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Old 04-25-2016, 04:59 PM   #11
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How is the battery compartment vented?
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Onefastdaddy View Post
Good question. Never tried it. Just the issue is to keep the micro-inverter alive I have to have pure sine on the same circuit it is feeding. I am using almost no power (trailer is in a shaded area so I'm not making all that much solar) so the current micro-inverter is a great idea if you always are connected to the grid.
So the TC500A micro-inverter with panels is a good option for trailers that always have a plug into the grid. I'm probably correct in thinking there's a lot of them out there like that. Just when the grid goes down the micro-inverter turns off.
.
You are correct that you need to have a pure sine wave inverter on the same AC circuit... but NOT all pure sine wave outputs will be recognized by the mini-inverter (constantly reads the main AC supply voltage/frequency). The main reason is to shut it down in case the grid AC stops (so your AC does not head out to the grid and electrocute a worker and the other reason is to keep un authorized systems from connecting to the grid.

The other issue that you will encounter is that most newer Eclectic company meters are SMART (almost) meters. They sense that there is a foreign voltage on the customer side of the meter and will generate a report at the Electric company. Also, most electric company meters will sense the voltage and if not programmed for SOLAR, will add it as a load, so you will be billed accordingly. If you are pushing out 2Kwh from your panels, the electric company will add that 2Kw as a usage, so you will be paying for it at their rates. The meter has to be a net-metering meter and programmed for SOLAR.

Some electric companies program their meters to shut down the meter, an error code will be displayed on the meter and the only way they remove it by a site visit. Along with some nasty fines.

The electric tech for the power company that supplies power to the CG we stay at, said they get a report generated... (many locals caught) all he has to do is read the report and head to the meter that was generating the report or go to the top of the hill look out over all the TT's and see which one has SOLAR. Not interested in getting kicked out of the CG.

I thought about this a few years ago, but after researching it, I found it was not worth the effort.

Don
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:46 PM   #13
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GTK on the extra micro-inverter info. Good thing I have no plans to remain connected to the utility more than a couple more days. Then it's off to see the Western USA.

For all who missed the update. YC500A and associated wiring is removed completely. No longer in the discussion. In it's place a TS-60 Solar Charge Controller to charge the batteries. AC off grid will be provided by an inverter and I'll plug the shore power to that or a Honda Generator. Yes, I will be sure to flip the breaker for the "Controller" down/off beforehand on the main panel. In my case it's the 15A one on the far right. But only for just inverter AC. In a perfect sunny world I won't need that converter on the solar will keep the batteries topped off.

Micro inverters like the YC500A are horrible devices. Probably a good idea that was quickly crippled by the greedy utilities and their lobbyists to ensure they are not adopted as off-grid screw you utility devices as I hoped to use mine for. Good thing I can still say goodbye to the utility and always will.

This is all so like cell phones used to be before Apple made one. You had to just suffer with whatever they chose to give you and put up with whatever they charged you. I remember those days well. Then when Apple gave people a choice look what happened. Millions chose it. Solar is the same way. The utilities will find in the end no one wants there monopoly and monopolistic practices if they have a choice. That is why this trailer is being setup to never need to connect to a utility power connection.

That was really good info about the smart for them meters, thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:21 PM   #14
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Almost there.

I relocated the battery to the larger front compartment. Added a second one. Still need to add a vent but honestly there's tons of ventilation inside the whole front compartment I'm not too worried right now. I reverse engineered the old battery compartment. Seems everything is frame grounded even the negative on the battery. So I just relocated the Frame ground from the orig. battery area to the new one. Worked like a champ. Then ran a 4 gauge wire from the old battery positive over to the battery positive in the new area along with a 100A breaker. So, now I have double the battery (220Ah).

Solar, Charge controller. I just went with the solar wiring installed. I triple checked that the positive up there went to the cabinet by the solar ready sticker. It is seen as the white wire with the red electrical tape on it in the photo with the charge controller. That goes to a 30A breaker then to the input on the charge controller. The output is a red wire to another 30A breaker that then goes to the positive main input to that DC controller. Those are a short run down to the main controller.

From the roof connector the negative went right to the battery box area. I tied that to chassis ground. I do like the simplicity of having chassis grounded things which is how I see Jayco did things. All I did was follow their lead.

I will likely never know or find out where the white cable in the battery area and the black in the cabinet ever went. I physically followed the black to where it appeared to head up the wall to the roof behind the fridge. The battery compartment white one I can only follow a little ways where it goes into the front and probably up. Maybe the two meet somewhere unconnected. If so it will remain a mystery where.

As a note, this is proof of concept setup. I'm going to tidy things up after a day of testing. Mount the charge controller with screws, mount the inverter on the plywood, strap the batteries down, replace the cover in the cabinet. So far the layout is working out for me. I can still fit my Honda E2000 generator inside that compartment.
How easy was it to re-locate the battery to the front compartment, dealing with the wiring, etc? Curious as to what i'm getting myself into if I make the attempt....
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
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Short answer: It's as easy as you make it. My goal was change nothing but the battery location as far as the electrical circuit. In this way if there is some sort of warranty claim I can show as far as the electrical system knows it's the same. So, if you can follow each wire to the battery and simply relocate the battery like I did over there then it's easy to do. In my case the actual move was a few minutes. Building the plywood flooring and battery box took the time.

