rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: solar panel and charge controller combo  (Read 2566 times)

Jeff Hammer

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
solar panel and charge controller combo
« on: May 07, 2019, 03:02:48 PM »
I wrote this in the General Discussion forum but a suggestion was made that I resubmit it here so here goes;

My wife and I have a 19 foot KZ Sportsman's Classic. When we camp we are usually gone from our campsite much of the day and we want to keep the  battery charged without using our generator. We are contemplating buying a solar panel and using that. I know next to nothing about solar panels but I see other campers using them constantly, so my feeling is they must work. I have been researching online and found the combination solar panel and charge controller combo in the link below and would like to know if this combination is all I need. I apologize if this topic has been hashed out before but could not find any thread relating to it. Please advise. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.

https://www.amazon.com/Watts-Volts-Polycrystalline-Charge-Controller/dp/B07CX7PLQX/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_3?keywords=kapscomoto+solar+panels&qid=1557250587&s=gateway&sr=8-3-fkmrnull

We have a deep cycle 12V battery that came with the trailer.

Jeff

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 2144
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 05:51:56 PM »
Well the price is certainly reasonable.

It will probably keep one 12 volt battery charged if you do not have any heavy use items.

It looks like the only thing you need is wire from the controller to the battery.  Try to keep the length as short as you can and use  a fairly heavy wire gauge as you will experience a voltage drop if it is too long or too light gauge wire.

If you later choose to get a bigger system you will need more batteries and I would suggest a battery monitor like a Trimetric.
Bill Waugh
2 Jeep Commanders
Mustang Bracket Race Car
Retired from the road to Lake Havasu after 35 years on the road
Now just another Lurker

Gizmo100

  • ---
  • Posts: 2798
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 06:03:16 PM »
We have 300 watts of solar and it does a great job of topping off the batteries. I do run a generator in the mornings in order to run some of the heavy use stuff. We started with a 100 watts but decided it wasn't quite enough. 200 watts would have been enough but my wife suggested I get 200 more watts....I just can't say no to her ;D

A lot will depend on your use at night
2017 Heartland Trail runner 24 SLE
2017 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost

To be 1/2 the man my dog thinks I am...But twice the man My wife thinks I am...

Mark_K5LXP

  • ---
  • Posts: 508
  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2019, 06:34:49 PM »
You gotta start somewhere and the good news is whatever you learn you can carry with you to future systems.  I would recommend with a small system like this, set it up at home and run stuff off of it.  Charge a laptop, light some lights, run a fan.  Nothing like real world application to get a feel for how it plays and better to learn at your leisure than when you're out camping and trying to manage other things. 

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Jeff Hammer

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 08:13:00 PM »
All I want to do is charge the battery. We don't have laptops or TV's. Just want enough juice to power a light in the evening to read by and to run the water pump for a couple of showers. I have a generator for running the microwave and the heater for a few minutes in the morning. Just don't want to listen to it for an extended period of time.

Thanks for your replies.

Jeff

Gizmo100

  • ---
  • Posts: 2798
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 08:39:58 PM »
All I want to do is charge the battery. We don't have laptops or TV's. Just want enough juice to power a light in the evening to read by and to run the water pump for a couple of showers. I have a generator for running the microwave and the heater for a few minutes in the morning. Just don't want to listen to it for an extended period of time.

Thanks for your replies.

Jeff

Based on that, you will be fine with a 100 watts. We were coming up short due to cold nights. (Running the heater) And we have a TV on all night long for my wife. Plus charging 2 phones and a laptop.
2017 Heartland Trail runner 24 SLE
2017 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost

To be 1/2 the man my dog thinks I am...But twice the man My wife thinks I am...

Mark_K5LXP

  • ---
  • Posts: 508
  • 2005 Itasca Sunova
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 09:48:42 PM »
We don't have laptops or TV's. Just want enough juice to power a light in the evening to read by and to run the water pump for a couple of showers.
That's good, it's important to know what the expected load is.  It almost sounds like you might not need solar at all but there's some comfort to seeing the "Full" light lit.  I would still set it up at home and understand the hookup, and what the monitor is telling you under different conditions.  See what happens after running a light a few hours, sunny day recovery time vs cloudy,  effects of panel orientation, expected Ah vs actual, that kind of thing.  Things you observe and understand under controlled conditions are that many fewer you have to figure out in the field especially when it doesn't work as expected.  The concepts seem simple enough but the devil's in the details, so the more you work out ahead of time the easier it will be in the field.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Drewd

  • ---
  • Posts: 76
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2019, 09:51:23 PM »
For your needs, this should be fine.  Still recommend the use of a battery monitor so you know  the current state of battery charge and how much power you use each day.

I have solar and my 3 year old generator only has 12 hours on it with 3/4 of the generator time used on stuff around the house so I don't have to run a long extension cord.  Not having to run the generator when we camp is AWESOME and wife no longer complains about the substantial financial and labor investment made for our solar system.





« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 10:00:23 PM by Drewd »

solarman

  • ---
  • Posts: 381
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 12:58:16 PM »
I wrote this in the General Discussion forum but a suggestion was made that I resubmit it here so here goes;

My wife and I have a 19 foot KZ Sportsman's Classic. When we camp we are usually gone from our campsite much of the day and we want to keep the  battery charged without using our generator. We are contemplating buying a solar panel and using that. I know next to nothing about solar panels but I see other campers using them constantly, so my feeling is they must work. I have been researching online and found the combination solar panel and charge controller combo in the link below and would like to know if this combination is all I need. I apologize if this topic has been hashed out before but could not find any thread relating to it. Please advise. Thanks in advance for your knowledge.

https://www.amazon.com/Watts-Volts-Polycrystalline-Charge-Controller/dp/B07CX7PLQX/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_3?keywords=kapscomoto+solar+panels&qid=1557250587&s=gateway&sr=8-3-fkmrnull

We have a deep cycle 12V battery that came with the trailer.

Jeff

your in the right place.. !

a 100 Watt panel will do fine as a battery maintainer for minimal low load usage.

for such a low wattage unit, you need use no more than 10 AWG cabling.
KZ MXT20 480 W solar
ORV 24RKS 960 Watts solar
48V LFP, 2000W inverter/charger
Ram 2500 CTD

Jeff Hammer

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2019, 11:05:46 PM »
your in the right place.. !

a 100 Watt panel will do fine as a battery maintainer for minimal low load usage.

for such a low wattage unit, you need use no more than 10 AWG cabling.

Yeah...I'll Google "10 AWG cabling." I understand 10 and cabling but AWG means nothing to me.   ???

Thanks again for all the help!

Jeff Hammer

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2019, 11:41:52 PM »
Ahhh...AWG means American Wire Gauge and 10 AWG is almost 3 mm in diameter. ACE is the place.

Thanks for the info.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 11:53:59 PM by Jeff Hammer »

Jeff Hammer

  • ---
  • Posts: 6
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 06:51:00 PM »
As a follow-up...I've been using the above solar panel and charge controller for a good portion of the summer and it has performed very well. Have not used the generator much except to run the microwave occasionally for a few seconds. Thanks for all the advice and guidance.

Jeff

Chakara

  • ---
  • Posts: 224
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 09:26:46 PM »
  Thanks for updating us!

2018 Arctic Fox 27.5L
2015 Chevy 3500 Dually LTZ

Hanr3

  • ---
  • Posts: 392
Re: solar panel and charge controller combo
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 09:46:48 PM »
Glad to hear it's working as expected. I love it when a plan comes together.
2016 F150 3.5L Ecoboost XLT
2019 K-Z 231RK Sportsmen
1997 16' Sylvan Back Troller Select