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  1. #1
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    Question Solitude 310GK question about solar panel instead of generator

    We just purchased a 2021 new 310GK. Weíre planning an 8 month road trip starting in the Fall - down south then up the east coast and across on the Trans Canada Highway. A giant loop back to the Seattle area. Our salesman is suggesting that instead of the 5500 watt lp generator we opt for a solar panel with a four battery storage pack that he claims will supply enough power to run the entire rig for 4 days including the ac. Anyone have experience of this? Iím not sure if it has something to do with the general shortage of generators (GD has apparently stopped installing them for now) and him maybe not wanting to honor his promise that we could have one (the unit was already prepped for it) or if itís a viable alternative. The cost is about the same.

    Also, we got an amazing deal on a washer/dryer combo and a dishwasher. Life of luxury! Any tips for using these? We are new to towing, having only crossed the country and made one other shorter trip in a 31ft C class.

    Also, thanks to everyone for the advice on towing vehicle. We just ordered an F350 super duty which will probably take at least 3 months to arrive. Lots of time to get ready! Canít believe weíre really going to do this. Iím combing this excellent forum for all your words of wisdom. So glad youíre all here.

    Pippa and Dan
    Solitude 310GK
    F350 Super duty 4x4 SRW Lariat Crew Cab with 6.7L V8 Turbo Diesel, 3:55 Axel Ratio, 11,500 GVWR
    Last edited by Pippamills; 04-10-2021 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Fireside Member PHMadness's Avatar
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    It will take more battery and a lot of solar panel if you want to run the ACs for any length of time. If you're not using the AC, 4 100ah lithium batteries should last pretty well with a moderate solar setup. It all depends on how you plan to use it.
    I have the onboard generator in my 310GK and just recently added 600ah of lithium battery. I plan to install about 1800 watts of solar next.

    2020 310GK - 2011 F350 SRW

  3. #3
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    Your salesman is vastly overstating the capability of four 100AH batteries - even if they are lithium. You would also need more than a single solar panel to recharge 400AHs worth of batteries each day (assuming the sun was out). Without ACs (and no microwave, electric fireplace, space heaters, hair dryers, etc.), a couple of good lithium batteries and 300 watts of solar will keep the fridge running and run the furnace overnight... not much more. You would need a significant solar array and battery bank to be capable of what you're describing.

    On another note: propane-fueled generators suck propane like a kid with a Slurpee.

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    2012 F350 DRW CC LB Lariat PS 6.7
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes,
    Sailun LRG tires, solar, DP windows, W/D
    (Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

  4. #4
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    Oh boy. There’s a LOT I don’t know! Thanks for the advice. What would you suggest? This unit has one of those big “residential” fridges (not what I would have chosen) that doesn’t run on propane apparently. Why was the salesman suggesting a propane generator then? And now he’s saying solar with four batteries? Just because regular generators are hard to come by?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHMadness View Post
    It will take more battery and a lot of solar panel if you want to run the ACs for any length of time. If you're not using the AC, 4 100ah lithium batteries should last pretty well with a moderate solar setup. It all depends on how you plan to use it.
    I have the onboard generator in my 310GK and just recently added 600ah of lithium battery. I plan to install about 1800 watts of solar next.

    2020 310GK - 2011 F350 SRW
    What onboard generator do you have already? Is it propane?

  6. #6
    Long Hauler bertschb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippamills View Post
    ...This unit has one of those big “residential” fridges (not what I would have chosen) that doesn’t run on propane apparently. Why was the salesman suggesting a propane generator then? And now he’s saying solar with four batteries? Just because regular generators are hard to come by?
    There are a lot of people (me included) who would never buy an RV without a residential fridge.

    Propane generators are convenient because you already have propane tanks in the RV. No need for a separate gas can. No problems with ethanol fuel gumming up your carburetor. No worries about gas going bad sitting in a can for months if it's not used. No messing with spilling gas while refueling, etc. The downside is propane has less energy than gas so the generator will produce less power. Some generators are in short supply right now.

