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Old 06-10-2016, 06:22 AM   #1
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Solar install on a $1000. budget ?

Looking to get solar on the TT when it arrives in a couple of weeks. Prewired by Jayco, whatever that means, for the 2017 model 25BH. For a $1000 budget where should I start? I would like to dry camp as much as possible. Presently I have 2- 2000W invertor Generators for the 15K A/C & battery charge but would like to use that as little as possible. Should I look towards battery banks first or start with a couple of 100 w panels systems? like these:https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-...=dradisplay-20
Also looked at adding these batteries in parallel
Duracell® AGM Deep Cycle Marine and RV Battery - Group Size 31 - Sam's Club
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by robert9999 View Post
Looking to get solar on the TT when it arrives in a couple of weeks. Prewired by Jayco, whatever that means, for the 2017 model 25BH. For a $1000 budget where should I start? I would like to dry camp as much as possible. Presently I have 2- 2000W invertor Generators for the 15K A/C & battery charge but would like to use that as little as possible. Should I look towards battery banks first or start with a couple of 100 w panels systems? like these:https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Watts-...=dradisplay-20
Also looked at adding these batteries in parallel
Duracell® AGM Deep Cycle Marine and RV Battery - Group Size 31 - Sam's Club
I have those panels (3-4years now) and they work fine.
The real question you have to answer is: "Will I use the generator to run the AC, Microwave, and coffee maker?" If the answer is yes, then you can get by with a much smaller solar system. If the answer is no, then you will need a fairly large solar system, a large inverter, most likely golf cart batteries, possible rewiring with heavier wiring (like welding cable).
If you are willing to fire up the genny for the high load items, then a couple of those panels with a modest charge controller would work OK. On my trailer I am still using the batteries the dealership installed and they work fine. So, for about $300 you would be in business.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:14 AM   #3
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Almost forgot the requisite links for further information. This should give you many hours of reading pleasure
RV Electrical
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:14 AM   #4
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I would like to run everything, except the A/C, on solar. The 6 volt GC batts may be a better setup it seems as they have more AH'S combined.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:28 AM   #5
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You can do a lot with a $1000 SOLAR budget. The panels you linked to do not include a SOLAR charge controller, which you will need to buy separately. Here is a link to purchase a Renogy 200 watt kit that includes a charge controller. The battery you are linking to is an AGM, and is NOT a true Deep Cycle battery, but a hybrid battery. True Deep Cycle batteries do not have a CCA or MCA rating 9cranking power. Is there a reason for you selecting an AGM type of battery?... Trojan T-105 (220 Ah, 6 VDC) batteries ($105 - $140 each) will give you a little more Ah's and are more of a True Deep Cycle battery, and they, if properly maintained will outlast (performance wise) a hybrid battery.

Batteries in parallel add amps, batteries in series add voltage.

The big question is, what types of loads will you be putting on your system. Inverter? Size of inverter? Tv? As mentioned in another post,coffee pot, microwave, main heating system, recharging electronics...? How many days will you be without power? Weekends only? Week at a time? Couple weeks at a time? All necessary information to design your SOLAR system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert9999 View Post
I would like to run everything, except the A/C, on solar. The 6 volt GC batts may be a better setup it seems as they have more AH'S combined.
Not knowing how long your dry-camping sessions will be and thinking that you will be using/charging electronics, microwave and coffee pot, I would recommend 400 watts of SOLAR and (4) T105 batteries.. but you will have to run new wire down from the roof, as the JAYCO pre-wire is not for high Amp setups.

Here is a link to our RVing with SOLAR social group. There is a lot of information regarding batteries, SOLAR information, and members sharing their installation projects.

Don
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:29 AM   #6
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You like to drycamp as much as possible.. How much is that? Weekends only? 2 weeks a year? This makes a difference in what you need.. As you can see from my sig line I average over 200 nights a year Boondocking. Since I like all the comforts of home I have a substantial system. Mine runs everything except the A/C.

Doing the work yourself you should be able to get a decent system up and running for under $1000.00 Biggest expense will be the inverter to run your 110 appliances.
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Old 06-10-2016, 09:46 AM   #7
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Planning a long distance trip for 3 months out & will want to dry camp from 2-7 day stretches & between destinations with Walmrt overnight stops. Plan on full service CG's for 2-3day stretches in-between.
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Old 06-10-2016, 10:50 AM   #8
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Planning a long distance trip for 3 months out & will want to dry camp from 2-7 day stretches & between destinations with Walmrt overnight stops. Plan on full service CG's for 2-3day stretches in-between.
Nice!!! Add one of these automatic transfer switches to your list. It will switch between your inverter and shore power (when available). They come in 30 and 50 amp models.

Don
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BATTERY - AUTOMATIC Transfer Switch.jpg  
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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 06-11-2016, 09:41 AM   #9
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$1000 sounds like a lot of money until you start to spend it....

Don't know if this will help you, but here is where I'm at.

Been camping for 10 years in a fifth wheel. Waded into no-hookup camping about half way through. First with a poorly chosen marine battery, then with 2 poorly chosen marine batteries, then with 2 poorly chosen marine batteries and a yamaha 2400. This was to survive 3 to 12 day stints with out hook ups in National Parks.

Now with the Jayco we got this spring, I'm a little smarter.

I bought a small power meter and realize that my Jayco is going to draw about 5 amps per hour with fridge on propane. 5 amps over 24 hours = 120 amp hours. $20 thru Amazon

I bought 2 Trojan t-105 batteries. 225 amp hours (115 amp hours to 50% soc) (nearly $350 by the time I paid core charges and tax)

This got me realizing that I'd need to run the generator daily in Glacier to keep the battery above 50%.

I had plans for an awesome solar system, but have that up after a heavy spring of unexpected expenditures. So I decided to wade into it. I ordered the Renogy 200 Watt starter kit and plan to use it as a portable system. $350. We'll install the converter in the basement and stretch cables out to panel locations. Panels can travel under the bed. With our camping being mostly weekend trips with hookups and a long trip in the summer, maybe I don't need a big solar system. I'll try this and see where I need to go from here.

This will show up next week and I'll post pictures and information as I get it installed and begin to use it.

I figure that this will put back at least 2 times what is coming out during charging times. While I may not be at 100% daily, I believe we'll avoid running the generator, unless we run the hair drier or microwave.

If you add the numbers up, I'm at $800 already......
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:31 PM   #10
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Thanks, Don. It appears that this one is discountinued by the manufacturer. Would this be a newer version?

https://www.amazon.com/Progressive-D.../dp/B002UCADGW

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Nice!!! Add one of these automatic transfer switches to your list. It will switch between your inverter and shore power (when available). They come in 30 and 50 amp models.

Don
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