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PerryB67

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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Posted: 05/05/21 07:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel.

I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper.

I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup.

Smart move or a waste of money?

Enjoy,

Perry


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 05/05/21 09:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

I would go with the three panels if the controller can accept that much energy.

I find my system starts charging earlier in the day. Input is 33 volts.


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

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Posted: 05/06/21 01:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel.

I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper.

I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup.

Smart move or a waste of money?

Enjoy,

Perry


What does your battery bank look like? (how many AH?)
What about just adding another 170w panel? Would 340w deliver what you need? (If so, it saves you $200+). Or do you really need 400w (or more)? If you only have 200-250AH of batteries then 340w will likely be enough for most of the time (unless you are camping in shady areas or in bad weather). Do you have a backup generator just in case you need it?

OR, for likely less money you could buy TWO more 170w panels and then you'd have 3 panels delivering 510w for less price than buying two 200w panels (400w total) and having no use for the existing 170w panel. (I'm assuming the similar 170w panels are a little cheaper than the 200w version).

-Chris


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

SJ-Chris

San Jose, Ca

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Posted: 05/06/21 01:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel.

I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper.

I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup.

Smart move or a waste of money?

Enjoy,

Perry


Or search your local craigslist or facebook or nextdoor for something like these...
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/grd/d/carlton-310-watt-solar-panels-105-each/7301662326.html
300w for $120. 600w for just $240. Not sure you need 600w, but just an idea...

I was going to just put up a 250w system with a used panel on my RV. When I went to pick up the panel, they were on sale for $35 each (this is from a big used solar company in Arizona). To me, that's pretty much free. So even though I didn't need it, I put up two panels for 500w total. I've boondocked several times now and they work great. I'm adding a 3rd lead acid battery making my bank 300AH. It's more than I need and the solar easily keeps everything charged. It's nice never worrying about having enough power....

Good luck!
Chris

PerryB67

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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Posted: 05/06/21 07:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

Smart move or a waste of money?

Enjoy,

Perry
I really should have said, "Smart move or a waste of my time."

The money is really meaningless, whereas my time has value.

SJ-Chris wrote:


I was going to just put up a 250w system with a used panel on my RV. When I went to pick up the panel, they were on sale for $35 each (this is from a big used solar company in Arizona). To me, that's pretty much free. So even though I didn't need it, I put up two panels for 500w total. I've boondocked several times now and they work great. I'm adding a 3rd lead acid battery making my bank 300AH. It's more than I need and the solar easily keeps everything charged. It's nice never worrying about having enough power....

Good luck!
Chris
I have 260 ah's of SiO2 batteries with 208 useable at 80% DOD. We currently don't have an inverter, nor need one. The question I have for Terry is, "What storage space in the kitchen are you willing to give up for a microwave?" In over 25 years with that question her answer is still, "None!" We do carry a 700 watt toaster though, used when we have hookups, and she'd like a 700 watt hair dryer. We camp off-grid as much as possible, including BLM and stealth camping.

My other choice is keep the 170 watt panel (19.3 Vmp, 8.8 Imp) and add two 100 watt panels (18.8 VMP, 5.38 Imp). It's a much neater and simpler install. Too often camping in Minnesota (twice last winter though) one end of the camper or the other is in shade (11 days in Big Bend's Cottonwood campground). I would want these panels installed in parallel (roughly 255 watts total, depending on who's math you use), and wonder if I'm splitting hairs with 20 feet of 10 gauge wire from the roof to the controller. 24 volt panels should fix that perceived problem? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

I'm not sure our Victron 100/30 could handle three 24v panels.

The two 100 watt panels added is the cheapest. $210 total for both panels, vs $440 for the Rich Solar panels.

The 100 watt panels can be mounted with VHB tape with no worries, using Renogy tilt mount brackets for the front panel. I would use the same mount(s) with the front 200 watt panel(s) but have a bolt on each side though the fiberglass roof for safety.

We have no genset, nor wish for one, and don't want to get into a DC to DC charger from the tow. We do have a 100 watt Renogy portable, with three 15' cables, hooked to a separate Victron 100/20 smart controller in the camper, feeding the battery bank. I'm lazy and find managing a portable a PITA, but there are times it will be needed.

