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Old 07-07-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
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Robin25113, Taken lots of measurements and started compiling a list of minor and major (solar panels) upgrades to make.

I am curious about your solar system you are setting up. I would like to do a system for battery recovery when dry camping. I had an 80watt panel on our old trailer but I am thinking of a system with more watts. I have mapped out the wire runs and it looks like it will be pretty easy to get the 6 gauge wire from the panel to the controller then to the battery. There are so many panels out there now so I am a little confused on quality and sizing. Please share your thoughts.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:43 AM   #2
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LBZ....I used the design of VSHEETZ....I am sure he will chime in here and offer his very solid and well thought out plans. I use 500w of solar bought from RENOGY (5ea 100w panels @12v) when they have sales and discounts. My other equipment almost mirror what is on the Vince Sheets layout...I have 4 batteries....6v golf cart type....they can be tasked intensely and I do use them for all my electrical needs except AC unit operation (I need generator or shore power for that).
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:54 PM   #3
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Robin25113, Taken lots of measurements and started compiling a list of minor and major (solar panels) upgrades to make.

I am curious about your solar system you are setting up. I would like to do a system for battery recovery when dry camping. I had an 80watt panel on our old trailer but I am thinking of a system with more watts. I have mapped out the wire runs and it looks like it will be pretty easy to get the 6 gauge wire from the panel to the controller then to the battery. There are so many panels out there now so I am a little confused on quality and sizing. Please share your thoughts.
I have the "Eco-Camping Quick Connect Solar Panel Ready option " that came with my trailer. It already has the 3 panel electrical connector installed on the front top of the roof. It is supplied by ZAMP solar (They have a picture of it on their web site). I initially couldn't find any info on the option and what it entailed. I called the factory and the gentleman mentioned an access panel in the center of the overhead bedroom cabinets. I had totally overlooked it. I haven't had chance to open the panel yet, it is on top, inside of the center cabinet section. You might have seen it when you put in your reading lights. I believe that the 10W panel follows the same chase, but I haven't confirmed it yet, but it would make sense. I'm still working on my circus skills, so as to not get dirt on the bed cover.
Supposedly, the option has 8 gauge wire from the roof to the access panel area and more 8 gauge wire to the battery. I have not quite figured out where the charge controller could/should be installed (ZAMP uses a PWM controller)? Still thinking on placement???
I am considering using a single 150 or 160 watt mono-crystalline panel initially. Panels come in varying physical sizes. I'm looking for a longer panel that is narrow. Most are apprx. 26 1/2" or more wide. As you know, the real estate on the roof, is not much and I want to mount it aft, over the wheels for balance. That tall monster AC unit provides shade (not good). A MACH 8 in the future?

Long story. In a nut shell, I am still designing it in my head and since my trailer is in storage and not sitting at my house, I can't hug it as much as I would like to. Plus it supposed to be 108+ this weekend.
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:57 AM   #4
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I'd consider mounting the panel as close to the batteries as possible. A long run of 6 or 8 gauge will not be efficient. The closer the better... And I'd go as large gauge wire as you want to pay for. The panels are light weight, no need to worry about balancing your load.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:43 PM   #5
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I'd consider mounting the panel as close to the batteries as possible. A long run of 6 or 8 gauge will not be efficient. The closer the better... And I'd go as large gauge wire as you want to pay for. The panels are light weight, no need to worry about balancing your load.
You are right, of course. Like I mentioned, it is still swimming around in my head.
I was just wondering/thinking where to put the split AC system? Just kidding.
I have so many things I want to do to my trailer, that I need to step back and put them on a priority list and then start checking them off one by one. Definitely a work in progress.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:45 AM   #6
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You are right, of course. Like I mentioned, it is still swimming around in my head.
I was just wondering/thinking where to put the split AC system? Just kidding.
I have so many things I want to do to my trailer, that I need to step back and put them on a priority list and then start checking them off one by one. Definitely a work in progress.
Yep, it will make your head spin for sure
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #7
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Make sure to get the thickest but keep it the shortest power cable you can get to minimize voltage drop.

NOT ALL CABLE ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Like most things these days, everything comes from china, or manufactured to increase profit margins. Not all power wires are made from the same materials, or even thicknesses. A 4awg from one company may not be the same diameter as another these days, especially with the rising prices in copper. Consumers are basically getting ripped off from cost cutting. This company KnuConceptz is making strides in the car audio world for offering outstanding cables, which outperform most other brands. Their Fleks cable is 100% oxygen free copper and is $7.19 per foot for 4/0(0000) and $4 per foot for 1/0 (0awg) cable. Kolossus Fleks Red 4/0 Gauge Power/Ground Wire - Merchandise
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