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Old 04-15-2015, 01:42 PM   #1
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Solar panel question/s

We will soon be relocating to Richmond, VA and I am thinking I may need to add enough solar to keep my batteries maintained. Even in a place as big as the Richmond area, I have been unable to find inside storage or even outside storage with electric available.

So, does anyone know if our coaches were pre-wired for solar panels? In any case, what watt panel do I need to consider to keep six 6V AGM's charged and the two chassis batteries via my Trik-L-Charge. Also, any suggested vendors would be appreciated.

'07 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit #31578, Cummins ISL 425; 2014 Ford F150 toad; Air Force One Toad Brake.
Glen Allen, VA; Smith Mountain Lake, VA.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:31 PM   #2
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If you are only looking to have SP to maintain a battery charge in storage, you should be able to get by with a smaller set up.

But, as much of the costs associated to a good SP install are labor, adding bit extra power to provide the option for more times 'off of the grids' (Not just for boon docking type usage. But I also looked at it as sort of 'insurance' for disaster type situations when power may not be readily available for a period of several days.), maybe worth considering.

AM Solar, yeah other side of the country, is a good source for info to both read, and to also talk with about putting together a kit for you. They send it, and they could probably also help you source a local installer to do a competent job too.

Even if your coach was prewired, so much depends on what you end up installing, it may not be appropriate. And, it's a very minor costs wise in the process.

One other opinion. Future proofing with a bit better sized cables, and or solar controller - will allow you, or a potential future buyer, to add more solar panels if major boon docking is ever needed.

Knowing you from other postings, you do things the right way - and that is proper in this mod too!


(Just a tip, be sure to mention in your needs/designs, that you want to keep both the House and Chassis batteries charged. Many times, only the 'house' battery is charged. Remember, your 'trickle charger' is part of your 'plugged in' charging system. It is usually (Maybe, but not always.) gets the House up to snuff first, then diverts charge power to the chassis battery. Make sure the 'chassis battery charge' during storage is known as a key need too...)

Roo II is our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:00 PM   #3
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I have Lifelines for both house and chassis. Back when I didn't shore power and the coach had to sit, the discharge was less than2% per month. Keeping the batteries charged wasn't an issue because of the low self discharge of the AGMs
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:17 AM   #4
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Educate yourself on solar here. AM Solar's Educational Pages for RV Solar Systems
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:02 AM   #5
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Don made a good point on the lower discharge rates. Chances are your chassis battery are not AGM, so that is a factor.

You might be uncomfortable doing this, but some people I know set their AGS to come on at a bit higher SOC (Say 70% vs 50%), and let the generator take care of things while in storage. Topping off the fuel before doing so.

Not sure about your non traveling mode practices, but we usually will get our rig out to 'exercise' every 4-6 weeks. Run all the systems, get it out on the road and up to temperature, tires too. The old 'use it or lose it' saying seems to be the same with our rig, and my knees!

Just a few more thoughts on this...

Also, besides AM Solar (good write ups and reading on their site), I know you are on IRV2 from time to time. Under going Green forum, Larry from I think it's Starlight Solar, has a good reputation too. Believe he is just about done for the season, as he works in Yuma for when the Snow Birds flock South - then him and his wife go hit the road for several months. He answers emails while on the road. Be he'd also be happy to provide you with some design equipment solutions, and ship them to you too.

And just to keep you busy with more ideas! I've bought components for my Solar Panel system (almost everything, except he solar panels I wanted they did not offer, so got them from a different source) from Northern Arizona Wind & Sun

Solar Charging Kit for RV, Marine, Cabin and Small Battery Systems

You will find kits ready to go... Then it's just a matter of how much power do you want to pay based upon Solar Panel power output. IMO, the 420Watts and up provide an entry level into both keeping batteries charged in storage and providing reasonable power replenishment for limited boon docking usage.

Best to you sir,
Roo II is our 04 Country Coach Allure 40'
OnDRoad for The JRNY! Enjoy life...
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