Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-15-2021, 05:39 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 209
New 5th wheel, when/how to install solar

We are going to get our new 5th wheel (Alliance 310RL) soon. We already ordered from the dealer to install an Onan generator, but supposedly they have a 6 week lead time. No problem, we are not planning to travel that soon, anyway.

Now... I want to have a small/mid-size solar system installed with sufficient battery to run the espresso machine or the microwave for a few minutes without cranking the generator so I guess I would need a 2kW inverter and a decent sized battery. Of course also run the lights and TV for a while.
I don't think the trailer dealer has the best deal for that but then, he will be in the wiring anyway for the generator.

I am looking for recommendations what to get, where to get it in general and what I am looking at in terms of cost. Even better if somebody knows a good place in Northern Colorado.

Thanks!
Jerry Burks 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 02-15-2021, 06:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Burks View Post
We are going to get our new 5th wheel (Alliance 310RL) soon. We already ordered from the dealer to install an Onan generator, but supposedly they have a 6 week lead time. No problem, we are not planning to travel that soon, anyway.

Now... I want to have a small/mid-size solar system installed with sufficient battery to run the espresso machine or the microwave for a few minutes without cranking the generator so I guess I would need a 2kW inverter and a decent sized battery. Of course also run the lights and TV for a while.
I don't think the trailer dealer has the best deal for that but then, he will be in the wiring anyway for the generator.

I am looking for recommendations what to get, where to get it in general and what I am looking at in terms of cost. Even better if somebody knows a good place in Northern Colorado.

Thanks!
I would recommend at a minimum 2x 165w panels but 3 would be better. I figure you can expect to pay around a buck a watt for panels. 2 decent sized batteries are a minimum, but I'd recommend 3 for high drain usage. We use AGM as they recharge faster, easier and last longer with little maintenance. They are 2x to 3x the price of a golf cart battery though. Expect 350$-450$ PER battery for a group 27 or 31.

An inverter in the 2000 watt range will cost 500$ for a super basic to 1200$+ for better quality ones. You'll need a transfer switch for hassle free usage. Expect several hundred $ in cables, connectors and doodads, but we feel it was super worth it.
__________________
2011 GMC Sierra 3500HD dually gas 6.0

2006 Lakota 29RKT
kdauto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2021, 07:16 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Mountain Home ID
Posts: 10
Solar

In the long run you need to know how many amp hours you will be using in a day and then build the system to match the amp hours used. Here is a good resource: https://www.technomadia.com/2014/12/...umption-audit/

You can get an idea from multiple sites on the cost of a system once you know haow many amp hours you are using. If you are handy you can install it yourself and save quite a bit. I like the 200 watt Hitec panels, you can get them from https://www.continuousresources.com/. This guy on Facebook does a lot of setups and he travels and is helpful, check out: https://www.facebook.com/gotsolarinstalled

I have done some small ones and getting ready for a large one on a New Aire for a friend.

If you don't have a lot of money to throw into solar look at the following, I have had good luck on a limited budget with the following: Hitec panels, EPEVER MPPT charge control, Xantrex Prowatt SW inverter. If you have the money, Victron MPPTs and Inverters are good but expensive.

Another resource is to contact Northern Arizona Wind and Solar and tell them how many watts and they will send you a complete list of everything you will need to install.
Andy69Morris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2021, 08:19 PM   #4
Member
 
NH3Guy's Avatar
 
Excel Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 59
My .02 is I agree with everything above especially Victron MPPTs. I would suggest drawing out your roof and see what panel's measurement fits the best. For my requirements I felt the Panasonic 330watt for the foot print worked better. I run a residential refrigerator and haven't had a generator for +/- ten years. Take a look at altestore.com/ as well.
__________________
2014 34 IKE
2007 3500 Mega-cab Laramie 5.9 SRW, EFI Live, Fass fuel pump
NH3Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 09:04 PM   #5
Member
 
NH3Guy's Avatar
 
Excel Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 59
I thought I better add one more note. The solar industry doesn't necessarily approve of the R/V industry. Here is a fine print note from Panasonic's warranty.

Limited Warranty Exclusions: f. Marine (e.g. boats), recreation vehicle, or mobile installations of any kind.

