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Old 03-07-2020, 09:12 AM   #1
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Go Solar Board questions

We have a new 2020 Eagle with installed solar panel on roof. Honestly dealer didnít have much of a clue on walk through. Our first trip didnít require any boon docking. We had to stop last night on an 11 hour trip for rest (at a Sams club parking lot).
We were under the impression we would be fine with some power for our fridge and run furnace as needed.
Not the case. Woke up to 42 degrees 🥶. And very little battery power. Lights in closet blinked some (they are on a motion switch)
Can anyone help us out on what we should do next time?
Also we have the Freedom X Sine wave Inverter
(That dealer had no advice on at delivery. )
Would appreciate any tips or links to help us walk thru once we get to our destination with full power.
Not sure we love the Jayco connect system either ...but thatís a whole nother Thread
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:56 AM   #2
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I'm not the solar expert on this forum, but I know that the 1st question that you'll be asked is how many and what kind of batteries are in your rig.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:15 AM   #3
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For us, One 12v battery is not enough to run both the inverter for the fridge and power the furnace on a cold night.
2 would be marginal and may not handle an over night in cold weather. Depending on how much was used before you went to bed (lights, tv, radio, slides, levelers) You might need 4 batteries.

New rvís just come with cheap marine batteries, not true deep cycles. I planned on being without shore power regularly, so I replace whatever batteries I had with four 6 volt batteries.

Post what you have for batteries and many people can give you better advice. A brand new rv comes with a bunch of items that could to be upgraded to improve the experience. Batteries, mattress and stereo is just a starting point.
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Old 03-07-2020, 05:56 PM   #4
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Solar is usually connected to the batteries through a controller box. It should it should have a display and you will need to find or download instructions. You need to read it and see if it is taking what the solar panels make and covert it into charging voltage for the the battery. If it is somehow shut off, not connected or something you may have started your night with a dead or low battery.



If the solar panel is working correctly the next step is to figure out if you have enough battery or if it is even working. It may be toast after being at the dealer for some time with parasite draws.



good luck
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
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Batteries are the key. The solar just charges them, the more panels the quicker the charge. The more amp hours you can get in your battery bank the better. AGM Gels can be discharged to 50%, where Lithiumís can handle almost a full discharge, I donít remember exactly. There is a lot of information on this forum in other threads about this. You have some research to do and a budget to determine. Basically the more money you spend the happier your going to be. Especially if your running a residential fridge.
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Old 03-07-2020, 07:31 PM   #6
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Sorry for “not enough info” to begin thread.
We have the Eagle 321RSTS FW
We have 2 24 volt batteries. We have the the Go Power solar kit (factory installed)
GP-Pwn-30-SB

And again... our first solar experience with NO TRAINING. ��.
We DO have a residential fridge
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:12 PM   #7
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You need to do some research and some math. Again, batteries with the most amp hours you can afford and fit in your rig is the key, especially with a residential fridge, running a microwave and a satellite tv. Thatís a pretty tall order for a night!! At a minimum you are in a 4 battery situation. I run 4 6V AGMís with 225ah each. That gives me enough power to get through a night, but I run my fridge on propane and donít have a satellite TV.
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan S. View Post
You need to do some research and some math. Again, batteries with the most amp hours you can afford and fit in your rig is the key, especially with a residential fridge, running a microwave and a satellite tv. Thatís a pretty tall order for a night!! At a minimum you are in a 4 battery situation. I run 4 6V AGMís with 225ah each. That gives me enough power to get through a night, but I run my fridge on propane and donít have a satellite TV.
Didn’t run the TV. Just charged our phones and used enough lighting to get around
Before we retired. I do wonder how much that Jayco one tablet might pull all the time?
Just thought someone might have a similar situation.
Thanks for reply
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:15 PM   #9
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Not an expert but having done a lot of reading on solar, heres my .02
In a previous post, you said 2 24 volt batteries. As these are 12volt systems, I’m guessing you have 2 group 24 batteries. These are pretty small for a rig with a residential fridge. A pair of Group 27’s would be the smallest if your planning on any off grid activity.
Your tow vehicle won’t provide sufficient charging amps to keep the batteries topped off while the fridge is drawing power from them. The single solar panel will supplement charging but with one panel, likely not enough to ensure the batteries are full for your parking lot evening. Do some reading, watch a few YouTube videos, ask questions here and build on your system. As it’s brand new, call the dealer and challenge them to swap those group 24’s for group 27’s.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:20 PM   #10
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Here is some quick math. Your math may vary.
Two 12v stock batteries have about 150 amps.
Fully charged they are 12.7 volts.
Dead batteries are. 12.2 volts, which is down to 50%
50% is 75 amps.
100 watt solar will give you a maximum of 5 amps per hour for at best 6 hours, unlikely unless your in the desert.
6x5 is 30 amps (but you need 75 to get the batteries to full)
Your furnace will draw about 8 amps per hour for 3 hours (24 amps), the smoke detectors, propane fridge and other stuff will draw about 2-3 amps for 8-10 hours (24 amps)
On your second night you still wonít have enough to keep the heater running.

To camp overnight without shore power, you need fully charged batteries. Maybe be conservative on power usage, Maybe a generator, maybe 4 batteries, maybe 300 watts of solar giving you maybe 90 amps of recharging.

Itís all a matter of math, how much storage, how much you use and how are you going to recharge it. Itís a balancing act and once you get it all perfect you can boondock as long as you want, well, until you run out of water and your black tank is full, thatís another story.
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Old 03-07-2020, 09:23 PM   #11
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You would be surprised at how much juice the fan for the heater can draw during the night. Even the inverter, propane detector and other parasitic draws will use up your batteries. If your batteries are anything like what my dealer gave me, they are not that great. Do some research and consider upgrading when you can. Go with AGM gel or Lithium. Be prepared for a bit of sticker shock. I love my solar, but itís a system with different components. Batteries, inverter, controller, panels and cabling. All have to be properly matched to do what you want overnight or on a rainy day without hookups.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:14 AM   #12
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Thanks for all of the different help!

We have researched as much as we can without ruining the trip we are on in sunny Florida. We will revisit all of this once we arrive back home!
Yíall are the BEST!
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:46 AM   #13
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A lot of good advice to ponder. I think the "catch" for many who think solar is that they believe the panels will power all of their needs. As mentioned, it is batteries. Stored energy, because the trickle that the panels are providing is not enough to run any appliance.
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Old 03-11-2020, 02:26 PM   #14
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I was looking at solar to keep my residential fridge running while in storage a few weeks at a time. Recommendation was for 600 watts of solar (that's quite a bit). I know that my fridge drained my batteries (2 12v deep cycle marine) in about 4 hours. IF the panels were installed either by Jayco or your dealer, you should have a control panel somewhere inside that shows you current battery status. The new GoPower contollers are bluetooth enable and you can use their app on your phone to check status.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:26 PM   #15
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Powering an inverter to run a residential fridge with 600 watts of solar? That might work on sunny days, what about cloudy?
Prime sunshine is less than 6 hours a day, so that means if your 2 batteries only last 4 hours, you will need 10 batteries to last the 18 hours a day without full sun...just not feasible.
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