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Old 04-29-2018, 10:13 PM   #43
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Let's just leave him alone. This isn't a discussion for him and his expertise/opinion.
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:23 PM   #44
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What did the Onan cost you? What does it cost to run?

The Onan does more than charge batteries like run the A/C so I hope you understand why you it is not comparable. If you are confused go back and read the post by those who have PV.

The Onan runs on propane. We also use propane for heating, hot water, and the frig. So it hard to tell what its running cost are. In the last three months we have run Onan 2 hours while boon docking on the GOM. Lots of assorted rigs running up and down the beach. Nice and quite the rest of the time except for waves and the wind.

Also ran it to change the oil. About 100 hours in a year. Most of that was when the lift pump died in Idaho. Found a nice shade tree while waiting to get the part but A/C was still needed. We have no power on our property in Ocean Shores, so about 20 hours there.

One thing I have not yet done this year. I like to run a gallon gas through spare generator. I have a power meter and you can measure how much power it makes and how much gas. Let me where to show up.
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:37 PM   #45
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Yeah, you're just here to obfuscate, be obtuse, and make sure you feel like an expert. Goodbye!
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:29 AM   #46
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Coming back to my original post, thank you all - including FollowingSea - for your comments.

For us, the solar install is definitely worth the investment, regardless of what the impact on the coach's resale value is. We were just seeking to confirm our thoughts that it wouldn't impact the coach's value . . . except for those buyers to whom solar is a desirable option.

We do a lot of boondocking, driveway surfing, and regional day travel where we'd much prefer the passive solar energy to 5 hours of generator run time. Not to mention that the panels will make battery maintenance when unplugged and in storage between trips much easier.

I'd love to put in a lithium battery bank, too, but my monetary bank tells me I need to wait until next year for that!
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:09 PM   #47
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If you're at all like us, you'll love the solar. We can have most of the conveniences such as drip filter coffee maker, wifes hair dryer, sat tv at night my cpap at night etc. every day without having to suffer the noise of the generator. All this while still being able to head out first thing in the morning for a days adventures knowing the batteries will get charged back up without us having to work within generator quiet hours if applicable etc. It's pretty much maintenance free and totally automatic.

As for resell value, to a large extent I don't think the luxuries we add increase value much. Things like our EMS, the ARP for the Norcold etc. that I feel make my life safer, easier or whatever aren't things most are looking for. With solar, even though the fifth wheel I helped my Son in Law find and purchase had a solar system on it, this wasn't something he needed, or was willing to pay extra for, and thus factored into his price negotiations.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:34 PM   #48
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Thank you, Searching! I think it will be a perfect fit for us, too.

We've been preparing our 2008 Gulf Stream Yellowstone 40UL Diesel pusher for some serious boondocking and the solar is a clear win for us. We're also going to add a 12-volt Dometic dual-zone fridge/freezer down below, either add 2 more 6-volt lead acids or a 500 AH lithium bank, and make some other additions so that our family of 4 can spend a few weeks at a time off the beaten path.

I see that you have 1000 watts. I wish we could spring for that from the start, but I think we'll begin with 600 and build in the capacity to upgrade.

Edit to add: We've had the coach just under 13 months and ran into our first bad campground electrical experience recently. Fortunately there was no damage, but I (literally!) installed our new Progressive Industries EMS this morning.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:38 PM   #49
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Hmmm...letís do the math.

Assumptions: Generator QD 8000 (typical diesel motorhome)

Fuel cost $3.00/gal
Fuel consumption 1/2 load 0.5 gal/hr. Full load 1.0 gal/hr.
Weight of generator 420 lbs.
Maintenance costs (not factored in)
Initial cost (not factored in)
Service life 20 years.???

PV system 600 watts, 3.0 kWh per day X 250 days of sun/year
Fuel consumption = zero
Weight with controller 100 lbs.
Maintenance costs = zero
Initial cost including mppt controller = $1400.00
Service life 25 years

Cost per kWh for the generator $0.375 with only factoring in the fuel cost, no yearly maintenance or initial expense.

