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Solar and Alternative Energy for RV's (1,786 members)

A place to discuss solar and other alternative power technologies as it relates to our RV's. 

Solar and Alternative Energy for RV's Feed

  • Kohl,'s not the store
      · via Android App
    • DK4Nature and 4 others like this.
    • Kohl,'s not the store
      texastwostep April 7 Wow, how many watts and how many batteries?
    • Kohl,'s not the store
      Kohl,'s not the store April 7 1400 w 800 amps
      Hide 1 Reply
      • Kohl,'s not the store
        Ricos Ride April 8 Do ou mean 800 amp hours?  What batteries, wet cell or lithium?
    • Kohl,'s not the store
      Kohl,'s not the store April 13 Lithium
  • Kohl,'s not the store
    Kohl,'s not the store:
    April 7Our solar setup
      · via Android App
  • Living In Beauty
    Living In Beauty:
    April 7Power - solar power! Here is a look at our setup.
    Hot Stuff - Living In Beauty
  • David & Lenka
    David & Lenka:
    April 2Just out fitted our 2002 Newmar Kountry Star winter I believe 500 watts. I wondering if investing in a Lithium is worth it our Lead Acid I believe 2 years old. I live in Canada so I pay another 30%. That buys a lot of diesel for the generator. any thoughts
    ?
      · via iPhone App
    • Becca Ray likes this.
    • David & Lenka
      MRJohnston April 2 We live in Alaska and just upgraded to Battleborn Lithium Batteries, while what Pianotuna says is correct, we are installing the 4 lithium’s inside the coach, under the bed, and will be pulling them for the winter.   They provide power down to -4°F a...  more
    • David & Lenka
      Nomad Photog Dave April 3 I would probably put off that decision to when your current batteries start to fail.
    • David & Lenka
      Pianotuna April 3 There is an LI chemistry that can be used at -40. However I've not been able to find it in high amp-hour battery jars.
      Hide 1 Reply
      • David & Lenka
        MRJohnston April 3 I wish they would hurry up and come out with it!   Although with our just purchased Battleborns and their 10 year warranty hopefully I won’t be in the market anytime soon.
    • David & Lenka
      Bruce & Linda (Omnibus) April 4 Lithium (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries also require a different charging profile than Lead Acid, so you need a charger or inverter/charger than has that option or can be custom programmed to match the requirements of the batteries.  This is neede...  more
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      • David & Lenka
        MRJohnston April 4 Glad you pointed that out!  Fortunately I found that out in my research 😆.   No charge above 14.6V and no equalization ever, the BMS does that.   Both my Magnum inverter/charger and the Zamp solar controller work for Lithium.   The peo...  more
    • David & Lenka
      Bruce & Linda (Omnibus) April 4 I’ve heard a lot of good things about Battleborn.  Good to know that this includes customer support.
  • Jeff and Sandra Doan
    Jeff and Sandra Doan:
    April 2On our way to Live Oak FL last week I ran my refrigerator on electric for the 1st travel day! We stopped at a Harvest Host location I Huntsville AL and I checked the battery levels. Since they were fairly low, I switched to propane for the fridge and used...  more
    • Chris & Deb and 3 others like this.
    • Jeff and Sandra Doan
      MRJohnston April 2 You Are lucky!   Normally if the water level drops below the tops of the plates, it is too late.
  • Spyderrider2000
    Spyderrider2000 :
    March 27i have a slide out battery holder for 2 reguler batteries with another one abo e it are r
    they any lithium batteries gwill fit them.
      · via Android App
    • Spyderrider2000
      FastLaneBlur March 27 Battle Born lithium batteries are the size of a typical 12 volt lead acid battery and should fit. They're 100ah batteries that weigh about 29 pounds a piece. Not cheap but they are pretty much fool-proof. We run nine of them in a battery bank on our 5th wheel.
    • Spyderrider2000
      Blaze March 27 https://battlebornbatteries.com/contact/
      Reno, NV
      Hide 1 Reply
    • Spyderrider2000
      Troutfisher March 27 I have the Battleborn batteries in my trailer and love them. Just a couple of points... they are a “drop in” battery but I would touch base with the website at a minimum or call them about what your charging system is currently. They have a list of accept...  more
    • Spyderrider2000
      MRJohnston March 27 We’re ditching our four 3yo AGM batteries and installing 4 Battleborn Lithium’s.  We’re in Alaska so will look at mounting them under the bed for warmth while using, and pulling them for storage during the winter. They will be a drop in replacement f...  more
    • Spyderrider2000
      John T March 31 Being an Electrical Engineer and after having attended several Solar and Lithium Workshop/Seminars and speaking with engineers for battery manufacturers, I have arrived at the conclusion the generic term "drop in" can be misleading (its NOT ONLY...  more
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  • Kohl,'s not the store
    Kohl,'s not the store:
    March 27Check out Precision solar website with Marvin Braun it'll give you a lot of information we had him put solar on our rig and we're very happy you can find him on YouTube also that'll give you some information about all kinds of systems and what your requir...  more
      · via Android App
    • Bill Zeller likes this.
    • Kohl,'s not the store
      R((OOO))ger March 27 are they in San Diego CA
  • John & Linda
    John & Linda :
    March 27I will be in Az. in April visiting family. Looking at doing solar for my rig which is a 37 foot Allegro bus. I would like to start small to see how this works and if this is what we want to do and if so then work our up to larger system. I will be in Mesa...  more
    • John & Linda
      Greg & Toni March 27 Since you're not sure, you might look at a portable system. That way you don't have to mount on the roof. I made a portable system, 2 175 watt panels connected together with a piano hinge so the faces folded together for storage. 30 watt charge controll...  more
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      • John & Linda
        John & Linda March 28 Good idea, but worried about how to store it and wife thinks roof mount would be better, but I will check this out. Thanks
    • John & Linda
      Pianotuna April 2 John & Linda,


