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Old 12-15-2019, 01:27 PM   #1
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Solar Newbee Advice Needed

I recently purchased a 2015 DS 4369 from consignment. Not much information was available such as maintenance records, etc from the previous owner. Found out when I got it home that I had 10 solar panels and 8 new AGM batteries. I need to educate myself in RV solar power. Any great internet resources you all could recommend would be appreciated. I'm in Palm Springs, CA at ORPS and will seek out advice from friends and neighbors familiar with solar. One quick question - I have a Magnum ME-ARC controller in the cabinet above the passenger seat and was wonder if I should turn the charger off. When I turn it off, it starts blinking. I have the manual downloaded but it isn't the easiest thing to follow. Also, what should I be looking for in terms of devices and gauges. I'm not a big boondocker at this point so how can I maximized the investment the previous owner made while plugged into shore power. I don't see anything specific to the solar panels as yet. Still figuring things out. Love the new coach. Thanks for all your help. This is a great forum!
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Old 12-15-2019, 04:30 PM   #2
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When you have the charger on and it is blinking, it is telling you the batteries are fully charged. Canít be of any more help in regards to solar.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:08 PM   #3
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RAS100, with the 8 AGM's and all the panels you should be in vey good shape. It would be nice to know a bit more info. How many watts are the panels? 100W, 150W, etc. If they are 160W panels you have 1600W of solar panels to produce a fair amount of power you get to store in those AGM's. Each one probably has 210 amp hours or a total of all eight of 1680AH storage of which you get to use 1/2 so you are not discharging below 50%. With 840AH usable power you will have no problem running you power needs through the night and plenty of solar power to fill them up during the daylight. Try not to discharge the batteries past that 12.1V or 50%.

If you are parked in Palm Springs and open to the sunshine you can set your ME-ARC such that when plugged in the charge controller can allow your solar to fill your batteries rather than the electrical cord. You should be able to minimize your electric bill by doing so.

It would be nice to know if you have the Battery Management Kit with shunt (BMK) installed on you coach. If so you can then monitor your batteries in what many think is a better way than just using voltage readings. You should look into that and see if you have it.

If the previous owner put that much into solar and batteries you probably have everything you need to do some serious boondocking if you so choose.

Enjoy that new coach!!
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:19 PM   #4
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Some good learning on this site:

http://amsolar.com
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies. Attached is a photo of a device in the compartment next to the batteries. Not sure what it does.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:56 PM   #6
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That's a Magnum MPPT charge controller - like this: https://www.ecodirect.com/Magnum-Ene...num-pt-100.htm

It controls the power coming from your solar panels into your batteries.

You will eventually want to download the manual for this and learn it. It's a key component in your solar system.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:13 AM   #7
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If you google...you will find the PDF manuals for all of the Magnum items.

ME-ARC
MS2812
ME-AGS-N
PT-100
ME-PT-2
ME-BMK if installed.

Those will help you out a ton.

Be cognizant that there are different revisions of firmware, so there are portions which may or may not apply based on Rev no. You can easily check your revisions from the TECH menu on the ME-ARC
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:26 AM   #8
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Many thanks. I have a lot of learning to do. Isn't it funny that the solar package I have wasn't even mentioned when I bought this MH. Since it doesn't have a ladder, I wasn't able to take a look at the dealership. We could have done a better job checking it out before buying but it was a very good deal and it turns out it was well taken care of by the previous owner. It wasn't babied because the previous owner must have loved to boondock with a healthy investment in panels, batteries, and controllers.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:00 PM   #9
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"Isn't it funny that the solar package I have wasn't even mentioned when I bought this MH."

I know that when I was looking for a rig, I would've been overjoyed to find one as well-equipped with solar power as yours seems to be. From your description, your system is top-notch.

Enjoy it! (And learn it well, because it's high-end enough to serve you well if you can direct it correctly.)
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Old 12-17-2019, 11:22 AM   #10
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Welcome to the Newmar forum.
Solar is covered by some of our experts in this sticky top of forum, this will cover just about everything in your coach and more.
Enjoy the forum and enjoy your Newmar ,safe travels.
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Old 12-17-2019, 04:45 PM   #11
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Not being critical, but it seems strange to buy something as expensive as a DP without knowing exactly what you're getting. Sounds like you got a good deal. I would have wanted to investigate the top to see about any possible leaks.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:06 PM   #12
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I am surprised that no mention of the solar system was shared by anyone involved in the consignment sale.

That sounds like a fairly expensive system they installed. You have over $1000.00 in batteries alone. Maybe more if they are a good brand.

Would be a great sales attraction to anyone. Wish we could put that much power on our fifth wheel roof!

Happy boondocking.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAS100 View Post
. Found out when I got it home that I had 10 solar panels and 8 new AGM batteries....!
I'd help but I don't talk to people that I'm jealous of, that lucked into 10 panels and AGM without even trying.

Just kiddin'...Ö. good luck.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:49 AM   #14
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Note...

IF...the AGM's are 6v...connected in pairs...the aH storage would be 1/2 of what Golfer Guy mentioned earlier.

Example... eight 210AH 6v batteries when connected in pairs yield four 210aH 12v batteries equivalency.

So 4 x 210 = 840aH. And yes, to help extend the life expectancy...do not discharge below 50%, or at least that seems to be a common consensus. Which gives you about 420aH useable.
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