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Old 02-21-2019, 04:01 PM   #1
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Solar for Canyon Star 3911 (Wheelchair)

Greetings and Salutations;
I have a 2013 Newmar Canyon Star (Wheel chair lift model) and am considering solar for it.
My sister-in-law has Cerebral Palsy, and the lift is how we take her with us.
I am considering a solar power system install so that when I retire in January, we can do some BLM camping out West.
Several questions, if you will indulge me:
The CS has the house battery in the engine compartment. Not room there, I believe, for 4 6v batteries to have as power storage.
Has anyone done a Canyon Star install, if yes, where did you put the extra batteries?
Once installed, and you are dry camping, how are the AC devices enabled in the coach?
Not sure I would use many, but...
Does there seem to be a consensus about the amount of power most use? I don't need to run the AC, just the Microwave or a coffee maker on occasion.
Just concerned that because of the "lift" I need to make sure I always have fresh power to get the lift up...hate to leave her out in the woods when we leave due to dead power
Anyone know of a provider in South Florida area?
Thanks
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:53 PM   #2
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An inverter changes 12V to AC-120V. Even with plenty of batteries (AGMs that you can put under the bed) you are better off running the generator when using high amp items...micro or even the coffee maker instead of a 2000Watt inverter. This would let you install a 500W inverter for TV and charging phones. My rule for solar is 100W for each battery.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:04 PM   #3
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Solar use

When you say 100w for each battery. Does that mean that what it takes to keep the batteries charged, or does it take a 100 watt panel for each battery
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrmartin22 View Post
When you say 100w for each battery. Does that mean that what it takes to keep the batteries charged, or does it take a 100 watt panel for each battery
I would install 400 watts of solar panels for 4 batteries. As long as you used your generator when using the microwave that would meet your power demands...keep your batteries charged.

AGM batteries are more expensive but they can be mounted inside your trailer. I would not put 4 under your bed if it's at the back of the trailer...you could decrease the tongue weight to where it could start swaying.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivylog View Post
An inverter changes 12V to AC-120V. Even with plenty of batteries (AGMs that you can put under the bed) you are better off running the generator when using high amp items...micro or even the coffee maker instead of a 2000Watt inverter. This would let you install a 500W inverter for TV and charging phones. My rule for solar is 100W for each battery.
OK, my question is this:
Say I put 4 100 watt panels, and a 200 watt inverter.
Wife and I know not to use the MicroWave over.
But, since the power comes in, and keeps the batteries charged, how does the AC circuitry get powered so we can watch TV or the other AC outlets?
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:25 AM   #6
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Since your rig was not wired for an inverter...a second 120V panel for those items powered by the inverter...you have a problem. The TV power is probably the easiest as on the panel for your OTA antenna you should have a 12V cigarette outlet. Plug in the inverter there and connect the TV into it (use an extension cord if necessary) or any other items...computer or phone chargers (better to use 12V chargers for your phones).

Using an inverter in the back of the rig will require finding a good 12V power source back there and again using extension cords if necessary. On my Dynasty the batteries were under a bedroom window so I bought a 300W inverter with alligator clips on the 12V cord...out the window to the batteries for the TV and Sat receiver when parked.

Good Luck
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:04 AM   #7
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Solar, Inverters etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivylog View Post
Since your rig was not wired for an inverter...a second 120V panel for those items powered by the inverter...you have a problem. The TV power is probably the easiest as on the panel for your OTA antenna you should have a 12V cigarette outlet. Plug in the inverter there and connect the TV into it (use an extension cord if necessary) or any other items...computer or phone chargers (better to use 12V chargers for your phones).

Using an inverter in the back of the rig will require finding a good 12V power source back there and again using extension cords if necessary. On my Dynasty the batteries were under a bedroom window so I bought a 300W inverter with alligator clips on the 12V cord...out the window to the batteries for the TV and Sat receiver when parked.

Good Luck
Well, that told me everything I needed to know!!
I was wondering about the AC panel and how it got powered so I could watch/use the other AC items. I can't...LOL
It has a separate panel! Well then!

