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  1. #1
    Site Sponsor OurNewEra's Avatar
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    Approved For Solar!

    I have been delicately hinting to the DW about installing solar on our Imagine 2970RL. You know, talking batteries, playing YT videos on solar, etc . . . Not outright saying I would like to install solar. The unofficial project, the in my head project, got the go ahead yesterday on our drive north to go camping. I call those my Willie Nelson projects, "Always on my mind." Here is how the solar project received the go ahead.

    We live in Florida. We are not retired and live in our sticks and bricks in Central Florida. We have been through many, many hurricanes and in a couple of those we lost power for many days. One time was 7 days. With the recent devastation in Texas the wife and I were again discussing installing a whole house generator for hurricanes. Hurricane Irma left us camping in our driveway for 7 days in our vintage Airstream connected to a generator, that was our camping trailer at the time. So we discussed bringing our new Imagine home and running it on the generator should we lose power for an extended period of time. The downside to running the generator is managing the fuel and the constant noise. Also, I work for a local government so if there is a declared emergency I have to be at work as part of my responsibilities. So that leaves my wife at home to manager the generator. So no decisions were made during the breakfast table discussion.

    We departed on our camping trip and headed north on I75 and righ around Lake City the DW says, "I think we should install solar on the trailer." YES!!!! I tried not to loose control of the rig in all my excitement. Her reasoning was that 1) we could use it for hurricanes when we have no power, 2) not have depend on the generator and having to find/get fuel, and 3) with the solar we can camp anywhere and take the system with us. You can't do that with a whole house generator.

    I will be installing a solar system on our 2021 Imagine 2970RL BEFORE the next hurricane season. I'll definitely be reading through this sub-forum for all the good information and experience of others.
    Mike & Lisa
    Central Florida
    2021 Imagine 2970RL
    1996 Chevy K3500 Crew SRW 7.4L Gas

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor
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    Sounds like you got a date with Solar Installation...

    Although I am still learning myself (posted some pics) and still have much to learn, the fun part is the actual learning and researching and then putting that to practical use. This forum is great and there are some pretty sharp people here. You'll have fun.

  3. #3
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    How did you end up on the solar front? I have been considering solar and should pull the trigger. We use a predator 3500 rarely, as we are usually at National Park or Corps of Engineers, using their power. Would like to be able to do what I need using battery power when we're not using AC. Two of us, we use the microwave occasionally, use the TV a lot. Run laptop quite a bit. What practical solar setup can anyone recommend, considering these needs. Also, what am I forgetting that I also need to run off battery? Thanks.

    Rick
    Virginia
    2021 Transcend Xplor 221RB
    2019 RAM 1500 Quad 5.7L gas

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor jnoyes's Avatar
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    I would love to see pics of your solar project.

    In the spring I plan to do ďexploratory surgeryĒ on our 2970 as I plan for a similar setup with lithium batteries, a Victron Multiplus II, and peripheral equipment. Iím wondering if there is some space to be exploited aft of the basement wall for batteries or other equipment. Donít want to give up any more space than necessary in the basement or under the bed. Hoping with some creativity and work there are ways to minimize the impact on storage space.

    Where did you put everything? How did it go? Please share you experience. Pictures please. Seems like most of the really ambitious electrical setups are on 5th wheels. Space and weight constraints are tighter on our TTs.
    Jeff & Deborah - North Beach, MD
    2019 Grand Design 2970RL "Lucy", Hensley Arrow 14K, Goodyear Endurance Tires
    2019 Nissan Titan XD, 5.6 gas, Air Lift Loadlifter 5000 bags


  5. #5
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    I put 400watts of solar on my 2600RL. Hardest part, by far, was running the wire from roof down to basement. In the 2022 rigs, they put a solar panel on roof (to run 12v fridge; no more gas fridge!) so that hard to run wire is already in place. In my new rig (soon to be delivered) I will put same setup, but with bigger panels. As for batteries, I mounted a plywood board over the battery holder rails?, its sits on top of frame and extends over an inch or so. I put (2) AGM batteries side by side, each in its own box. I will do same setup on my new rig,but will go with custom made Lithium batteries. "Will Prowse" has many youtube videos on this (and everything solar).
    Last edited by wudwork; 12-21-2021 at 06:46 PM.
    2022 GD 2970RL (Built Dec 2021, Deliver March 2022)
    2019 F350 Platinum, Shorter bed, Diesel, SRW, 3.55 rear
    2017 GD 2600rb (Built Nov2016, Delivered Jan 2017)
    2016 F150 Platinum (traded in for F350 fall 2019)

  6. #6
    Rolling Along huntindog's Avatar
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    One of the youtubers, I think it was changinglanes installed 10 battle born 100 amp batteries on top of his generator enclosure. He simply screwed some 2x4s onto rhe top of it, and set the batteries up there. I liked the location, but wasn't thrilled with the method, as all of the weight sits on top of the compartment, which isn't (IMO) meant for that much weight. So I built a custom battery rack out of angle aluminum for that space that doesn't use the generator compartment for any support at all. I put 8 batteries there, though 10 will fit. totally out of the way, and somewhat temperture protected. The battries are the heated ones in any case,
    Sorry I cannot post pics here.
    2021 398M Full Body Paint 8k axles. LRH tires. Disc brakes.
    Two bathrooms, no waiting 155 fresh, 104 black, 104 grey 1380 watts solar.
    800AH BattleBorn Batteries No campgrounds 100% boondocking
    2020 Silverado High Country 3500 dually crewcab Duramax Allison

  7. #7
    Site Team Redapple63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntindog View Post
    One of the youtubers, I think it was changinglanes installed 10 battle born 100 amp batteries on top of his generator enclosure. He simply screwed some 2x4s onto rhe top of it, and set the batteries up there. I liked the location, but wasn't thrilled with the method, as all of the weight sits on top of the compartment, which isn't (IMO) meant for that much weight. So I built a custom battery rack out of angle aluminum for that space that doesn't use the generator compartment for any support at all. I put 8 batteries there, though 10 will fit. totally out of the way, and somewhat temperture protected. The battries are the heated ones in any case,
    Sorry I cannot post pics here.
    Wow 800 amp hours of battery, holy cows, that is a lot. Canít even imagine having that much available power.
    2019 GMC 3500 SRW Sierra Denali Duramax
    2020 Reflection 315RLTS

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