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Old 09-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #1
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Solar on Class A's

Interested in those who have done serious solarizing to their Class A's. Have you found it to be worthwhile? DH is planning to put solar on whatever ends up being our chose of Motorhomes.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:06 AM   #2
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Solar on Class A

Check out Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987.
This site is intended to educate RV owners considering the use of Solar Power to augment the freedom of their RV lifestyles.

If you plan or expect to parking your RV 99% of the time next to electricity, then IMHO solar is a unneeded accessory. If you plan to park where elec is not available such as WalMart, State Parks w/o utilities, truck stops, etc for an evening or more, and do not have a solar system, then you will need to rely on your generator, fuel capacity, noise, and honor the restrictions of time of operation so not to upset neighbors.
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Old 09-11-2014, 04:03 AM   #3
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I have 600w on the roof and another 200w portable I set out as needed. Works great. Seldom run the genny unless AC is needed.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:33 AM   #4
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We have 480W of solar. Don't use it as much as I should, but it was really nice to have on our Alaska trip in 2012. Camped in some really beautiful places just off the roads, usually on a river or lake without needing any hookups. As mentioned if you don't plan on boondocking it will probably be a waste of money.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:44 AM   #5
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Just completed a 500 watt solar install on my Bounder and have found that the fully disconnected nature of owning solar is fantastic. There is more than a project complete feeling when you get to use the power that you are generating for operations in the RV.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:07 AM   #6
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Silence is golden and that certainly applies when camping in the wilds and preferring to hear the sounds of nature instead of the drone of generators.
Most class As have enough roof space to fit at least 800W of solar panels and with prices down to a dollar a watt now, it isn't an expensive purchase. Most already have 4 golf cart batteries installed and a 1500W inverter so a modest extra investment will allow you to run most appliances for reasonable periods except the airconditioners. Not an economic solution if you rarely boondock (although most decisions we make aren't dictated by pure economics anyway) but if you do get to prefer peaceful boondocking, the savings in campground fees and generator fuel can result in an economic payback period measured in months rather than years.

Where solar does become expensive is if you have to pay someone to do the installation. The lack of attention to detail and proper practice shown by many so-called professionals leaves heaps to be desired and trouble is their hourly rates aren't as low as their standards. Don't have to do much self education to be able to outexpert the experts and do the whole job yourself. If the MH is new from the factory, and you will get them to do the installation, I would seriously investigate their expertise and experience before letting them loose with your money. Same goes with a dealer install.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
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Our Choice of coach.. Soon to be ordered is an Entegra Anthem 2015. Its equipped with 100 watts installed and pre wired. I intend to add as much solar as I can. There i a a good amount of real estate on the roof although I'm not impressed with the factory placement of the tiny panels.. Shadowed by several items.. Cool.. More redesign planning to do.. Best part of the whole experiance.. Making it My Way..👍👍2000watt inverter for house batts and 2800 watt for fridge .. Still researching if they will suffice to up panels to 800 watt range


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Old 09-11-2014, 07:17 PM   #8
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560 W on the roof run through a Morningstar MPPT controller. Since the coach is all LED, has gas heat, hot water and range and we are careful with power use, we seldom use the generator. The entire coach was conceived and ordered with boondocking in mind. Works like a charm, if we are in the deserts in the southwest or fishing in Alaska and everything in between.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:05 PM   #9
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You never have enough solar until you run out of real estate.
We still have space available on the roof.

Total cost for our solar system was $2000.00
Susan & I have done all the installation/work ourselves.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:24 PM   #10
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Great info.. Thanks... Will move to slide tops when roof is full😂


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Old 09-11-2014, 10:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsheetz View Post
I have 600w on the roof and another 200w portable I set out as needed. Works great. Seldom run the genny unless AC is needed.
here are details of our installation.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 141 views)
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:49 PM   #12
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Yes, it's definitely worthwhile to us but it depends on what kind of RV sites you'll use. Public parks are always our first choices - national, national forest, state, etc. We also love boondocking. So, yes, we use our solar all the time.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:40 AM   #13
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we just completed a 3 moth trip out west, it was great to independent of needing a power source. Ran everything except AC

I rank it as easy for a DIY job
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:53 AM   #14
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Ours came with the solar panel and I love it.
Not for camping, but that when parked at home, the batteries stay charged.
I like that.
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