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  1. #1
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    Lithium/Solar Upgrade project for '21 Reflection 310RLS - Suggestions Requested

    Hey Everyone!

    First, I’ll say thanks for all of the valuable info I’ve absorbed through this forum already. It has been a great way to start understanding how to put a system together. Based on what I've read and researched so far I have put together the following hoping that I am on the right track. Please look it over and let me know any additional thoughts, ideas or suggestions you may have. I have a couple of specific questions which are highlighted below, again, any thoughts there would b most appreciated.

    Goals:
    • Shore power and generator can recharge batteries if solar isn’t enough. (Pass through)
    • Charge from 7-way if traveling, although I assume solar might be higher
    • Batteries can supplement shore power if only a 30A hookup is available (we have 50A in the trailer) (switch)
    • Be able to start boondocking or dry camping, initially for long weekends, eventually for longer periods.
    • Would like to be able to run A/C off of batteries, length of time will vary.

    To that end – would you mind looking over the following and letting me know if this is correct?

    Batteries:
    6 x Lion UT1300’s (105Ah, can be paralleled or run in series) 12.8V
    Max Charge Rate 100A
    Max Charge Voltage 14.6V
    12.8V / 105Ah / 1344Wh / 150A

    Question: I am undecided if I should run 3 each in series (and by default, 2 Parallel)
    That give me 24V on that end -
    Or, I can wire them via busbar in series for better load/charge equalization.

    Any thoughts on this would be most appreciated.


    Solar Panels: 6x 200W, 24V (2 each in series, three parallels)
    • Maximum Power(Pmax): 200W
    • Maximum Power Voltage(Vmp): 37.6V
    • Maximum Power Current(Imp): 5.36A
    • Open Circuit Voltage(Voc): 45.4V
    • Short Circuit Current(Isc): 5.83A
    • Maximum System Voltage(Vmax): 1000VDC
    • Temperature Range: -40°C ~ 90°C
    • Max Series Fuse Rating: 15A
    Based on how I plan to set up the array, that gives me 15.96Amps (Imp) through the roof to the Charge controller. Voltage will vary….
    Question: Does this spec mean that I can use the Factory Installed ‘Solar Ready’ MC4 roof connection and 10AWG wire that the trailer came with? I would prefer not to redo that if at all possible.

    Other bits – not including wires, fuses, etc:
    • Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150/85, was considering a 250/100 so we can add solar if we would like down the road.

    Victron Multi-Plus II (Or would a Quattro be better?)
    Is there another brand that would allow us to run both legs (A/C and regular outlets/lights etc) at the same time?

    • BMV 712 Smart battery monitor system

    • Victron Lynx Distributor (?? Is this the right thing?)

    • Soft Start (2) for A/C units

    Was planning on using the Explorist diagrams as a basis for the install and wiring, fuses, etc.

    Please let me know your thoughts and ideas, all will be appreciated!

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    That's a large system, but you don't mention the trailer. Many put such basic info in our signature sections. Regardless, many full timers with big rigs have smaller solar set ups. When we first got our trailer I added 2 cheap flooded batteries and we boondocked for several days, with 4 adults. There is real wisdom to starting slow with a plan to grow as you learn your needs.

    Maybe it's a typo but, unless you want to replace everything from lights to levelers, don't build a 24V system. All 12V batteries in parallel is 12V and that's what all your gear wants. The series/parallel idea is usually for 6V batteries or solar panels (that go through a controller.) For 6 units a buss bar would be the best technique.

    Double check the specs on your AC units. My 15K unit seems to have a soft start built in, and I can run it quite well on a 20A breaker.

    Don't expect to get much of anything from your truck. 10A is the max output (wire and fuses), and if the battery voltage is higher than the truck output you'll get nothing at all. That's pretty easy to do in a lithium system.

    16A on 10AWG sounds good. If your solar output is below the fuses on the wires then you're just fine. Remember fuses are there to protect the wire!
    Rick

    2019 Reflection 150 273MK
    2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
    PullRite Superglide

  3. #3
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    Like Rick said forget about the truck...you've got solar now. I've got 1120 watts of panels and have seen them produce 1109 watts of power going down the road.
    Location - Wherever the road takes us...Full-timers
    2015 Momentum 380
    2019 Ram Dually

  4. #4
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by el Rojo View Post
    Like Rick said forget about the truck...you've got solar now. I've got 1120 watts of panels and have seen them produce 1109 watts of power going down the road.
    Thank you for that reminder, I tend to think a little linear at times.

  5. #5
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickLight View Post
    That's a large system, but you don't mention the trailer. Many put such basic info in our signature sections. Regardless, many full timers with big rigs have smaller solar set ups. When we first got our trailer I added 2 cheap flooded batteries and we boondocked for several days, with 4 adults. There is real wisdom to starting slow with a plan to grow as you learn your needs.

