Motorhome Magazine Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Interested in any solar advice
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Interested in any solar advice

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
Sponsored By:
Brettmm92

North Carolina

New Member

Joined: 08/31/2017

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 08:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First of all, I oughta say I've learned a lot from this website and am really into it. Well right now I'm looking for some information on how to go solar from someone semi ignorant about the subject. I know that you absorb energy from the sun, store them in batteries, somehow convert it to ac with an inverter (I think). But I would love to hear information from ya'll to help me figure out what I need to do to turn to solar energy (even though I'm blessed to have a direct electircal hookupat this moment.
Thanks in advance to anyone who adds there 2 cents

pconroy328

Colorado

Senior Member

Joined: 01/30/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 08:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Goodness, there's probably everything from "single sheet of paper" to books and books.

To just get something up and running, without concerns for optimal this or that - is probably pretty easy. A "kit" from one of the big vendors will work.

There's a ton of information out there, including Youtube videos. The vendors also have a lot of information there too.

But to keep it short 'n sweet, I think you start out by deciding what you're solving for: how much power you use (when the sun's down) and how much power you'll need to replenish the batteries when the sun's up.

drsteve

Michigan

Senior Member

Joined: 06/09/2006

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think you'll get more responses to this question in Tech Issues. You can ask a mod to move it, or just start another thread in that forum. Cheers!


2006 Silverado 1500HD Crew Cab 2WD 6.0L 3.73 8600 GVWR
2018 Coachmen Catalina Legacy Edition 223RBS
1991 Palomino Filly PUP

Lwiddis

Lonepine, Inyo County, California

Senior Member

Joined: 08/12/2016

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 08:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The big RV solar companies, such as Renogy, WindyNation, Grape, all have fairly good tutorials online. Read them but if you are plugged all the time, why? Solar is great for me since I'm hardly ever plugged.


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar - parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for USC & historical flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 08:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

You may find this series of articles of interest:

https://freecampsites.net/adding-solar/

Brettmm92 wrote:

Well right now I'm looking for some information on how to go solar from someone semi ignorant about the subject.



Regards, Don
Full Time in a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

time2roll

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 03/21/2005

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 09/12/17 09:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

> Members Solar Installations With Pics

https://www.solarblvd.com/products/


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
675w Solar pictures back up

Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

Senior Member

Joined: 05/02/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 09:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I purchase my trailer new in '15 we opted to have the dealer install a Samlex 300w set up with a 30a controller. I installed two new Interstate 6v batteries new. The reason I went with the dealer install was really for warranty reasons. If the roof leaked, it was the dealer problem who sold it to me. It wasn't cheap. It was $1800.00-ish. Most would probably agree that if I'd purchased the parts through a solar supply house I likely could have lowered that cost. But to be honest, I didn't really know enough about it to feel comfortable ordering and installing it. Also my regular job left me no time to figure this out, let alone install it! So the bottom line is: My set up works great. We do more boon docking than camping with hook ups and have yet to run out of power even when we go for a week at a time. Very happy with my set up...........and like everyone else........just wish I had one more panel....not that I need it.........I just need(want)it!


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Denali, stock....for now. 2015 Creekside 20fq w/300 watts solar. Retiring in 2021, then look-out road, here we come!

Wizbangdoodle

Washington

Full Member

Joined: 05/17/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 10:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's somewhat of a rabbit hole. As was mentioned earlier, decide what you want it for and buy the pieces that fill that need. I started with 4 6v AGM batteries and 3 panels (inverter and charge controller also). I now have 6 panels with 1530 watts and 8 6v AGM's with almost 900ah. The reason for this is because we are fulltime boondocking while we build a house. Obviously my needs are greater than most, but if you get real honest with your usage, you'll find you need or want more than you initially think. Good luck.


'17 F450 CCLB Platinum dually


westend

Shorewood, MN

Senior Member

Joined: 11/17/2011

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 09/12/17 11:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Definitely a rabbit hole, get more than what you think you'll need. You will find the electrical devices to use that free power.

First step is to calculate how much power you use on a daily basis.


'03 F-250 4x4 CC
'71 Starcraft Wanderstar -- The Cowboy/Hilton

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Posted: 09/13/17 04:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First step is to decide what you are trying to accomplish.

If you have shorepower or are running a generator, it quite frankly is a waste of time. You will never make up the cost and the extra drag going down the road will negate any eco-street cred for going green.

If you want to run the air/con or other heavy loads...you need such a massive system, it's a waste of time and as a newbie, don't even try to go there until you have much more experience with a simpler system.

What solar is good for is to handle minor loads, mostly 12v but some short term 120v can be done when away from a grid connection.

For starters, decide how many days you will be away from shore power, then estimate the time each electrical device you have will be running (lights, fridge, water pump, tv, etc... check thoroughly as there may be some you don't think of off the top of your head.)

Learn the relationship between Watts, Volts, Amps and Amp-Hr. Then using the estimated duration check the appliance info tag and calculate Amp-Hr needs. For solar output calculate the Amp-Hr output (generally assume 4-5hr at the rated wattage).

For the batteries assuming lead-acid, figure about 30% of the rated amp-hr are usable. It's not good for the batteries to go below 50% charge and good chance you never get above 80% while off grid.

Inverter: Figure the max load. If it has a motor, assume 3 times the amp or watt on the tag as they list the continuous load but motors typically take 2-3 times that amount for a second or two to get started. Also watch the rating. They often show a short term peak output, so a 2000w inverter may only be able to handle that for a few seconds but it can handle 1400w continously.

With this info organized into a spreadsheet, you can dial in pretty close.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2008 Copper Canyon 5er
Catalac Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Interested in any solar advice
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2017 CWI, Inc. © 2017 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS