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Old 11-17-2013, 01:22 AM   #11
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My partially implemented plan:
4x 6v batteries(done)
30lb propane tanks(done)
Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater(done)
Led bulbs(done)
TV that runs on DC(done) -- found a TV with a 12v power brick and hardwired it in
Magnum Ms2812 2800w Inverter
Automatic Transfer Switch
Solar setup, unsure of the specifics yet
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by NewBlackDak View Post
My partially implemented plan:
4x 6v batteries(done)
30lb propane tanks(done)
Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater(done)
Led bulbs(done)
TV that runs on DC(done) -- found a TV with a 12v power brick and hardwired it in
Magnum Ms2812 2800w Inverter
Automatic Transfer Switch
Solar setup, unsure of the specifics yet
Nice setup/plan,
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
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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 11-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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- what's stopping me from getting the panel and hooking it up directly to my trailer's battery and then using the trailer's electrical system?
The reason that you do not want to hook your solar panel(s) directly to your battery is because as the name implies, it is a charge controller. During the sunny days, while your panel(s) are cranking out their max amperage, it has no way of knowing what state your battery is in. Let's say that your battery is fully charged, the sun comes up and starts sending its output and has no way of knowing how much your battery needs. It will then overcharge your battery, which will drastically shorten your batteries life, or even worse things. A charge controller monitors the panel and the battery and distributes the power according to the batteries needs at that time. If the charge controller sees a fully charged battery it will just put it in a FLOAT state. Should you get a panel that produces 20VDC and it is connected directly to the battery, you will probably fry your electronic components in the TT ($$$$). The charge controller limits the voltage/amps to the battery.
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 11-17-2013, 11:08 AM   #14
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Great info, thanks. How much would it cost to get set up with a basic, entry-level solar system? I need to know what I'm up against if I get invested in this idea.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:52 AM   #15
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Great info, thanks. How much would it cost to get set up with a basic, entry-level solar system? I need to know what I'm up against if I get invested in this idea.
Before venturing into solar systems to purchase, or selecting individual parts, it would be advisable to look at what you will need. Are you going to be dry-camping most of the time? A couple days? You can sit down and look at some of the electrical requirements of the various items you will be using (lights, water pump, fans (heating/cooling) and the list goes on. Once you get an idea as to what your needs are, you can start looking at your solar options. Also, when you decide as to what you want in your entry-level system, keep in mind that you may want to expand your system to allow for additional solar panels/batteries, without having to redesign you system ($$$$). You will want to research which "TRUE" deep cycle battery(s) have the needed power for your requirements. Be careful, as all solar panels are not created equally. Some are made for only 12VDC systems as others have much higher voltages (31VDC - residential/commercial) and need special charge controllers MPPT (like mine), to connect to 12volt TT system. There is a lot of personal preference when it gets down to which is the best choice. One key point is to buy a solar charge controller that will allow for expansion. You can link to my solar album below to look at my system. Solar is not a cheap alternative, as it may be cheaper for you to purchase a small (Quiet) generator. Don't look for solar to be able to run your TT's AC, that would take a heck of a system.
As an example, my panel (250watts@31VDC) charges my T-145 batteries on a sunny day by 2PM and a little longer on cloudy days. That includes the TV (Inverter), radio, and LED lights on during the day. I will be adding another 250 watt panel, and 2 additional T145 batteries before camping in 2014. This is what I enjoy doing.
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 11-18-2013, 06:36 AM   #16
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I installed my small PSW INVERTER on the inside of a cabinet close to my battery bank. I ran two extension cords with multiple receptacles from the two 120VAC connections on the INVERTER and ran one to the area of my home entertainment items. The second 120VAC extension cord was ran to the bedroom area.

These cords are out of sight running in WIREMODE or behind the cabinets etc.. The only thing visible is the multiple 120VAC connection head on the back of the cabinet top... My INVERTER is remote controlled so when i need to use emergency 120VAC I just plug into the available 120VAC receptacle.

This is a typical RV Trailer setup to give you an idea of what I did here with my off-road POPUP.



This is a floorplan layout of my off-road POPUP setup. Tent beds on each end not shown...


My floorplan looks like this when setup...


Roy Ken
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:23 PM   #17
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I have not used my furnace in 2+ years now. I bought a big buddy catalytic heater and it works better uses less propane and less battery power.
If your boondocking SOLAR POWER is the best way to go.. No smelly noisy generator needed...
Seann,

How does that Big Buddy heat up your trailer? It looks like your trailer is a similar size to ours. Do you run it all night? Do you use the portable bottles or plumb it into the main propane tanks? I'm thinking this would be the way to go. I've been researching them for a little while and they seem to be surprisingly safe for RV use. Even if I burnt through a couple of portable bottles per night, it would still probably be less fuel consumption than my furnace in cooler weather and still much cheaper than paying for a campground with power!
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:03 PM   #18
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I use a Big Buddy, and unless the outdoor temp gets down to 35-40 degrees, it gets too hot in the TT to leave it running all night. So I just shut it off a bedtime, then wake up cold and turn it back on. I use the extended hose accessory, and connect to a 20# tank (situated outdoors) through one of the windows, sealed with foam rubber.

Last 20# tank fillup lasted me 10 days. Cheap heat, if you ask me. I wish there were a propane heater that had half the lowest output of the Big Buddy. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #19
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Seann,

How does that Big Buddy heat up your trailer? It looks like your trailer is a similar size to ours. Do you run it all night? Do you use the portable bottles or plumb it into the main propane tanks? I'm thinking this would be the way to go. I've been researching them for a little while and they seem to be surprisingly safe for RV use. Even if I burnt through a couple of portable bottles per night, it would still probably be less fuel consumption than my furnace in cooler weather and still much cheaper than paying for a campground with power!
It works too well overnight. Like Smokerbill I have it off and turn it on first thing in the morning.. Now if you find that is too chilly for you I would suggest try leaving just the pilot light on overnight.. it puts out a goodly amount of heat.. remember to ALWAYS leave a roof vent cracked open. I have my big buddy plumed to the stove through a T fitting. (there is a fitting on the left side behind the 1lb tank fitting for a hose on a low pressure line.)
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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.
175 days boondocking in 2017
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SkyBound View Post
I'm interested in a solar panel for next year. I'm hearing all this talk of charge controllers and inverters and everything - what's stopping me from getting the panel and hooking it up directly to my trailer's battery and then using the trailer's electrical system?
As stated earlier it controls the charge going into your batteries PLUS it prevents "back flow" at night. Solar panels will discharge your batteries if you do not have a charge controller or blocking diodes to prevent back flow.
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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.
175 days boondocking in 2017
215/2016, 211/2015, 196/14, 247/13, 193/12

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