Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-17-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Dixon
Posts: 292
Solar Power

Has anyone installed solar panels to recharge their batteries?
If so how well does it do at maintaining power?
Do you have any recommendations for what brand and models to buy?
__________________

CKinsella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 08:39 PM   #2
JMC
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 82
What trailer do you have and what battery setup?
__________________

__________________
2015 Ram 3500 SRW, 6.7L Cummins, Crew Cab, 4x4
2016 29BHDS
JMC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 08:46 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Dixon
Posts: 292
I have a 2004 Jayco Granite Ridge 3100SS. It has a single 12 volt battery.
CKinsella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 08:53 PM   #4
JMC
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 82
Do you plan to dry camp or do you just want to keep the battery topped off?
__________________
2015 Ram 3500 SRW, 6.7L Cummins, Crew Cab, 4x4
2016 29BHDS
JMC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 09:12 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Dixon
Posts: 292
I'm not really sure at this point.
What would be the difference between the two choices as far as a solar package would be?
My wife sleeps with a CPap and that requires electricity. Other than that being able to have lights in the evening and being able to keep phones charged would be nice.
CKinsella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 09:20 PM   #6
JMC
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 82
You need to figure out how often you will camp without electric hookups and for how long each time. That will drive the battery and solar needs.

You'll likely need more than the one battery you have. And I believe the cpap will require a pure sine wave inverter, which are costlier than a modified sine wave inverter.
__________________
2015 Ram 3500 SRW, 6.7L Cummins, Crew Cab, 4x4
2016 29BHDS
JMC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2015, 11:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Albany, OR
Posts: 589
Quote:
Originally Posted by CKinsella View Post
I'm not really sure at this point.
What would be the difference between the two choices as far as a solar package would be?
My wife sleeps with a CPap and that requires electricity. Other than that being able to have lights in the evening and being able to keep phones charged would be nice.
You absolutely have to figure out how much you plan on being "unplugged" before you consider anything else. Either way you might as well plan on buying another battery, or better yet, two new identical batteries. You want true deep cycle batteries if possible, not the car starting batteries. You will need a an inverter to convert DC power to 120VAC for the C-Pap and television when unplugged. Pure sine wave inverters are better for things that might be picky about power.
In my case I have the following and would consider this an entry level system. If I am in the southwest with lots of sun, I never have to run the genny, unless I want the microwave. If I am in the northwest in the winter(very little sun), then my solar array would be too small to keep up for more than a few of days. If I want to run the microwave or air conditioner then I have to either plug in or run the generator.
2X Deep cycle batteries
200 watts of solar panels
Morningstar Tristar charge controller.
2000 watt Yamaha generator
400 watt inverter.
Power monitor.

I would start by reading and understanding the following articles. Then you will have enough knowledge to ask questions and understand the answers people provide.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
__________________

2015 Jayco 27RLS
2015 Ford F250 6.7PSD
DanNJanice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2015, 09:27 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Greenbush, NY
Posts: 642
Lots of solutions out there! I just traded my 2009 Rockwood bumper pull for a new Jayco 5'er. The dealer didn't want ANY of my 300W solar panel system, so I pulled both 150W panels from the room, my Rogue MPT-3024 Controller/Charger, my Xantrex 2000W PSW inverter, all the cables, and my four 6V golf cart batteries. I'll be installing all in the Jayco in the offseason.

Between beach camping and NA$CAR camping, we do a lot of "dry", so the solar is a big plus for us!
Fire_Instructor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2015, 09:06 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Dale Hollow Lake Tn/Ky
Posts: 1,941
Alternate solution to Solar [and generator] is just go with a small generator like the H2000. Solar by itself can be sell limiting if you are not in Arizona or a similar place where Sun is a daily thing. In heavily wooded areas and locations where cloudy days are a regular visitor, it is difficult to rely on solar by itself, thus the solar / generator comment. Given the options, I choose the generator only solution since it handles all my battery recharge needs regardless of weather and site restrictions and can also supply 110 needs while charging the batteries. A solar kit is expensive to install and depending on your use requirements may require a larger battery bank.

A Honda or Yama 2000 can run for 6 hours a day to recharge batteries and power a coffee maker and microwave as needed on roughly 1 gallon for 2 days. I've used a 6 gallon boat tank for 1 1/2 weeks if not running the AC.
Bassdogs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2015, 09:53 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Greenbush, NY
Posts: 642
We combine the strengths of a small generator (Yamaha 2400) and solar. The solar does most everything except the A/C and heavy cooking uses (it will run the microwave, but not with anything ELSE on!) The new 5'er has a bigger, more wattage microwave, so I'm not holding a lot of hope that it will power that.

We typically camp in a variety of places, including some very nice RV resorts, private campgrounds, state parks with limited or no utilities, NASCAR races, and an occasional parking lot while in transit more than a day. One of our favorite trips is one that we try to repeat every other year, to Assateague IslandState Park, in Maryland. Camping at Assateague is truly boondocking. There are no services in all but one of the camping loops. Water needs to be hauled in, waste hauled out, and if power is needed, it means “disturbing the peace” by running a generator.

For boondocking, we have a 2400W Yamaha (quiet!) generator, purchased after our first NASCAR camping weekend without one, but using it means that someone needs to fuel it (me!), start it (also me!), keep an eye on it while it’s running (me again!), and then secure it when completed (yup, it’s me!). In spite of the Yamaha being quiet, this activity still requires “attention” – detracting from my camping leisure, burning long-dead dinosaurs whose remains directly fill the bank accounts of a society that includes those who would commit acts of terrorism (I’m a firefighter who worked on The Pile at Ground Zero in NYC post-9-11), and emiting CO and other toxins into my campsite!

By combining the solar and the generator, I only have to start the generator for breakfast and sometimes dinner, we can use the Margarita maker in peace, and I don't have to tend to the generator too much. Even in the rain-soaked weekend that this Fall's Dover NA$CAR race was held in, I only had to start the generator for breakfast and dinner, and the solar tended to the rest of the use. And that was without climbing up on the roof and adjusting to panels to the lower angle of the Fall sun - I left them flat. (I had homemade adjustment arms on my panels, so that I could adjust to sun angle. Likely won't put these on new 5'er, as I found that I really don't need them!)

I've got a very lengthy explanation of my previous set-up. It's posted (still a sticky!) on the Forest River / Rockwood users forum. I'll send it to you as a PM if you are interested. Just let me know....
__________________

Fire_Instructor is offline   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 05:35 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.