Originally Posted by bansai
Nice. I'm also planning on a 200 to 250 watt setup. I'm familiar with solar in your more traditional applications... grid tie systems, stand alone, etc.
There has been a pretty major learning curve for me on figuring out the best way to tie in a permanent solar setup on the Jayco however. I spent a few hours last night researching what transfer switches are, and why I'd need one. Now I'm trying to wrap my head around why I would need a separate inverter for the solar panels instead of just using the one already built into the trailer. As I understand it, the inverter/converter that is already on the trailer doesn't care what method was used to charge the batteries and should work... but a lot of reading I've done indicates this isn't true..
Should be a good winter project in any event.
The built-in converter is to charge the 12V batteries when plugged into an AC power supply (AC -> DC), and while plugged in, you can run the 120V items (ie. microwave, air conditioner - AC -> AC). Your battery bank will only power the 12V systems without the inverter (DC -> DC). Adding an inverter allows you to power the 120V items (DC -> AC) from a 12V battery, except the air conditioning which draws too much power for a typical battery bank.