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Thread: New Solar setup on my 367BHS

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    New Solar setup on my 367BHS

    So after months of reading various posts on this forum I decided it was time to sign up and help contribute. We began our search for our new trailer in August of 2020 and after months of searching, looking, researching and looking again, in late January we pulled the trigger on a 2021 367BHS. We have been able to get out three times now and my wife and I are both extremely happy with our purchase. One thing we wanted in our new trailer was to be more off grid/self sufficient as we primarily back country camp. I can count on one hand how many times we have camped in a campground that had hookups in the last 20 years. So after months of researching I went ahead and ordered everything I would need to install solar, inverters and be completely self sufficient. Now we do have a Honda 2200 watt generator just in case but my hope is once everything is done this generator will just be for emergency/backup power.

    So last month I got to know the UPS, Fed Ex and Amazon drivers pretty good. I started off by ordering 2 Battle Born batteries. I then ordered a battery monitor, 2500 W inverter, 60 amp progressive dynamics converter made for lithium, (4) 100W Renogy solar panels, 40A Renogy MTTP charge controler, Renogy BT module, solar cable crimpers, various 30 amp breakers, 250 amp fuse block(for the inverter), Furrion 50A automatic transfer switch, 2/0 cable, and a list of other various nuts, bolts and electrical connectors.

    After two weekends I finally got everything installed and yesterday morning was able to turn it all on with only one issue(more on that later). I ended up moving my BB batteries under the stairs and behind what Grand Designs calls an outside kitchen(this is not even close to an actual outside kitchen). This location came with a couple of benefits 1. The batteries are now hidden and less likely to be removed by some bum trying to get $20 for a recycled battery(I have had batteries stolen off my previous TT). 2. More storage, who doesn't need/want more storage? 3. This location put the batteries to within 12" of where my converter is located behind the breaker panel. 4. Warmer temperature location, I'm not worried about heat being a problem but I do camp in temps down to 0F so keeping them inside should have less chance of problems when camping in cold weather. 5. I have room for one more BB if I need it.

    Next was mounting the transfer switch, this ended up under the stairs also. There was plenty of room and my shore power cables were long enough to be removed from the 50A main breakers and ran into the transfer switch. From there I ran new cable from the transfer switch to the main breakers.

    I then replaced my existing converter with the converter made for Lithium, this was an easy replacement as the converter just plugs into a standard 120v plug that is on the back of the breaker panel. I landed both sets of wire that run to the breaker panel and the terminal block in the front storage compartment but then added two more sets of wire to run to my BB batteries in their new home under the stairs. I removed the 120v wires for the power to the convertor and ran them to the same terminals where my shore power landed on the transfer switch. This will ensure my converter is only running while I'm plugged into shore power/generator and not while my inverter is running. Speaking of invertors, I mounted my invertor in the storage compartment(outside kitchen) this allows plenty of fresh air if needed. It also kept the invertor close to the batteries to minimize energy loss. I was able to wire from my inverter to my transfer switch that was also extremely close. From there I could simply run my remote switch up the wall behind and mount it next to my main control panel inside the rig. Here I mounted my battery monitor as well.

    Next up was solar, I ended up moving my Touch screen that is located inside on the non door side of the pass through storage to the doors side. This makes it easier for me to use my touch screen from the outside to turn on lights or run the awnings in or out. I didn't understand why this would be mounted on the opposite side of the rig from where most people spend their time. Once this screen was moved I mounted my solar controller here. The pre wire for the solar already runs through this storage compartment so it was easy to land the wires there. From here I ran my charging wires to the terminal strip that was previously used for the batteries. Next was the part I was the most concerned with, mounting the solar panels. Get online and search this, there are a hundred different ways to do it. I don't know what way is best but here's how I did it, well nuts. I went down to the local HD and bought wells nuts and bolts to make this connection. I will say that this part made me the most nervous and after I drilled the first hole in the roof of my new baby it only got easier. The well nut mounting method, for me, couldn't have worked any better. It is incredibly secure as in, these panels aren't going anywhere. It also gave me piece of mind as I feel like they did a great job of helping seal the penetration's that I had made. I used an ample amount of dicor to help seal the roof, I know there is discussions about what type of sealant to use and I have used dicor in the past and my RV dealership didn't have anything else so this is what I went with. I made all my own solar wires and connections, this is very easy to do and gave me a great finished product with minimal loose wires.

