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Old 03-28-2014, 05:09 AM   #1
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RV Solar System

I want to install a solar system on a Coachmen Concord Class C. I need one large enough to run a 1800 watt microwave a maximum of 5 minutes and run a TV for 3-4 hours. Also to keep my batteries charged during boondocking.

Can someone give me the size of the solar panel, the charging controller, inverter and anything else I might need.

Thanks
Haardy 212
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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My system will do that, plus a little. It is 4 125 watt panels, 4 Trojan 225 amp/hour batteries, a 2000 watt inverter and a MPTT charger. You will need the extra batteries because the microwave is a heavy load. You will find that with the electricity available, you will use it. Like coffee makers and toasters and power tools.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:25 PM   #3
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Solar System

Thanks Jim for the information. I don't intend to run the whole electric system
in my RV. The microwave will only be used to heat pre-prepared meals. The most time on the micro will be maybe 3 minutes.

Thanks
Hardy212
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:45 PM   #4
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alternate idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by HARDY212 View Post
Thanks Jim for the information. I don't intend to run the whole electric system
in my RV. The microwave will only be used to heat pre-prepared meals. The most time on the micro will be maybe 3 minutes.

Thanks
Hardy212
The microwaves really hogs a lot of battery capacity. I got around that by buying a 2 quart pressure pot. Now if you're just reheating something I put 1/4 cup of water in and then the food. If you don't want to mix the food with the water I have found you can put a breakfast sized cereal bowl or a standoff screen on the bottom of the pan and then turn on your gas burner. This works very well especially if you're heating food for two. As you get used to it, I have found lots of other food cooking uses for it. It's just as fast as a microwave in many but not all things. But you don't have to have such a large solar that way.
Just a thought.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:00 PM   #5
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Are you planning on doing any boondocking at all? If so, you will use more than you realize. Get a meter and measure what you normally use or closely figure all useage. Then, add 20%. Size your batteries to give you your normal useage for 2-3 days because you will have times when the weather is bad or you have to park under trees. Installing a solar system was the best thing I have done to our RV. But, IMHO, it needs to be large enough to maintain a minimal life style.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
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AMSOLAR has much good sizing info on their website. Using both rules of thumb from their many experiences and by usage measurements.
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:53 PM   #7
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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Are you open to running a generator just for the microwave when you need it so that your inverter / solar setup don't have to be as hefty? My rig has 2 solar panels and an inverter sufficient to power the TV, DVD player, bring the batteries up to charge, etc. but not to run the microwave. The suggestions above for alternative options for heating food are good too. We've found for example that we enjoy a Cobb grille for cooking various items (found a used one on Craigslist for less than $20)
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