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Old 09-19-2016, 01:19 PM   #21
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Hi all,
Just wanted to add my two cents on the solar conversation. I am not a complete new be so I have some camping and RV experience under my belt. On the solar issues, we recently purchased a 2016 Precept 31ul, we love it but it was not pre wired for solar, something I knew I wanted! I installed 2 100watt panels with a 30amp mppt charge controller and two 125ah Vtech charge tanks. In my opinion one of the best battries on the market for this use. I installed the system as back up to what the rig came with. I plan on adding at least 1 to 2 more panels and up grade the mppt controller to 40amps. Eventually I would like to install some type of transfer switch between my solar and house battries or better yet install 3 independent 110 volt outlets hard wired directly off my inverter.
I would appreciate any and all feed back and or ideas about this set up.
Thanks to all, happy bring
Russ
I'm still learning a few of the nuances on transfer switches and related tech, but I believe it is a better option for us because if I'm not plugged in, I want the ability to run the existing 110 outlets. I don't see the value of having 'independent' outlets that don't work all the time when the existing ones will work just fine and require less re-wiring, etc.. If I was off the grid full time, I'd consider it, but even then, I'm not sure... the existing 110 volt circuits are fine as is, switching them ALL over to inverter power with a transfer switch, as needed, makes the most sense to me unless I'm missing something?
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:50 PM   #22
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Russ,

Thanks for your comments/info on Solar to your Precept.
I own a 2015 31ul. Myself and other "precepters" would be interested
to learn more from you.

Are you on the Jayco Precept Owner's Group site?
If not , please join. If so, please send your insightful info there too.

Thanks,

Mike from SF Bay area
2015 Precept 31ul
Honda CRV toad
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Old 09-19-2016, 02:03 PM   #23
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I think I have BMS They went down to 11.60 Vdc. I do not know the capacity they went down, because the monitor showed 100%, which is strange on my list to discuss with elite power (the distributor).

Re lifespan - I understand this is one of approx. 2,000 cycles, so I do not worry that much.
I'd have a talk with the installer as you shouldn't get to the cutoff voltage and still show 100% It looks like the settings are not correct for your batteries.

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Oh please. Small generators are an accepted part of a camping setup by 10's of thousands of Rvers and have been for years. A couple gallons of gas in a calif mandated red container is likewise pretty much in every garage or shed in America. Lithium batteries as recently as last week continue to be a problem and Samsung has recalled millions of their top of the line smart phones and airlines have issued warnings about using them on planes because of fire risk. Get over your "old news" stats and admit that lith batteries catching fire have continued to be an issue most recently with hoverboards and now cell phones. I don't stick a can of gas inside my RV or its storage and I'm not putting lith batteries there either.
I'm going to assume that you are just not up to date on LiFePO4 batteries which are the ones used in RV. They have nothing in common with the types used in cellphones, hoverboards or aircraft. LiFePO4 batteries have an extremely good safety record. About the only way you can cause them to malfunction is to shoot a nail through them. They also don't outgas so they are safe to use inside you're RV. I would feel totally safe with them under the bed and more safe that the propane in the coach. Do some research and you may understand them better.

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But the real point I was making is that for all but the total purest, a small generator is needed to augment cloudy days and shaded campsites.
I won't disagree with your statement. In the case of very low solar days you do need some backup and a small generator like a Honda is a reasonable choice. Another choice is a small wind generator.

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OK, if your desire is to eliminate the almost undetectable sound of a Honda 2000 during most of the day, you can do what ever you accomplish with a solar system and can keep the same battery bank fully charged by only running your generator for a couple hours in the am and the same in the evening AND all the expensive solar stuff can be totally eliminated.
Personally I'd rather put money into solar than in to a 5,000 watt Onan generator that's eating up my propane. The best of both worlds would be a generator that would just supply DC charging power which is much easier to do with LiFePO4 than old lead acid types.
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:34 AM   #24
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Solar Installers?

To the OP (or anyone else on this thread who might know): you mentioned "Solar Mike" as the installer of your system. Can I ask what he charged strictly for the installation, and how long it took him? While we're interested in putting solar on our trailer, we don't want anything as sophisticated as your system; probably 2 x 100w panels and probably have them portable so we can move them around. I don't know what other components I would need (i.e. charge controllers, I guess an inverter is needed, etc.) We will be running all LED lighting, the occasional blender, and probably a flat-screen TV for a couple hours per day. I'm thinking we could purchase what we need and then have a pro install it. Thanks for any help --
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:01 AM   #25
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I suggest that you discuss the costs with Mike directly. Each installation is different. Mike installed a couple other things for me (Maxx air vent, back up camera, etc.). His pricing was very competitive to other recommended pros.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:03 AM   #26
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Off grid solar

Hello Nightfly,
FYI, I found it relatively simple to install 2 100 watt solar panels with a 30 amp mppt controller and 2 VMAX 125 amp hour 12 volt battery with a 3000 watt inverter this has given us the ability to use 110 power for a multitude of different things when we want where we want albeit somewhat Limited I do plan on upgrading the system with two more panels and at least one more battery. So far this has worked great for us we don't depend on it fully but it has come in very handy.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:23 PM   #27
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We just got back from second dry camping. All worked fine, no big trees / partial shade, a lot of sun, so electric kettle, nespresso, microwave, etc. were in use

By the time the sun was starting pumping amps, we were two mornings at around 70% of the 400 Ah battery.

One thing bugs me a little bit. When all lights are off, only the standby lights of microwave, TV, etc. are on, the monitor for the batteries shows approx. 5 Amps draw. Is this normal? It is a lot of electricity, let's say 10 hours without sun, and you have 50 amps without using (almost) anything.

Is it possible the e.g. inverter takes the power in standby mode? If so, can I somehow turned it off when I am not using it?

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:33 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by bono View Post
We just got back from second dry camping. All worked fine, no big trees / partial shade, a lot of sun, so electric kettle, nespresso, microwave, etc. were in use

By the time the sun was starting pumping amps, we were two mornings at around 70% of the 400 Ah battery.

One thing bugs me a little bit. When all lights are off, only the standby lights of microwave, TV, etc. are on, the monitor for the batteries shows approx. 5 Amps draw. Is this normal? It is a lot of electricity, let's say 10 hours without sun, and you have 50 amps without using (almost) anything.

Is it possible the e.g. inverter takes the power in standby mode? If so, can I somehow turned it off when I am not using it?

Thanks!
Yes your inverter probably burns 3 amp in standby mode.. On my control panel you push the bottom left button to turn the inverter off & on. Mine is always off unless I am using it..
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:37 AM   #29
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Do as I say not as I do....
For a long time I have told people with portable panels to make sure they are tied down to prevent theft and so the wind wont blow them over damaging them.. Well I put my big 250 watt portable panel out in the sun... wind came up blew the panel over and shattered the glass... surprisingly the panel still works.. will have to see about getting new glass for it..
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2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
113 days boondocking in 2017
215/2016, 211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

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Old 10-03-2016, 10:08 AM   #30
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UGH, I burned a lot of energy for nothing then! Thank you, Seann!

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Yes your inverter probably burns 3 amp in standby mode.. On my control panel you push the bottom left button to turn the inverter off & on. Mine is always off unless I am using it..
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