Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Project complete: 500w solar install, plus 2000w inverter
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Do It Yourself Modifications a...

Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Project complete: 500w solar install, plus 2000w inverter

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Prev
SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 09/24/2017

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 03/18/21 11:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John&Joey wrote:

What was the logic for running so much wire on top of the roof vs plunging inside?


Has mostly to do with ease of installation (....and/or the fear of the unknown!). I don't really know much about how the roof and walls of the RV are designed and what space is in between and how easy/hard it is to route wires "invisibly" in the walls/ceiling. Because I knew I could do it, I routed the wires from the panel and shot them down the refrigerator vent.

[image]

And then punched through the bottom of the RV and routed underneath the RV (easy access) over to the driver side dinette.

~10' run on the roof....~10' drop from roof down to the underside of the RV...~15' run from underneath the refrigerator to the driver side dinette...and then about 4' punching back up into the RV under the dinette to the solar charge controller.

According to my calculations, I'm looking at a max of ~3.5% voltage drop (if the panels were at max output of 16 amps). 500w becomes 482.5w. Negligible.

-Chris


San Jose, CA
Own two 2015 Thor Majestic 28a Class C RVs

Xander

USA

New Member

Joined: 05/14/2021

View Profile



Posted: 06/15/21 04:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're definitely doing great, but I think you could install solar cheaper if you did a better search on the Internet. And now prices are actively falling on this. So I would recommend people to watch https://www.renogy.com/iot-monitoring/. On this site, there is more up-to-date information that will help with the installation of solar panels.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 06/15/21 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So how is the system working?


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, soon to have SiO2 batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 09/24/2017

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/21/21 02:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

So how is the system working?


Update: I've been boondocking 3-4 times with this RV (200AH lead acid batteries and 500w of solar installed) each time for 3-4 days. The most strain on the batteries was a trip where I was camping in 35-40 degree F nighttime weather and running the furnace at night. Plenty of TV time and computer use also. I think the lowest I saw the battery bank in the morning was in the high 60s (60% batteries full). As soon as the sun came up the solar kicked in and within a few hours I was up to 85-90% and always up to about 95% by sundown. As you know, the last ~5% charge on your battery tends to take a very long time with lead acid batteries (...they only seem to allow about 1-2 amps in at a time even if your system can deliver 20-30).

All-in-all, I haven't had to worry at all about my batteries at all with my newly installed 500w solar system. I ended up adding an identical 500w system onto my other Majestic 28a. The last battery related project I need/want to do is to add one more 100AH lead acid battery to one of my RVs. This will give me 300AH, but more importantly I believe I'll be able to run my microwave through my 2000w inverter with 3 batteries. (With just 2 lead acid batteries the amp draw through each will be about 80amps which I'm not comfortable with. With 3 batteries it drops down to ~50amps from each battery which I think is manageable for a few minute microwave task.)

Happy Camping!
Chris

EMD360

Arvada, CO

Senior Member

Joined: 01/18/2010

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 07/27/21 09:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the specific information. I have a 250 watt used solar panel but it’s rather large for the RV roof. I’m looking at buying newer smaller panels for about $200 each. I’m very hesitant to drill the hikes in the fiberglass roof though. I read about 3m tape and have used it for other tasks but you are right I would not really want to rely on it alone. I’ve been wondering if I can attach a framework to the vents like the lids attach. Still working on that plan.
I added batteries to the dinette bench in my previous RV and used the same plastic pipe with steel wool and sealing foam to close it. I haven’t wrapped my new wires yet but I did zip tie several original wires when I was installing a new charger and inverter.


2018 Minnie Winnie 25b New to us 3/2021
Former Rental Owners Club #137
2003 Itasca Spirit 22e 2009-2021


StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/16/2003

View Profile



Posted: 07/28/21 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SJ-Chris wrote:

Well, when I arrived I was surprised to see they were having a sale on their 250w panels and they were just $35 each(!).

Chris


wow, at that price I hope you have two more sitting around to put on when you get more batteries [emoticon]

Steve


2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK

SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

Senior Member

Joined: 09/24/2017

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 08/01/21 12:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, at the time when I was buying, I was only looking to buy 1 panel at 250w. Since they were so cheap, I bumped up my system to 500w. At that time, I wasn't even planning on putting solar on my other RV, but I figured, "At this price, I'd better just buy it" and so I did. I have since installed it on one of my other RVs (another identical 500w system).

I will likely add a 3rd lead acid battery giving me 300AH. I think the 500w of total solar power I have will be more than enough to keep them charged. I don't really boondock too much, so I don't really even feel like I need 300AH worth of batteries. But I do have a 2000w pure sine wave inverter and I want to be able to run the microwave from it. I believe it will pull ~150amps at 12v which is too much for just 2 lead acid batteries but I hope 3 will be able to handle the draw.

You can look on craigslist or FB marketplace and find great deals on used solar panels for cheap. Just test them prior to buying. That makes for some very inexpensive solar systems. I think the panels will outlive the duration that most will be holding onto their RVs.

Happy Camping!
-Chris

* This post was last edited 08/01/21 11:53am by SJ-Chris *   View edit history

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 07/16/2003

View Profile



Posted: 08/01/21 06:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ya even with two 6V I find a microwave is so so, in the 5th wheel I have four 6V and it is fine.

one thing by going to series with a MPPT controler you will get charging eailer and laiter during the day as the voltage his high enough to start charging. it will be a small curent but an extra couple AH before and after is nothing to complain about. I like your idea about adding two more and going to 1000watts.

Steve

* This post was edited 08/01/21 08:34am by an administrator/moderator *

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Prev

Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Project complete: 500w solar install, plus 2000w inverter
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Do It Yourself Modifications a...


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2021 CWI, Inc. © 2021 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.