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  1. #1
    Site Sponsor J Maguire's Avatar
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    Solar Bundle Recommendations?

    We have a two standard battery system, looking to install a solar package of maybe 200 or 400 watts to maintain batteries and cover some ordinary usage. Don't mind running the generator for bigger items like the microwave.

    Can two batteries support 400 watts?

    Any recommendations for the solar company package; Renogy looks fine on Amazon.

    Any and all comments are welcome on this. Thxs
    2021 GD Reflection (150) 5th Wheel 268BH
    2019 F250 Gas 6.2L V8 FX4 Crew Cab
    PullRite 2100 20K Hitch w/ LOCKED OUT Turning Point
    2x Honda EU2200i Generators & 1UP Bike Rack & Roll-N-Lock Bed Cover
    Previous Setup:
    2017 Outdoors RV 23BHS
    2017 F150 Sport 3.5L V6 EcoBoost

  2. #2
    Seasoned Camper
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    I have a full Renogy system in my truck camper and have had great results with it. The only issue I had was a 2000W Inverter died after second use. They did replace it but the turn around time on them inspecting it and sending me a replacement took too long in my opinion. To their credit, it was last summer right in the middle of the COVID crisis in CA. If oy do buy their products on Amazon, make sure it is either from the Renogy site or from an authorized retailer or they may not honor the warranty if you have to fall back on it. I think they make some of the best solar panels on the market and if your patient, they have sales all the time...
    Jeff and Debbie
    2021 Imagine 2250RK
    2015 Ram2500 Laramie CC 6.7 Cummins Diesel w/air-ride auto leveling
    USMC Veteran

  3. #3
    Setting Up Camp
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    Look into Go Power.
    Here's a link to one of there systems....
    https://gpelectric.com/products/sola...arging-system/

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor RV Sailor's Avatar
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    We have Newapower solar panels with a Victron mttp controller ( smart solar is Bluetooth)

    https://www.amazon.com/Newpowa-Monoc.../dp/B07VBL7XKV

    https://www.invertersupply.com/index...ducts_id=21222


    In addition hooked into Victron Multiplus

    https://www.invertersupply.com/index...oducts_id=1206
    Donna and Dave
    Annapolis, Maryland
    2021 Grand Design Imagine 2500RL / Dodge Ram Longhorn 2500 6.4 Hemi
    350 W Newapower Solar: 3000 Victron Inverter/ Charger: Firefly Oasis carbon foam AGM

  5. #5
    Site Sponsor
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    Here's a good video on Solar inverters. Even when some are the same, they are different. Renogy has "name recognition", but it's not always the best.

    He does a good simple test and talks about good and bad.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF_cVEYxj3E

  6. #6
    Fireside Member Scramjet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Maguire View Post
    We have a two standard battery system, looking to install a solar package of maybe 200 or 400 watts to maintain batteries and cover some ordinary usage. Don't mind running the generator for bigger items like the microwave.

    Can two batteries support 400 watts?

    Any recommendations for the solar company package; Renogy looks fine on Amazon.

    Any and all comments are welcome on this. Thxs
    J,

    Yes, 400 watt panels would be about right for (2) batteries. Your 2 standard group 27 batteries are about 85 Ah each. If you want no more than a 50% depth of discharge you would have consumed no more than 85 Ah. Your proposed 400 watt panels would generate about 15-20 amps on a good day (unless you are in Arizona in the summer all the time it may be a bit more). That would replenish your battery bank in a typical 4-5 hour “solar day “. That is all you will get in most of the US most of the time. Not to mention cloudy days, campsite shading and winter sun angles.

    I think 400 watts is about minimum for us. We are adding 200 watts more this month. Mine are usually putting out much less power due to shading and clouds. All that being said, I am happy with my Renogy solar panels and my Renogy Rover 40 amp MPPT charge controller along with my Xantrex inverter. The YouTube link above shows Will Prose evaluating several charge controllers very fairly. I have a BS in Electronic Engineering and can find no fault with his methods. He is a good source of information.

