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Old 06-24-2020, 03:45 PM   #1
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Solar panel advice

Weíve been Boondocking and seen a lot of people using solar panels. Do the solar panels only charge your 12 V battery? Or can you run other things off that solar panel? I know nothing about the whole solar panel but in very intrigued. What is the difference of bringing a generator? We are using the 2013 X 23B.
Thank you!
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
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You can run anything that runs off 12v, lights, furnace, the ďfor how longĒ depends on the amp hours of your batteries. The controller converts solar to power and charges and maintains the batteries. Do your research, take notes and youíll have a solid grasp on Solar power. Renogy website has lots of information and great customer service and support.
Hereís a link to a excellent starting kit : Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit w/ 40A Rover MPPT Charge Controller + MC4 Connectors +Tray Cable+ Mounting Z Brackets for RV, Boat https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VY9DVY9..._-C-8EbT942B0Y

You do have to have the Controller hooked up to the batteries BEFORE connecting the panels to the Controller. And you have to disconnect the Panels from the Controller BEFORE disconnecting the batteries. I used several switches to make the process very simple.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:27 PM   #3
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It can be easier than that. There are "suitcase" type panels that you can put out next to the trailer and plug into the "solar-on-the-side" SAE-type port that comes on the trailer. Panels are avialble with the controller built in. The controller takes the varying-voltage enrgy from the panels (e.g., clouds) and gives a steady 13V supply out the wire (at varying amperage) to charge the batteries.

The system i use is from "ACOPOWER" (https://smile.amazon.com/ACOPOWER-Po.../dp/B07D4PHKLP). The suitcase type panels are all exactly the same, likely made in china and re-branded, so you can go based on "is there a controller included" and price. Way cheaper than a rooftop/permanent insall, and you get the the flexibility of putting the panels in the sun if you're parked in the shade (you can get extension cord also). Downside is somebody can run off with them, but so far so good here with a bike lock through the handle.

We've camped for 4 or 5 days and had basically 2 full batteries when we left off the 100W system, but of course YMMV based on how much yuou use (mostly the heater fan) and how sunny it is.

But don't be scared, you can either go this simple route, or pay somebody to hook it all up for you with a beefier system for more money. But either way will be easier, quieter, and safer than a generator (no gas, no noise, can run all day regardless of if you're there, etc...)
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:17 PM   #4
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Exclamation

As i said, the panels are all Chinese made. "Andrew" (who is using a stock photo as a profile) has another post on this forum that recommends ECO-WORTHY panels...and The same name has several other posts about solar panels around the internet. Beware the under-the-radar ads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Coates View Post
. As such, a solar panel enables you always to browse.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meadows11 View Post
We’ve been Boondocking and seen a lot of people using solar panels.



1. Do the solar panels only charge your 12 V battery?

2. Or can you run other things off that solar panel?



I know nothing about the whole solar panel but in very intrigued.



3. What is the difference of bringing a generator? We are using the 2013 X 23B.
Thank you!

1. Yes - solar panels charge the battery. There are rare exceptions, but for all intents and purposes, you should think of it as such: solar panel's only job is to charge a 12V battery.


2. Again, for the purpose of teaching the basics - No. You can run other things off the battery. But, no, you don't run anything off the solar panel directly. See #1, the solar panel exists to put charge into the battery.


3. The generator can do two things: charge the 12V battery AND run the 120V electrical outlets.


It took me a while to understand the electrical systems in the RV. And a bit longer to understand solar.






But for starting out, I think it's best if you start from this premise: the purpose of the solar panels are to recharge the 12V house battery.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:48 PM   #6
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A solar panel primarily offers that kind of reliability. With this, you can still power up your phones, gadgets, and other devices, depending on the solar panel’s capacity. As such, a solar panel enables you always to browse. While camping and traveling are about connecting to nature, browsing your phone or watching TV is a great way to end your day..



Think about what you posted.


Not at night.........................................




The solar panel charges the battery and it's the battery's job to power all of those devices you listed.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morttt View Post
As i said, the panels are all Chinese made. "Andrew" (who is using a stock photo as a profile) has another post on this forum that recommends ECO-WORTHY panels...and The same name has several other posts about solar panels around the internet. Beware the under-the-radar ads.
Regardless of his/her intent I can assure you that Renogy systems are legit. Iíve been running one of their 400W systems on my Jayco for almost 4 years now. I use one of their 100W suitcases on my cargo trailer as well. Both well built and Iíll be buying more soon.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Morttt View Post
The same name has several other posts about solar panels around the internet. Beware the under-the-radar ads.
Just make sure not to go to his homepage listed in his profile. You'll be correct.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:42 PM   #9
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Andrew won't be back.
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