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Old 06-24-2018, 08:12 AM   #1
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Hybrid inverter and solar set up

Iíve searched on this forum and came up empty so forgive me if this is a repeat. I have a 2013 Pinnacle 36RQS. I just purchased a Magnum 3000 watt ďhybridĒ inverter (MSH3012M) and Samlex 150 watt 30A solar kit (SRV-150-30A) and looking to install over the 4th of July week. I still need to figure out the batteries I want to upgrade to.

A few questions for you experts out there...

1. Anyone install a similar set up and have any pointers? What should I avoid and what should I be sure to focus on?

2. Battery suggestions? AMG or Lithium? Brand suggestions? Is Trojan the best or is it all marketing?

3. The plan is to incorporate the inverter into the 5th wheel, replacing the onboard battery charge controller (the inverter does that too) and into the 110v system so that I can AC from shore power (or my Honda generator) or when not present, from the inverter/batteries. Anyone familiar with the electrical system and locations on the Pinnacle?

4. Weíre going to wire the solar directly to the batteries so they alway keep the batteries charged and tended. Suggestions here?

Sorry for so long a post. Excited to get started.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:14 AM   #2
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What is your budget for this project? If you have $10K, you can include AC, but forget about 150 watts of SOLAR to recharge your LifeP04 batteries. The AC will be using about 1440 watts or 120Amps @ 12Volts, and you will still have limited usage of the AC, depending on the amount of batteries you purchase. You would not have enough real-estate on your roof to get close to fully charging your batteries using AC. A generator is your AC option. With that said, 3000 watts of inverter is over kill, without AC.

When dry camping, which is a whole different life style, power saving it the top objective. Don't leave your lights on, radio/TV on only when some one is watching/listening. Microwave cooking at peak sun times (between 11am and 1PM). Coffee only if you have sufficient battery power in the morning (battery voltage >12.2VDC, else use the generator. Shutting down your 12Volts load items items when the battery voltage hits 12.2VDC (Battery 50% rule). That includes the INVERTER. How soon it gets to 12.2VDC is how big your battery bank is and if you follow the RVing with SOLAR life style.

How low do you let your batteries get now? If you can not answer that with an exact number, getting true deep cycle batteries could cost you a lot of money each year. Deep cycle batteries require maintenance, granted AGM batteries do not have the water issue, but the you still need to monitor how low you let the batteries go, and they cost more than flooded batteries. My Trojan T145 (260Ah) batteries are 5 years old now. I can say that they have never been below 12.2Volts, the water level is checked monthly,unless when I leave it in the mountains over winter, the 250Watt SOLAR panel and MPPT SOLAR charge controller keeps it fully charged. Battery water level was fine when I returned this spring. I left the TT in operating mode, and did not use the battery cut off switch. This puts a small load on the batteries and keeps the SOLAR charging the batteries.

The 150Watt SOLAR panel will be enough for 150Ah of batteries, not very much for any type of serious dry camping. You need to size your battery banks to allow for at least 3 cloudy days of no sunshine. How long do you plan on dry-camping? Couple of days? Week? Weeks?... This will give us an idea as to the size of your battery bank(s) and SOLAR panels. Like I said a large FifeP04 could be sized for AC, but at a cost $$$$$$$$$. And if you do not monitor that system, it could really cost you a bunch.

Personally, I would go with deep cycle batteries before you jump into the LifeP04 option, just as a learning curve, less costly should you do something wrong.

Fill us in on you needs!
Don

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Old 06-24-2018, 10:57 AM   #3
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I donít think running AC off batteries/inverter is very realistic. It might be possible to run the AC(size dependent) off a 2K generator with the Magnum supplementing with batteries during startup.
Iíve tested this by pairing a couple Honda 2Ks and shutting one down after the AC is running. Itís not even running at full throttle.
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