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Thread: New to solar

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    New to solar

    We just purchased but havenít taken possession of an Influence 3704 and it comes standard with a 320w solar panel to run the 12 volt fridge. We upgraded to a 2000w inverter so we can use some things while not connected to power. I am seriously considering purchasing a Battleborn 270ah battery for the rig. My question is, how well will a 320w panel keep up with charging if we used things like lights, the tv on occasion and small appliances like a coffee maker, etc. Will this one panel be sufficient or should I be looking into adding another panel?
    Glenn and Kristy
    2024 Influence 3704 BH
    2019 Reflection 312BHTS
    2024 Ram 3500 6.7L HO Turbo Diesel

  2. #2
    Site Team Soundsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATCavi8or View Post
    We just purchased but haven’t taken possession of an Influence 3704 and it comes standard with a 320w solar panel to run the 12 volt fridge. We upgraded to a 2000w inverter so we can use some things while not connected to power. I am seriously considering purchasing a Battleborn 270ah battery for the rig. My question is, how well will a 320w panel keep up with charging if we used things like lights, the tv on occasion and small appliances like a coffee maker, etc. Will this one panel be sufficient or should I be looking into adding another panel?
    Hey fellow New Hampshirite, congratulations on your new coach. There are a few considerations to consider before answering your question. Are you planning to camp off-grid? If so, you would benefit from coming up with an energy budget. You mention a 12-volt frig, for us the 12-volt frig uses about 100 Ah (Amp hours) per day. Your lights and TV won't use that much, something like a coffee maker or the microwave uses a lot, but usually just for a short time.

    On the solar side, where do you usually camp? Here in New Hampshire, we often camp on wooded sites with limited solar exposure. If it's the same for you, then a portable panel might be better since it can easily be moved around to capture what sun you have. To calculate your solar gain divide the total watts of your solar power by 12 volts (assuming a 12-volt system) then multiply by the number of hours you will get sun. For example 320/12 = about 25 Amps per hour times 4 hours = 100 Ah per day. If you added another 320-watt panel you would get 200 Ah.

    Once you have an idea of your energy uses and sources, then you can make a good estimate of how much storage you might need. For us it works like this: 250 Ah daily usage (includes 12-volt frig, lights, pump, various inverter users) less 50 Ah of solar leads to storage needs of 200 Ah per day. We have 800 Ah of LiFePo4 batteries which gives us about 4 days of off-grid camping.
    Stephen and Judy
    2022 Reflection 150 Series 260RD (Stella)
    2017 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD (Blue)
    Traded - 2018 Forest River Rockwood Minilite 2104S

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    I wouldn't waste the money on battleborn, there are plenty of decent lithium batterys for substantially less dollars than battleborn. I would make sure to get one with low temp cut off and if you desire possibly heated, but I have not found the need for a heated battery. I am a fan of Ampere time which is currently called Litime.

    you can sink as much money as you want in solar panels and batterys and it still isn't enough. I have roughly 600 amp hours in batterys and 360 watts of solar on the roof. It is more than enough to travel with.
    GMC 2500 HD Gas
    GD Imagine XLS22 MLE

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    Rolling Along
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    I second the opinion about Battle Born. I doubt if anyone would say they are a bad battery, but I can say, you will waste a lot of money on them. There are several manufacturers that will give you what Battle Born does and a price that is almost 50% less. Research what others have done.

    When it comes to their warranty, I feel if the product or manufactured product is bad, it will fail fairly quickly. I purchased a Renogy 3k inverter that was bad out of the box. The warranty one has been trouble free.

    If you feel much more comfortable with a long term warranty, then you can't beat a Battle Born. Assuming they will be in business by the time warranty runs out. Yes, that is something you need to think about with Battle Born and the cheap Chinese brands that are out there. Will you even need the warranty that long [ie will you have the RV that long?].

    I recently topped my capacity off at 1200ah. I think I got enough. Recently, we went dry camping for 3 complete days. We left with 60% remaining. We did not skimp on anything.

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    Seasoned Camper Conner58's Avatar
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    I would definitely buy something other than battle born .
    Buy you your solar setup with the extra money.
    2019 super duty 6.7
    2021 solitude 2930rl
    1236 ah of Sok lithium 1200 watts of solar.

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    Given the mention of cheap Chinese brands, just also want to mention that the cells Battleborn uses are also from China. I do not believe any are manufactured yet in the US. Battleborn is assembled in the US though.
    Chad
    2023 23LDE 965W Solar, Victron Multiplus, Solar Controllers, Cerbo GX, 4x280AH DIY Lithium Batteries, SeeLevel Tank Monitoring, Shock Absorbers (Replaced 2022 22MLE)
    2022 F350 6.7L Superduty, Carbonized Gray, Ultimate Lariat Pkg, 4WD, Crew Cab, 160" Wheelbase, 3.55EL Rear End, 3566# Payload
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    Long Hauler huntindog's Avatar
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    I like Battle Borns. Yes they are expensive. Just like a Mercedes cost more than a Chevy. A Chevy will get you places, but it will never be a Mercedes. Battle Borns have a great reputation and following for a reason. Buy what you can afford and be happy with.
    2021 398M Full Body Paint 8k axles. LRH tires. Disc brakes.
    Two bathrooms, no waiting 155 fresh, 104 black, 104 grey 1860 watts solar.
    800AH BattleBorn Batteries No campgrounds 100% boondocking
    2020 Silverado High Country 3500 dually crewcab Duramax Allison

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    Long Hauler huntindog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverbug View Post
    Given the mention of cheap Chinese brands, just also want to mention that the cells Battleborn uses are also from China. I do not believe any are manufactured yet in the US. Battleborn is assembled in the US though.
    I will point out here that Battle Born uses different cells than all the others. Will Prowse did a teardown of one a while back
    2021 398M Full Body Paint 8k axles. LRH tires. Disc brakes.
    Two bathrooms, no waiting 155 fresh, 104 black, 104 grey 1860 watts solar.
    800AH BattleBorn Batteries No campgrounds 100% boondocking
    2020 Silverado High Country 3500 dually crewcab Duramax Allison

  9. #9
    Seasoned Camper
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    I have 2 Battleborn batteries. If I want to add to the bank, I assume I can mix with a different brand?

    Oldcow
    2023 F450
    2021 397THR
    2018 DR650
    2004 Kawasaki ZRX 1224R

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntindog View Post
    I will point out here that Battle Born uses different cells than all the others. Will Prowse did a teardown of one a while back
    Yes, but still made in China. Just trying to clarify that if people think Battleborn (assembled in USA) means they are sourced and made in the USA, that is not the case. I'm not saying it diminishes their quality at all. I'd prefer more cells and chips and everything else get produced here but that's just not reality at the moment.
    Chad
    2023 23LDE 965W Solar, Victron Multiplus, Solar Controllers, Cerbo GX, 4x280AH DIY Lithium Batteries, SeeLevel Tank Monitoring, Shock Absorbers (Replaced 2022 22MLE)
    2022 F350 6.7L Superduty, Carbonized Gray, Ultimate Lariat Pkg, 4WD, Crew Cab, 160" Wheelbase, 3.55EL Rear End, 3566# Payload
    Adaptive Steering, Ultimate Camera Pkg, 20" Wheels, 397 Amp Dual Alternator, ARE Topper (Replaced 2004 F150)

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