Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
Jayco RV Owners Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2021, 01:51 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Newb Questions part 2: Electric and Solar

Topic two in our move from TT to 5er.

In our old TT, 30 AMP service, we had the standard single group 24 Marine/RV battery. It was frankly sufficient for our little rig, because we were either at full hook ups, or if boon docking we used a 3500w inverter generator anyway in order to run A/C a few hours a day, which would also charge the battery sufficiently. Our boon docking is usually in the 2 to 3 day range, and will likely continue in that manner.

We do NOT use or need outlet appliances like TV, coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer while boon docking typically (unless it happens to coincide with the brief generator running A/C time).
We do use LED lights, awning, radio, absorption fridge (and theoretically a heater blower at some point).

Since the fifth wheel is brand new, it will come with a cheap group 24/27. I am considering adding a very modest solar set up, and maybe adding a second lead-acid battery. For planned boon docking, we will still carry the generator. Although we will only be able to run one A/C, that should be ok for charging batteries and selective AC usage.

The questions:

Would 100-200 watts be sufficient to charge batteries for daily 12v use, including emergency use for slides and awning. If we donít need to run the A/C, we could probably go a long time without firing up the generator if the batteries get mostly topped up.
Do we even need more than a 80AH battery for the minimal 12v use? Maybe give a try for a couple trips before adding a second? I am weight conscious.

I assume we donít need to think about adding an inverter since we will just be using native 12v, correct?

Lithium is just too expensive for our needs and I canít justify it. Gel batteries seem like a possible middle ground option for us, but would have to be bought entirely new at additional cost instead of leveraging the included battery. Thoughts on Gel? For example, the Renogy Deep Cycle Hybrid GEL Battery 12 Volt 100Ah isnít that expensive and has certain advantages over 2 Lead Acid batteries.

Want to hear othersí thought and I will have some follow ups.
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 02:23 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,580
Personally, I think step 1 is to get an accurate view into how much 12 volt power you are currently using in a typical day. I have this one.

4-in-1 DC Electricity Usage Monitor

It's really the only accurate way to get insight into your real-world usage. I doubt 100 watts will be enough to get you off the generator, but 200 *might be*. Just too many factors to really know. I would plan on a 200 watt system minimum to start, you might not be able to completely remove the generator from your plans, but can definitely reduce the usage.

If you are only off-grid for 2 or 3 days, I think a 200-watt system would likely prevent you from needing the generator at all if you are somewhat frugal with power use and the sun is cooperating. If you are using a minimal amount of power, you should be able to go a couple days without charging at all... I've never been quite that lucky though... (I'm still using the stock battery)
__________________
2016 27BHS Elite
2012 F-150 EcoBoost / Max Tow (Sold)
2017 'Blue Jeans' 6.2 F-250 Lariat 4.3 gears.
bansai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 03:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Thanks for the feedback!

I think you are absolutely right that 100 watts will not be enough, but I am thinking ~200 probably would be. That is pure gut feeling though, because:

Of course measuring would be the best option, but a) I don't have the rig yet and b) probably want to get moving on a solution before we have much chance to do measurement testing.

I am leaning right now toward getting one of the ~190 watt packages, keeping the single battery, and testing that out. My GUESS is I will find I want a second battery or to bite the bullet and do a 100AH gel upgrade.

Interested in more feedback from the group.
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 06:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Georgetown, MA
Posts: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vista View Post
Thanks for the feedback!

I think you are absolutely right that 100 watts will not be enough, but I am thinking ~200 probably would be. That is pure gut feeling though, because:

Of course measuring would be the best option, but a) I don't have the rig yet and b) probably want to get moving on a solution before we have much chance to do measurement testing.

I am leaning right now toward getting one of the ~190 watt packages, keeping the single battery, and testing that out. My GUESS is I will find I want a second battery or to bite the bullet and do a 100AH gel upgrade.

Interested in more feedback from the group.
We used to have a 36í travel trailer and with a 120 watt solar panels and one lead acid battery we were fine boon docking, it kept up with the lights, water pump, and the little bit of power the water heater and fridge use on Propane.

