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Old 03-03-2024, 11:54 PM   #1
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Power

Hellos all -

Some basic Qs If I could.

I have a Grayhawk 2006 27.

I bought the basic renogy 20a solar kit. As I understand it, this kit just charges the batteries, correct? [which are lead-acid i believe]. I have not gotten into the installation as yet, but does this system just charge the utility batteries, or does it charge the engine battery as well?

After I install this solar system I still want to install a separate power inverter hooked directly to the utility batteries, a 3000w or 4000w unit as a direct plugin to the shore power to run coffee, device chargers, etc.. from the 110v plugs when we are stopped without shore power..

does this sound all doable??

Thanks a bunch.. best, dw
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Old 03-04-2024, 11:44 AM   #2
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I added Solar to our 2016. It will charge whatever battery you connect up to the controller. You'll put the panel (or panels) in the sun, run wires from the panels to the controller. And then wires from the controller to whatever battery you decide to charge.

On mine - the house and chassis batteries are not connected (unless I hold the button) so, yes, on mine solar only charges the house batteries.

As for the second part...
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Old 03-04-2024, 11:46 AM   #3
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Remember - solar just puts a charge into the battery. Like you said, your inverter then connects to the battery. What you'll be able to power will depend on how big or how many batteries you have.

And also - for how long you'd be able to power them.

Laptops? Cell phone chargers - yeah, super easy to run those for a decent amount of time.

Coffee maker? Those things typically pull a lot of power, but fortunately for not that long of a time.

3000/4000 watt inverter, sounds good to me.
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Old 03-04-2024, 12:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr5chrome View Post
.... I have a Grayhawk 2006 27....
Did it come with a generator? Kept in good repair these are excellent at running high drain appliances, battery charging, etc...
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Old 03-04-2024, 01:18 PM   #5
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You need to understand a couple things. Let’s say that your microwave operates at 12 amps 120 volts or 1440 watts. So, your inverter must be rated higher than the load you are feeding. Therefore 3000-4000 watt inverter will definately operate the microwave. Now let’s go to the battery or 12 volt side of the inverter. Just the microwave alone is 120 amps. The full output of a 3000 would be 250 amps. And a 4000 would be 333 amps. Overcurrent protection should be a minimum 100% of the load applied and conductors sized to that overcurrent protection rating. Setting that aside, if you have (2) 100 amp hour lead acid batteries, only 100 amp hours are useable. So, the microwave would deplete the batteries in 45 to 50 minutes with no other load. Remember, you have 12 volt loads besides the inverter. If you have 3000 watts being used at 250 amps, you will get 20-25 minutes. 4000 watts, 12-15 minutes.
The point is, spending money on a large inverter only, may not meet your expectations of what can be operated on it. And to meet those expectations may cost a lot more in batteries, and very large copper conductors. As well as space to install that many batteries and weight.
Best wishes, Kevin
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Old 03-04-2024, 07:09 PM   #6
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Thanks all.. very helpful! . I am grateful! dw
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Old 03-05-2024, 08:18 AM   #7
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I would go to Renogy.com and find "learn" where they have several helpful tutorials on installation and operation of solar, mppt and batteries. You can also call and ask questions but note they are in California and you need to check hours to call.
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Old 03-06-2024, 11:02 AM   #8
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One more q..

So, ill start putting things together..

Q on batteries - Ive read on companies selling lithiums that they will not charge if its cold.. Does anyone have this experience? Part of our use would be where it is cold and we live in the upper midwest. Should I just stick with the lead-acid?

TY. dw
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Old 03-06-2024, 03:00 PM   #9
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So, ill start putting things together..

Q on batteries - Ive read on companies selling lithiums that they will not charge if its cold.. Does anyone have this experience? Part of our use would be where it is cold and we live in the upper midwest. Should I just stick with the lead-acid?

TY. dw
It sounds like you've still got some reading to do about Lithiums.

It's not that there's a problem with the sellers, its the Lithium batteries themselves. Lithium batteries should NOT be charged (or discharged) below freezing temperatures.

If you do a lot of winter camping, below freezing, then Lithiums need some extra consideration.

It can be done, but it's a bit more work. You either spend more for batteries with built-in heaters, or you find someway to keep them warm.

We're talking about temperatures of 32*F and below.
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Old 03-06-2024, 03:28 PM   #10
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there are several good you tubes to watch that explain this better such as at Renogy.com "learn".

Simply put, lithium batteries can be damaged by charging if the cells are below freezing. On mine and some others the BMS has a temp sensor in the battery and won't charge below 32. On some more expensive ones there are built in heaters that keep the battery warm using part of the battery amps to do so. On some really cheap ones there is no protection. All lithium s will discharge without harm down to really low temps.

In my case the battery is under the bed and we don't camp in cold enough weather to ever worry about it. For example, we camped in Great Sand Dunes NP and it snowed at night but as soon as sun came up the temps were well above freezing. And we kept the furnace at 65 inside all night so battery never really got cold anyway.
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Old 03-10-2024, 12:03 PM   #11
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Solar panels

I want to add solor to my 2019 jayco 29mv.
How do i get the wires from the roof to the batteries
Allan
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Old 03-10-2024, 05:18 PM   #12
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I want to add solor to my 2019 jayco 29mv.
How do i get the wires from the roof to the batteries
Allan
Mine doesn't -- but I think a lot of the newer Jayco's were prewired for Solar. You should call Jayco with your VIN and ask. If they say "Yes" then be sure and ask for a drawing that shows the location.

If they say "Nope", then you can do what others have done: drill a hole in the roof and fish the wires down thru the walls. Or run the wires across the roof and down one of the vents.

Or -- what I did -- I have a 2" PVC pipe, 10' long, painted to match the RV that's attached to my rear ladder. The solar panels are at the rear of the roof, so my wires run down this new PVC pipe / conduit and out near the bumper. From there, a short run under the RV and up thru a 1" hole I drilled in the back area. Then up to my MPPT controller.




First -- call Jayco.
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:25 PM   #13
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You guys are the best. Great ideas, thank you
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Old 03-11-2024, 12:36 PM   #14
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My 195RB was not pre-wired for solar. I found a cabinet and drilled up to the roof inside the cabinet and placed my rooftop cable entry there. Then drilled the bottom of the cabinet near the wall, ran it down the wall in a little wire run I got from Menards and through the bottom cabinet top and then to battery under the front bed.

Only about 18 inches of cable way visible and shortest run from solar to MPPT under the bed and next to the battery. I used small cable clamps screwed to the cabinet frame to keep the wire out of the way and supported.
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Old 03-11-2024, 02:12 PM   #15
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Lots of good advice on the solar. One thing thing about the inverter it has a minimum amp draw in the battery, and there is a lot of wasted energy converting from 12V DC to 120V AC. So if your only charging your phone, you will draw down your battery quickly.

For things like charging the phone, I would install a few 12V AUX power ports, like what you see in your car. Then buy a USB adaptor for it. You will save a lot of battery power.
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Old 03-11-2024, 02:14 PM   #16
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I want to add solor to my 2019 jayco 29mv.
How do i get the wires from the roof to the batteries
Allan
What do you have for a camper? If your camper has a 2 way frig with a roof top chimney, you can run the cables down through that chase very easily.
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