Solarflex 1200I-L?

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CraigTB

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Sep 18, 2022
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Ontario
Any experience with this solar package available in a Montana 5'er? Wondering if it has enough power to run AC?
 

uchu

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Sep 9, 2019
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Ontario, Canada
Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure you'll soon hear from our resident experts in solar power systems.

The one thing that even they caution in their promotional page is that the system will deliver the promised output under the "right conditions", which mean a lot of sun light and the right angle for the panels,which depending on your boondocking locations, could be in short supply.

Another consideration is price... It's a $19K package for the Keystone Montana. That would buy a nifty inverter generator and a lot of fuel for it!
 

CraigTB

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Sep 18, 2022
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Ontario
Thank you....great advice for sure. I have been hearing that many rv sites are booked full and was looking for the best available package on the market . Can dial it down from there yes! Tks for your comment.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You need a huge battery bank to be able to operate an a/c for more than a couple minutes. The a/c consumers power at the rate of about 1.4 Kw per hour of compressor run time, and on a hot day your a/c runs nearly non-stop. 1400 watts means a continuous draw of around 120 amps from the batteries and whatever additional amps are coming from the solar panels at the moment.

The battery bank is critical because the amp flow from a solar panel is variable, anywhere from zero to its peak rated capacity. Think in terms of running the a/c via inverter from the batteries while the solar panel is potentially replacing some or none or all of what you use. The 1200-L package can produce a lot of amps in full sun, but you still need the batteries to smooth it out over time.

As I understand the Montana Solarflex, the amount of battery is optional and expendable beyond what the factory offers. You would need to estimate the amount of a/c runtime and use a solar calculator to determine the amp-hours of battery storage needed. See the Solarflex FAQ for more info and links to aids & tools for figuring this out.
 
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CraigTB

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Sep 18, 2022
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Ontario
Ok tks - sounds like I best separate my AC and solar thoughts!
Do you know if the SolarFlex 400i system (2,000 watt inverter + 400 watt roof panel) will be sufficient to power the 18 cu ft residential refrigerator when driving?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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West Palm Beach, FL
Probably yes, but you need to learn the wattage consumed by the fridge and figure it out to be sure. Generally speaking, you don't need solar at all for this - the batteries should have adequate power for several hours of driving plus the engine alternator is charging the house batteries at the same time.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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Albuquerque, NM
Even with a disproportionally large battery compared to the load, you're still dependent on the sun to keep everything running. Unless you usually camp somewhere the sun shines all the time and there's no trees/shade, all the solar you can fit on your roof still won't run your stuff. Solar is nice when it works, but it's not a given. Even here in NM there are few occasions I'm not parked somewhere in the shade some or most of the day. I would rather park in the shade where I probably won't need A/C vs in full sun which can turn the RV into an oven, just to make the panels happy. I consider solar the "plan B", nice to have but the primary source needs to be something else if you expect to keep a fridge running. If you're OK with hauling a genset around and let solar fill in the gaps then fine, but don't put all your power eggs in the solar basket.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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