panels, I’ll probably just add a second box adjacent to this one and run connect them together on the roof. The 4 AWG wire is adequate for the 45 amps max I planned for.

    %255BUNSET%255D
  • Lost
    2
    @RichardM thanks for reply. I have watched and read about the trimetric but never understood if it would monitor amp going In from charge controller/battery charger. I guess I would guess you are saying that the 2 you mentioned will monitor what’s going in/out on there own. Sorry if I made this hard to understand.
  • RichardM
    54
    No problem. The shunt is installed on the negative side of the battery bank and all current in or out of the battery goes through it and is measured. Many times I’ll see 15 amps out of the charge controller but only 5 amps into the battery. It’s just the net…

    Have a good day!
  • Lost
    2
    @RichardMawesome thanks!!!
  • Greg F
    109
    First post here on the new forum. Pretty cool. Love the channel.

    My first solar set up was inspired by Ray and Eddie. We installed a 400 watt renogy kit and added another panel along with their MPPT SCC and a 1500 watt inverter. All of the tips and step by step helped educate me. Everything worked excellent! Until then I didn't realize how effective solar power could be.

    When we retired recently and bought a new truck camper I wanted a bigger system that would entirely replace a generator and run the camper as if plugged in.

    I wanted to go lithium power but was having a hard time with the cost at about $1000.00 per 100AH. Yikes. I ended up doing a custom lithium battery bank using cells from a company that deals mainly in electric car conversions. The cost was about half. With the help of some newly acquired youtube friends the system was designed and built. (24) 3.2v cells configured to make 2 300AH batteries. I decided to bottom balance the cells vs. and active top balancer (BMS) The system fits where a stock generator would have been installed in the factory.

    We installe (6) 180 watt panels on the roof and a 2800 watt magnum inverter wired inline with the 30amp service.

    We have been using the system now for over a year and couldn't be happier. It all started with LYRV and Eddies channel. We are currently dry camping at a location recommended by Ray. So many wins with LYRV! :)

    Thanks guys!

    ci2kJDll.jpg
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  • Ray
    316
    That's a sweet setup! :cheer: :up:
  • RichardM
    54
    Really nice! The Magnum hybrid inverter is definitely on my wish list. LiFePO4 batteries are further down the list as we aren’t full time. Plus, it a 18 year old RV that is probably going to be replaced in a couple of years.
  • Lost
    2
    @Greg F love the set up!! Been slowly convincing my wife to get a truck camper for at least a year or 2 of our lives. And am I correct to believe you said you got 300 ah lithium for 500 ish?
  • Greg F
    109
    No, it works out to about $550 per 100AH. (usable amp hours) We have (2) 300 AH banks so the total for 600AH was about $3300 for the battery part. I could have made just one 600AH battery but I liked the ability to take one offline if I ever needed while still having a working system. When I was building my system Battleborn and Lifeblue were new to the scene and about $1000 per 100AH energy. They prices have dropped a little on some of the 'drop-in' batteries. They seem to sell really well. Battle born seems like a pretty good company to work with. They should send Ray some for review. :wink:

    This is how the (24) 3.2v cells are arranged.
    214qhyg.jpg
  • Greg F
    109
    Thanks Ray!
  • Bruce
    17
    I am working on my third solar install as we just purchased our new 5th wheel. We had 3-100 Ah Battle Borne lithium batteries in our previous rig and will be adding 4 more in the next week or so for a total of 700 Ah. I have on order the Victron battery monitor which I will be installing at the same time I install our batteries. I am leaning towards a Victron MPPT charge controller and somewhere between 900 & 1100 watts of solar using high voltage panels, just have not decided on which ones yet. For an inverter, I was considering the Magnum Energy Hybrid 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter, but I am now leaning towards the Victron MultiPlus 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter, simply because the Victron allows for customized charging settings, so I can match the settings Battle Born indicates. This will be beneficial when plugged in to shore power.
  • Greg F
    109
    the magnum is programmable as well but I think you are smart to go Victron. You can tie all your victron devices together with their color control monitor for a comprehensive look at your power management. Sounds like you will have a great off grid system.
  • VW's-Travels
    67
    The above looks a lot like the work of this guy I ran into in The Valley of the Gods... :)
    Good to see ya!
  • Kimberly
    8
    CsegUOPdaBo0UHd4IldnFKD53zrp5SVNIXjoxnBAA4X3XmCUiclRUs9zYpHzpEgBxb0iwDj5wLstF5Tbz_83n-ABsD-WFKYSEwZz14SM2xixsTQeFosXlBF37l94GZdeSI-kNAjBVKDs7CSiZbzJVpZAwaZxleYxHReo-7IsKFEKdUbZZp11SKvPw_3joGCdwG6nKRcldwRpZBF0hLcPg5nqVseSae1BALl1-u5hfhaeEArX4F0Efu_YXoAgJtfl79oby4KqlLLaOxS7lA8fiTToW17K_D-OB4PntXpSk_sMkU6pnxvlnzkUJin1WtaORPbmS6mBlisaTcgywOTBgyRIqiMTFpThEcXxFNYusqd6qqv3BO8sy_6JZDdBtAEDtM-rd3jyZyf6_Wlg1L-OSnf7eSNcKxZeRSlaha2cvsKkP27uGyojvhBQGMSBVhn8s3g8nU6DTdaYUljlf21hf7ur3gXfQpzy8Q3q2X_Rwqf6Qt8DEpoL0f0bOOTDAAiTVmPRLQ152XWTTdfCP8NFKLoxrjaIxK-3izUgWB9FrTaCmBmYj_5mfxzPb_8SOgEBRabZCqsyrVhVgFXd9fynsMhrHn7wT1jz6GkQaMoLd1vMrqVcLXHLK6kqF2I5UkJqYq-R6Act0w9ltBw1E_0SW4hvCKBsj1b_=w1348-h758-no

