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Old 06-12-2016, 01:14 PM   #381
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Toy bin

I finally got my gas struts installed and they work great. Holds the lid and won't crush any little fingers when the lid is closed.
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Old 06-17-2016, 11:40 AM   #382
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Finished up writing up my Solar Install...see it here:

Jayco X213 Solar Installation

Next up will likely be a battery upgrade.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:43 PM   #383
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X-213 Solar Upgrade

Great article. From a practical perspective, how much power does 200 watts give you? I've been thinking about adding solar to my X-215, but I don't have a good idea what to reasonably expect from a 200 watt configuration vs. a 400 watt or larger. Is 200 watts really just for keeping the battery charged, or can it do more? Can larger wattage configurations be wired directly to an inverter to run the larger appliances? Any feedback would be helpful.

Thanks!!
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:53 PM   #384
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Power=
Amps x volts= watts

So 200watts÷120volts= about 1.7amps.
Not very much at all. Only enough to trickle charge a battery
Double it for 400watts and so on.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:00 PM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcosco View Post
Power=
Amps x volts= watts

So 200watts÷120volts= about 1.7amps.
Not very much at all. Only enough to trickle charge a battery
Double it for 400watts and so on.
IIRC those panels are 12 volt, so ~17A each.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:09 PM   #386
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Solar...

Well 200 W X ~6-8 hrs of sun = 1000 WH or around 85 AH of charge to the battery. This should allow me normal use of the camper (sans AC of course) and lets me run the furnace at night, pump for the water when necessary during the day and the lights at night, bathroom vent fan and other 12V accessories (i.e. charge my portable devices during the day/listen to the radio. Really this was all I wanted to do with my system...I did buy some small (inefficient) inverters to do stuff like charge my laptop and power the TV.

Note the panels are not 120V and not intended to directly run appliances. They are 24V Open Circuit (12V NOMINAL) and are wired to a charge controller that changes my batteries. While I haven't actually measured charging current it's close to 15-20A. My battery after normal nightly use are topped off with an hour of sunlight.

Any and all loads should be hooked to the batteries. This is not a cheap trickle charging system (Like the way over priced 45 W system harbor freight sells). I haven't hooked up a detailed charge monitor yet but may in the future. Right now it does the job as-is.

On a side note....Renogy has great customer support. I contacted them with a technical question and they got back to me within a couple hours. I took the plastic off of the charge controller and it's internally fused as well...although the ATC style fuses are soldered to the board. It looks like a pretty robust design.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:26 PM   #387
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I didn't know it was a 12v system. Perhaps you did say it was and I missed it. How much did this system cost you? Any reason you didn't want a generator?
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:45 PM   #388
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This is tempting to me because we like to camp at places where even an inverter generator is noticeable. I have a Champion 2000W generator and even on the other side of the trailer, next to a wheel and exhaust pointed away, it was impossible to forget it was running. Found myself toying with the idea of making a box for the generator to make it even quieter, but then it occurred to me that after solving for those engineering challenges, I'd still have to carry it and the box around, while solar could be transparent and unobtrusive. My biggest hangup is drilling holes in my perfectly good roof.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:45 PM   #389
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There are links at the end of the writeup to Amazon to order the kit and parts I used.

Total Cost about $350-$370 (There are some extra wire and the crimp connectors etc). It actually didn't take long to install once the plan on where to mount the panels was slept on for a couple nights.

As for a generator...I hate the noise. They do make quieter ones but they cost more and some campgrounds prohibit the hours they can be run anyhow (usually a couple hours in the morning and a couple in the evening). To have something large enough to run all the appliances in the camper (including the AC) your looking at a 400 to 2K for a Cheapie 1500W "quiet" to a 3KW Honda Quiet Inverter Generator.

You might need to run that 1500W generator for a couple hours to top off the battery (The charger in my camper isn't that efficient)...and then you have to haul gasoline around (along with the heavy generator). It would be pushing it to run the microwave any how and the AC with the 1500W would probably be a no-go.

The panels are light (like the X213).
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:49 PM   #390
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Quote:
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My biggest hangup is drilling holes in my perfectly good roof.
My biggest hangup as well....Just make sure you use Genuine Dicor Sealant recommended for the material on your roof. There are a couple kinds...depending on if you are 2015 or later on your trailer.

The only holes I needed in my roof were for the mounting brackets. Drill pilot holes. Slather with dicor. Place Pannel. Screw in screws (even did some testing on these). And cover top of bracket and screws with dicor.

Have had a couple good storms come through with no leaks.
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