    Maybe it's a typo but, unless you want to replace everything from lights to levelers, don't build a 24V system. All 12V batteries in parallel is 12V and that's what all your gear wants. The series/parallel idea is usually for 6V batteries or solar panels (that go through a controller.) For 6 units a buss bar would be the best technique.

    Double check the specs on your AC units. My 15K unit seems to have a soft start built in, and I can run it quite well on a 20A breaker.

    Don't expect to get much of anything from your truck. 10A is the max output (wire and fuses), and if the battery voltage is higher than the truck output you'll get nothing at all. That's pretty easy to do in a lithium system.

    16A on 10AWG sounds good. If your solar output is below the fuses on the wires then you're just fine. Remember fuses are there to protect the wire!
    Hi Rick, The trailer is actually included in the subject line of the thread. Thank you for the idea though, I will add the truck/trailer info to my signature as well.

    I do realize that it is a larger system. We had a smaller travel trailer last year and camped of grid with it several times. It had two standard batteries and a 170w solar panel. As long as we were careful, it worked for us on shorter outings. Our plan with the fifth wheel is to go out for longer periods and to work remotely while being completely self sufficient. This sort of implies a larger system. As much as I agree with starting small and working your way up, there are additional costs involved with doing that as you need to replace pieces of the system that cant handle the updated loads being put on them. That is something we would rather not do.

    The battery bank is a really a fluid thing as far as how to put it together, your input is dually noted. I thought (this gets me in trouble sometimes) that the inverters could convert 24v to 12v for the system. If that isn't the case, then you are right on the money, we will run them to stay at a 12v system.

    And thank you for your comment on the wire size as well. I was hoping that would be the case.

    Cheers and thanks again!

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=2Wander;355362]Hey Everyone!

    We have a 303rls, same year and we just completed the lithium/solar/inverter upgrade. It's a scaled up version of what we installed on our last 5th wheel but our new system is about 1/2 of what you are doing: 650w of solar, 400Ah of battery, 3000w inverter, Victron BMV712, Victron charge controller.
    We used a different inverter to get both legs charged. It's a GoPower 3000IC and we also used the GoPower batteries (4X100Ah). This inverter does it all - transfers/inverts/charges at 125A.
    I believe Magnum has an inverter which handles both legs as well.
    The Explorist diagrams are very helpful, for sure.
    We found that finding space on the roof for the panels was a bit of a task but we used 2X325w panels so they are quite a bit bigger.
    Our batteries are in the storage bay so that they can be kept warm with the furnace and the inverter and all other components are in the front compartment. We considered the Lynx system but in the end it wasn't adding enough value to justify the cost. We used regular buss bars instead.
    Our AC starts no problem with the 3000w inverter so maybe either they already have soft start or it's not needed.
    I have been testing the system through all phase and so far it works great.
    Good luck with your installation.
    Last edited by rrlowen; 03-22-2021 at 12:28 PM.
    2021 Reflection 303rls
    2021 GMC 3500HD AT4 4X4 Duramax Standard Box
    2021 B&W Companion

  7. #7
    Setting Up Camp
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    Planning around everything happening on the roof is an issue, that's why I finally just went with the 200W panels.

    Thank you for the input on the other inverters, I will take a look at those.

    We are going to open up the basement and see what kind of space we have there as a location for the batteries. The fun being that is also located directly under the bathroom. Extra steps will be needed. We were thinking of repurposing the front comparment (after we switch to the lithium) for a dirty storage - things like the stinky slinkies can reside in there.
    2021 Silverado 3500HD Z71, 4x4 6.6l Duramax, Standard Bed SRW, "Bess"
    2021 Reflection 310RLS (maiden voyage 4/22/21)

  8. #8
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    The inverter is irrelevant to my point.

    I was talking about all the things that run straight off the batteries. The basic necessities are 12V; (gas) fridge controls, furnace fan, levelers, trailer brakes!!, awnings, slides and more... I've heard of people yanking that all out to go 24v, but that's pretty extreme.
    Rick

    2019 Reflection 150 273MK
    2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
    PullRite Superglide

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Wander View Post
    Planning around everything happening on the roof is an issue, that's why I finally just went with the 200W panels.

    Thank you for the input on the other inverters, I will take a look at those.

    We are going to open up the basement and see what kind of space we have there as a location for the batteries. The fun being that is also located directly under the bathroom. Extra steps will be needed. We were thinking of repurposing the front comparment (after we switch to the lithium) for a dirty storage - things like the stinky slinkies can reside in there.
    I have my batteries in the storage bay. I'm kinda anal in regards to an exposed 12V positive connections. Things shift going down the road so I go overboard to enclose any electrical connections.

    That's my PSA.

    Red
    Location - Wherever the road takes us...Full-timers
    2015 Momentum 380
    2019 Ram Dually

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