    So after all of this yesterday came and I was able to plug everything in and start testing. I started with the inverter, switched on, heard the transfer switch click and on came the TV and microwave power. Next plugged in the shore power and after 30 sec(The switch has a delay for generators) click, the trailer was now on shore power without disruption. So here I am filling pretty good about myself. Next was to check the solar power coming in to the breaker, pre solar charger. Checked with meter, NOTHING...... What gives, I checked all the panels before lugging them up the ladder and on the roof and all produced power. so I went up to the pre wired solar connection on the roof, unplugged and checked for power, 42V. So now I know that there is a lost connection in the trailer between the roof and the storage compartment. I ended up taking the solar connection off at the roof and found where they had connected the ground wire had come off and was no longer connected. So I replaced both connections and checked again at the breaker and........... 42v! Closed the breaker to the charge controller and that was it, two weekends of work and our trailer is fully functioning, going green, tesla style.

    We have a trip planned for this weekend to see how it will work out for us. We don't go camping to sit in the trailer we typically are ridding ATVs early in the year, boating/fishing during the summer and hunting in the fall. I think this setup will give us the results we are looking for, no generator needed.

    So I just wanted to share my solar setup and I will repost with any shortcomings or downfalls once I have a chance to get out and use it. Oh and thanks to everyone who has posted their experience on this forum in the past. It has been a great resource for questions I have had and helped me to this point.
    Last edited by Elkhunterdj; 04-19-2021 at 04:07 PM.
    2021 Reflection 367BHS
    2017 GMC 3500 DRW

  2. #2
    Paid my dues 😁 FT4NOW's Avatar
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    Sounds great....where are the pictures???

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    2021 Reflection 311BHS
    2018 F350 CC/LB/Firestone bags/Reese Goose Box

    SOLD - 2017 Momentum 399TH
    SOLD - 2016 F350 CC/LB/DRW/Curt Q24/Air Lift Load Lifter 5000


  3. #3
    Setting Up Camp sirtate's Avatar
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    Yup...

    Pictures, or it didn't happen...

    Actually, if we could see a pic of a panel mounting bolt, how you did the 'outside kitchen' mod, and control panels? Maybe a shot of the roof, too?

    Your descriptions are good, but those of us without your model of trailer might need some reference pics to orient ourselves into your narrative...

    Sent from my LM-G900 using Tapatalk

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    Site Sponsor fmartinmn's Avatar
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    Very impressive. Great write up, also looking forward to pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Frank & Jolynn Martin
    Saint Paul, MN
    Mabel & Bailey, Golden Retriever Fur Kids
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    I too have a 367BHS and will be anxiously waiting for the pictures.
    Can you share the total $$ invested in the hardware? Installation is always free, if owner installed!!

    Rig: 2017 Reflection 367BHS
    Tow vehicle: 2020 F350 CC 6.7l Platinum SRW LB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary325 View Post
    I too have a 367BHS and will be anxiously waiting for the pictures.
    Can you share the total $$ invested in the hardware? Installation is always free, if owner installed!!
    Here's a general breakdown of what I bought,

    BB Batteries $900 Ea.
    Renogy Solar Kit $630
    Furrion Transfer Switch $150
    2500W Inverter $350
    Lithium Converter $220
    Battery Monitor $70
    Then the odds and ends nuts, bolts, wire, fuse holders, breakers, battery disconnects, solar cable ends and crimpers was another couple hundred.
    As you said installation was free expect for the adult beverages, there was a few of those consumed during this process.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmartinmn View Post
    Very impressive. Great write up, also looking forward to pictures. Thanks for sharing.
    Quote Originally Posted by sirtate View Post
    Yup...

    Pictures, or it didn't happen...

    Actually, if we could see a pic of a panel mounting bolt, how you did the 'outside kitchen' mod, and control panels? Maybe a shot of the roof, too?

    Your descriptions are good, but those of us without your model of trailer might need some reference pics to orient ourselves into your narrative...

    Sent from my LM-G900 using Tapatalk
    Here is a link to the compression nuts I used, https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...204276054-_-N&
    I was really impressed with how well these attached the panels to the roof. I was concerned about mounting the panels to the roof but after using these I have no doubt the panels aren't going anywhere.


    Quote Originally Posted by FT4NOW View Post
    Sounds great....where are the pictures???

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Finally got some time to get pictures to share with everyone,
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20210421_115750.jpg   20210421_115645.jpg   20210421_115608.jpg   20210421_115328.jpg   20210421_115304.jpg  

    Last edited by Elkhunterdj; 04-22-2021 at 08:22 AM.
    2021 Reflection 367BHS
    2017 GMC 3500 DRW

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