Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-18-2013, 01:27 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 102
Solar... what do I need?

I'm suddenly obsessed with the idea of boondocking. Up until now, our idea of boondocking has meant not having sewer hookups Now that we've been RV'ers for a couple years, I think I'm a bit bored with our close-by hookup camping options. There is a gold mine of FS campgrounds and dispersed areas available around us.

I'm interested in setting up a solar charging system (at least for when the weather cooperates). I will have a generator for backup (at least initially), but my goal is to keep thinks as quiet as possible around camp without giving up too many creature comforts. I know LED lights are a good idea. I probably don't need microwave or AC, but will need the furnace at times. TV would be nice to have the option, but not continuously. Other than that it's just the basic stuff. Maybe charge the cell phones sometimes?

Any suggestions on where to start with panels, controllers, inverters, etc? Lots on the net about all this, but I'm having trouble sorting through it and interested in hearing about what's a good value and any success stories!

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins H.O. 48RE
Equalizer 4-pt sway control hitch
Honda EU1000i
2006 Jayfeather 29Y - past Jayco
KachFam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Rustic Eagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,371
IMO, start out with an adequate "true" deep cycle battery bank, not the standard RV/Marine battery.

I haven't crossed over into solar yet for my boondocking (presently use Yamaha genny), but have made a number of up-grades that will be compatible with a solar system (2-6V Deep Cycle batteries, LED's, TriMetric battery monitoring system, up-graded Converter/Charger, etc.).

Battery up-grade: https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...ate+deep+cycle

Battery Monitoring System: https://www.jaycoowners.com/showthrea...c+installation

I'm sure JOF members that use solar will chime in.

Bob
__________________

__________________

2016 GM 2500HD 6.0L/4.10
2018 Jay Flight 24RBS
2005 Jayco Eagle 278FBS (retired)
1999 Jayco Eagle 246FB (retired)
Reese HP Dual Cam (integrated sway control)
Rustic Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2013, 11:34 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
I am interested in solar also & would like to know where to begin. Please holler if you get any good info!
Tricky6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 04:47 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
max2bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: bozeman,montana
Posts: 232
first off, start with a good plan. where are the panels going to mount on the roof? determine where the controller will be inside the camper . determine where the solar wire will go through the roof to the controller.then determine how to get the power from the controller up to the batteries. rustic eagle is right on getting a couple of really good batteries first. for me with my 23fb i have 3 panels, two are up front and one is postioned in the rear. that way maybe one or two panels might not be shaded by nearby trees or what have you. also be mindful of the air conditioner, that can shade a panel and also the tv antenna can partially shade a panel. the two front panels get wired to the back panel and from the back panel i take the wire through the fridge vent which is adjacent to the rear wardrobe. that is where my controller is. not a real convient placement for the controller but it works for me. from the controller i drop down to the outside storage area below the wardrobe and out though the low point drains in the outside storage area. then i run my solar wire up to the front of the trailer to the 2 6 volt batteries. i got tired of fooling with the cheap controllers and bought a good one finally cheap ones kept failing . i have a morning star. we tend to trade trailers every few years so i do not like to hack the whole trailer up might want to keep that in mind. with a good plan it is not to bad and you can always start with one panel and add as money permits. 2 panels are good and 3 are even better. we can go for a week at a time and keep charged. that is running the furnace and lights and charging cameras and stuff but no television. and it stays light here untill almost 10 at night so that helps a lot. good luck
__________________
2000 dodge ram laramie slt,cummins, 2014 jayco eagle touring edition 28.5 rkds, 1991 scamper 065s 2017 jayco 145rb baja edition
max2bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2013, 07:46 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky6 View Post
I am interested in solar also & would like to know where to begin. Please holler if you get any good info!
Go here....every thing you need to know about solar.

http://www.amsolar.com/
__________________
2012 Eagle Lite 298RLDS

On Permanent site at Gillies Lake, Bruce Peninsula
LilBigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 102
Good info - thanks everyone. I looked at Costco today and found 6v golf cart batteries for about $84 each. Rated 208 ah over 20 hours each (I think I almost understand what that means...). Would 2 of these be a good start. I am new to boondocking, so just getting to generator supported (without the genny running constantly) would be a big step.

