Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Boondocking
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-23-2011, 11:28 PM   #1
Member
 
CoryP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 79
Thumbs up I found a good Solar guy.

I have read the great threads on here and got myself excited to add solar to my coach. But I didn't want to screw it up. So I called around to a bunch of solar dealers in Arizona and ended up using a mobil installer.

I used Marv @ Precision RV. He asked me lots of questions in regards to what I wanted and what my goals where. He kinda interviewed me, and he answered all my questions.

I decided on:
8- 100 watt panels
a morningstar controller
6- Lifeline AGM 6v batteries

He used 4 guage down from the roof and 4 ought (sp?) to the batteries.

He also installed a new Magnum Energy inverter, battery monitor, and new slide awning.

He did a very clean and organized job and I would use him again if I needed to. He owns the business and takes pride in doing great work.

I just wanted to pass it along in case somebody wanted solar but didn't want to do it themselves.

Thanks,

Cory P.
__________________

__________________
2004 Dynasty
CoryP is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-24-2011, 06:35 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Buxton, North Dakota
Posts: 3,335
What did that install cost? Sounds like you got a real worthwhile installation.
__________________

__________________
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G F53/ V10 605 watts of Solar
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C Handicap Equipped
F53/V10
1999 Jeep Cherokee & 1991 Jeep Wrangler Renegade
John Hilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 06:56 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
SpursMVP's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Ogallala, Nebraska
Posts: 374
Wow...800 watts, now that's a large system.

We put in 400 watts and it supplies all we need (except the AC). The only 'iffy' item would be the 4 gauge from the roof with 800 watts. Depending upon the length of the wire run perhaps 2 gauge would have been better...but who am I to say.

Enjoy your newfound freedom from the power cord and your generator!
__________________
2001 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
330 HP Cummins ISC
2007 Dodge Ram 4 X 4 (Hemi)
SpursMVP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
Member
 
jquinlan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 38
Marv does great work. We were lucky to get to install a system of 4 100w panels / controller and 2 agm batteries on our fifth wheel before he left Florida this year. We're very happy with the quality of his workmanship.
__________________
jquinlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 08:47 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
WheelingIt's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: On Wheels
Posts: 1,983
We ALSO used Marv back when he was in FL in Dec/Jan and absolutely loved him. Thumbs up! Nina
__________________
12 paws, 40 feet and the open road
WheelingIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 04:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Full Timer / Vagabond
Posts: 609
It sounds like you found a gem. Handy Bob Solar would be proud.
__________________
Ralph & Snickers
2006 3500 Chevy Dually - 8.1 - Allison
2006 30' New Horizon - Solar
ralper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralper View Post
Handy Bob Solar would be proud.
Don't use my name in this context. I have never met the guy and also never inspected his work. All I do know is that he is using AM Solar's panels and controllers, so he is on the boost band wagon, using special high voltage panels as a way of promoting boost that is not really true. MPPT and AGM batteries have their place and are fine for those with lots of money to spend, but there is a lower budget way to successful solar power. His systems might be beautiful and they might work well, but I would want to know if he recommends and installs things like the Trimetric battery monitor. Last, did they get a 60 amp Tristar?

800 watts is a lot for a #4 wire unless the run is very short. Length of run is what dictates the size and this is critical when using MPPT. Most of the solar "experts" must not really understand the relationship between voltage drop and loss of boost. More volts will net you more amps, but it has to get to the controller to work. I recently inspected a beautifully installed AM Solar system that looked and measured great. The only problem was that the owner had to demand that they install #4, which netted him about a 1% drop. They tried to tell him #6 would have been fine. He also demanded a 60 amp controller. The 45 amp unit they wanted to install would have been overloaded during optimum conditions with the sun high in the sky. 800 watts divided by 12.5V = 64 amps possible under optimum conditions. It wouldn't happen that much, but the 45 amp controller would clamp at 45 amps, shutting the power OFF. And they talk about harvesting energy and BOOST! If you are going to do that, you would be better off saving the money, using standard voltage panels and a PWM 60 amp Tristar, which would not shut the power off.
__________________
Bob
Full time boondocker, solar powered, no generator
HandyBobSolar.com
HandyBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
Member
 
CoryP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyBob View Post
Don't use my name in this context. I have never met the guy and also never inspected his work. All I do know is that he is using AM Solar's panels and controllers, so he is on the boost band wagon, using special high voltage panels as a way of promoting boost that is not really true. MPPT and AGM batteries have their place and are fine for those with lots of money to spend, but there is a lower budget way to successful solar power. His systems might be beautiful and they might work well, but I would want to know if he recommends and installs things like the Trimetric battery monitor. Last, did they get a 60 amp Tristar?

