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MattandNaomisRV

OREGON

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Posted: 11/27/20 01:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recommendations on solar panels for my RV

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 11/27/20 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar panels now days are so cheap and pretty much all of them are imported from China, I would say, find the lowest cost per watt and roll with that.

Looking for specific name brands on these is going to waste your budget and time.. There are a lot of name brand loyalists here and they won't be real happy about my suggestion..

You will also need a solar controller, buy one that has plenty of capability up front, 20A-30A is a good start for 200W-300W worth of panels.

HERE is a Amazon search that will get you started..

Make sure the panels will fit you space before purchasing, 100W panels tend to be pretty long (4 ft)..

You might also wish to consider what your goals are like 100% off the grid, part time weekender off the grid and so on, makes a difference in your application..

Batteries also play a roll, long weekend warrior, single group 24 or 27 even with several hundred watts worth of panel isn't going to cut it..

2oldman

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Posted: 11/27/20 01:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How many watts you need? How many batteries do you have? Do you have an inverter?

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 11/27/20 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recommend larger 24 volt home panels in series. Find some local surplus as shipping is expensive for these oversize items.
Shop by price per watt as these are just a commodity and will perform fine and out last the RV.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 11/27/20 02:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

time2roll wrote:

I recommend larger 24 volt home panels in series. Find some local surplus as shipping is expensive for these oversize items.
Shop by price per watt as these are just a commodity and will perform fine and out last the RV.


Those 24V panels WILL need a MPPT type of solar charge controller, more expensive than non-MPPT.

The only "advantage" to 24V panels and MPPT controller is you can use light ga wire from panels to controller..

You can also run "12V" panels in series but in reality not really much advantage..

Boon Docker

Mountain Foothills of Southern Alberta

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Posted: 11/27/20 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another advantage with an MPPT controller is a higher harvest of amps from the panels vs a PWM controller.

Lwiddis

South of Lone Pine, California

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Posted: 11/27/20 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Panels are only one of the components of a solar system...panels, controller, batteries and wire. Before you buy anything do an energy use survey. What you use or what you want to use.


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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 11/27/20 05:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMO the first thing is whether there is any room on the roof for the size of panel you are looking to buy. Cardboard simulations to check for that.

Worst is the air conditioner's shadow. But spacing of all those little tank vents, radio and TV antennae, and the bigger air vents can be critical. (Although you can panel over top of some of those with higher "legs" for the panels)

* This post was edited 11/27/20 06:25pm by BFL13 *


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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 11/27/20 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar panels are not all imported from China although China does make a lot of them. My favorite brands non-Chinese brands are REC, Mission.
Solar panels are mostly a commodity and looked at on a watts per dollar basis. The best price on is typically a 60 cell panel which will be about 40" wide and 66" long. These will put out 30 - 35 volts and are what some people refer to as a "24 volt" panel. These are used by the thousands on homes and businesses and thus usually lower cost on a dollar per watt basis than smaller "12v panels". Yes, you will need an MPPT charge controller. In the residential solar business is pretty much unheard of to install any charge controller that is not MPPT. I think most of the PWM controllers are likely bought by RVers. Nothing wrong with that, it's just that PWM is far from the "standard" used in the overall industry.
Put as many and as large of panels on your RV that you can fit. Solar panels are relatively inexpensive compared to batteries, inverters, and charge controllers. Careful shopping should get you solar panels at around 50 cents a watt. If you pay more than $1 a watt it's an incredible rip off.

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 11/27/20 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like Renogy panels and MTTP controllers.
About $1 per watt.

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