Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-24-2016, 06:25 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Glen Burnie
Posts: 17
Solar Upgrade Questions

I recently bought a Jayco JayFlight SLX 154BH, a small, 17 foot trailer that fits my needs very well. It's a 2015 model and about 18 months old and is not "solar ready," at least not that I can tell. It currently has one 12-volt battery and I have another that I plan to add to it for more capacity.

I've been looking at solar panel kits and specifically several Renogy packages. Right now, the frontrunner in my search is the 100-Watt Renogy 12-Volt Foldable Suitcase.

Since I have such a small trailer, I'm not looking to put panels on my roof, at least not right now. I'd like to be able to set the panels up in the sun, even if my trailer is 40-50 feet away. Perhaps when the price of thing, flat, flexible panels comes down, I may install supplemental panels on the roof.

Now, here are my questions:

1. What does 100-watts and two 12-volt batteries get me? I'm assuming that I won't be able to use my air conditioner or other power hogs (like an electric space heater) for long or even at all. I do, however, hope I can make use of my necessary interior lights and water pump and be able to run a small fan and keep my electronic devices charged.

2. I understand that everybody uses different amounts of electricity but it would be nice to get some idea from those using solar about what they are able to get from their solar while boondocking. Are there any experiences and recommendations you would like to share?

3. How hard or easy is installation? Is it really as easy as setting up the panels, plugging in the cords, and using alligator clips or some other method to connect them to the batteries?

4. How do I get the batteries to provide power to the existing AC outlets in the trailer? Is it easy enough to do so, or am I just better off hooking up a separate inverter to take the DC from the batteries to AC and run an extension cord for my AC devices?

5. What am I not thinking about that I should? I'll be happy to learn from the experience of others.

Thanks very much in advance for your expertise.
__________________

__________________
Tim

Beats Workin'
Glen Burnie, Maryland
2015 JAYCO JayFlight SLX 154BH
Ford F-150 V6 with Leer Cap
BeatsWorkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016, 07:37 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upperco, Md.
Posts: 802
[QUOTE=BeatsWorkin;411632]I recently bought a Jayco JayFlight SLX 154BH, a small, 17 foot trailer that fits my needs very well. It's a 2015 model and about 18 months old and is not "solar ready," at least not that I can tell. It currently has one 12-volt battery and I have another that I plan to add to it for more capacity.

I've been looking at solar panel kits and specifically several Renogy packages. Right now, the frontrunner in my search is the 100-Watt Renogy 12-Volt Foldable Suitcase.

Since I have such a small trailer, I'm not looking to put panels on my roof, at least not right now. I'd like to be able to set the panels up in the sun, even if my trailer is 40-50 feet away. Perhaps when the price of thing, flat, flexible panels comes down, I may install supplemental panels on the roof.

Now, here are my questions:

1. What does 100-watts and two 12-volt batteries get me? I'm assuming that I won't be able to use my air conditioner or other power hogs (like an electric space heater) for long or even at all. I do, however, hope I can make use of my necessary interior lights and water pump and be able to run a small fan and keep my electronic devices charged.

2. I understand that everybody uses different amounts of electricity but it would be nice to get some idea from those using solar about what they are able to get from their solar while boondocking. Are there any experiences and recommendations you would like to share?

3. How hard or easy is installation? Is it really as easy as setting up the panels, plugging in the cords, and using alligator clips or some other method to connect them to the batteries?

4. How do I get the batteries to provide power to the existing AC outlets in the trailer? Is it easy enough to do so, or am I just better off hooking up a separate inverter to take the DC from the batteries to AC and run an extension cord for my AC devices?

5. What am I not thinking about that I should? I'll be happy to learn from the experience of others.

Thanks very much in advance for your expertise.[/QUOTE

I would suggest that because we live close to one another, you may want to ride out to my place for some base knowledge. I use 100 watt Renogy suitcase solar. They are very easy to use. You say that you have 1 battery and would like to add another. All batteries should be the same age. If you have a year old battery and add a new battery to the system, the new battery will be degraded to the capacity of the older battery. As far as inverter hookup goes, it has a lot to do with how much battery power you have and what you really want or need. Because my inverter is mounted in the kitchen cabinet, it didn't make a lot of sense to put in a separate panel and transfer switch when my inverter was centrally located in my trailer. A short extension cord runs everything that I use. If your inverter needs to be mounted somewhere without easy access, it might make sense to put in a transfer switch. Every case is different depending on personal needs and taste.
__________________

Ela1948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016, 07:55 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Glen Burnie
Posts: 17
Ela,

Thanks much for the quick reply. I appreciate the offer to check out your system and hopefully we can arrange something in the near future. I'm headed out to western Maryland tomorrow morning for the DelFest Bluegrass Festival (my first time to attend) and a high school graduation party for one of my nephews. I'll be back after the holiday and we can try to meet up at your convenience. I'm retired so my schedule is flexible when I'm not traveling. I'll be available anytime between 31 May and 7 June before I take off on another trip on 8 June. Let me know what works for you.

I anticipate getting a system in place before next summer because I plan to head out west and do some boondocking in various State and National Parks while traveling.
__________________
Tim

Beats Workin'
Glen Burnie, Maryland
2015 JAYCO JayFlight SLX 154BH
Ford F-150 V6 with Leer Cap
BeatsWorkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2016, 08:11 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upperco, Md.
Posts: 802
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatsWorkin View Post
Ela,

Thanks much for the quick reply. I appreciate the offer to check out your system and hopefully we can arrange something in the near future. I'm headed out to western Maryland tomorrow morning for the DelFest Bluegrass Festival (my first time to attend) and a high school graduation party for one of my nephews. I'll be back after the holiday and we can try to meet up at your convenience. I'm retired so my schedule is flexible when I'm not traveling. I'll be available anytime between 31 May and 7 June before I take off on another trip on 8 June. Let me know what works for you.

I anticipate getting a system in place before next summer because I plan to head out west and do some boondocking in various State and National Parks while traveling.
I have sent you a private message with email and phone.
Unforunately, I won't be available on the dates that you had set. I expect to be fishing in Raystown lake on those days. I will be home after June 8th. Shoot me an email or call and we will get together.
Ela1948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 08:25 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Seann45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
Posts: 9,701
"Since I have such a small trailer, I'm not looking to put panels on my roof, at least not right now. I'd like to be able to set the panels up in the sun, even if my trailer is 40-50 feet away. Perhaps when the price of thing, flat, flexible panels comes down, I may install supplemental panels on the roof."
That is a very long run of cable.. to compensate for line loss you will need to go to a 2ga welders cable, maybe even larger. At that distance I would worry about the panels disappearing the cables too as copper thieves are everywhere.
__________________
Seann
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

Seann45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 09:10 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Upperco, Md.
Posts: 802
Seanne, I have used the existing 10 to 12 ft. of cable on a Renogy suitcase solar kit and added 25 ft. of 8 ga. wire as an extension. It has worked very effectively. I have tried to measure the amps coming back to the batteries but the controller disconnects immediately when I tried to put a multimeter in the system. I have been quite impressed with the results of the 35' of cable and how it responded to recharging the batteries.
Ela1948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2016, 01:23 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
troutslayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NW AR (God's Country)
Posts: 1,846
You may want to join the solar forum here on the Jayco site.
__________________

__________________
Skip

2012 Eagle Super Lite HT 26.5RKS
2005 GMC 2500 SLT HD D/A
troutslayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electronics, portable, power, solar

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 04:26 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.