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Author Topic: Renogy solar panel system for RV's  (Read 7214 times)

Fiona Rose

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  • Full time RV'er ~ planning for a boondock life
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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2016, 03:38:59 PM »
Thank you INTJohn, Kevin, Gizmo and others who've given me realistic options for full time dry camping in the Pacific Northwest :)

I've got my homework cut out for me -- will keep you posted, and will surely be asking more questions as time goes on.
2014  20' Keystone Springdale 202QBWE  TT
1998  Chevy Tahoe

~Currently living in her on friends' property
~Getting set to hit the highway this summer

INTJohn

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2016, 12:22:13 PM »
Something else you might want to look into is wind powered generator to supplement solar and genset. I looked into this in depth as an option for my own system and while I never invested any money into anything I've left the door open & it may be a viable option for you to integrate into your overall charging system when you finally decide.....

Good luck!..........
Thanx.......INTJohn

Edit: It took me a little bit to find this: http://www.solar-electric.com/primus-wind-power-air-40-12-volt-generator.html

Primus makes some really nice 12 volt wind generators for 850$ to 1000$ which can be integrated with solar and of course they can charge your batteries even at night if there's a wind........ :)
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 12:45:20 PM by INTJohn »

Drewd

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2016, 11:26:57 PM »

Len and Jo

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2016, 06:45:31 PM »
Just came across your post.  We installed a Renogy system last spring.  No problems with it.

I didn't note that you have calculated your daily electrical needs while off the grid.  That would drive the size of your battery bank and that in turn the size of the wattage of of your solar system.  If you do intend to use it in the winter that would really drive up the size needed with the short days and low sun angle.

In the NW I would guess your battery bank should be sized to able to meet your electrical needs for three days and a solar array sized to recharge it in a single day of good sun.

Good luck
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

g041579

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2016, 12:24:00 PM »
How did you run you're wiring to the solar panels to account for the
movement of the pop-up roof?

Len and Jo

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2016, 03:53:34 PM »
Ran the wiring along the scissor mechanism.  From roof long lift tube to pivot, generous loop, then other lift pivot to stationary pivot point.  See below pics.
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

Fiona Rose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2016, 11:12:01 PM »
Drewd, thanks for the nuclear info, will check into it. 

Len and Jo, your system looks great!  Thank you for your input; I am yet to "unplug" from electric hookups at the property I'm living on.  Once I figure out my energy needs, I'll know whether solar is even in the cards for living in western Oregon.  I have a few months to mull it over.  ;D
2014  20' Keystone Springdale 202QBWE  TT
1998  Chevy Tahoe

~Currently living in her on friends' property
~Getting set to hit the highway this summer

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2016, 03:26:50 PM »
Hey there Fiona,  reading over this string and had to say hello..  I'm heading out back to boondocking next week and also heading to Eugene.  I'm looking at the dunes area and
hope I can find some cool spots to hang out near the ocean..  the Stanislaus National Forest runs from Florence down to Coos Bay and it is mostly dunes..  been trying to find out
ahead of time if those sand trails I'm seeing on G Earth are 4 X 4 only..  I have a Lance TC on a Super Duty truck but not 4 by..  Guess I'll find out next week..
Are you in Eugene now?  Would be great to meet up and share adventure stories..  I've got a few doozies... 

tanglemoose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2016, 04:07:38 PM »
We have 100 watt solar Go Power panel on roof of our rv and love it.. just dispersed camped "boondocked" for 5 days with two other friends n their units.. enjoyed our coffee while they fired up their generators.. never took ours out of pickup, it is just for backup... of course, we use percolator on gas stove...

Supposedly this system is supposed to work in even cloudy or semi sun... whatever that comes down to. Check out their website site...

The only thing hubby WOULD LIKE TO DO is get an inverter to run our TV and directtv receiver for a couple of hours on college game day... any ideas from this group on costs of inverter..?
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Leonard Timm

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2016, 09:49:01 PM »
I installed 600 Watts of Renogy panels, 400 amps of storage and a Morningstar 45 MPPT controller in six months ago.  We're very happy with the system.

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2016, 10:36:16 PM »
I would love to know what you do..  what you have run with your system?
I am a songwriter and full timer who is also building up a solar system.
I'm nowhere near yours but would like to run my low wattage power amp
and analog mixer with outboard gear at some point.  The power amp is the biggy
but doesn't have to be the 400 watt beast I had in my commercial recording studio.

I'll bet you use your microwave don't you...

