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Old 07-14-2018, 10:10 AM   #1
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What do you need $ to add solar?

my RV has a little sticker that say "Solar Ready"

but what would I need to buy ?
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:27 AM   #2
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I'd ask your RV manufacturer what they mean by 'solar ready.' It could mean that wires have been run from the roof to the battery compartment, but then you'd need to know what gauge wire it is. You'll need to buy panels, mounting brackets, a solar charge controller, a monitor panel inside the RV to see battery SOC. These would be minimum 'needs,' I'm sure others will come along and add other items.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
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My brother's new 5th wheel had the same sticker. It was merely an outlet that allows a suitcase type portable solar panel, like Zamp, to be plugged in there.

https://www.amazon.com/Zamp-Solar-80...70_&dpSrc=srch

There are much more cost effective ways to add solar to your RV. I'd suggest you start by reading this

https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com

There is also a forum here dedicated to the topic

Going Green - iRV2 Forums

Adding solar isnít as pricey as it used to be. Panels are about $1/watt if you shop around.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:25 PM   #4
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Adding solar isnít as pricey as it used to be. Panels are about $1/watt if you shop around.
In January, '18 a 30% tariff was imposed on all imported solar panels. This is expected to influence prices by 10-12Ę a watt.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:46 AM   #5
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In January, '18 a 30% tariff was imposed on all imported solar panels. This is expected to influence prices by 10-12Ę a watt.
Bought a panel in November for $96 shipped. Same panel is now $104

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:03 AM   #6
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We just installed 1,440 watts of solar on our coach that was "solar Prepped".

For Newmar, that means wires ran from the roof (stuffed under a plate on the roof and marked "solar"), down to the battery bay and coiled up.

16 gauge wires, if I remember.

We had the install done by AM Solar, here in Oregon. They put the panels in series, so we could retain and use the existing wiring.

8 panels (ordered and purchased before any price change) of 180 watts each.

Battery monitoring and control panel monitoring done via bluetooth to our phones, so we can see the battery load, the levels of charge state, and the solar in and load out. Runs pretty much everything except the A/C.

Our coach is all electric, and we have 8 AGM house batteries (2 chassis batteries). If this solar works out (if we use it enough), we'll switch to lithium batteries once the AGMS need replacing (hopefully at a much lower relative cost by then).
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:09 AM   #7
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We just installed 1,440 watts of solar on our coach that was "solar Prepped".

For Newmar, that means wires ran from the roof (stuffed under a plate on the roof and marked "solar"), down to the battery bay and coiled up.

16 gauge wires, if I remember.

We had the install done by AM Solar, here in Oregon. They put the panels in series, so we could retain and use the existing wiring.

8 panels (ordered and purchased before any price change) of 180 watts each.

Battery monitoring and control panel monitoring done via bluetooth to our phones, so we can see the battery load, the levels of charge state, and the solar in and load out. Runs pretty much everything except the A/C.

Our coach is all electric, and we have 8 AGM house batteries (2 chassis batteries). If this solar works out (if we use it enough), we'll switch to lithium batteries once the AGMS need replacing (hopefully at a much lower relative cost by then).
I'm guessing your installer didn't use the 16 gauge wires to connect to the 1,414 w of panels?
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:13 AM   #8
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I'm guessing your installer didn't use the 16 gauge wires to connect to the 1,414 w of panels?
I believe he did. I'm sure it's buried in the paperwork, etc. And maybe it wasn't 16 gauge. But he did use the existing wiring.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:48 AM   #9
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I believe he did. I'm sure it's buried in the paperwork, etc. And maybe it wasn't 16 gauge. But he did use the existing wiring.
1440 w worth of panels, at 12v, generates over 100 amps. No way 16g or even 10g wire could handle that kind of load. Those "solar prepped" wires are usually sized to handle a 10-15w panel to maintain a battery, not the job or running an all-electric RV with 1440 w of solar.
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:49 PM   #10
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I haven't used it but this is an interesting site:

https://www.renogy.com/calculators
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Old 07-16-2018, 05:10 PM   #11
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1440 w worth of panels, at 12v, generates over 100 amps. No way 16g or even 10g wire could handle that kind of load. Those "solar prepped" wires are usually sized to handle a 10-15w panel to maintain a battery, not the job or running an all-electric RV with 1440 w of solar.
Doesn't solar prep basically mean there's a wire from the roof to somewhere in a compartment?
Amsolar seems to do quailty work and I'll bet they used the proper size may reused smaller somewhere else?

8 in series is some major voltage 144v+ @ 9a+/-
Maybe 2 series/ 4 parallel 37v+ @ 36a+/-
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:56 AM   #12
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Bought a panel in November for $96 shipped. Same panel is now $104

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Barb, just curious is there any particular reason you went with polycrystalline over Mono?
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:03 AM   #13
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Barb, just curious is there any particular reason you went with polycrystalline over Mono?
Price - Iíve heard that the difference in performance isnít worth paying extra $ for. That's been years ago. Has something changed?
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:09 AM   #14
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Price - Iíve heard that the difference in performance isnít worth paying extra $ for. That's been years ago. Has something changed?
Not to my knowledge, I'm still learning. I went with Mono when I bought mine from Renogy I had a lot of people giving me advice and I was told I would regret not going with Mono??? Like I said I was just curious.
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