I have a fifth wheel now and we run an inverter so much higher needs, but for what you are describing you should be fine with a small system.

This is what I used for my travel trailer, you can hook it right to the batteries since it has a built in charge controller: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
__________________
2019 Eagle 355MBQS with a long list of modifications
2018 GMC 3500 Turbo Diesel DRW
Scottenj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 06:33 PM   #5
Site Team
 
norty1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: James Island, SC
Posts: 22,708
I did not see, may have overlooked, the model 5th wheel you have. Your rig may have a battery compart with room for 2 group 24 or 27 batteries or you may have to make room somewhere else.

edit: I see it is a Eagle 25.5REOK
__________________
Moderator
2011- 351RLTS Eagle, MorRyde suspension/pin box,
2017- F350 6.7 PSD Lariat FX4,SRW, SB,CC
Hughes PWD SP-50A, TST TPMS
Gator roll-up bed cover
B&W Turnover ball, Companion Std hitch
Can't find what you're looking on JOF? Try Jayco Owners Forum Custom Google Search
norty1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 07:25 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottenj View Post
We used to have a 36í travel trailer and with a 120 watt solar panels and one lead acid battery we were fine boon docking, it kept up with the lights, water pump, and the little bit of power the water heater and fridge use on Propane.

I have a fifth wheel now and we run an inverter so much higher needs, but for what you are describing you should be fine with a small system.

This is what I used for my travel trailer, you can hook it right to the batteries since it has a built in charge controller: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I was thinking of something like this, and if it works well upgrading to a roof mount equivalent instead.

https://www.renogy.com/200-watt-12-v...olar-suitcase/
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 09:14 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Georgetown, MA
Posts: 338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vista View Post
I was thinking of something like this, and if it works well upgrading to a roof mount equivalent instead.

https://www.renogy.com/200-watt-12-v...olar-suitcase/
I bought an inverter from them, it was ďin stockĒ but didnít ship for weeks and they didnít answer my emails or calls. Then it ďshippedĒ but the carrier didnít get it for more weeks and they still wouldnít respond. When I finally got it after a month and a half it didnít meet their specs and it took several more months to finally get a return authorization and refund. I strongly recommend avoiding them and going with someone else.
__________________
2019 Eagle 355MBQS with a long list of modifications
2018 GMC 3500 Turbo Diesel DRW
Scottenj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2021, 10:03 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jagiven's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 9,683
I do not have a 5ver, or a newer TT. I know that a lot of the newer campers have some serious parasite power drains on them, and the disconnects do not fully disconnect everything. If it was my new rig, I would start using the new 5ver the way you have been using the TT. I would monitor the power usage. A device like bansai listed, or even a multimeter with a clamp-on amp meter (my method, but I am cheap) can help track your power consumption. Then I would calculate the power consumption then decide how best to proceed. I might have the dealer install a second group 24 battery. However for the price the dealer charges, might be cheaper to go to Sam's/Costco and buy a pair of better batteries.

When Boondocking I take a battery voltage reading every morning, and after dinner. With my new AMG group 27 (105 amp hr?), with using my CPAP all night (heated tube turned off). The single battery tends to be at 12.2V. Cold weather and using a lot of heat does have a huge effect. Honesty when boondocking we just turned the furnace off at night, and cycle it periodically during the day and use a few extra blankets. I tend to run the genny for an 1-1.5 hours in the morning. Then again another 1 hour after dinner.

A clamp on amp meter, is very nice. You can "clamp on" to a hot wire-lead, for any device in your camper, and monitor how much power it consumes, both sitting at idle and under load. You can also clamp on to your main battery wire and see what is happening. It is very nice to see what your total parasite power drains are. With that info, you can calculate how long you can expect your battery to last. Now with this information you can determine how best to proceed.

The calculations are fairly easy. Lets' assume you have a 80amp hour rated battery, and it is considered fully discharged at 50%. Let's assume your parasite power drain is 0.1 amp hour. How long can the battery last??

80 amp hour x 0.50 = 40 amp hours
40 amp hours / 0.1 amp hours = 400 hours
400 hours / 24 hours/day = 16.6 days

16.6 days until your battery is consider dead!

