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Old 08-10-2016, 10:28 AM   #11
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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. The charge controller is a no brainer so I know I'll 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.. I may end up hiring out some of the work for fear of frying something.

Should be a good winter project in any event.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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Your trailer doesn't care what method charges the batteries. Your panels will go to your controller you purchase and your controller will go to the batteries. The trailer inverter/converter isn't even part of the equation. It will charge the batteries if it is plugged in but the two systems won't fight each other or overcharge your batteries.
Check out the Renogy kits. Very affordable, works great, and the customer service is top notch for me so far.
Don't hire someone. If your mechanically inclined and not afraid to drill a hole in your roof to run panel wires you can do this yourself in a weekend. Heck I could do it in an afternoon now that I've done it to my own and know what to expect lol.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansai View Post
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.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:55 AM   #14
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It's more clear to me now how this all works. Thanks guys. I knew I'd get a lot of excellent info here.
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