Thanks again!
__________________
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins H.O. 48RE
Equalizer 4-pt sway control hitch
Honda EU1000i
2006 Jayfeather 29Y - past Jayco
KachFam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
rwilley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Northern Cal
Posts: 409
I have one 150 watt solar panel. I modified the rear bike rack and mounted it there so when I need it I just slide it out and tilt it. I'm currently using a cheap controller. If we conserve power and have adequate sun we can boondock 2 weeks without using the generator.
__________________
2012 Jayco Eagle 321RLTS
2008 Dodge Cummins 3500 DW Crew Cab 4x4 6 speed Auto, Exhaust Brake
rwilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
Member
 
rotjovi2269's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Duluth, MN
Posts: 91
Solar... what do I need?

Need?

Sunlight.....
rotjovi2269 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2013, 01:33 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 102
Bringing back my own thread... Christmas present to the family is going to be some trailer upgrades this year!

Does anyone carry their panels not mounted to the roof? How much distance from the trailer would be acceptable when running this way? I'm thinking here in WA I might be able to eek out a bit more power from some of these semi-shaded campsites by moving the panel to more sun (and not necessarily a spot I can get the trailer to). Yes, I did come up with this thought while sitting in my camp chair watching the sunny spots in a shaded campsite!
__________________
2012 Jay Flight 29QBH
2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins H.O. 48RE
Equalizer 4-pt sway control hitch
Honda EU1000i
2006 Jayfeather 29Y - past Jayco
KachFam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2013, 09:02 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
RoyBraddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: King George
Posts: 2,396
You might want to do what we did here first. We made everything as "GREEN" as we could with our on-board lights and other low power usage. Upgraded the battery banks first as this is where your solar power does best. You have to have a place to store the solar energy that you capture during the day when the sun is out. You just can't run things from the solar panels only. They are there to re-charge your batteries during the daylight hours when the sun is high in the sky. Then your charged-up battery banks runs all your things you want running during the night...

Making your trailer survive camping when not using the power grid takes a lot of planning to be successful. I have been doing this for over five years now and have learned all the tricks to live off the batteries successful now. We run all of our 120VAC items we want to run off of an Inverter and 12VDC items directly off the batteries and then re-charge our battery bank the next morning using our 2KW Honda Generator (when allowed) using our on-board smart mode converter/charger unit. Only take three hours of generator run time to get the batteries back to their 90% charge state so we can do all of this all over again for the next night running off the batteries.

Now that we are successful doing this its time for us to go to the next step of installing solar panel to be able to utilize the sun during the daytime hours to keep us from having to run the 2KW generator as much. The solar panels will bring our battery battery bank back to the 90% charge state before the end of the high sun day. My plans are to install a 240WATT panel on the rear of my POPUP roof and two 100-120WATT panels on the front end. You will only get 5-6AMPS DC from each of these panels when in the high sun so getting to a totals output of 15-20AMPS will be necessary to re-charge your batteries in the 5-6 hours of high sun. Even with this we may still have to run the generator for about an hour to get the high current capability out of the way to allow the 15-20AMPS to complete the charge cycle during the day.

In my case if I can't get to the 90% battery state charge before 4PM each day using solar panels I may be in trouble being allowed to run my generator to get my battery banks back up to the 90% charge state so I can make it through the night.

My on-board battery bank is currently three 85AH deep cycle batteries (Total 256AHs) in parallel and we can go all night running the 120VAC AC and 12VDC things we want to have on but will have to re-charge the batteries the next morning...

This is what I work towards if it was me... It does take good planning... You just can't setup into the woods off the power grid and be successful without good planning...

Just my thoughts...
Roy Ken
__________________

__________________
Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
RoyBraddy is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia State Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.