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Old 09-06-2017, 04:35 PM   #1
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New to Solar

We are new & proud owners of a 24ft RKS Jayco Whitehawk. I am interested in solar power as we are equipped with "Solar on the Side". I know nothing about solar and would like to learn how to acquire the solar equipment to power our travel trailer including running the air conditioning. Is there a site or forum for newbies to solar who have no prior experience with solar. Thank-You.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:02 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your new RKS Whitehawk!!

Entering the RV solar world is fun, exciting, confusing, and worthwhile. Being new to the subject area.....you can find a ton of information on the Internet, vendor forums, and owner forums. You can spend from a small amount to multiple thousands of dollars depending on your needs. If just getting into it I recommend you put together a starting system that you can build upon as your needs increase.

There is a social group on this Forum called RVing with Solar that is led by or monitored by Mustang65 that I found invaluable in increasing my knowledge and getting me started.

Of course just doing a search on solar on this forum will provide quite a bit of information and point you in the right directions.
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:08 PM   #3
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I would add that once you get an idea of what you want to do and purchase, go ahead and post a thread with your plan and products and ask for feedback. You might avoid wasting some money or running into operational issues.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roger Wimmer View Post
We are new & proud owners of a 24ft RKS Jayco Whitehawk. I am interested in solar power as we are equipped with "Solar on the Side". I know nothing about solar and would like to learn how to acquire the solar equipment to power our travel trailer including running the air conditioning. Is there a site or forum for newbies to solar who have no prior experience with solar. Thank-You.
Am not a solar expert either but you will learn pretty quick there are limitations and compromises with solar. Specifically A/C is probably not going to be practical for you via solar. Solar is used to charge batteries and batteries feed DC current into an inverter that converts it to ac or 110v. Bottom line, AC requires draws massive amps and will drain even large battery banks relatively quickly. I'll let the solar folks on the forum bring you up to speed on solar but want you to understand that solar is a far cry away from a CG power pedestal.

Good luck with your new TT and enjoy!
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:21 PM   #5
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You use your solar panels to charge a battery bank along with a charge controller. The charge controller keeps track of how depleted the battery is and allows more amps when depleted and fewer amps when closer to full. This prevents the batteries getting cooked by the current (amps).

Since you are running off of batteries, you need an inverter to change the DC power of the batteries to A.C. power like you get from an outlet of your home. It is not practice to run air conditioning from this. You would require a giant battery bank of 12 or more 6v batteries and thousands of watts of solar panels. My uncle has 6 6v batteries and 1000 watts of solar panels at his backwoods cabin. If he knows he is going to get a lot of sun, he may briefly use the microwave in the morning. It does not take much to run those batteries down...

If you wanted to run some LED lights, run your fridge on LP mode (always drawing power due to the computer board, charge your phone... maybe watch a movie on a small DC TV or hook up a small inverter to the batteries... You could get away with my system which is 240 watts of solar panels with a 30 amp charge controller and 2x 6v true deep cycle batteries. At peel sun, I get about 11.8 amps into the batteries if they get run down from a rainy day. I dry camp exclusively and do not have a generator yet. If I get multiple cloudy and rainy days, I can find myself in trouble. Lowest I got down to was the batteries reading 12.3 volts after running the furnace, lights, L.P. detector, water pump as needed. That was one cold night of near freezing temps preferred by a rainy day. I was happy to see the sun the next morning.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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I have a 2017 WH RKS and I don't believe the solar connection was intended to run the AC. I believe it's to keep your battery charged and to run anything on the 12 VDC circuit.
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:54 PM   #7
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My Jayco also has "solar on the side".....
There is a SAE plug in on the trailer tongue area.

I am a dirt camper.....and with 2 6 volt batteries, kept alive by a GoPower 120 watt suitcase panel, all 12 volts needs, along with a 600W inverter, supply all the power I need during the day and until I hit the sheets for the night.

The most important need is SUN......no sun and the amp output is severely limited.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:46 AM   #8
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Here is a series of videos from Love Your RV that shows you everything (well... almost everything) you need to know about RV solar, (and then some).
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:20 AM   #9
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What you will need and the cost to run Air off solar. As told by the Wynn's.
Resurrecting Dinosaurs €“ Our RV Modifications and Technology

And watch them run AC in the RV
http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/off-...r-conditioning
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:16 AM   #10
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What you will need and the cost to run Air off solar. As told by the Wynn's.
Resurrecting Dinosaurs – Our RV Modifications and Technology

And watch them run AC in the RV
Off Grid Solar Powered RV Air Conditioning - Is it Possible? - Gone With The Wynns
Don't think that's what the OP had in mind, more like a panel or 2 on the picnic table and let her rip. Add up the cost to acquire all of this and then haul it around and you're well ahead of the game with a couple H 2000's.
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