Now just add up your actual loads, do some quick calculations. This should inform you know much battery bank you need, and how much solar you may want/need.

As for batteries, if I had the tongue space, and spare tongue weight capacity, I would have purchased a pair of dual 6V GC batteries, about 1/2 the price of my group 27 AMG, with more total amp hour capacity.

As for batteries, I do not have a lot of experience; TT's I have always used wet acid batteries until this past year, when I bought my AMGs. Time will tell if I really like it or not. For me maintenance is not the issue. I bought two. One for the TT, and one for the kid's rowboat (electric trolling motor). I also have a small 40 amp hour?? gel battery in my model Ts, use it for brake and tail lights. Excellent battery, I probably have abused that battery more than any battery I have ever own. Holds a charge nicely, I suspect that battery is 10+ years old, way oversized for what I need.

I am very comfortable with any modern battery. I just wish the price of lithium batteries would drop, I like that you can discharge them down to about 80%.
__________________

2012 Jayco X23B
2020 Ram Laramie 3500 SRW Air ride 50Gal fuel tank.
2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab (sold)
Equal-I-zer 4-Point Sway Control
Jagiven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2021, 01:57 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottenj View Post
I bought an inverter from them, it was ďin stockĒ but didnít ship for weeks and they didnít answer my emails or calls. Then it ďshippedĒ but the carrier didnít get it for more weeks and they still wouldnít respond. When I finally got it after a month and a half it didnít meet their specs and it took several more months to finally get a return authorization and refund. I strongly recommend avoiding them and going with someone else.
Hmmm, I have not heard that about Renogy.

Seems they have a fairly large Amazon presence, I wonder if service is more reliable through that storefront. I once ordered a generator from amazon, decided I wanted a different one, and was able to return the generator and get refunded immediately. May offer some protection ordering through Amazon, even for items we consider bulky. Food for thought.
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2021, 09:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Update to this.

The dealer supplied battery was even junkier/more useless than usual, and needs to be replaced immediately, so I bit the bullet on a 100AH lithium battery.

Went ahead and ordered a renogy suitcase that has almost universal positive reviews.

QUESTION: Does anyone know for sure if the current 2021 Jayco / Go Power "Solar on the Side" SAE connectors are wired in a reversed polarity style like the Zamp ones are? If so I will want to be sure to grab a polarity reverser adapter .

(I am not near my trailer so can't go test quickly)
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2021, 10:00 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vista View Post
Hmmm, I have not heard that about Renogy.

Seems they have a fairly large Amazon presence
Yeah, they do definitely. That's where I sourced mine. No complaints, but that doesn't mean much, just my experience with 1 purchase.
I have the 100-watt panel kit that included a charge controller, cables and mounting hardware, all within spec. I just need another panel. 100 watts isn't cutting it for us. The biggest problem for us has been we seek out sites that have some protection from the sun by default, and power generation always seems to take a back seat to finding a somewhat sheltered site. I'd rather generate less power than cook like a piece of meat in the blazing sun lol.

When we add to our system, I won't be roof mounting anything else, I think being able to setup a panel some 20 feet or so away from the camper will be a good compromise... as long as it doesn't grow legs.
__________________
2016 27BHS Elite
2012 F-150 EcoBoost / Max Tow (Sold)
2017 'Blue Jeans' 6.2 F-250 Lariat 4.3 gears.
bansai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2021, 12:02 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansai View Post
Yeah, they do definitely. That's where I sourced mine. No complaints, but that doesn't mean much, just my experience with 1 purchase.
I have the 100-watt panel kit that included a charge controller, cables and mounting hardware, all within spec. I just need another panel. 100 watts isn't cutting it for us. The biggest problem for us has been we seek out sites that have some protection from the sun by default, and power generation always seems to take a back seat to finding a somewhat sheltered site. I'd rather generate less power than cook like a piece of meat in the blazing sun lol.