Kevin Means

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #41 on: July 13, 2016, 02:52:17 PM »
Remember.. solar power is just an alternate method of recharging your batteries. If you couldn't power a microwave or other high consumption device before installing solar, you still won't be able to after installing solar - no matter how big the array is. To power high consumption devices like microwave ovens, AC coffee makers, etc. you need an appropriately sized inverter and a battery-bank with enough amp hour capacity to feed the inverter. Other than recharging your batteries, solar has nothing to do with it.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #42 on: July 13, 2016, 03:24:36 PM »
Thanks Kevin,  so if we did want to run a low wattage nuker..  not sure how low they make them but
we know that this is a device that only briefly surges power uses for a few minutes at a time perhaps
a few times a day..  as you say, having several batteries and say a 1500W Inverter???
I've been studying this very subject as the idea of the true nature of RV Solar becomes more readily understandable
in all of its components..   I've seen the very large fivers or Class A rigs with huge Inverters..  How big to they go?

***************************
Just noticed you appear to be in Lakeside..  East County.  I had a home on 4 beautiful acres in Jamul for 10 years and lost it
after health issues..  that's how I became a full timer..  I owned Rancho San Diego Pool Service as a contractor... 55 years in San Diego County
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 03:27:29 PM by DesertMax »

Kevin Means

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2016, 06:25:10 PM »
Really sorry to hear about you losing your home in Jamul - nice area - and I hope your health is better too. Microwaves do have power spikes - sometimes more than others depending on what's being cooked, but even when they don't spike, they still consume a lot of power just running. The inverter has to be able to provide power at all times or it will overload and shut down. I'm sorry to say that I don't know how much power smaller microwaves consume. Without knowing that, I'm hesitant to recommend an inverter size, but I'd be willing to bet that a 1500 watt inverter - properly wired to a 300 to 400 amp hour battery-bank, would be able to power a small microwave for short periods of time. Maybe someone here who has such a setup, and who knows, will chime in.

Factory installed inverters are usually in the 1000 to 2000 watt range. Ours is 2800 watts - largely because we have a large res-fridge. You can install aftermarket inverters of all sizes, but installing one with higher-than-needed wattage is pointless. Inverters themselves consume power and are not 100% efficient (Ours is rated at 85% efficient.)The higher the wattage, the more power they consume.

We have an 840 AH battery-bank, and while it has no problem powering the inverter and microwave, the lights do dim when the microwave surges. I don't think I'd run the microwave unless my batteries were at 80% or better. It just draws to much power. If/when you install an inverter, place it as close to the battery-bank as possible (but not in the same compartment.) and use 4 AWG wire or better.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #44 on: July 13, 2016, 10:36:01 PM »
Wow 840 AH...  How cool is that...  I'm at a whopping 90 right now but I'm in the game for good this time and there shall be additional batts..
Speaking of which, for 12V batts, how high in ah are they available or is there a logical or sensible peak we should not go above for each individual battery?

Eventually I'm going to set up a very scaled down mixer and power amp recording studio in my rig..  It is possible to run a studio with headphones only so actually no power amp
just preamps in the mixer and such but that practice is frowned upon in production circles..  Here's my SoundCloud page ::: https://soundcloud.com/morgan-chambers-10

I'll be adding 2 batts to start out for around  300 AH in a TC so that's just for
day to day loving and hanging out..  What do you think of these :::  https://www.amazon.com/Vmaxtanks-Vmaxslr125-rechargeable-Solar-Inverters/dp/B00ACNO2AO/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1468467324&sr=1-2&keywords=agm+battery

Kevin Means

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #45 on: July 13, 2016, 11:18:19 PM »
Well, the specs look real good, but I don't know who makes Vmax batteries or where they're made. Ours are Group 31 AGM batteries (105 AH each) and we are very happy with their performance and durability. They're five years old and I've noticed no indications of diminishing performance.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #46 on: July 13, 2016, 11:39:10 PM »
Yeah Amazon so probably from the land of the oriental dragon :::

Lou Schneider

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2016, 02:18:07 AM »
The only thing hubby WOULD LIKE TO DO is get an inverter to run our TV and directtv receiver for a couple of hours on college game day... any ideas from this group on costs of inverter..?

You don't need anything fancy to run a DirecTv receiver and a flat panel TV.  Verify the power requirements of both and get an inexpensive inverter to run them.

Here's one example from Harbor Freight that I've used for a different application that works well.  Or get the 750 watt version for a few dollars more.

The secret is to mount the inverter within a couple of feet of the battery so the 12 volt cables stay as short as possible, then extend the 120 volts to where you need it.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 02:25:53 AM by Lou Schneider »

tanglemoose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #48 on: July 15, 2016, 06:29:58 PM »
that one is on sale for only 25.99. It is for 12V batteries and ours are the 6v deep cell ones, thinking you have to get the right one for which ever battery you have. Do you run extension cord from that outlet to your TV's then or what... sounds like a dumb question, but I have had grandkids all week, need a cold beer and am not thinking real straight yet! thanks, everyone!!!


You don't need anything fancy to run a DirecTv receiver and a flat panel TV.  Verify the power requirements of both and get an inexpensive inverter to run them.