Long answer: I have followed nearly every wire everywhere to try and locate that solar cabling. In doing so I completely figured out the wiring. The important part for the battery move is to look closely and see the negative on the battery simply goes right over to a self tapping metal bolt screwed into the frame. The frame of the RV is the common ground. So to keep my wiring the same I relocated that bolt to the same frame over in that compartment. Electrically I did nothing (i.e. on a circuit diagram nothing changed with the move). All I did after was run a 4 gauge wire from the existing positive battery cable to the compartment. I added a breaker there so it terminates on a breaker not the actual battery positive. Then a battery wire (4 gauge) down to the positive on the battery. With the new space I added a second battery in parallel (connected positive to positive and negative to negative). Then to make the pair act like a single larger battery you must make sure the negative chassis ground is on the opposite end of the "big battery" from the positive. I have seen this everywhere, battery banks where the positive and negative are on the same battery in multi-battery banks. And every one of those people complained of bad battery performance and short battery life. Every one of them was installed by a marine (i.e. boat) electrician who was paid a lot to do it. I wonder how often this happens in RV World? The best sites I found were prepper sites and solar sites where they explain why you don't want to do that.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Onefastdaddy View Post
Short answer: It's as easy as you make it. My goal was change nothing but the battery location as far as the electrical circuit. In this way if there is some sort of warranty claim I can show as far as the electrical system knows it's the same. So, if you can follow each wire to the battery and simply relocate the battery like I did over there then it's easy to do. In my case the actual move was a few minutes. Building the plywood flooring and battery box took the time.

Long answer: I have followed nearly every wire everywhere to try and locate that solar cabling. In doing so I completely figured out the wiring. The important part for the battery move is to look closely and see the negative on the battery simply goes right over to a self tapping metal bolt screwed into the frame. The frame of the RV is the common ground. So to keep my wiring the same I relocated that bolt to the same frame over in that compartment. Electrically I did nothing (i.e. on a circuit diagram nothing changed with the move). All I did after was run a 4 gauge wire from the existing positive battery cable to the compartment. I added a breaker there so it terminates on a breaker not the actual battery positive. Then a battery wire (4 gauge) down to the positive on the battery. With the new space I added a second battery in parallel (connected positive to positive and negative to negative). Then to make the pair act like a single larger battery you must make sure the negative chassis ground is on the opposite end of the "big battery" from the positive. I have seen this everywhere, battery banks where the positive and negative are on the same battery in multi-battery banks. And every one of those people complained of bad battery performance and short battery life. Every one of them was installed by a marine (i.e. boat) electrician who was paid a lot to do it. I wonder how often this happens in RV World? The best sites I found were prepper sites and solar sites where they explain why you don't want to do that.
Thanks for all the great advice! I'm sure if I take out the propane tanks the wiring should be pretty self explanatory. Your set up looks great. Did you end up making any changes to the battery platform? I'm looking at Quickcable's Quickbox dual 6V battery box or NOCO HM26, and installing a longer vent hose to the existing vent hose outlet.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:57 PM   #17
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NP, I owe everyone at least a photo as well. We are dry camping just outside Western Yellowstone (Baker's Hole Campground). I really like how this trailer, having LED lighting uses so little power. We run the Honda 2k generator in the early evening for an hour or two just to be sure we go into the night topped off we don't have to but it's great to have that flexibility. It's in the low 30s at night and snow flurries off/on for the past few days. It doesn't stick on the ground but it's cold. Our trailer is really cozy. We keep the thermostat at about 62 at nights and the girls in their bunks and us in the front bedroom are quite warm under our blankets. Jayco really did a good job with insulation.
I'll try and get those photos uploaded here soon. It's nothing fancy what I did but it's worked for over a month of full time now in it out on the road and camping CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, so far.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:44 PM   #18
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NP, I owe everyone at least a photo as well. We are dry camping just outside Western Yellowstone (Baker's Hole Campground). I really like how this trailer, having LED lighting uses so little power. We run the Honda 2k generator in the early evening for an hour or two just to be sure we go into the night topped off we don't have to but it's great to have that flexibility. It's in the low 30s at night and snow flurries off/on for the past few days. It doesn't stick on the ground but it's cold. Our trailer is really cozy. We keep the thermostat at about 62 at nights and the girls in their bunks and us in the front bedroom are quite warm under our blankets. Jayco really did a good job with insulation.
I'll try and get those photos uploaded here soon. It's nothing fancy what I did but it's worked for over a month of full time now in it out on the road and camping CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, so far.
Here are some snow flurries from this last Friday. Camped at Stampede Lake Logger Campground out by Truckee, CA. Needless to say we had almost 200 campsites to ourselves as everyone else chickened out!!! The furnace fan killed our battery by the morning so now I know not to leave my thermostat at 70+ during the night (used the geni to charge back up in the mornings)By the third night we set it to 65 and had way more juice left in the morning. We're still new at this and this was our first boondocking expirience......ever. Still learning.

Needles to say I need to get my dual 6V battery setup done quick.

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