    For redundancy, I have both a dual fuel (gas/propane) generator and a large solar/battery system. If the sun doesn't shine for several days, I can use my generator if necessary.
    Brian & Kellie
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, FBP, 1,460w solar, 540ah BBGC3, MORryde IS w/disc brakes
    2020 F-350 Platinum SRW Powerstroke Tremor, 60g TF fuel tank, Hensley BD3-F air bag hitch

    Previous setups:
    2019 Solitude 373FB-R, 2019 F-350 Platinum DRW Powerstroke, Hensley BD5 air bag hitch
    2016 Reflection 318RST, 2016 GMC 3500 Denali SRW Duramax, Hensley BD3 air bag hitch

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippamills View Post
    We just purchased a 2021 new 310GK. Weíre planning an 8 month road trip starting in the Fall - down south then up the east coast and across on the Trans Canada Highway. A giant loop back to the Seattle area. Our salesman is suggesting that instead of the 5500 watt lp generator we opt for a solar panel with a four battery storage pack that he claims will supply enough power to run the entire rig for 4 days including the ac. Anyone have experience of this? Iím not sure if it has something to do with the general shortage of generators (GD has apparently stopped installing them for now) and him maybe not wanting to honor his promise that we could have one (the unit was already prepped for it) or if itís a viable alternative. The cost is about the same.

    Also, we got an amazing deal on a washer/dryer combo and a dishwasher. Life of luxury! Any tips for using these? We are new to towing, having only crossed the country and made one other shorter trip in a 31ft C class.

    Also, thanks to everyone for the advice on towing vehicle. We just ordered an F350 super duty which will probably take at least 3 months to arrive. Lots of time to get ready! Canít believe weíre really going to do this. Iím combing this excellent forum for all your words of wisdom. So glad youíre all here.

    Pippa and Dan
    Solitude 310GK
    F350 Super duty 4x4 SRW Lariat Crew Cab with 6.7L V8 Turbo Diesel, 3:55 Axel Ratio, 11,500 GVWR
    As for solar vs generator, and what your salesman stated, is bunk.

    As stated by Rob (Second Chance), it is a matter of understanding your power requirements. There are many posts and topics on this forum dealing with solar. With that said, you really need to know what your watt hour, or kilowatt hour consumption is. Here is a link to a blog that gives some basic information about what you need to know and understand for solar, and the knowledge can be applied to a generator as well.

    https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rv-...igerator-power

    For us, without a residential refrigerator, we will have 400-600 ah LiFePO in batteries, and approximately 1300-1600 watts of solar. The solar is primarily for charging the battery bank, even though, during sunlight hours, it will also power the coach. This will run our AC and CPAPs at night, if we really need it, it will run the AC during the day, if we haven't depleted the batteries over night by running the AC. We cannot run both the microwave and AC at the same time. We can only run one of the AC units at a time. We are very judicious in our 110 electrical use, even on shore power. We also have a 3400 watt dual fuel generator.

    If you want to do as the salesman said you could do, I'm afraid you are looking at well over $30k for solar; which includes at least 1000-1500 ah battery bank with LiFePO batteries, at least 3000-5000 watts of solar, and direct sunlight on the solar panels for at least 8-14 hours a day. This is just a very rough, off the cuff, calculation.

    On the other hand, the generator should have cost less than $10k to purchase and install.

    Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
    Mark & Mary. Full-timing across the USA (and Canada)!
    Current Coach: 2021 Grand Design Reflection 320MKS
    Current Rig: 2019 Ford F350 SD Crew Cab, w/8' box, Lariat, SRW, 6.7l Diesel

  8. #8
    Fireside Member PHMadness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pippamills View Post
    What onboard generator do you have already? Is it propane?
    The standard Onan 5500, yes it is propane. I had it installed at the factory.

    2020 310GK - 2011 F350 SRW

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