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Old 12-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
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My Arctic Fox Solar Install

First set of upgrades was to swap all interior and exterior light bulbs with LED bulbs. Next was to increase the battery capacity.

Our trailer only had one group 24 battery and since we dry camp a lot here in the Colorado mountains we needed more capacity to work with our solar setup. I cut some angle iron and welded it to the frame. Then bolted a 32"X13"x13" box to it. The 4x4 wood blocks is just support in the center. I purchased four 6 volt G2C 230 AH batteries for $110 each giving us a total capacity of 460 AH. I'm waiting on my 2 AWG cables and then it's complete.

Factory setup


Angle iron installed


Almost finished


Finished


Next up; installing the 300 watt solar system!
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Old 12-11-2015, 06:52 PM   #2
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nice job! the aluminum box looks like a perfect fit for 4 batts.
do you have extra space for more panels? 300w is an ok size but definitely you can use more if you are boondocking a lot, as you said.

a small pick - i noticed the factory is using black wire (with red collar) for both positive and negative. do you have other color wires in hands? it would be nice to distinguish them, especially there are many wires/connections in the same area.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
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nice job! the aluminum box looks like a perfect fit for 4 batts.
do you have extra space for more panels? 300w is an ok size but definitely you can use more if you are boondocking a lot, as you said.

a small pick - i noticed the factory is using black wire (with red collar) for both positive and negative. do you have other color wires in hands? it would be nice to distinguish them, especially there are many wires/connections in the same area.
My previous truck camper had a 240 watt system with only 208 AH and handled my needs well. Even when camping/hunting in 5 degree temps at night. I really only use 30-40 amps a day but wanted more capacity when in colder climates. I'll give the 300 watts a try and see if I need more.

I agree with the factory wiring. Th black wire to positive if for the electric jack. I'm pretty sure the 8 AWG wires are for the factory solar "ready" but no panels or controller was installed. Not sure why they had them hooked to the battery. I'll confirm this and if so, won't use them. The 6 AWG wires will get moved inside to some terminals that will be installed.

I will only have 0 AWG wire coming from the batteries to the terminals. Then 2 AWG to the output of my solar controller and 1 AWG to my 1000 watt inverter.
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Old 12-12-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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I'll give the 300 watts a try and see if I need more.
I think you will be adding an extra panel or 2. With 250Watts/MPPT I can pull 20Amps, but that is in the summer months. Fall, winter and spring the panel was just able to keep up with demand. With 460Ah, 10%= 46Amps is a good rule of thumb needed for your batteries (shorter days, clouds....)

Nice Setup!!

Don
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Old 12-20-2015, 07:36 AM   #5
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I agree, buy another panel or even 2. If you can fit them.

I also recommend a good battery monitor. Like this one.

TriMetric Model Descriptions, Present and Past | Bogart Engineering
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:53 AM   #6
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I hear you on adding more panels. With the exception of ten days hunting in the winter, our camping is during the summer months. We also have a generator that we use when hunting so I should be good.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:57 AM   #7
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Yesterday I began mounting the Morningstar TW-45 solar charger and a Xantrex PSW 1000 watt inverter to a panel. I'm using 0 AWG wires from the inverter to the terminals and 2 AWG wires from the Morningstar to the terminals. I'm installing a 60 amp fuse in the positive wire from the Morningstar and the terminal. You will also see wiring for the voltage sensor and battery temperature sensor. Tomorrow I will run 0 AWG wires from the batteries to the terminals with a 150 amp fuse, coming up through the floor under the bed. This panel will be mounted on the front wall under the bed.



I set my Morningstar jumpers to solar, 12 volt, 14.8 volt absorb and set it to automatically equalize the batteries every 28 days. The voltage is 15.1 when this is being done. My inverters max operating voltage is 15.5 volts so I think I will be okay.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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Old 12-20-2015, 06:46 PM   #9
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Today I mounted the board to the front wall and also mounted the inverter and Morningstar remote meter. I'm waiting for some inline fuses to arrive for the positive solar cables.



Here is the remote meter and inverter switch mounted above the bed.



Tomorrow the solar panels get installed. I'm going to also install a switch on its positive cable so that I can stop the charge in case I ever need to change a battery.
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:15 PM   #10
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I just made a change and decided to put my 150 amp fuse for the inverter here instead of at the batteries.

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Old 12-22-2015, 02:09 PM   #11
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Made some progress yesterday. The panels are mounted but I couldn't connect the positive wire due to the company sending me the wrong MC4 connector. It's in the mail and hopefully will arrive this week.

I tried several locations for the panels and decided this position provided minimal shading. I will be installing vent covers so I was concerned with the front vent causing too much shading. Currently the antenna shades the panel about 2" only when the sun is at the side of the camper. Here are a few pictures.









We just purchased the trailer last month. I will recalk everything in the spring.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:58 AM   #12
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Nice job - looks great!! I LOVE to see people adding solar!!!

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Old 12-24-2015, 06:22 PM   #13
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Today I installed my outlets that run off of the inverter. I decided to do this instead of installing another panel and a transfer switch. All outlets have USB ports except for the one in the overhead cabinet. That one is only used for the TV and Blue Ray DVD player. The one by the bed will power the bed heater and charge the phones.







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Old 12-24-2015, 06:28 PM   #14
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Looks great I need to get time to install my 300 watts of solar and 1000 watt inverter and trimetric battery gauge


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