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Old 04-10-2017, 11:17 AM   #1
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Solar Panel question

Considering our first 5er. We may pull the trigger on a 2018 North Wood Fox Mountain 255RK. There is an option for a 65 or 100Watt Panel, is that enough for a high priced battery charger, or wait till we get it and install a larger panel? Coach comes with pre wire solar..

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Old 04-10-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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Wait. Depending on the number and typr of batteries you wind up with will determine how much solar you want.

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Old 04-10-2017, 11:34 AM   #3
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Go with the 100w panel and ask they run #6awg wire from the roof to the solar charge controller. The wire size is important if/when you add more panels. Rule of thumb is one 100w panel for each trailer battery. Think of solar as a very expensive (but silent) battery charger. You'll get about 5a out of a 100w panel, so you can see that it is a 'trickle' charger. If you park in full sun (who does that?) you will get about 5 hrs of sun for your solar a day, so 25 amp hours per day. If you want to run your furnace all night, you will quickly drain your battery. You can spend $1,000 on a Honda 2000i generator that will recharge your batteries in two to 3 hrs run time per day. You can spend a lot more on solar ($2,000 and up) to do the same thing, but only if you parked in full sun and its not cloudy or raining. the gen works no matter what.
If you can, get 4 or more 6v GC2 batteries, a good Progressive Dynamics (PD) converter, and the solar pre-wire (#6awg or larger). More batteries, the better.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:34 PM   #4
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Probably best to wait, and let a pro solar installer do the job--are you anywhere near Springfield, OR? AMSolar is there...
Also, would have them run #2ga wires, minor difference in cost.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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It depends on what your goals are, a 100 watt panel will keep the batteries charged, supply power to low power logic circuits such as a propane refrigerators control board, if stored outdoors is will probably provide enough power to run a thermostatically controlled fantastic fan, which can be handy to keep humidity levels low if stored in a warm humid climate. It may even provide enough charge during the day to let you run some LED lights for a few hours at night and watch an hour or two of tv on newer model flat panel tv.

To put this in perspective in a typical mid america setting in the summer, you can expect to get about 500 watt hours per day out of a 100 watt solar panel flat mounted on an RV roof on a sunny day. That means you can run a 20 watt load 24 hours per day if it is sunny out, of course the reality is for much of the country sunny days are not the majority of the time, so realistically you may be looking at being able to sustain a 10 watt load or less 24 hours per day,this is roughly the power consumption of a modern LED light bulb that replaces a traditional 60 watt incandescent bulb, or will provide enough power to run a small microwave oven for about 20 minutes per day, assuming you have an appropriate sized inverter and larger enough battery bank..
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Probably best to wait, and let a pro solar installer do the job--are you anywhere near Springfield, OR? AMSolar is there...
Also, would have them run #2ga wires, minor difference in cost.
Thanks for all replies, ALL very helpful to me.

Just a few hours from Springfield Or.!
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:27 AM   #7
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How much of a handyman are you?

If you are up to the job you can get quality components and rig a very nice solar system for about the price of a quality inverter style genset.

AM solar is the top end install, very high quality and recommended if you are in the area and want to pay and forget about it.

If you like to tinker, watch their videos and this guy:

Then go online shopping and be proud of your project. Understanding the wiring and running the wires down from the roof is the only hard part.

And the advice about wire size is good. Thicker is better, always use stranded. Use fuses! You can get a large amperage flow going so you need to protect your rig from shorts, very important!

The benefit of always having charged batteries in storage is a great convenience factor, but watch the water levels if you do the golf cart battery system. If you go with 12V sealed or AGM you will get less amp hours but have a low to no maintenance system.

As a general rule, size your battery bank to allow a normal night of use, lights, tv, computers etc without using more than 50% of your rated amp hours. This will maximize battery life.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:48 AM   #8
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With unsealed flooded, a Flo-Rite battery watering system takes the pain out of maintenance. Just pump from a jug of distilled water monthly until you get resistance and you are done for a month.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
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I would wait. Use it for awhile and see if you really even need the solar. Personally I had a company that specifically dealt with solar to do mine. I felt that they would have more knowledge about this than the dealership. And ready access to better components. JMHO.

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