Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class B Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Park City, UT
Posts: 12
Travato Solar Question

Hi, we just picked up our new Travato last week. I am curious about adding solar. I have not dealt with solar before but most of our camping is dry camping. The battery is not terribly convenient to access. Has anyone added solar to their Travato yet? If so would you share your experience or thoughts? I know the 59K will come with solar. Frankly, I don't like that floorplan for our needs though. Thanks.
__________________

__________________
gobetty is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-13-2015, 01:56 PM   #2
Registered User
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: May 2008
Location: N. Palm Springs CA (in winter)
Posts: 2,420
First get a knowledge of solar and its parts;
AM Solar's Educational Pages for RV Solar Systems
__________________

__________________
Doggy Daddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2015, 04:09 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
I have a 2014 Travato, and had a "Go Power" 80-watt solar panel installed (by the selling dealer) on the rooftop as part of the purchase process. It is positioned between the TV antenna and the Exhaust Fan opening.

I would have liked the larger, 100-watt panel, but there was not enough room up there. The Go Power system has a monitoring display panel that is directly adjacent to the main "Levels" panel above the Dinette seat.

This system is supposed to be "fully-integrated," and while I can't completely verify what this means, it's supposed to be intelligent enough to switch between the various means to keep the Coach Battery charged as much as possible.

That being said, if you are parked, and have the Refrig set to "12V Mode," the 80-watt panel can't keep up, and the battery will eventually drain, like on a 3-hour hike I took earlier this week. A big part of this is due to the Dometic Refrig running "full-on" when in 12V mode (no thermostat).

However, if you start the evening with a Coach Battery at 80%, and it's cold, and the 12V Furnace cycles on and off all night, you could wake up to a Coach Battery at like 40%. As the sun rises, and the panel gets working, it will bring the Coach Battery up pretty quickly.

I'm not a fan of Gasoline-fired Generators, and I think that the unit in the Travato makes quite a racket, even though it is "compliant." It annoys me to the point of wanting to avoid its use as much as possible, especially dry-camping in our National and State Parks.

I think that the addition of a panel, whether a portable one or an integrated one, is great for reducing "Coach Battery Anxiety," provided you are able to keep it in the sun. That is, weather, tree shade or canyon/cliff shade, etc. depending.

I agree that you need to self-educate as much as possible before you choose a make, model and type of system for your Travato. Gauge your energy usage as best as possible, and see how providing solar-recharging will best work for you.
__________________
backroadswest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2015, 05:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
charliej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 907
Coach Battery Anxiety, I like that, now I know what I have
__________________
charliej is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2015, 06:00 PM   #5
Registered User
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 670
I am surprised there was not enough room for a 160 watt panel at least. I've measured that area and thought one would fit.



The 3 way fridge uses alot of juice in 12v mode. It's not really recommended to run that way unless the engine is running.

I'd be interested to hear more about how your dealer ran the wires down from the roof. That's the biggest issue as I see it.

As far as my van goes, I use a 120 watt portable panel I got from GoPower!. I just installed the pigtail for it right on the battery. Since there is only one battery, it doesn't take much to charge it back up. I'd love to figure out how to install a second battery without alot of meatball surgery on my van.
__________________
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2015, 06:47 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
I thought that there was more room up there as well. The panel in the 80W kit is 47x21. I haven't verified that, just requested the "largest that could fit" in that area.

Not sure what size panel would be in the kit you might be considering.

As far as the wiring, I was not there to watch the installation. However, since the Controller resides next to the Level Monitor, it's not all that far a run from the roof down into the wall cavity by the Wardrobe and into the area where the main junction/fuse panel is. I suspect that there is access also from the cavity under the Dinette Seat for connections to made.
__________________
backroadswest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2015, 05:31 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Park City, UT
Posts: 12
Solar help

So Wincrasher can you give me a few more details? So do you keep the pigtails on full time? How did you affix the wiring? Does it seem to be adequate for your needs. I am pretty sure we just need it to recharge the battery for when we are out. We do a good bit of colder camping and plan to use the furnace. I have already found the fridge is a giant battery suck, will only be using it on propane.

When the fridge is on 12 V and we are driving, is the fridge sucking more battery than we are putting back in from driving?? It almost seems that way.

Thanks for the help.

Cheers.
__________________
gobetty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2015, 05:45 PM   #8
Registered User
 
wincrasher's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 670
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobetty View Post
So Wincrasher can you give me a few more details? So do you keep the pigtails on full time? How did you affix the wiring? Does it seem to be adequate for your needs. I am pretty sure we just need it to recharge the battery for when we are out. We do a good bit of colder camping and plan to use the furnace. I have already found the fridge is a giant battery suck, will only be using it on propane.

When the fridge is on 12 V and we are driving, is the fridge sucking more battery than we are putting back in from driving?? It almost seems that way.

Thanks for the help.

Cheers.
You just bolt the pigtail to the battery terminals, and then secure the end connector to something near the edge of the van body with a tie-wrap. The connector has a rubber cover to protect it, but you want to try to place it out of the splash zone and away from the exhaust. That is using the type that has the loops. I suppose you could use the type that has the alligator clips, but that would mean putting it on an off for each use. The battery is not really in a location to make that easy.

The refrigerator on battery is fine for when you are driving. It may use 5-10 amps, I don't really know for sure, but your engine alternator is putting out over 200 amps, so you have more than enough capacity to not worry about there being enough juice to run the refer and charge the onboard battery.

My solar panel puts out 7-8 amps on a sunny day. So a battery depleted to 50% would need about 5-7 hours to be fully charged. More time if you are running things in the van on 12v at the same time.
__________________
wincrasher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2015, 11:36 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 1
Guys, I'm new to this...solar and RVing. I was told I could trickle charge the Travato house battery thru the 12 volt adapter on the back wall inside the right rear door. Can I use a 100 w standalone panel there to or would that be too much power for the outlet? I'm using a 12 volt charge controller
__________________

__________________
Lan126 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Such a thing as too much solar power? 1bigmess Going Green 46 02-02-2015 06:47 AM
Fantastic New Solar System Doesn't Need Direct Sunlight! Percival6 Going Green 16 01-18-2015 11:47 AM
Solar Installer in Orange County California twohsieh Going Green 25 11-08-2014 11:57 PM
Solar advice needed please RonInFlorida Going Green 23 04-15-2014 10:19 AM
Solar Power Question donie Going Green 23 02-05-2014 12:41 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.