      Roof mount allows the battery bank to charge between trips, and while trundling down the road. It also makes a "five finger" discount a lot harder.
    • John & Linda
      Tom Jan Manley April 9 We just added solar and hadMobil Homestead Solar Services guide us and did the work— outstanding to work with and is just North of Mesa. A must to give Eddie a try he is GREAT and user friendly
      Hide 2 Replies
      • John & Linda
        John & Linda April 9 thanks for the info
      • John & Linda
        Lola N Rush Songer April 13 He has done two setups for us. 2014/2017 Highly recommend Eddie. He was a heat and air man for years and now lives off grid 99% of the time. Very knowledgeable in 12 volt and 120 volt systems. 
  • Curtis
    Curtis : February 28
    • L.D.Clark and 2 others like this.
    • Curtis
      Curtis February 28 Going to share this to a few solar groups. As far as insurance, go here and get a quote from FCIS. They are insurance experts and will find you the best possible price over multiple carriers. https://www.rvadvantage.com/rvillage/ Hope this helps!
    • Curtis
      Tom and Lois February 28 We will be at the Rally to help folks with getting started with Solar. Join our group, Boondocking with Solar, to get updates and connect with others who can also answer Questions.
      Hide 5 Replies
      • Curtis
        Curtis February 28 Here is the link to your group: www.rvillage.com/group/3062/boondocking-with-solar Every page in RVillage has a unique URL. Remember to post that link when directing people. Makes it easier for the reader to not have to search for it. (Just h...  more
      • Curtis
        Tom and Lois February 28 Thanks, Curtis
      • Curtis
        james riddle February 28 im trying to find your group so i can join no luck so far
      • Curtis
        Curtis February 28 @James Riddle -  https://www.rvillage.com/group/3062/boondocking-with-solar
      • Curtis
        Minton Reunion March 2 Thanks Tom and Lois
    • Curtis
      Dale -Darlene- & Sadie February 28 Being in Canada I can't offer info on insurance but on your solar you have many ways of going. Most people will tell you to do an energy audit on the amount of power you are using so you can see what you need to replace in a day. 
        Then ...  more
    • Curtis
      Judith & Mark March 8 To the point of the OP's post, here is a link to our blog post on Solar. It includes many links to other resource sites as wel.
  • 2 Doves Nation
    2 Doves Nation:
    February 27I need help.....I have a 2004 Casita that is wired for solar, but I am at a lost as to which "suitcase" type panels I should get, but I want one with the charge controller included. The only thing I need solar for is to top off the house battery after usi...  more
    • 2 Doves Nation
      2 Doves Nation February 27 Thanks. That helps. Most of the "suitcase" solar systems come with a 20amp charge controller
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      • 2 Doves Nation
        MRJohnston February 27 My rig is 50 amp but my solar charge controller is 30 amp because solar has nothing to do with the inverter/converter.   I have three 160 watt roof mounted solar panels putting out 9+ amps each of power so I am bumping up against the 30 amp limit wit...  more
      • 2 Doves Nation
        John T February 28 If the panels are no more then 200 Watts, a 20 Amp Controller su'ffices


        John T  Electrical Engineer
    • 2 Doves Nation
      2 Doves Nation February 27 Perfect. My rig should do well with a 200 watt solar suitcase then :)
    • 2 Doves Nation
      XC2 February 27 Remember that your RV has two electrical systems - 12v DC and 120v AC. The solar will not power the 120v AC (standard house plugs) side without wiring in an inverter. You will need one or a 12v adapter to charge your computers. My laptop uses about 80 wat...  more
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      • 2 Doves Nation
        MRJohnston February 27 Keep in mind that the solar panels don’t actually power any of your appliances, as that is done by the batteries.   The solar panels are a sophisticated battery charger, connected directly to the batteries via the charge controller.
      • 2 Doves Nation
        2 Doves Nation February 28 THANK YOU!!! This is a tremendous help.

        I have an inverter that I am plugging into the 12v outlet for my tv. The only ac appliances I have are laptops and the tv (which isn’t used very much). I run a fan and lights off the house battery but ...  more
    • 2 Doves Nation
      Lorri D. February 28 I have a Scamp which is very similar to the Casita. What do you mean by "wired for solar" and how did you do it?
      Hide 1 Reply
      • 2 Doves Nation
        2 Doves Nation February 28 All that was done was a port was installed to the side of the rig so you wouldn’t have to go inside the battery compartment. I can plug the panel into the port as long as I have a charge controller
    • 2 Doves Nation
      John T February 28 Nation, you ask "Do I need a 30amp charge controller if my rig is 30amp?"


      NO, The solar charge controllers rating has nothing to do with if your RV's 120VAC system is a 30 or 50 amp. The 30 or 50 amps powers 120VAC loads like AC and...  more