Here's one example from Harbor Freight that I've used for a different application that works well.  Or get the 750 watt version for a few dollars more.

The secret is to mount the inverter within a couple of feet of the battery so the 12 volt cables stay as short as possible, then extend the 120 volts to where you need it.
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

DesertMax

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #49 on: July 15, 2016, 07:03:46 PM »
Tanglemoose...  that's funny because I understand so well...  "I need a cold beer!"  Do yourself a favor..  have a frosty mug waiting when you are ready..  Best things in life!

Lou Schneider

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2016, 02:50:20 AM »
that one is on sale for only 25.99. It is for 12V batteries and ours are the 6v deep cell ones, thinking you have to get the right one for which ever battery you have. Do you run extension cord from that outlet to your TV's then or what... sounds like a dumb question, but I have had grandkids all week, need a cold beer and am not thinking real straight yet! thanks, everyone!!!

Two six volt batteries in series ARE a 12 volt battery so the inverter will work fine.   And yes, put the inverter next to the batteries and run an extension cord to where you need the power.

tanglemoose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2016, 03:31:26 PM »
CanI use the 740 watt one from harbor freight... or too big
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Lou Schneider

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #52 on: July 16, 2016, 09:37:26 PM »
Yes, the 750 watt inverter will work fine if you put it close to the batteries
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 09:41:59 PM by Lou Schneider »

tanglemoose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2016, 05:28:14 PM »
Okay, I bought the 400 watt one from Harbor Freight, but then when we went out camping, a fellow camper next to us had an inventer that he just puts in his "cig lighter" hole... Much easier that hooking up to batteries... In our Cougar we have what they call a charging center, it has 2 usb ports and a cig lighter round hole. Just put my old 300 watt inverter in that hole and turned on TV and it worked! But it has a fan and is noisy, have had the thing for 15 years.. surely they are better now??????

I am thinking if I just had an inverter that came with some options to hook up' attaching to battery with clips or cig. lighter gizmo. My question is efficiency.. Is one connection better than other?

I just want to be able to flip the news on TV for 30 minutes maybe in am or pm... maybe not even that long with our news lately!

I am calling go solar power in am and checking on my panel to see if they have idea on watts... and maybe how much their fancy inverter is... I would love to just have everything "installed" and not have to do anything but plug something into an outlet...

Nothing fancy no microwave, hair dryers, nothing but my laptop and TV...

thoughts?
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Kevin Means

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2016, 10:45:28 AM »
The most efficient way of installing an inverter is to install it somewhere close to the battery-bank using a healthy gauge wire (2 or 4 gauge works well.) If your 15 year old inverter works, you could install it in a compartment, which would help cut down on its noise, but small MSW inverters are pretty cheap these days, so I'd probably invest in a new one. If you're planning to use your solar panel to power the TV, remember - solar is used to recharge your batteries, it doesn't power anything directly.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

tanglemoose

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #55 on: July 26, 2016, 04:23:55 PM »
I finally did some homework today and I have 160 watts of Go Solar Power... for us, it has been plenty... I am now looking at these two inverters and wondering what your expert opinion is.....

http://gpelectric.com/products/300-watt-modified-sine-wave-inverter
This one is a modified... inexpensive and I would not have to have anything installed. there is cig lighter in the RV on the charging station.  But I am wondering how noisy it is...

http://gpelectric.com/products/300-watt-pure-sine-wave-inverter

This one is a pure sine-wave and would have to be installed as I don't want to mess with my battery every time I set up.

Number one question... what is the big difference between sine and pure sine... in layman's terms... and what would you do IF you were going to do it once!

The one is like 31.00 vs 181.00, but I want to just run the flat panel TV and the Direct TV receiver...

thanks!
Donna and Mark
and our Golden Lexie
New 2017 TT Keystone Cougar  Same model... but NEW Features!
2015 Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton Series, 21rbswe, 26'
2013 Toyota Tundra
Living in Cold Montana Country.....

Len and Jo

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Re: Renogy solar panel system for RV's
« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2016, 06:49:03 PM »
The modified sine is a square wave and costs the least.  The pure sine is just like you get in your home and is a sine wave.  I have for the past 15 years used a modified sine inverter with no problems.  Some people have reported that "sensitive" electronics have problems with the modified sine inverter.  A pure sine ($$) is just like your home power and will avoid any such problem.  I recently converted to a pure sine because I had money to burn and I wanted to keep up with the Jones. 
The wiring for either though should be the same though.   ?? This one is a pure sine-wave and would have to be installed as I don't want to mess with my battery every time I set up.  ?? 
Len & Jo
The Green Tardis
We 'B' RVing   Berkley, Michigan
Van Development:   https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M
12 Years of Travels:  https://youtu.be/UMIf17CzdZo

 

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