When we add to our system, I won't be roof mounting anything else, I think being able to setup a panel some 20 feet or so away from the camper will be a good compromise... as long as it doesn't grow legs.
Good feedback. Went back and forth on suitcase vs. roof mount. In the end, went suitcase (only 100w kit) for the reasons you state, plus our off grid will typically be of the 2-3 day variety. Also my upgrade to lithium battery slightly mitigates the need to get back to full EVERY day. Lastly, we have the generator for when that is the logical answer....

Seemed like a good initial idea, can always change course later if we want.
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 02:32 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Dallas, PA
Posts: 57
I agree with Vista about Renogy.
I buy all Renogy items but strictly from Amazon.
__________________
IrishSettler
2019 - 264BH
2013 - F150
IrishSettler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 03:54 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: keizer
Posts: 208
Personally I would do the factory installed 190 watt setup. And buy 2 upgraded batteries 100 amp hours each from the dealer. Reason for the factory 190 system is your factory warranty will cover any issues with it. And 190 should be adequate. Now the most important part of your system is batteries. If your gonna spend the money spend it on the best quality batteries you can afford. I personally would go with 2 12v 100 amp hour. Keep in mind you only get 50% of your amp hours for use anything more then that and you are shaving cycles off your battery life. I think with your basic needs 100 amp hours is likely adequate so to get 100 amp hours you will need 200 amp hours worth of batteries. The best part is if it's over kill its simply rectified by running your generator less. Or every other day. Also if you buy your batteries from the dealer they should give you credit towards your upgraded batteries. Because jayco actually buys the battery they install for you. Jayco pays them not much but something for the pos house oem battery they install. My dealer sold me the upgraded batteries for 10% over cost and gave me a $50 credit towards the upgrade. Good luck
Mad5581 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 04:08 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Hesperia
Posts: 13
Donít mix Batteries

Just one thought as you implied you were going to ďaddĒ battery.

If you are going from one battery to two, two battery to four, etc. it is wise to go all new batteries similtaneously. Same brand, same size, same rating,

This way everything starts equal and you get equal life and performance out of your batteries.
Liven-good is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 08:06 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Out there somewhere
Posts: 1,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vista View Post
Topic two in our move from TT to 5er.

In our old TT, 30 AMP service, we had the standard single group 24 Marine/RV battery. It was frankly sufficient for our little rig, because we were either at full hook ups, or if boon docking we used a 3500w inverter generator anyway in order to run A/C a few hours a day, which would also charge the battery sufficiently. Our boon docking is usually in the 2 to 3 day range, and will likely continue in that manner.

We do NOT use or need outlet appliances like TV, coffee maker, microwave, hair dryer while boon docking typically (unless it happens to coincide with the brief generator running A/C time).
We do use LED lights, awning, radio, absorption fridge (and theoretically a heater blower at some point).

Since the fifth wheel is brand new, it will come with a cheap group 24/27. I am considering adding a very modest solar set up, and maybe adding a second lead-acid battery. For planned boon docking, we will still carry the generator. Although we will only be able to run one A/C, that should be ok for charging batteries and selective AC usage.

The questions:

Would 100-200 watts be sufficient to charge batteries for daily 12v use, including emergency use for slides and awning. If we donít need to run the A/C, we could probably go a long time without firing up the generator if the batteries get mostly topped up.
Do we even need more than a 80AH battery for the minimal 12v use? Maybe give a try for a couple trips before adding a second? I am weight conscious.

I assume we donít need to think about adding an inverter since we will just be using native 12v, correct?

Lithium is just too expensive for our needs and I canít justify it. Gel batteries seem like a possible middle ground option for us, but would have to be bought entirely new at additional cost instead of leveraging the included battery. Thoughts on Gel? For example, the Renogy Deep Cycle Hybrid GEL Battery 12 Volt 100Ah isnít that expensive and has certain advantages over 2 Lead Acid batteries.

Want to hear othersí thought and I will have some follow ups.
Here is what Iím doing, it may or may not be a solution for you, but Iím hoping it will work for our situation, being half time RVíers.

