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Old 05-15-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
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Updating solar panels system

I am considering adding more solar panels on the roof, which will lower heat gain and provide more charge to the 4 house batts when we are dry camping. Has anyone put close to 1000 watts of panels on their RV roof and if so, can you describe your system and wiring? I have four 6-volt Interstate house batteries in my rig.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:26 AM   #2
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If you look in the going green section of the forum you will see many threads on solar installs that are larger arrays on rv roofs. Maybe ask there and you might get more eyeballs and folks giving their suggestions.
Depending on the size of your rv and and how much room you have on the roof a 1000w could be easily done. We've been living off of 1,280w_8 160w panels wired 2 series/ 4 parrel going into a a PT100 controller with 500ah lfp batteries for 3 years now on our 5th wheel.
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Old 05-16-2019, 06:20 AM   #3
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Qty 5, 300 watts @45 Voc

My next set of panels will be
327 @65 Voc

Higher Voltage lower current down to my MPPT controller
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Old 05-16-2019, 10:20 AM   #4
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I was able to fit a Grape Solar 24 volt 265 watt panel and it has its own pair of 8 AWG wires to a SmartSolar 100/30 MPPT controller. I have a pair of Grape Solar 12 volt 180 watt panels linked in parallel to another pair of 8 AWG wire to a 2nd SmartSolar 100/30 MPPT controller. I have a Renology 160 watt panel in parallel with the factory install 20 watt panel on the air conditioner going to the factory installed 10 amp ZAMP PWM controller. The 160 watt panel in mounted to the trailers factory roof rack and tilted forward to clear the bathroom Fantastic fan. This gives me 805 watts on the 20 foot long roof of my Artic Fox 22G.

I used the Roof-C box from AM and ran a 5 conductor 6 AWG cable from my pass through storage up through a closet cabinet to the Roof-C box. My 265 and 180 watt panels connect through that box. The Renology used a factory installed SAE port on the roof that was already wired to the Zamp controller. The 5 conductor 6 AWG wire was left over from my inverter transfer switch to trailer wiring project.

I have another Grape Solar 180 watt panel on the roof rack of my Leer cap on the GMC2500HD which tows the trailer. It has it's own SmartSolar 100/20 MPPT controller under the Leer cap in the bed of the truck. When going down the road it connects to a pair of 50 amp BattleBorn LiFePO4 batteries that are used to power an Engel freezer while on the road. Once at camp I disconnect the 50 amp hour batteries and use a 4 AWG cable between the controller and a breaker connected to the trailers battery bus bars. This gives me 958 watts of solar in camp. My trailer has four 100 amp-hour BattleBorn batteries behind my sit-and-sleep sofa adjacent to the wall of the front pass through storage.

I used these brackets to hold my panels 3 inches above the roof for better air flow. I feel that this keeps my panels and roof cooler.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I bought my Grape Solar panels on sale from Home Depot so I can pick them up there without paying for shipping. If I had a larger roof with fewer skylights and vents I would have use four Grape Solar 300 watt panes. They are on sale at Home Depot for $1328 for a pack of four.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-So...USx4/302023154

I use a Spartan Power 2200 watt pure sine wave inverter with the output connected to the trailer's 120 volt circuit breaker panel. The original converter/charger has been removed. I installed a small breaker panel to connect to the trailers power cord. It has a 30 amp breaker for the inverter transfer switch and a 20 amp breaker to power a 60 and 45 amp Progressive Dynamics Lithium chargers.
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Old 05-16-2019, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrocamper View Post
The 160 watt panel in mounted to the trailers factory roof rack and tilted forward to clear the bathroom Fantastic fan. This gives me 805 watts on the 20 foot long roof of my Artic Fox 22G.

Can you post pics of this roof solar panel setup? I'd love to see them.




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Old 05-16-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I only have one panel so can't help with that. Noticed that you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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