800 watts is a lot for a #4 wire unless the run is very short. Length of run is what dictates the size and this is critical when using MPPT. Most of the solar "experts" must not really understand the relationship between voltage drop and loss of boost. More volts will net you more amps, but it has to get to the controller to work. I recently inspected a beautifully installed AM Solar system that looked and measured great. The only problem was that the owner had to demand that they install #4, which netted him about a 1% drop. They tried to tell him #6 would have been fine. He also demanded a 60 amp controller. The 45 amp unit they wanted to install would have been overloaded during optimum conditions with the sun high in the sky. 800 watts divided by 12.5V = 64 amps possible under optimum conditions. It wouldn't happen that much, but the 45 amp controller would clamp at 45 amps, shutting the power OFF. And they talk about harvesting energy and BOOST! If you are going to do that, you would be better off saving the money, using standard voltage panels and a PWM 60 amp Tristar, which would not shut the power off.

These are very good concerns, and you have tons more solar experience than I. My battery monitor is made by Magnum Energy and is controlled by the inverters control panel.

Battery Monitor - Products: Battery Monitor / Battery Combiner

MY solar controller is a Tristar 60.

My 4 guage run from the roof is short, not sure how short I need to investigate. Marvin (installer) recommended 4 guage. I had heard of alot of people doing 8 guage and even 6 guage.

How far is to far for 4 guage? What is an exceptable power drop 1-2%?

Thank you,

Cory P.
__________________
2004 Dynasty
CoryP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #9
Member
 
CoryP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 79
RV Electrical Your Needs


Good reading!
__________________
2004 Dynasty
CoryP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryP View Post
What is an exceptable power drop 1-2%?
Cory P.
The recommendations from Morningstar are good to follow, but there is no cast in stone answer. Look at the charts in the manual you got from them. Too many people want to tell you that one size fits all and that is not the case. Think about this: When using MPPT, which is supposed to turn all of the watts you give it into charging amps at the right voltage for your batteries, any voltage drop equals wattage loss. If you pay $6000 for a system and then have 5% voltage drop before the controller, you are losing 5% of $6000, or $300 worth. Why pay $250 more for a good MPPT controller & then rob it of the ability to work? I like to use 1% drop in the vertical run and use a separate #10 to each panel on the roof, which is not perfect, but a reasonable compromise. Everything is about value engineering. Spending too much for wire is not good engineering and spending too little is just as bad.

Common sense should rule.

Regarding the Magnum BMK: I spend hours trying to figure out why the two I have looked at were not accurate and figured out that in their effort to make the meter automatic, Magnum set it up so that it can never be accurate. The first I looked at was last year and the owner of that rig had already given up on the BMK and bought a Trimetric. Again this year, I tried & tried to figure another out, even going to the trouble of calling Magnum. What I ended up telling them is that I love their inverters, but would never again touch a BMK. "Stick to what you are good at." A battery monitor needs to be a stand alone device that can be glanced at for info. You shouldn't need to be pushing buttons and scratching your head. My wife glances at our Trimetric and if it says we are 85% or higher, and the sun will be shining in a day or so, she is confident that she can plug the electric iron or the toaster in. That's right; even if it is currently raining. Success!
__________________
Bob
Full time boondocker, solar powered, no generator
HandyBobSolar.com
HandyBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 12:09 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
w6pea's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Chula Vista, Mexifornia
Posts: 1,010
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryP View Post
RV Electrical Your Needs


Good reading!

interesting.
__________________

__________________
Remember "Without Truck's......America Stops" RVM129
"Take me to the Brig. I want to see the "Real Marines".
Major General Chesty Puller, USMC -
"Semper Fi"
w6pea is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Solar Installation Thread RVRoadTrip Travel Trailer Discussion 26 10-05-2009 05:42 AM
Solar Panel for Chassis Batteries OldForester Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 3 08-15-2008 10:01 PM
Good place to add solar, 6v's and converter in SOcal? Aces Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 5 04-20-2008 04:13 PM
Solar Panels gator67 Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 2 02-15-2008 07:02 AM
Good Driving chasfm11 Just Conversation 5 12-28-2005 08:08 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.