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Old 01-03-2019, 09:24 AM   #1
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Solar Systems

I have a Newmar Dutchstar 4018 , and am looking for info on setting up a Solar system for Boondocking with a residential frig , to save on batteries . any suggestions and expected cost
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:40 AM   #2
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There are TONs of info on RV Solar. Instead of starting in the Boondocking forum here, I suggest you try the "Going Green" forum here. It's a forum dedicated to the subject of Solar.

Going Green - iRV2 Forums

But there are also lots of videos on YouTube showing planning, installation and usage of RV Solar, too.

As to pricing... it all depends on what you need and what you want. You could probably get started for under $1000 and you could easily spend $10,000, too. There is no one answer to that question.

Best thing to do is to start reading everything you can find online, then estimate your power needs, then work out the individual pieces you'll need.

The first thing you'll learn is it is WAY more affordable if you do all the work yourself. If you hire someone to plan and install your solar solution it will double or triple your costs. Many find the cost too high to undertake when they price out hiring someone to do this for them.
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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Even if you don’t do the work yourself it's VERY important that you know how it should be done the right way. There are a lot of "professional" installers that will sell you what they need to get rid of, not what you need. And charge you $125/hour to install it.

Read this - https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com

Bob is a retired electricial engineer and has lived exclusively on solar for many, many years. We became friends after he helped me fix what a "pro" charged me to do wrong.

This company has some really good prices -

https://www.continuousresources.com/...panel-5-busbar
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Old 01-03-2019, 02:00 PM   #4
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichieB View Post
I have a Newmar Dutchstar 4018 , and am looking for info on setting up a Solar system for Boondocking with a residential frig , to save on batteries . any suggestions and expected cost
I did mine myself 2 years ago now:
'16 Bounder Solar and Lithium Upgrade
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:24 PM   #6
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I help my Alfa friends install solar.
1200 to 1600 watts 45 Voc
Midnite Classic 150 or Magnum PT100
rough cost is $2000 to $2500

The panels I show them or about $180 for 300 watts
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gatorcq View Post
I help my Alfa friends install solar.
1200 to 1600 watts 45 Voc
Midnite Classic 150 or Magnum PT100
rough cost is $2000 to $2500

The panels I show them or about $180 for 300 watts
Can you give us a link to those panels, please? Great price!
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:52 PM   #8
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There are TONs of info on RV Solar. Instead of starting in the Boondocking forum here, I suggest you try the "Going Green" forum here. It's a forum dedicated to the subject of Solar.

Going Green - iRV2 Forums

But there are also lots of videos on YouTube showing planning, installation and usage of RV Solar, too.

As to pricing... it all depends on what you need and what you want. You could probably get started for under $1000 and you could easily spend $10,000, too. There is no one answer to that question.
Wow! In our large circle of full-timing friends who boondock all the time, no one has come near the $10,000 figure!! A couple thousand maybe.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:12 PM   #9
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Wow! In our large circle of full-timing friends who boondock all the time, no one has come near the $10,000 figure!! A couple thousand maybe.
I spent close to 10k but 6k of that was lithium batts.
Oh, and the government (or should I say "us" taypayers) paid me 30% of that back as a tax credit.
So, net I only spent 7k I guess and have a really tricked out electrical system.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:37 PM   #10
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Yes, you 'could' easily spend $10,000+ on solar with lithium batteries but there are much more economical ways of getting solar.

Here are 4 excellent blog posts on this full-timer's installation and upgrade to their solar using lithium. Start on Part 1 for a very good, long read. Also read the 'Comment' sections for additional information. In the last of the four posts - the 'Summary' and in the 'Comment' area, she gives the breakdown of costs - $11,000+. Their intentions were to use solar for the washer/dryer and air conditioning. Most people can do without that much solar.

This blog is the very best we've found for boondocking, using public parks, full-timing issues, volunteering, and at the very top are awesome campground reviews for a 40' motorhome - many photos and site recommendations. Check it out! Good reading.

https://wheelingit.us/?s=solar+upgrade
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:51 PM   #11
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I have 1020 watts of solar on the roof.
500Ahr of lithium Ion batteries
22cf Residential refrigerator that runs only off of the batteries that are only charged by solar. Dedicated inverter or the frig.
Hybrid inverter for the rest of our home. It even runs the heat pump/ AC on solar for several hours before we need to turn it off so it can charge the batteries before sundown to run the frig overnight.
All self installed

It was a fun project
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KFRimr View Post
I have 1020 watts of solar on the roof.
500Ahr of lithium Ion batteries
22cf Residential refrigerator that runs only off of the batteries that are only charged by solar. Dedicated inverter or the frig.
Hybrid inverter for the rest of our home. It even runs the heat pump/ AC on solar for several hours before we need to turn it off so it can charge the batteries before sundown to run the frig overnight.
All self installed

It was a fun project
Kent
What is your daily total AH consumption for the fridge alone?
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:28 AM   #13
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What is your daily total AH consumption for the fridge alone?
That is a good question. I've never figured that out. How would I do that? Look, I know little about electricity, I am not an engineer, I am just an end user that put together a solar system, that works. I do know that according to my monitor on the Battery Management System it takes about 12-15% for the refrigerator and all of the lights we use, to run from sun down to sun rise. If we are totally off the grid under a tree, raining and no sun I can last about 5 days. Which only happened once. I do not carry a generator so I am totally committed to the solar working, and because of the dedicated circuit for the frig, it runs full time off the batteries. Then when we move. I don't have to think about whether it is going to work or not. That didn't answer your question, sorry.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:45 AM   #14
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If you have 500ah lfp (same as me) 80% usable (400ah) 1% equals 5ah, so your nightly usage is roughly 60-75ah. Ball park figure for fridge is 120ah+ as a daily consumption with no solar. Thanks
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