Well, you did learn me" on how.
I can buy a cheap Inverter or two (really only care about the TVs.
So, if I plug an inverter in the from=t for the TV, that resolves that.
For the rear TV, I'll find a DC source, and out a 12V outlet, and another small inverter.
Then, as long as the house battery is staying charged, I should be good?
Thinking about upgrading the house battery to an AGM, or maybe even a... Lithium $$$$ model
200 Watt Solar should handle these?
Thanks again for your help!
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:39 AM   #8
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The wheel chair lift is probably powered by the chassis battery and not house batteries.

Another option with solar and an inverter is to power the RV via the shore power cord plugged into the inverter. You need to power off or unplug the converter. The inverter needs to be installed near the house batteries and then an AC circuit can be run to the shore power cord compartment and an appropriate receptacle installed to plug shore power in. A 39' motorhome must have a sizeable battery bank installed. I doubt the house batteries are in the engine compartment.

Our son is a 35 year old quadraplegic with cerebral palsey. We have the lift to get him in and a hospital bed powered by the inverter. We have a Hoyer Hydraulic Lift installed in the floor of the motorhome bedroom.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:04 PM   #9
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The AGM batteries in my Dynasty (it’s still in the family) are 10 years old and still going strong. Having researched Lion I cannot justify the price, even building your own for half the prices of a 100AH Battle Born’s $800+ price. The price of Lion should come down as more companies start building drop in batteries. Since I’ll probably age out in 10 years I doubt I’ll do anything other than AGMs.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:27 PM   #10
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Yup, chassis and one house battery are in the engine compartment :(
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hilley View Post
The wheel chair lift is probably powered by the chassis battery and not house batteries.

Another option with solar and an inverter is to power the RV via the shore power cord plugged into the inverter. You need to power off or unplug the converter. The inverter needs to be installed near the house batteries and then an AC circuit can be run to the shore power cord compartment and an appropriate receptacle installed to plug shore power in. A 39' motorhome must have a sizeable battery bank installed. I doubt the house batteries are in the engine compartment.

Our son is a 35 year old quadraplegic with cerebral palsey. We have the lift to get him in and a hospital bed powered by the inverter. We have a Hoyer Hydraulic Lift installed in the floor of the motorhome bedroom.
My Sister-in-law has some mobility.
We can sort of weeble wobble her if must, but we can muscle her into bed and potty, she can stand and hold on, so we have that.
Sound like that is also an idea, but the downside it would seem, is not having enough power from the battery and solar to power the rest of the coach when that is plugged in, after disconnecting the converter?
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:43 AM   #12
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"Sound like that is also an idea, but the downside it would seem, is not having enough power from the battery and solar to power the rest of the coach when that is plugged in, after disconnecting the converter?"

The converter is only used when plugged into shore power. It converts the 120 vac shore power to 12 vdc to charge batteries and provide house power while plugged in. If the shore power cord is plugged in and the converter still powered on it just creates a "loop" where the 120 vac from inverter is converted to 12 vdc into battery and creating loss instead of charge.

I have done several solar installs like this and it works well and is the least expensive way to go. The key is putting the inverter close to the battery and then using less expensive 120 vac wiring from the inverter.
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Old 03-06-2019, 01:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hilley View Post
"Sound like that is also an idea, but the downside it would seem, is not having enough power from the battery and solar to power the rest of the coach when that is plugged in, after disconnecting the converter?"

The converter is only used when plugged into shore power. It converts the 120 vac shore power to 12 vdc to charge batteries and provide house power while plugged in. If the shore power cord is plugged in and the converter still powered on it just creates a "loop" where the 120 vac from inverter is converted to 12 vdc into battery and creating loss instead of charge.

I have done several solar installs like this and it works well and is the least expensive way to go. The key is putting the inverter close to the battery and then using less expensive 120 vac wiring from the inverter.
Thanks for that!
If I can squeeze a bit more "free" info...
OK, assuming I put a good sized AGM battery (Currently in from of coach in the 3911), run some good gauge DC wire to the inverter under the das, maybe 4' away, then some 12 Gauge (AC) to rear TV outlet and one to front TV, I should be good?
400 Watts solar will keep the AGM battery filled I would imagine if/when we are boon docking.
Not many amps I will assume on the 32" Sony in back. I can get the wires there I believe, add an AC outlet and Zowie!!
Yes? No? Maybe So?
Thanks again!
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