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Old 04-02-2022, 05:35 PM   #1
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"Ready for "Solar" question!

I have a Jayflight SLX 2021 212qb. It was billed as being "wired for solar". All I know for sure is that it has the I put jacks on the roof. I have just installed a 100ah LiFePO4 battery and I have a Renogy 200watt portable solar panel briefcase with a Renogy 20 amp charger. We do a lot of camping in national parks with no hookups.

I'm not interested in using the 110/120 outlets when at these campgrounds. I just want to run my 12v system, which includes my fridge, water heater and pump, off the solar panels and battery. Don't need the air conditioner or microwave or anything like that when I'm on solar. So, I shouldn't need an inverter, and I really shouldn't need an upgraded converter because I don't care if shore power charges me to a full 100% if I'm somewhere with electric hookups.

Here's my question - can I plug into the roof jacks of my 212qb and have it still charge my battery without doing any modifications to do what I want to do? In other words, even though my converter might not be optimized for Lithium and I don't have an inverter or a controller in the trailer, is it at least wired to the battery so it would simply charge it? I ask in case I decide to mount my solar panels instead of using the alligator clips and setting.up and.taki g.diwn the 30/40 lb briefcase setup.
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Old 04-02-2022, 05:59 PM   #2
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Need to know the Voc\Vmp of the solar panel to advise, but in reality no matter what it is, its not a good idea. The LFP (LiFePo4) battery should have a decent BMS (battery management system) that will prevent you from killing the battery (over charge) but you need a MPPT or PWM solar charger. Those devices will manage the voltage output of the solar panel and charge teh battery. The converter in the RV charges the batter from 120v input, it does nothing for solar. If you plugged into the solar plugins up top and tried to charge the battery directly, if the voltage output from the solar panels was just right it would work and the battery BMS would prevent over heating, over charging. Those systems are in place so if someone did what you are asking by accident they wouldn't burn something down. The wires from the top of the RV are not tied to the battery which you need to do as well. If you plugged into them now, you'd just have an open circuit sitting waiting to shock someone.

Finish the solar wiring and buy a solar charger to manage the power generated by the panels to charge the battery correctly.
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Old 04-02-2022, 06:23 PM   #3
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Also, if the RV came with a lead acid battery, the converter is set for these types of batteries. It needs to be updated for LFP batteries (some converters have switches, others require add-ons or worst case replacement) or it won't ever really charge the battery. LFP batteries need a higher voltage to charge and the converter will not go to the appropriate voltage without setting to the proper battery type.
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Old 04-02-2022, 07:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mini4mw View Post
Also, if the RV came with a lead acid battery, the converter is set for these types of batteries. It needs to be updated for LFP batteries (some converters have switches, others require add-ons or worst case replacement) or it won't ever really charge the battery. LFP batteries need a higher voltage to charge and the converter will not go to the appropriate voltage without setting to the proper battery type.
I thought I mentioned it, but I have a charge controller that came with the solar panels so I'm good there. And, like I said, I don't care if my converter charges the battery on shore power, although from what I've read it will to some degree. I really don't even care if my tow vehicle charges my solar much. I'll always use the solar panels to charge the battery fully if I need to.

Thanks for your reply. Interesting in that I've read in some places that the roof IS wired to the battery and other places, like your reply, indicate it isn't and that I would need to do that. It was just a question out of curiosity more than anything...what I seem to be finding is that "wired for solar" or "solar ready" means next to nothing on these trailers.

I could check if those roof jacks were connected to the battery with a multimeter, couldn't I. If I was only hooked up toy 12v battery, there wouldn't be any current showing if I checked those jacks with a multimeter, right?
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Old 04-02-2022, 08:39 PM   #5
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I just finished adding solar to my 209 model. I had to cut a hole in the wall by the bathroom door. Behind the wall were two sets of red and black thick gauge wires. One set went to the batteries and the other set went to the solar panel connector on the roof. I connected and mounted the charge controller to these wires and added the solar panel and connected it to my roof connector. I also, had to tell the charge controller that my batteries were flooded(deep cycle) so it could charge correctly.

Hope this helps in terms of what solar ready means.
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Old 04-02-2022, 09:04 PM   #6
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You could check it with a multimeter but I doubt it's wired up. If the unit came with the solar charger and a panel then everything would already be wired up but if it's just ready I don't think they wire it.

Even though you don't think you need it I'd probably still look at the manual for the converter and see if it's just a switch to change to lithium that could help out a lot and some point.

To charge lithium you need a little over 14 volts I believe from memory. You can go a little over and a little under but you don't want to be too far off otherwise it could cause issues with a battery. A 200 watt panel should be about 19 volts I think which would be too much to stick directly to the battery you want high amps to charge a battery not high volts.

So if you complete the solar wiring to the charger from roof connections and the charger to the battery then whenever you want plug in the panels to the top solar connectors to charge the battery.
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Old 04-03-2022, 06:33 AM   #7
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Thanks! Yes, all this information is extremely helpful from everyone, easiest thing in my situation is to do what I'm doing which is just to always charge the battery directly from my portable solar panels using the controller that came with them.
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Old 04-06-2022, 02:36 AM   #8
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Check with a multimeter on your roof, the cables were never cut in the wall on my trailer. If yours were never cut you idea would work.
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