Check the product warranty or call on the components your installing.

I here good things about AM Solar Inc. in Eugene Or. worth a call.
__________________
2014 34 IKE
2007 3500 Mega-cab Laramie 5.9 SRW, EFI Live, Fass fuel pump
NH3Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 09:51 PM   #6
Member
 
BajaFog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Fort Collins
Posts: 33
Hey Jerry, I'm also in Northern Colorado and hoping to add solar to my rig. We should collaborate. PM me?
BajaFog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2021, 11:38 PM   #7
Member
 
monitormix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 40
On my Cougar X-Lite I added 3-175w HiTec Panels all fed parallel to a Bogart Engineering SC2030 PWM charge controller. It's controlled by the Tri-Metric TM-2030 battery monitor. It's a very clean, small and inexpensive way to add solar. This feeds 4 Trojan 125Plus 6v batteries. They are set up in a series/parallel config. Also have a small Magnum Energy MM1212 I picked up really cheap from a local Tiffin owner upgrading to a 2000 watt inverter. It's a very inexpensive way to start and can be upgraded to a second SC2030 for another 30A of solar power or down the road I would upgrade to Morningstar MPPT. It's been a great system so far. The wifey and I are looking at either a Alliance Paradigm 370FB (her) or a 372RK (me). Although would be happy with a 340RL.
monitormix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2021, 09:36 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 209
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if there is anything wrong with the *relatively* inexpensive systems one can buy on Amazon like this:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FR1JPDC/ or this:https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Solar-.../dp/B07CTKT56Yhttps://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Solar-.../dp/B07CTKT56Y
Jerry Burks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2021, 11:17 AM   #9
Member
 
NH3Guy's Avatar
 
Excel Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 59
Check their website they seem to be on sale around $680. Somebody questioned the weight, appears to be the weight of each panel.

Like Andy69 said compare it to N.AZ wind and sun's 400watt R/V package and see what you feel comfortable with.
__________________
2014 34 IKE
2007 3500 Mega-cab Laramie 5.9 SRW, EFI Live, Fass fuel pump
NH3Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2021, 07:12 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Mountain Home ID
Posts: 10
Keep in mind a lot of the prepackage systems may have items you don't need or can go with alternative items that will work just as well. For instance, see the attached, it is a list for a 1200 watt system I am getting ready to install, on a Newmar New Aire. There are no Z brackets, the panels will be mounted onto a Aluminum angle grid. There are a lot of little things that are not listed like terminal lugs, nuts, bolts etc.. My friend wants the higher end Victron components, so that is why the cost is higher. They can be swapped out for other manufactures and save some $$. My current system was done on a budget for less than $1000.00 (400 watt), but I used some items so I can expand it down the road and used a larger charge controller, so my system can go to 1000 watts with 12V batteries in the future (probably this year).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture.JPG
Views:	22
Size:	105.4 KB
ID:	318538  
Andy69Morris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2021, 10:43 AM   #11
Member
 
NH3Guy's Avatar
 
Excel Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 59
Hi Jerry,
Found a webinar you might find helpful for planning if project is still in works.
"Have Questions About Using Solar for an RV or Marine Application?"
Thursday, March 4th at 2:00 PM - US EST
morningstar@morningstarcorp.com
__________________
2014 34 IKE
2007 3500 Mega-cab Laramie 5.9 SRW, EFI Live, Fass fuel pump
NH3Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
5th wheel, install, solar



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
Holiday Rambler Next Level 5th wheel :: 2005 Holiday Rambler Next Level 5th wheel 34C tmtltw iRV2 Owners Registry 0 02-17-2020 10:14 PM
1977 Arabian 5th Wheel :: 1977 Arabian 5th wheel TeamDanuser iRV2 Owners Registry 0 03-22-2018 08:52 PM
5th Wheel to Class A; Class A to 5th Wheel dosxx iRV2.com General Discussion 16 06-08-2017 02:22 PM
New 5th Wheel owner asks will 1983 F250 SC LB safely pull a 34ft 5th wheel ? abacusblack 5th Wheel Discussion 28 11-18-2011 11:38 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.