Our battery choice was a no-brainer for us, but this choice is driving me crazy. I would do the installation myself, and, except for time, have the expertise to do the install. It's literally impossible to find a solar installer who knows what he's doing in Minnesota, because of the home solar installs with tax rebates.

And yes, feel the same as Chris. "It's more than I need and the solar easily keeps everything charged. It's nice never worrying about having enough power...."

Our battery choice was the first piece, now I need to finish with the solar.

I'm dyslexic and probably have screwed up something written here or have left something out.

Enjoy,

Perry

* This post was edited 05/06/21 08:00am by PerryB67 *

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 05/06/21 07:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel.

I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper.

I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup.

Smart move or a waste of money?

Enjoy,

Perry


30 watts for an upgrade almost seems like a waist of effort these days with the price of solar panels. look at split cell 24V panels and I would go 325 or 350watts.

I am running one 325 watt 24V split cell on my camper with a renogy MPPT controler and it out preforms the three 160 watt 12V pannels on a PWM in my 5th wheel, so thoes will be gerring switched out soon.

if you can chage it out for one 325 or 350 watt then add a second one. then you only running two panels which most people should have room for.

Steve


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PerryB67

Lanesboro, Minnesota

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Posted: 05/06/21 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:


30 watts for an upgrade almost seems like a waist of effort these days with the price of solar panels. look at split cell 24V panels and I would go 325 or 350watts.

I am running one 325 watt 24V split cell on my camper with a renogy MPPT controler and it out preforms the three 160 watt 12V pannels on a PWM in my 5th wheel, so thoes will be gerring switched out soon.

if you can chage it out for one 325 or 350 watt then add a second one. then you only running two panels which most people should have room for.

Steve
Ah........ I would be removing the single 170 watt panel and installing two (or three) 200 watt 24v panels. That was clearly stated in my original post you just quoted, and would be an increase of 230 watts with two panels or 430 watts with three panels.

Enjoy,

Perry

* This post was edited 05/06/21 05:43pm by PerryB67 *

mr_andyj

Georgia

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Posted: 05/06/21 08:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is partly a big-boy toy, so whatever you enjoy. I would personally upgrade by adding panels to the existing, running two or three panels in series (if MPPT can handle the volts) and make it work.
Nothing wrong with scrapping your panels and starting over with the 24 volt ones either. Someone will be happy to buy your used panel Im sure. Going new would make it easier to have your 3x200 as you mentioned and gives you more watts in the end.
Yes, having ample solar is good for those cloudy or short winter days, esp when you park and camp for more than 3 days at a time without any other power source.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 05/06/21 08:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

It is never a waste of funds or time to make an RV less dependent on shore power or generator power.

The controller should laugh at the amps from 3 of the 200 watt panels, in parallel--but wiring in series may let out the magic blue smoke.

* This post was edited 05/06/21 09:45am by pianotuna *

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 05/06/21 06:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PerryB67 wrote:

StirCrazy wrote:


30 watts for an upgrade almost seems like a waist of effort these days with the price of solar panels. look at split cell 24V panels and I would go 325 or 350watts.

I am running one 325 watt 24V split cell on my camper with a renogy MPPT controler and it out preforms the three 160 watt 12V pannels on a PWM in my 5th wheel, so thoes will be gerring switched out soon.

if you can chage it out for one 325 or 350 watt then add a second one. then you only running two panels which most people should have room for.

Steve
Ah........ I would be removing the single 170 watt panel and installing two (or three) 200 watt 24v panels. That was clearly stated in my original post you just quoted, and would be an increase of 230 watts with two panels or 430 watts with three panels.

Enjoy,

Perry


no thats what I mean though, if you can fit two or three pannels on there why stop at a 200 watt? a 350 isnt much bigger and two of them would be better than three 200watt panels then if you need a third you can add it later. down in the staits whats the difference between a 200 and 325 -350 down there 30 bucks? its only about 50 bucks up here. bang for your buck it just seams a better option.

Steve

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