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Old 07-02-2018, 04:30 PM   #1
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Solar

I've got a Kiwi 23B and I'm curious who is using solar panels or portable systems?
What do you like?
What gets the longest ROI?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 07-02-2018, 05:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by KayKay2013 View Post
I've got a Kiwi 23B and I'm curious who is using solar panels or portable systems?
What do you like?
What gets the longest ROI?

Thanks for any feedback.
Hi,

CONGRATULATIONS on the JAYCO!!!

...and WELCOME TO JOF!!! The members here are GREAT!!! There is a lot of GREAT information to be found here. I am sure that you will have information and pictures to share with us... so please do!!

A question or 2 about your electrical usage. Do you use an inverter? Just 12Volt things in the TT? Planning on getting an inverter to watch Tv? Do you currently dry-camp using just the battery? How long do you plan on dry camping?

Don
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RVing with SOLAR
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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
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Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:41 AM   #3
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As Mustang65 says, you need to first figure out why and for what you are thinking solar. Then you can determine how much and what setup. Lots on the forums with solar to help you out.
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:52 AM   #4
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I will be living in the trailer as we travel the country, I'm looking for the most realistic solar power I can carry. We need it for the TV, microwave, pump, ect.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay2013 View Post
I've got a Kiwi 23B and I'm curious who is using solar panels or portable systems?
What do you like?
What gets the longest ROI?

Thanks for any feedback.
Welcome to the forum. This a great place for good feedback... but all I've got for you is a welcome.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:18 AM   #6
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I will be living in the trailer as we travel the country, I'm looking for the most realistic solar power I can carry. We need it for the TV, microwave, pump, ect.
Let's take 2 of your above items first. The Tv and Pump. Being conservative you could manage on your existing single battery setup. It would allow for a couple hours of Tv watching and running the pump only when needed.

Don't forget that you may encounter some cool/cold nights if traveling out west and need to run the heater. Based on one battery, some Tv watching and running your pump, you would more than likely not make it through the night. So, if you added another 12VDC battery (must be identical to your existing one), you may be able to make it through the night, but still without using the microwave.

If you are planning on using the microwave, you will need a minimum of at least 2 "TRUE" deep cycle batteries (like the Trojan T105 220Amp hour ratings). You will not be able to run the microwave for any extended periods of time, even on 2 deep cycle batteries. Warm ups are fine. The microwave uses about 900 watts (full power) or 75Amps of battery power.

Oh, and don't forget that you will also need an inverter. The inverter converts 12VDC power to 110VAC. The inverter will need to be at least a 1000 watt version (allows for about 1200 to 1500 watts at start up). We can go into the inverter and its wiring later if you wish.

Now for SOLAR panel kit. There are a bunch of different mfr's out there. I tend to lean toward the Renogy SOLAR kits (usually the best $ per watt ratio). Other members will give your their recommendations. If you are planning mostly dry-camping, then you will want to look at a 200 Watt SOLAR panel kit. The 200 watts will get your batteries recharged in a much faster time and ready for the next nighttime usage. You will also be doing all your cell phone, tablets... charging during the day when the sun will be producing the needed power. We use our microwave between the hours of 11 and 1, for the best SOLAR panel output and recharging of the batteries. Go for the name brand and the lowest $/watt for the kit.

Good Luck,

Don
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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 https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:41 AM   #7
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I looked up a Kiwi 23B and found it to be a hybrid?

If you want to live on the solar then I'd go for most watts/sqft. If you just want to handle limited offgrid then a smaller system would do it. Some items are cheaper to buy spare capacity than others (inverter, chrg ctlr), some can be added to (panels, batt's).

Also need to figure out budget. Somewhere between a roof full of 300w panels with Li batteries and a suitcase panel with OE battery lies the system that'll work for you.

I have 320w now with 4 6v AGM's and I'm in the process of adding 320w more. I can run everything but AC and don't need to worry until the skies haven't been clear for 5 days.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
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I will be living in the trailer as we travel the country, I'm looking for the most realistic solar power I can carry. We need it for the TV, microwave, pump, ect.
Scratch the idea of the microwave, won't happen. Forget ROI, it's about convenience and self-sufficiency. I did my own installation and sourced my panels used off of Craigslist for $65 each and I have $2300 invested. 520 watts of solar, 1000 watt inverter, Morningstar TS-45 charge controller, Magnum MMS1012 inverter/charger, Bogart TM-2030 battery monitor. I pulled three circuits from the 120 volt panel that I wanted to power with the inverter and tied them to the hot output from the inverter. I run all my 120 volt except microwave and AC's.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:56 PM   #9
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Scratch the idea of the microwave, won't happen. Forget ROI, it's about convenience and self-sufficiency. I did my own installation and sourced my panels used off of Craigslist for $65 each and I have $2300 invested. 520 watts of solar, 1000 watt inverter, Morningstar TS-45 charge controller, Magnum MMS1012 inverter/charger, Bogart TM-2030 battery monitor. I pulled three circuits from the 120 volt panel that I wanted to power with the inverter and tied them to the hot output from the inverter. I run all my 120 volt except microwave and AC's.
I have a 2000w PSW and it'll run the microwave with no problems. It'll also run any other large loads as long as it's one at a time (hair dryer, coffee maker, matress heat, etc). If you install a system in order to boondock (can't see any other reason) then the ROI would be based on campground fees avoided and generator not bought or fueled.

I have 640w of panels (4x160), 448AH battery (4x 6v AGM), inverter, MPPT CC and wire bought. I made my own brackets and tilt struts, installed it and wired it myself. I'm just over 2000$ invested. It's been installed for 3 yrs so if I count the number of nights boondocked (3 winters away so far, 140nights free) it's already paid for itself at 25$/night avoided. The way I see it, if you boondock, solar is the way to make it enjoyable, a genny is too much hassle.
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Old 10-18-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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Like PlayersZ28 said.

I have 250Watts of SOLAR, 60Amp MPPT MorningStar SOLAR charge controller (planed for future expansion), which pumps out 20Amps when needed, Trojan T145, 260Ah batteries and a 1500 watt inverter. When we dry camped we used the coffee pot in the morning, probably 3x a day, the microwave was used mid-day with full sun. The TV was on most of the night, and plenty of heat when needed. Originally, I was going to add another 250 watts of panels, but the current 250 Watts met out needs, so I never added any. Batteries are charged up by 2PM each SUNNY day, by 4PM on partly cloudy days.

Cloudy/rainy days, we would go into ultra-conservative mode... boil the water and pour it into the electric coffee pot's basket, we do not use the microwave unless the batteries allow for it. TV is used the most, along with tablet and cell phone charging.

The nice part is that I do not worry about taking the batteries out, or having to make sure I turned off the battery disconnect switch between uses, the SUN takes care of it all.

Don
My Registry

RVing with SOLAR
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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 https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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