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Author: Subject: Your Travel Trailer Solar setup?
CortezBlue
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 07:04 AM
Your Travel Trailer Solar setup?


I am getting ready to hit the road this summer with my Travel Trailer. We will be getting out of the heat and heading to the northwest for about a month. I currently have (2) 100w panels, (2) Deep Cycle 12v batteries and a Xantrex 1800 w inverter. I have installed battery disconnects on the (1) 12v side and (2) on the inverter.

I am considering adding another panel or another panel and a third battery.

Curious what your setup looks like




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bajaguy
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 07:10 AM


Replaced all of my RV interior light bulbs with flat plate LED's. No solar yet, but the LED's have really extended battery life. Solar panels are next

http://www.m4products.com/plate-style-led-lights/
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woody with a view
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 07:34 AM


Swapped my interiors for LEDs as well. Best $10 I ever spent.



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CortezBlue
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 08:00 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bajaguy  
Replaced all of my RV interior light bulbs with flat plate LED's. No solar yet, but the LED's have really extended battery life. Solar panels are next

http://www.m4products.com/plate-style-led-lights/


Yep, I did the same thing
http://www.amazon.com/HOTSYSTEM-Bulbs-Interior-Camper-10-pac...

I was at camping world and it appears, via an ammeter that the LED bulbs are about 80% more efficient




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SFandH
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 08:48 AM


We use a 100 watt panel, 1000 watt inverter, and two of the biggest marine batteries available at WalMart to power our trailer when we're in the Mulege area for the winter. Works for us but we don't use any electrical appliances (no TV, microwave, etc.) and there is plenty of sunshine.

It was enough to power our Christmas lights strung up around the palapa we parked next to. :D

[Edited on 5-23-2016 by SFandH]
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CortezBlue
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 09:46 AM


Even though I have an inverter I put in a 40" LCD TV that runs off of 12v.



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msteve1014
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 11:40 AM


To me the important thing is the refrigeration. If you can run that on electricity, then a tank of propane will last a very long time. Otherwise you need propane every 2 weeks or so.

I have 230 watts of very old panels and 2 big lifeline agm batteries. That keeps me going for months without moving, if I want.
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[*] posted on 5-23-2016 at 11:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by CortezBlue  
Even though I have an inverter I put in a 40" LCD TV that runs off of 12v.


nice! the longer you can go without firing up the inverter the better!
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[*] posted on 5-24-2016 at 09:20 PM


We have a 30- foot motor home, have been drycamping for many winters in it, Pacific Mainland Mexico and lately, AZ and CA., most often now, out in the desert. Solar came with the unit, is at 235 W., always with 4 - 6V wet batteries kept above 50% they have lasted eight years, now with a xantrex 2000 W. inverter/charger. Motorhome energizes 10 outlets, one outside, when the inverter is on. We almost exclusively use propane for the refrigerator. In Mexico on the beach we drycamped months at a time, using a Blueboy to remove Black water, carried away in the towed. Water was delivered, usually 3 garafons a day, one for 2 showers, left in the sun and pumped by a 12 V RV pump(the spare that was never needed), the other two jugs always got used. the kitchen was outside, to keep temp inside down. The propane there was always only for the fridge as we didn't want to move (possibly lose our spot there) and getting propane delivered was difficult. A small bottle was used for cooking,easily refilled. The solar panels can be tilted, although the sun always shone, maybe three of four cloudy days per winter when rainfall was a day every two or three years. For us Mexico encompassed a year and a half of winters over seven years, same location, beside a coral reef and great snorkling. Dos Equis delivered to your table by the truck. For a recent Christmas dinner we had twenty RVers who enjoyed that beach in those times, everyone camped at the Fountain of Youth, above the Salton Sea. Great times, and memories, with great friends!
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CortezBlue
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[*] posted on 5-24-2016 at 10:11 PM


Very cool
We are leaving for the summer and will be off grid on the Salmon River in Riggins, ID and then off to Stanley, ID Red fish lake and then over to Lowman, ID

I have an 1800 watt xantrex and I am thinking that even when I have off from the control panel it still sips some electricity. I have put in 2 bypass' for 12v and 120v systems. Just to be able to disconnect the inverter to be on the safe side




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[*] posted on 5-25-2016 at 09:04 AM


Your two panels, connecting to your inverter/charger will keep things going. You have a sophisticated inverter. It should take care of things when you have it hooked up. We have a Xantrex, and a charge controller that has been on and working, showing current and voltage, for the past 17 years! (Except when changing batteries and once for the new inverter that replaced a failed 1400 W. original.) There should be no need to worry about the small amount of power being used except in a hard-to-find dark location. Over night you will notice a very small drop in the morning. By battery voltage, checked first thing before light, you will know how you batteries are fairing. 12.2 V. Is 50 percent charged, 12.8 is fully charged. We have switching that can shut down all electricity. I have NEVER used it. Solar works that way.
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[*] posted on 5-25-2016 at 03:04 PM


I'm the last person in the world who understands these concepts; so take my spiel with a grain (or shaker) of salt. I have run small-scale solar for many years; have 2 panels that are about 26" square apiece, strap 'em to an A-frame ladder and rotate it with the sun, running two extra-large deep cell RV batteries. The way it was explained to me, I am putting a little more juice into the batteries at peak power than they need, so to keep them from over-charging the batteries I installed a 'controller' in between panels and batteries. The controller I was told is an important element, and if you increase your solar gain (more panels) (you need to increase the controller perameters as well (as in bigger controller), same principle as if you increase your load on your batteries you need a bigger invertor. Best advice, go directly to a Pro, and a reputable referred one. I got hacked and ripped by a flake in the San Flip area who is taking over 'Daddy's business' so good luck.

Controllers, upstream end, inverters, downstream end. Lesson #2; if increasing amperage OR distance, increase wire size accordingly, and don't scrimp, and use 'stranded' copper, use dielectric grease and solder everything.

That's my "Solar Lesson For Dummies" for the day. Taught you all I know and still don't know nuthin'. :coolup:




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[*] posted on 5-25-2016 at 03:23 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bajaguy  
Replaced all of my RV interior light bulbs with flat plate LED's. No solar yet, but the LED's have really extended battery life. Solar panels are next

http://www.m4products.com/plate-style-led-lights/


excellent link, thanks
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