    My battery tank, 4 Fullriver Battery DC400-6 Sealed AGM Deep Cycle 6 Volts 415Ah batteries. ...

    Q2wR-wDY5dSca7UNCIFaRMWZqIWtlnrr_1u32IoGwNyEUUiHi_0y36Sb0e84kMXxxSTJpSkN8K7Dq2269lJUw1ad2TIkIBxWKMY-ogbLjk-VI3Tul9NYpzYKyA5QYmU-CPmCsSHFlpvjbuOyFWfoa5qEFk0ljQzVNLEMoPTSG_AKkMsC329EH_CCrGbNFV3IJBe4eYBgz-lWSVe23GnXMotdVUTiulw8zrGgXMrGxbIaaqfHI8-QrLJDB2B9DzoVCkuPmfYmVx_B0AoNbrVjGHl-MxR5gV0HB7Jb31ozjK-g8d3pf4LAl6GI3O0W-_k8aQB8DthnBSNzrTNBxk_CvTjovjBguK2tCGuLbSVRN9ezn6pa99acrNjr_7CDNbruk9AiPE17QXlTAxZR16-w48UXt2LhICujRDM4x0sI9T9-KbUr5GcdaoLpE7c_fgxWr8LkVk87s4koJO-ESHSt1i2Lkpone4ckRCx-0rv9d8TZnElHUAn0Yr_QkS0kIjqFrOOusQ78myqVCgC0C28w1dte9kPbIluNxSgi0WFGbHKj_-3KFFLgKBv7dUAxP5w0KEav1ciEs2CKQJpumTKeNh0VNZ-VfD5xXYV2kTA-4UmquOaXMlTzqc4UVytkBkEz0tYROpwKrCdnM4D6TbmNIXWJam0C4vMD=w360-h270-no and
    MAGNUM MS2012 2000 WATT SINE WAVE INVERTER W/CHARGER with its monitor
    Expertly Installed by Mobile Homestead Solar Services aka Eddie Aileen

    I guess we dont boondock in the same areas or you would have seen us. ;-)
  • Rush and Lola
    65
    We too have our second solar setup done by Mobile Homestead Solar Services aka Eddie & Aileen Glonek. Would never have met him if Ray hadn't met him and Ray did a video of Eddies last MobileHomestead while they were boondocking at one of our all time favorite spots, The Valley of The Gods. We contact Eddie by way of Ray and the rest is history. Ray did a 3 segment video of Eddie installing my solar equipment after we had a fun time doing the video as Eddie and I installed the equipment. He did the work I did the video. I was moral support more than installing. It made a bond of friendship we value tremendously. Not only good at what he does he loves doing it. You can see a master at work if you ever have him install your setup.

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  • Jim J
    16
    I saw your videos on the installation recently. Eddie is obviously passionate about his work. You did a good job with the video as well. Good information.
  • Ed Camping
    2
    My current setup is one Grape Solar 165 watt panel that is portable with the connection via a Furrion solar port. The port was then connected to Grape Solar charge controller. I am wanting to add solar panels on the roof and upgrade to the Bogart Engineering battery monitor and charge controller. I will also have to upgrade the current 12v battery 85amp hour to two 6v 235amp hour batteries.
  • Mike and Lesia
    17
    We are getting our solar installed this week. Been hauling 3x 165watt panels around and finally met up with Eddie Aileen. We are looking forward to giving the generator a rest when boondocking, it has been working hard, but doing a good job.
    Silence will be golden!
  • Greg F
    109
    You will love your solar and you definitely have the right person doing the work!
  • Wade Norton
    10
    Ours is fairly new but oh my how it has changed Boondocking for us. E used to Boondock about 10 days and head to a RV Park.

    The solar and a water bladder has changed that. We can go about three weeks before needing to dump black.

    Our solar system is as follows:

    1-200 watt suitcase panel
    4-315 watt panels on roof
    4-400Ah AGM batteries
    3000 inverter
  • RichardM
    54
    Nice! I think you are going to enjoy the flexibility you now have.
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