    Almost any solar panels will do and I am not brand loyal.

    Please note that I would do a few energy audits to establish your usual energy consumption. Also, try to get a decent understanding of what each energy user in your trailer consumes. A good multimeter would work but I usually recommend a good battery monitor first (I think the Victron 712 is the gold standard).

    Brian
    Last edited by Scramjet; 03-22-2021 at 07:27 AM.
    Brian & Shea - YouTube RV America the Beautiful
    2018 GD Reflection 303RLS
    2018 Ford F-250 4x4 CC SB Lariat 6.2L Gas 4.30 gears
    B&W Companion Hitch w/Ford puck system

  7. #7
    Seasoned Camper Grandesigner's Avatar
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    I got the 400W system directly from Renogy with a discount and am happy with it so far...
    Have had Renogy on 3 units so far with good results.
    Last edited by Grandesigner; 03-22-2021 at 09:36 AM.
    Dan and Rita
    2021 Reflection150 260RD, built June 2020, w/400W solar + 2 size 31 AGMs added
    Y2K F250 SuperCab 7.3 PSD 4x4, 4 Speed Auto, Shortbed w/slider (never used it)

  8. #8
    Site Sponsor RV Sailor's Avatar
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    I suggest you just do a little more research on the solar panels and controllers. It can be overwhelming but worth a small investment time of a good hour.

    Not all solar cells are equal and have different options in term of materials, how they handle shading and what their cells are made of . They also have different efficiency ratings.

    The Renogy reviews are either very good or abysmal. The main issue appears to be delamination and response of their customer service. They are a little over priced compared to others. For what it’s worth I bought Newapower at 1/2 the cost.

    Also check out the two types of controllers for efficiency. I chose the mttp as they are most efficient. We went with Victron though I have Morningstar on our sailboat. Our Victron ( smart solar ) is Bluetooth , doesn’t need the dongle, so I can get its readings off my phone as well as the controller it’self . Also I suggest you buy a large enough controller so you could in the future add more solar to your setup. That way all you have to do is add a panel.
    Donna and Dave
    Annapolis, Maryland
    2021 Grand Design Imagine 2500RL / Dodge Ram Longhorn 2500 6.4 Hemi
    350 W Newapower Solar: 3000 Victron Inverter/ Charger: Firefly Oasis carbon foam AGM

  9. #9
    Site Sponsor J Maguire's Avatar
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    As far as laying out the solar. Once I find the positions I like do I just use the hardware provided to punch into the roof with dicor to seal it? There doesn't appear to be anything more that I'm looking for like you would in home wall like a stud. Correct me if I'm missing something here please.
    2021 GD Reflection (150) 5th Wheel 268BH
    2019 F250 Gas 6.2L V8 FX4 Crew Cab
    PullRite 2100 20K Hitch w/ LOCKED OUT Turning Point
    2x Honda EU2200i Generators & 1UP Bike Rack & Roll-N-Lock Bed Cover
    Previous Setup:
    2017 Outdoors RV 23BHS
    2017 F150 Sport 3.5L V6 EcoBoost

  10. #10
    Fireside Member Scramjet's Avatar
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    J,

    Sorry for the late reply. Not sure what solar panel mounts you are looking into. I did not like the mounting bolts that Renogy sent with their Z brackets. They have plastic washers that I believe will ultimately break down. Also the self tapping screws are too long. I would suggest #10 or 12 3/4” stainless steel screws with Dicor lap sealant. That is what I used 3 years ago. I have also heard that VHB tape under the mounts and Eternabond tape over has worked but I can’t vouch for it.

    Hopefully this helps.

    Brian
    Brian & Shea - YouTube RV America the Beautiful
    2018 GD Reflection 303RLS
    2018 Ford F-250 4x4 CC SB Lariat 6.2L Gas 4.30 gears
    B&W Companion Hitch w/Ford puck system

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