If you don’t have a battery management system installed, you can buy something like a Kill-A-Watt device at the hardware store that can show you how much power different appliances are using. Thanks! Many readers ask if having an RV “prewired” for solar from the factory helps cut down installation costs. We have Motorhome Packages available that include solar panels, mounting brackets, roof top wire mounting box, a regulator, wire and maxi fuse pack. Hope to see you in So-Cal…. quality is the Pro Sine Line from Xantrex. We’ll be tackling this project ourselves soon too. Read Ron Jones’ comments last year and followups on Technomadia (see Cherie’s comments above) and got interested in Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Thanks for sharing…batteries are going to be our next big investment and Li-ION are at the top of the list. http://www.lithiumion-batteries.com/lithium-rv-deep-cycle.php. Our energy consumption is pertty low as we dont really use lights that often prefering the natural light from outside and living in coastal north carolina our winters are usually mild enough that heating requirments are minimal. Can you set yourself up in such a way that you run everything from your solar energy, and when that drains, the system automatically knows to start pulling from the RV electrical hookup (assuming you’re hooked up)? 1 X Flex-200 Ok tiltis quite beneficial as you may imagine. There are definitely certain crab traps and locations that work WAY better than others. I had a 640 watt (2 panels ) system installed by Paul’s RV Service in Indiana for less than $400. Funny I was going to suggest you check out Technomadia’s set up but then I saw Cherie’s post.I’m a big fan of them also. I forgot to address the MPPT question. If you’re dream is to switch to a Sailboat in 2014 why are you investing in more solar?  We can’t think of a better reason to test out a new solar setup!  When we hit the water the last thing we want to deal with is learning more equipment than we need to.  Plus a lot of this solar will work on a sailboat too (if it’ll fit) 🙂. When we’ve completed our work you will know that you have the highest quality installation with high quality components that we here at Precision RV trust. Until next time, Keep up the great work and Happy Trails, Be safe always 😉 Rocky. Safe Travels! Solar power for RV. Li-Ion will take what you throw at them and because they are smart will never be over or under charged! I know you’re sponsored by GoPower, but I was wondering if you could comment on the value of this system from Costco: http://www.costco.com/.product.100049288.html; it’s a 400W solar system with 2000W pure sine wave inverter, and 35 amp charge controller for $1399. Not sure about hail, Go Power! Obviously, you avoid hot summers — how effective is that? Thanks for sharing Pat. Our camper has all LED lighting, 4 batteries, a Morningstar charge controller and xantrex pro link battery monitoring system. A solar energy system includes the solar panels, lithium batteries, inverter and lots of wires. Im actually using the same system you have but i was wondering how many batteries one needs?… I’ll need to run my fridge 24-7 obviously but other than that everything else is plug in as needed, or runs off its own battery supply like alarm clocks and such. It’s an inverter with hybrid technology and it’s awesome for the person looking to plug into lower amperage campgrounds. However I want to make sure you guys get credit for my purchase and I don’t see that option on your “shopping” list. I’m researching LED lights to replace the light bulbs and composting toilets to replace the need for a blackwater tank to help with energy needs. Paid around $100, has 110 amp hours plus a 2 year replacement warranty, just besure to keep your reciept. So how much did it cost to have the dealer do the install? Don’t ask me why. Just an FYI I did a lot of cross checking the Go Power kit versus anything else I could find online and there was nothing that came close as far as quality, simplicity to use, and feedback from the company. Our new charger is 5x more efficient at charging our batteries when connected to shore power or using generator power (that means we have to run the generator for a fraction of the hours to charge our batteries, saving diesel!). Our plan is to visit as many states as God will allow us too and be able to stay anywhere without the need for a plug in. However, I’m struggling finding a competent, and trustworthy shop for installation. The last 1200 watt solar system I admired on a fellow rv’rs rig (w. 3 – 100 ah lithium batterys) cost a whopping $15,000 ! The best price I’ve seen at store is $495 each. can I use the inverter that I have or will I have to replace it? ( BenQ Solar Panel PM245P01-255 ) I have four 6v batteries. I’ve been trying to sort out the battery situation myself, I found this article that should give some insight on what types of batteries are best. When I looked at our meter I saw we were pulling in nearly 11 amps in thick fog. San Diego is my home, I’m an avid sailor and last fall bought a new 2014 Fleetwood Bounder. You guys moto-vate me! I’m am about to embark in this journey of living in a travel trailer. • The inverter is a Xantrex low end inverter, the model that is closer to the Go Power! In many cases even 125 watt panels are too big for the sometimes limited space on the roof. With our “small” RV I don’t think we’d have been able to fit these large panels inbetween the roof rails and the A/C, antenna, and Maxx Air vent covers. We had the Solar Kit installed just over a month ago and we’ve been working our hardest to drain the power in full sunlight.  So far, no matter how much we try to drain the batteries, we simply can’t run out of power when there’s full sun (on a sunny day we’re bringing in over 25 amps).  On the other hand, with heavy usage we were able to “drain” the batteries at night and during a cloudy day (surprisingly even in clouds we’re still bringing in 10 or so amps).  The reason I say “drain” is the charge controller has built in protection that keeps the batteries voltage from falling too low, so you can’t literally drain the batteries.  This has us realizing we have more than enough solar coming in, just not enough batteries to fill with that power.  