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Old 07-01-2019, 09:05 PM   #1
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Prepping RV for Boondocking

I would like to prepare a 2014 5th wheel with a residential refrigerator and no generator or solar panels to boondock in. When preparing the RV what would be my first priority, second, third, etc?

The RV has two AGM batteries. I'm looking for what would give me the biggest bang for the buck to get me to dry camping for two to three weeks at a time.
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:20 PM   #2
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Swap the refer back to a Dometic 2 way.
Add a bunch more golf cart batteries.
Add a bunch of solar panels.
Buy a 2KW generator.
Kind of in that order.
You could always keep the residental refer, add as many golf cart batteries you can find room for, add as many solar panels you can place on the roof and srill buy a 2KW generator.
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:34 PM   #3
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Not possible with a residential refrig. Go back to propane. We have 4 AGM batteries and can make it for 1 night.



We have a 5000w generator and 4 solar panels. We need to run the generator for about 1-2 hours each day, depending on sunlight.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:15 PM   #4
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I had 8, 6 volt golf car batteries and 3, 225 watt solar panels. Probably could have dropped down to 6 batteries.

I could run the 8 c.f. fridge for months at a time. I have a Honda eu2000 but only as a backup.

Shading wasn't an issue because it was on a boat.

You need an effecent inverter and a no frills fridge. Frost free and ice makers use a lot more energy.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVGlen View Post
I would like to prepare a 2014 5th wheel with a residential refrigerator and no generator or solar panels to boondock in. When preparing the RV what would be my first priority, second, third, etc?

The RV has two AGM batteries. I'm looking for what would give me the biggest bang for the buck to get me to dry camping for two to three weeks at a time.
Not sure how you define bang for the buck. Cheapest would be: Generator. Run as needed. Turn off and don't open the RR 10p to morning.

If not already LED lighting, convert lights often used to LED.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:10 AM   #6
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Not sure how you define bang for the buck.
Yep, in order to define a solution you need to define the problem. One solution is to throw down thousands so you can run your $600 refrigerator no matter what, or come up with specific use scenarios that tailor the equipment to actual expectation. Some folks spare no expense so that they can run their stuff no matter what, others give up stuff to reduce cost and complexity. Only you know what the goal is so start with that - what needs to run, for how long, and when, then work backwards from there in terms of generation and storage. It's easy to say to just max out everything but there's a point of diminishing return when it comes to buying, installing, maintaining and increased overhead of all that.

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Old 07-02-2019, 09:40 AM   #7
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I would go with at least 600 watts of solar panels, 4 6 volt GC-2 batteries and a 2,000 wat inverter generator. About $2,500 with quality components.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:32 AM   #8
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Should I do any prep work that should be done on a five year old roof prior to installing solar panels?

Thank you for your suggestions
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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I interpreted yourthread that you wanted to boondock without solar or generator. I didn't realize you want to add items to get the rig ready to boondock.


Besides batteries, 600w of solar and a good generator you need to add in a Magnum ARC with shunt(or similar) to monitor your batteries(or some other brand), a unit to start you generator while inside(Magnum AGS or similar) and you will probably need a transfer switch and a new inverter(Magnum 2000 or similar).



If you are doing this yourself don't forget the little things like a monitor for the solar, all these are add-ons. Try to buy the best that you can afford. You want your battry monitor to measure SOC(State of Charge).



Cost depends on who is doing the work and what brand you buy.
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Old 07-02-2019, 12:43 PM   #10
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assumed that you already had an inverter with the residential refridgerator, but if not, as Sue46 pointed out you will need one. The Magnum as suggested is a nice unit, but expensive. If you get a typical 2,000 watt portable inverter generator, the Magnum Generator Auto Start won't work.

A Battery Monitor is almost essential. I like the Trimetric and Victron.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
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I wasn't expecting so many responses suggesting solar and a generator. I was thinking solar. I didn't think I would need both. Thank you!

After reading your responses I started thinking batteries and generator then that 30% tax credit for solar has me thinking. It looks like the cost would be close though it appears I should have a generator also.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:01 PM   #12
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Also need to solve how to get fresh water and rid of waste, if you're staying in place that long.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:25 PM   #13
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I wasn't expecting so many responses suggesting solar and a generator. I was thinking solar. I didn't think I would need both. Thank you!

After reading your responses I started thinking batteries and generator then that 30% tax credit for solar has me thinking. It looks like the cost would be close though it appears I should have a generator also.
You need a generator for days when it rains for an extended period of time or when solar output is reduced by time of year or clouds.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:22 PM   #14
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You need a generator for days when it rains for an extended period of time or when solar output is reduced by time of year or clouds.
And to run the A/C because you parked your trailer in the sun all day so your panels work...

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