Iíve been struggling with weather or not to add a complete solar system with inverter to our 2019 Redhawk. We want to boondock more and be prepared for the what ifís! Keeping in mind we may be selling in 2 years is also a factor.
So Iíve decided on 300 watts of sun power, flexible solar panels taped to the roof, a portable, 3,034 WH, lithium power supply, (some call them solar generators), and a change over switch to switch between charging my house battery and the solar generator. This will be used at night, no AC, just lights water pump, charging phones, TV and our furnace when necessary.

I also didnít want to change my charge/converter, since it wonít charge lithium properly, And Iím sick of hiring people to do work on my rig and my home who do half-a$$ work and have tons of excuses!

I have no room for a 2nd house battery in my battery tray or anywhere else. We are Pre wired for solar so I only need to tape the panels down to the roof, connect them to the charge controller and install the change over switch. The solar generator will also double as a backup power supply in my home. The price I paid for this ďall in one systemĒ would be the same cost as 2 BB lithium batteries alone!

This just made Sence to me, others may differ.

Good luck, please let us know what you do.
Johnynorthland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 08:18 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Out there somewhere
Posts: 1,598
Best way Iíve found to calculate loads is from our Bluetooth app with Digital watchdog surge protector. This is running a few lights, TV, fire stick, mobile router and Iím sure some other small vampire loads.
Attached Thumbnails
F130C9E8-FBB6-4621-AE7B-15155ACA055E.jpg  
Johnynorthland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2021, 10:40 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Quincy, CA
Posts: 235
Let me preface this comment with the following. I joined this forum a couple years ago when we bought our Jayco hybrid. Last Aug, while on vacation, we came across a deal too good to pass up. We traded our Jayco hybrid in on a 2021 Keystone Cougar. While discussing the deal, the salesman noted to me this unit is equipped with Keystone's Off the Grid Package, a roof mounted solar panel, associated solar charge controller, and a 1200 watt inverter. I thought it only charged the batteries, initially missing the part about the inverter but that's another story. Our rig came equipped with 2 group 24 dual purpose marine starting batteries from AutoZone. I currently work at Napa Auto Parts and have access to all the pertinent tech specs on our batteries. While I agree making the jump to Lithium batteries is nearly unjustifiable, at least to me, I can and did just barely justify swapping out two nearly brand new group 24 12 volt batteries for 2 group GC2 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries. The batteries that came with our trailer were rated at 62 amp hours, nothing noted for time at any draw. If I were to replace those with a group 24 marine deep cycle battery from Napa, part # 8302, that battery is rated at 75 amp hours, 130 minutes at 25 amp draw. The batteries I installed are group GC2, part # 8146, wired in series, are rated at 235 amp hours, 132 minutes at 75 amp draw. When I did the install, I was surprised to see the factory ground cable was approximately a 2 gauge cable. The jumper wires from the second battery to the primary battery were roughly 10 gauge, rather thin in my opinion. What I did was remove the factory ground cable and used that as the jumper for the series connection, and purchased a new 4 gauge 42 inch ground cable. 4 gauge is a standard size cable for battery cables. Before I connected anything to the trailer, I installed the series jumper wire and checked the voltage with my multi meter. Old habit from my aircraft maintenance days, trust but verify. I also had to open the split loom for the jack wiring a bit to get the necessary length to connect to the new batteries. Everything is working perfectly so far. We'll find out how well it works when we take our first camping trip Easter weekend. We have a boondock site booked at a local lake. We will be taking our generator with us as a just in case, but unless we need to run the microwave, I don't know if we will be using it.
__________________
2018 Jayco X23B (traded)
01 Dodge Durango (sold)
18 Ram 2500HD Laramie
2021 Keystone Cougar 27SABWE
Bandit12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2021, 06:39 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: AZ
Posts: 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liven-good View Post
Just one thought as you implied you were going to “add” battery.

If you are going from one battery to two, two battery to four, etc. it is wise to go all new batteries similtaneously. Same brand, same size, same rating,

This way everything starts equal and you get equal life and performance out of your batteries.
I described a few posts above what I ended up doing.

I never was going to "add" anything unless it was done immediately. I ended up "replacing" the POS included battery with a 100AH LiFePO .
Vista is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Jayco, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2002-2016 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.