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Old 01-31-2014, 08:02 PM   #15
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Maybe you should stay over at the boaters forums; this is a RV forum, are you lost? I've never heard many RVers using either Aurinco or Ganz, but I have heard of most just using reasonable PV panels designed for off-grid applications, many for twenty years. If you want to spend three to four times as much on "marine" panels you are entitled to do so.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
Maybe you should stay over at the boaters forums; this is a RV forum, are you lost? I've never heard many RVers using either Aurinco or Ganz, but I have heard of most just using reasonable PV panels designed for off-grid applications, many for twenty years. If you want to spend three to four times as much on "marine" panels you are entitled to do so.
First sentence is
uncalled for and impacts the discussion in a negative way.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:04 PM   #17
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If you have the space the best panel for RV use - unless you have a specific requirement that negates it - is what Jackfish mentioned. A grid-tie panel at high voltage. This does require an MPPT controller and some additional space. These panels tend to be on the largish size. Think in the range of 40"x70" or bigger, depending on the panel. An example is HERE. This panel is a decent high voltage grid-tie panel that is easily used on many RVs. It is $1/watt....a little more with shipping. That is a pretty decent price for what you get. Are they as efficient as some of the panels costing in excess of $5/watt? No. But a 310 watt panel is still a 310 watt panel. It will just be bigger. And most RVs that want/need a large system will have the roof space.

During design you have to factor size into the equation, as well as cost. But for MOST RVers using something like this works out quite well. Solar is cheap enough these days that you can "throw watts at it" and compromise on other design areas, if required. For example - I do not design for tilting panels. Ever. Unless the customer demands it. I instead put on extra watts. You can also mount a panel where it may be shaded a little during the day, rather than not have the panel at all. This normally would be breaking a cardinal rule. But if you have enough watts it is not an issue. Everything is a tradeoff.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #18
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If I had the room I'd look at multiple 250+ watt, 24 volt nominal panels and a robust MPPT controller. As I didn't have the room, I settled for many compromises including five 100 watt panels that are each 44.175" x 20.7" installed and some are likely periodically shaded at various points during the day. I have room for one more panel, three more if I were to remove the TV antenna. With eight 100 watt panels I would need another or replacement controller.

Back on topic: the mounts from AM Solar are sturdy and allow quick removal or tilting for better sun angle and cleaning the panel or under it.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:32 PM   #19
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I also like the AM Solar mounts.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:02 AM   #20
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solar/inverter

We are going this weekend to pick up our Monaco 40 pdq.
When we get back i will be adding solar panels we plan to spend some time in big bend doondocking.
My question is our m/h has a 1500 watt inverter,we also have a residential frig that will be more drain.Do i need to go to a larger inverter? I will be adding more house batteries.On the roof there is the connector to hook solar to.I think i will go with the flex kind and use tape.
This is not my area of expertise.So any advice i could use.
Thank You
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:43 PM   #21
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The 1500 watt inverter is enough for the refrigerator. It may also be enough to run the microwave, but not on convection (if you have that). You would not use it long boondocking.

Your wire to the roof is almost guaranteed to be too small in gauge and will cause voltage drop. Measure the distance (or estimate it) including all turns, to the solar controller location. Then determine how many watts of panels you will have and if they will be high voltage panels or not. Then calculate the voltage drop using one of the interactive voltage drop calculators you can find online. That is the only way to know for sure. Going to an MPPT controller "may" allow for use of pre-installed lines. But my experience is that almost all manufacturers put in too small of wire.

You might find my website helpful. Link is in my signature lines.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:03 PM   #22
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We found out today he had an 2000 watt inverter installed. We will wait tell we get back to check gauge of wire,watts needed.
Thanks for your help
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #23
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Hey Guys, What do yall think about using velcro on a grape 105w ten pound panel? I think I would take it, or them inside while on the move so the velcro would hold up to many ons and offs. I am disabled so am thinking about mounting to the side instead of the top.
I could put them on the east side in am and then... I will have to see about how to handle the wire run, won`t be too long on a B+. Warren
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #24
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The Grape Solar GS-S-105-Fab8 panel weighs 19 2/3 lbs. If you aren't driving down the road with them in place velcro should work just fine. Did you mean the Grape Solar PhotoFlex-100W? It is a flexible panel which weighs three pounds. Greg at AM Solar says they don't perform very well in high temperatures.

It really isn't worth the hassle to do what you propose. Just mount them flat on the roof and leave them there.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:00 PM   #25
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Jackfish, Sorry bout putting my pv on a diet, guess my gray hairs are getting too close together. I ran across an interesting part of the system today, went for some crown 220ah and the guy said he had something I might be interested in. He has 200 Powersafe enersys 12v190f sealed 190ah , 128 pound batteries that were shipped to Lucent after they went under. www.enersysinc.com. He is asking $125.00 ea
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:04 AM   #26
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If you can get their charging parameters (which I believe are 14.4V bulk, 14.4V absorption and 13.6V float @ 25C) and they are up for mobile applications at temperature extremes they look intriguing. I don't know how a Nominal Capacity of 190AH C10 / 1.80Vpc @ 20C relates to a 20 hour Ampere Hour rating of say Lifeline AGMs with 15 cycles / 1.75Vpc @ 25C. At 21.69"x4.92"x12.44" and 126.3 lbs they certainly seem substantial. It looks like their retail price is $650. Good Luck!
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:27 PM   #27
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Our son bolted the panels to the roof of our Open Range 5th wheel. We were in a wreck in Mexico between Vera Cruz and Puebla that totaled the truck and 5th wheel (Mexican insurance has finally agreed to pay after 53 weeks of dithering). The panels stayed on (after 4 years of travel and boondocking through US, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala) after the wreck. The batteries and inverters continued to work. The system is still on trailer and working in wrecking yard near Hidalgo, Mexico (about 100 km west of Mexico City). The point to all this is that properly installed panels will stay on through anything.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Third Coast View Post
Would like to mount 6 panels to the roof of my class a holiday rambler. What would you recommend? Individual mounts or a rack system - I am somewhat concerned with body flex. The rv has a metal roof in sections joined with eternabond tape
Hi Third,

Looks like you got a couple answers before the topic veered off course. I just finished a DIY solar project and it seems to me that there are an infinite (or near infinite) number of possibilities and "right" answers.

As silly as it sounds, there isn't a lot of useable space up on the roof. At least there wasn't on my 33' class A (vents, AC units, antennae, etc...). Shading needs to be considered.

Another surprise that I ran into is the extent to which my roof is rounded. I had planned to use Z brackets and flat mount the panels. I ended up having to fabricate my own brackets on the outside edges due to the slope of the roof.

In my case, a rack system would not work as I had to fit the panels where there is space.

The ability to adjust the angle of the panels would be neat but I decided it was too complicated for my scenario. I suppose the value of that ability is dependent on your location on the planet, "sufficiency" of your array (barely enough so a little angle makes a difference), desire to constantly play with the angles, and your pocketbook (an automated system with tracker would be really neat and, I suspect, really expense - not to mention heavy).
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