Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Portable solar installation has me stumped
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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Portable solar installation has me stumped

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coachellacanuck

Alberta

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Posted: 08/06/20 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

For whatever this is worth, we connect our portable solar panel directly to the battery with alligator clips on the battery terminals. The controller is mounted on the underside of the panel. The cable runs from the controller to the battery.

When it is time to move to a new campsite, we unhook the alligator clips, wind up the cable, and fold the panel.


And your battery is wired into the trailer, right? That’s the problem. No battery wired into the trailer anymore.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 08/06/20 07:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

coachellacanuck wrote:

And your battery is wired into the trailer, right? That’s the problem. No battery wired into the trailer anymore.
Bingo! You've identified one problem. RV Solar is based on a battery for numerous reasons.

As posted: Panels to Controller to Battery.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


coachellacanuck

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Posted: 08/06/20 10:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

coachellacanuck wrote:

And your battery is wired into the trailer, right? That’s the problem. No battery wired into the trailer anymore.
Bingo! You've identified one problem. RV Solar is based on a battery for numerous reasons.

As posted: Panels to Controller to Battery.


Panels>Controller>Battery>???????

CA Traveler

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Posted: 08/06/20 11:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The battery is connected to whatever 12V house loads you have - lights etc. It's all one giant circuit with branches and the amps go where needed. Some have found it convient to connect the controller to say the charger output, hopefully they verify adequate wiring.

BTW Solar amps go to the house loads and if any are left they go to the battery. ie If the solar is producing 15A and the house is using 10A then there are 5A to charge the battery. If the house is using 21A then 6A comes from the battery.

valhalla360

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Posted: 08/07/20 04:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

coachellacanuck wrote:

pianotuna wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

What are you trying to accomplish with the solar system?

If you are already connected to the grid and it's providing the power you need, there really is no purpose to adding solar in most cases.


Perhaps trying to lower the bill for power?


To connect the KK to the larger trailer, I string the power cord across the campsite and with an adapter I plug into an exterior outlet near the front door. It’s a tripping hazard.

I want her to be self sufficient. So I guess it’s more a case of want versus need. I want it.


Assuming you are moving around, most parks include power, so savings will be non-existent.

If you are stationary at one park, dig a little trench and bury it to eliminate the tripping issue. Or connect to the 20amp outlet on the pedestal and with a long cord, run it around the outside of the site out of the way.

Again other than having a neat new technology, I'm not seeing what the goal is. RV solar is typically used where the unit will be unable get shore power. It's kind of like buying a jacked up jeep with giant tires but only using it for commuting on paved roads in good weather...

So I'm still back to why?


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2008 Copper Canyon 5er
Catalac Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


CA Traveler

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Posted: 08/07/20 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

RV solar is typically used where the unit will be unable get shore power.
Good point - but I'd argue that the most common use is bragging rights.

My rig is stored under cover with no power so I can't even use the solar. BUT I have 750W which supplies ALL of my power. Want to know more - Don't need to ask because I'll tell you anyway... [emoticon]

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 08/07/20 09:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

coachellacanuck wrote:

Don’t know what a converter is


Start here.
Converter "converts" AC power to DC. It's a battery "charger".
An inverter converts DC power to AC (inefficiently compared to a dedicated AC power source).
Unless I misunderstand your wants/needs here, just keep your little camper plugged in to shore power for AC power needs.
Or better explain what you're trying to accomplish with solar charging.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

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