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Old 01-22-2022, 07:36 AM   #1
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Solar & Battery Upgrades

Lots of opinions on this. Just got a 2022 Valencia with three rooftop panels and the standard battery. Wondering what is the most effective upgrade to this single AGM battery system.

More panels first? I think itís pre wired for more panels.

Second AGM battery?

Ideally Iíd be able to run one AC some at night if not just the fan for airflow.

Looking for some experienced feedback. Iím not gonna drop thousands so cost is important.

Appreciate any pros / cons / suggestions / cost compares.

Thanks to this great forum.
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Old 01-22-2022, 08:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgrennan3 View Post
Lots of opinions on this. Just got a 2022 Valencia with three rooftop panels and the standard battery. Wondering what is the most effective upgrade to this single AGM battery system.



More panels first? I think itís pre wired for more panels.



Second AGM battery?



Ideally Iíd be able to run one AC some at night if not just the fan for airflow.



Looking for some experienced feedback. Iím not gonna drop thousands so cost is important.



Appreciate any pros / cons / suggestions / cost compares.



Thanks to this great forum.


You can only run ac off battery with a 2nd inverter which is not a Renegade option on a coach with two acís. Can you get it done by someone? Sure. Lots of cash though I am sure.
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:18 PM   #3
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Here are some links to help you
RV Solar Electric Scottsdale supplier
solarseller.com alternative energy by John Drake Services, Inc. Parts and advice
https://www.solar-electric.com/ Flagstaff supplier
https://unboundsolar.com/brands/bogart-engineering Monitors
https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/ General Info
http://solarpanelsvenue.com/mixing-solar-panels/ Solar panel info
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Old 01-22-2022, 02:58 PM   #4
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I currently have 600 watts of panels, and two 8d AGM batteries (of 200Ah each.)

If I were going to expand my system one more step, I would add another battery first.

On a typical summer night when I have lights on, watch TV, use the computer, run my furnace fan, use the microwave, etc., I wake up to a deficit of about -70 Ahs. On a clear summer day, I'm completely recharged before noon. All that sun after noon is wasted. I would be better off being able to store more than to generate more.

Only exception would be during a long string of cloudy days, when more panels would be better. But I've not run into that very often, and my 400Ahs of battery capacity will get me through a few such days anyway.

(I think your idea of running AC off of solar might be . . . ambitious. Some do it, but with much larger systems that you're describing.)
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Old 01-22-2022, 06:16 PM   #5
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Looking to understand what others have done with the Valencia or Verona
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Old 01-25-2022, 07:32 PM   #6
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Regardless of how much solar or battery you have, the AC is not currently wired to run off the inverter. So you either have to add a second inverter and wire an AC to it along with enough battery power to feed it. Or, add more battery power and wire an AC to the existing inverter and very carefully monitor your electrical loads when AC is running off the inverter. Here’s a good article and videos of how this was done in a Verona. Concept is same for other RVs. Personally, if I was going to do this I would add a second inverter, a big LiPo battery bank and a bunch of solar.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f297/ren...as-513895.html
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Old 01-26-2022, 05:01 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the advice. Learning here. Appreciate the expertise.
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:27 AM   #8
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Per AMsolar, it takes a fully charged 200ah Lithium to run a typical 15K BTU AC for 1 hour.

https://amsolar.com/lithiumconsidera...0other%20loads.

There are threads on the ownerís forum about AC/lithium.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f297/ren...as-541710.html

The pre wiring is usually only 30 amps so you need more wiring for additional panels.
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:53 AM   #9
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I have nearly 300 usable amp hours utilizing 3 lithuim batteries. Plus 800 watts of solar. Im able to comfortably get through the night with a residential fridge and moderate electrical usage. In the morning with partial sun my batteries charge quickly. I have had this setup for about a year and boondocking about 10 nights. So far I havent had to run the genny much, if at all. But its mostly been sunny and I have not been parked in complete shade. Others are spot on with needing a dedicated inverter to run your a/c without the genny or shore power. Adding an inverter plus more amp hours plus more batteries plus more solar equals a few thousand $$. Im happy with my amount of solar but I am considering adding 100 to 200 more amp hours of lithium. If you add a second inverter Ill be interested in cost etc.
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Old 01-28-2022, 08:55 PM   #10
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I agree with adding to the battery bank first. Also, sounds like you are a "most bang for the buck type-a-guy", I'd make sure the controller is mounted as close to the batteries as possible. This is the preferred method but not the method that manufacturers use. This makes a huge difference in utilizing the harvested sunlight. You can likely utilize all the existing wiring that is installed by wiring your panels in series and sending higher voltage down to the controller when it is mounted by the batteries. You'd need to check and make sure your controller is capable of taking in the neighborhood 45-50 volts as that is somewhere around 5 volts more than the panels would(should?) provide when wired in series(assuming you have 12v panels). You'd also need to verify that the existing wiring from the roof to the pass-thru area is rated to carry 45-60 volts. It very likely is as most of the wiring in trailers is rated real high. I say this cause I found a small segment of wiring from the factory Zamp combiner to the over head cabinet(where the factory puts the controller)was only rated for 30 volts. I currently run three 150w panels in parallel using #4 wire to the 30a PWM controller, charging four 6v GC batteries(465ah)True, PWM's aren't known for thier efficiency compared to an MPPT type controller, but since I used #4 wire there is virtually no loss of voltage on the 17 ft run to the controller. Do some research on you wiring rating and your controller capacity, then go for it.
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Old 01-28-2022, 09:31 PM   #11
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Additional battery capacity is a common first step over adding solar.

Remember you can only about 50% of the rated battery capacity. If you have a 200 AHr battery, plan on using only about 100 AHr before a recharge. I know some folks disagree and see no issue in running batteries down very low.

Running AC on batteries is very expensive in equipment. It can be done for a large investment. You can run fans ok.

If you do not already have a battery monitor should make that investment as well early on. Good ones costs cost $100+. There are very basic units for under $40 that will provide the most needed information. Without a monitor you really do not know what is happening.

If the existing battery is approaching replacement time, I'd be getting two 6 volt batteries. This is a very common upgrade step.

The "best" solution for you depends.
Where you camp
Season you camp in
Space you have for batteries
Roof space for solar panels
If you are able to do the upgrade steps yourself. If not some of your budget has to go towards labor.
Your total energy consumption pattern for a typical day
Realistic budget you have
Existing components other than the AGM battery.and how they were installed. Not all installations are done equally well. Some "certified" RV techs have no real idea what they are doing in regards to a good solar design and install.
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Old 01-29-2022, 05:38 AM   #12
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I that 8D batteries are often a horrible choice. First they are very heavy and hard to handle. Also most 8Ds are truck starting batteries, not deep cycle house batteries.

I would replace the 8D with two Group 31 AGMs. Renogy and Windynation G31s are about $200 each on Amazon. Then if you want more capacity, add two more.

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Old 01-29-2022, 12:00 PM   #13
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Also most 8Ds are truck starting batteries, not deep cycle house batteries.
I like these:



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-29-2022, 12:57 PM   #14
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For the ultimate in RV battery lithium capacity vs. packaging density, here's a 12V 200AH lithium ion battery in only Group 31 size. A couple of these would fit right under the step in many stock RV battery compartments:

https://www.lithiumion-batteries.com...on-battery.php
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