Originally Posted by skichikk18
We just got a new '16 Eagle HT 26.5 BHS.... I also would love info on the solar panel stuff. What exactly can you do if you have solar power and what would you need to make this happen? I see all over the camper it has the capability of using a solar panel.
Cdash is working on a nice system, and will probably agree that there is a lot of planning before investing in a SOLAR package. Is SOLAR what you want? Or need? Would a generator better meet your needs? I hate the noise of a generator and we hit locations with no electric, so that is what motivated me to go with SOLAR. I also wanted the SOLAR to keep my batteries charged 365 days a year with out depending on the TT's battery charge controller. Since I went with SOLAR, the TT's battery charge controller's AC breaker has been turned off.
The first question is do you intend on doing a lot of dry-camping or a couple days a year? Or do you just want it to keep your batteries topped off? These two items will give you the direction you need to go.
If it is just to keep your batteries topped off, the answer is easy... buy a 50 watt solar panel kit. 50 watts will give you just under 5 amps, which is plenty to keep your batteries topped off, when not using your TT. The reason I like 50 watts is because on a cloudy or rainy day it will still put out power to keep you topped off where a 10 watt will not.
IF you want to go SOLAR for some dry-camping, then I guess you and the other parts of WE, need to sit down with a pencil and paper (if they still use them) and see how much battery power needs to be replenished by the sun. We know the basics, lights (LED's), ceiling exhaust fans, table fans, central heating system (fan), water pump.... charge your electronics (smart phones, laptops, Gameboy, xbox....)? Then you have to figure out what else you need, to make your camping trip enjoyable? INVERTER? To power a microwave? TV? (Sorry no Air Cond...) Once you have a idea as to what you need the SOLAR to power (replenish your batteries), you can get an idea as to the amount of Amp Hours (Ah) needed for those items, you can then select the batteries to meet your needs, whether it is (2) 12Volt batteries or (2) 6 volt batteries, or maybe 4 of each? As for the amount of SOLAR panels you need, depends on the Ah rating of the batteries you select... a general rule of thumb is if your batteries are rated at 200Ah, then you should go with at least 200 watts of SOLAR panels at a minimum.
For us we have (2) Trojan T145 6-volt batteries (260Ah), and it meets our needs and 250 Watts of SOLAR to keep them charged. This combination is great during the summer months, but cuts it close in late Fall, Winter and Early spring.
Go to our RVing with SOLAR
social group (it is under Community above) and you will find a lot of information regarding INSTALLING the system your self (some step by step instructions), BATTERY information, wiring info....
I am sure some of the other members will drop in with suggestions (sorry I just did a lot of the same as Cdash)
2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package
Our Solar Album http://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329