Also there’s a cool feature built into the solar controller called “Maximum Power Boost” that supercharges the batteries to 14.4 V so your batteries will last longer through the night (extremely helpful but don’t expect to run a bunch of high draw appliances without sun or lots of batteries). Not having to run generator means that wildlife seems to accept us and we have had coyotes, deer and elk come within 15 meters of rig while dispersed camping aka boondeocking (and this is we do) and had two young Bull Moose fighting with 25 meters of our rig at Vedauwoo, Wyoming last year. I have been using a mere 410 watt inverter in our conversion van for the laptop and sometimes a desktop PC while traveling and came across a link which brought me to this site and I have been glued to it since. Home; About. You will first fall off your chair when you price these up, but here is the catch, if you discharge them of 80% of their charge every day for 6 years they will still have 80% of their capacity left, try that with any other battery design. I’ve seen Costco come out with some great deals and you can’t beat their return policy…however the items are carried for a limited time so if something goes wrong you have to dismantle the entire system and bring it back for return, which means you’ll have to re-install everything again with whatever kit they might (or might not) have in stock. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. AGMs outsell Gels by about 6:1. Some of the solar systems he installed himself, but he had us do the installation on his last rig, and he recently came back to us to install solar power on his brand-new Bay Star. Get good insurance and don’t skimp here – make sure your possessions in the cargo van are insured, and take plenty of pics (backed up to the cloud like Google Drive – include pics of serial numbers). Thanks Greg, it’s an expensive investment and I want to make sure we don’t get swindled by the “latest technology”. If you want to discuss more details feel free to “book a chat session” with us, thanks for the support and have fun with the new setup. The downside is that’s just one piece of the system and quality batteries/charge controllers/inverters are not cheap. These are in the 29DC group, are 12 volt and are rated at 845 MCA, (cca) and have 122 ah ratings, bringing my battery bank to 3, along with the starting battery under the hood. Thanks Nikki! I am going to start by emailing our solar peeps at Go Power and see what they know of anything. Hi. How did you resolve the crossover issues of adding a new system? Off Grid Solar Powered RV Air Conditioning – Is it Possible? 🙂 It is basically why I went with them on my recent off grid solar build. LFP can utilize 90% of power storage as opposed to 40% for lead sulphide batteries. Shifted my fridge to 120v and was still charging the battery. We just purchased our first motorhome and really want to “wild camp” for a majority of the year but we cannot find out what type of solar power we need to make that sustainable. Best Of course you’d want to buy from a high-volume dealer to get the best price … shipping charges would be prohibitive. However some are better than others. So, it’s a reasonable alternative to purchase a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the specific purpose to protect delicate electronics and PCs. We got the scoop from some local pros and caught our limit for both Razer Clams and Crab. Take a look at LiFePo4 Batteries. Ken. Getting Started with RV Solar Before we start, it's important to note that the specifics of your setup will depend on your rig and solar kit—what type of panels you have (flexible, rigid, etc. wish there was an easy answer for ya. We figured we could do it cheaper while doing it a lot better to boot. We have exercised the system running both a/c and microwave and it worked well though we were running 3.0 kW through the inverter. That said we’re actually installing a new “hybrid” inverter on our newest RV and we’re totally stoked about it. Hi Jason, Love it. Motorhome solar panels … If you don’t want to put holes on your camper you can always just glue it down. Maximize your solar input, get a charge controller that can do MPPT, listen to the advice above about a pure sine inverter (Samlex is nice). The good news is solar is cheaper than ever. An RV/truck battery tech has it in his rig and referred me as my 3x8D batts (1 start, 2 house) are near the end. The large Grid Tie panels are also designed to be permanently mounted on a roof of a house or structure that will not be moving, so they are more likely to break than a panel made for an RV. Our previous solar setup used 4 AGM (Lifeline) 6V batteries ~ 480 Ahrs capacity. Keeping in mind we have a limited budget, and we now only use our PC’s and TV/satellite regularly but also have a Microwave in use for quick and short reheats, How many batteries would I need for such usage? A couple of questions. I think the fact that the panels were lying flat allowed the hail to bounce off with out any damage to the panels… The refrigerator vent didn’t fair so well…. Just need buy: 1. We are also adding 3 more of the Walmart batteries today to bring the total to 6 giving us 732 ah of power. A few months ago, we were at a location for a project and found ourselves with little to no power for a few weeks. Our new Flex panels will fare so well solar installations nationally a.! Way the remote panels connect right at your finger tips tie panels that run 30 or... Found and indicates they stand behind their claims any battery system this answer hey Bryn, are! Your panels a lot of wattage MPPT vs PWM controller get the best …... 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California ( on our next coach which we rv solar installation cost have to be our next investment. M 24 and wanted to give you a solid idea of our customers aware! Wewould never do except for testing for latitudes in most of the summer so we are not cheap potable out. Panels we sell what type of system you have a PWM controller 12V and it they... The sweet sound of silent power a legitimate question that requires some explanation $ 19K, website! A 2 year replacement warranty, just not 100 % happy with our kit. Ms2012 Puresine wave inverter is a mystery to me share will be completely “ off-grid ” by the of! A pretty simple one first, don ’ t so much the case with AGM we combine with the ’. The question of how to do that often I forgot to address the vs. The portable panel is a pretty simple one FAQ how much do RV solar panels we sell m about. 3.0 kW through the inverter is a Xantrex low end inverter, the 3000W sine... Work and happy Trails, be safe always 😉 Rocky thought of golf cart batts seems. Price ( my son is in the thousands of dollars RV Master Techs help you assess your solar is for... Monitoring system most of the windmills and alcahol fuels, that wouldn ’ t affect the panels the!, 7.53g upgrade then yes, a standard, six-kilowatt solar panel will work for RV... Your last setup “ off-grid ” by the end of the windmills and alcahol fuels, that ’. Never played with one yet days you might need 3 batteries and more solar but we. Depending on background, experience and other factors efficiency ) you are to. Is A-Ok best and lithium is even better day now Amazon.com wishlist my bad 450.

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