Cost per kWh for solar $0.075 factoring in the cost of the PV system and 25 year life span.

So the cost to produce a KWh of power for that smelly, noisy generator is 5 times the cost of solar.
Don't know how much your batteries cost, but for an honest comparison you might want to include them in your chart.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:20 PM   #50
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Coming back to my original post, thank you all - including FollowingSea - for your comments.

...we'd much prefer the passive solar energy to 5 hours of generator run time. Not to mention that the panels will make battery maintenance when unplugged and in storage between trips much easier.
Voice this what I do not get, why are you running your generator 5 hours?

Last August we are boondocking along Pacific ocean enjoying the sound of the ocean and sunset. A MH parks the next spot over and immediately turns on their generator and runs it all night. Then a camping trailer backs in on the other side. The truck is parked on our side and the generator was started. At least they did not run it all night.

Here is a concept for you. Change your life style to the power consumption to what a generator can charge your batteries in an hour.

The bad news is if you do not change you will be disappointed in your 'investment'. You will be still able to tell people you have solar.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:22 AM   #51
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Don't know how much your batteries cost, but for an honest comparison you might want to include them in your chart.
This is not my system, it is just an average solar install compared to an average diesel generator.

The response was to followingsea for his claims that when producing power solar was not cost effective and weighed a lot as compared to running a generator.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:28 AM   #52
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VoiceNinja - Sounds like you've made your decision. While designing your future system, suggest you size wiring and solar controller to allow for adding more panels down the road. Will cost a bit more now on components, but will save you from needing to spend labor/effort to rewire and buying larger capacity controller to add more panels in the future.

I saw this thread first on my cell phone back when it first went into a second page of feedback. I don't type well on a regular keyboard, so avoid typing on a cell phone! So just this AM came back to it to provide my input. Will share this for those that read the thread in the future:

-I do not believe adding larger battery banks and solar will hurt the value of an RV.
-I do believe that a good solar system, and expanded battery capacity bank, will provide a minimum return on investment at time of sale. As mentioned by others, the right buyer might be willing to pay more for a solar equipped RV.
-IMO, an older higher quality coach that has been upgraded and refreshed, added new, added solar system - could yield thousands more during a sell. And the key, is it could make a buyer want this coach over another coach. Even a coach a few years younger without the upgrades an modifications, could be bypassed for one that has been upgraded and modified.
-Residential Fridge, upgraded electronics, new flooring/carpeting, LED's installed everywhere, Sea Level gauges, solar panels, increased battery capacity, AGM/Lithium vs Wet Cell, windscreen coverings, MCD shades, upgraded suspension components, whole house water filtration and higher filtration for drinking water, higher capacity four chamber water pumps, etc., etc. - These are just some of the examples of modifications to an RV, that will set it apart from the pack during resell.
-But regardless of resell ROI for all of these type of upgrades, improvements, modifications - the reality is that they're for paying dividends during the usage by the owner making the modifications. They will never be recouped at time of sell.

Sort of Dividends of Smiling by the Miles of Usage!

And it is for sure a good group of forum members, when we can all share our opinions. And as seen here on this thread, opinions vary! I respect and support the input from all forum members, even when at times I do believe some go out of their way to beat a consistent drum on a specific subject. (Dino vs Synthetic; Workhorse vs Ford; Wet Cell vs AGM (And now Lithium too!); Solar vs Generator; Propane Water Heater vs Aqua/HydroHot; Use of catalytic heaters vs non usage; Residential Fridge vs 3 Way Fridge; Water Softener vs on no Softener; Michelin users vs Michelin haters; Etc., Etc. ----- All of these thru the years, on this forum and others, have generated some great conversations.

When a thread does occasionally become personal, or no longer staying on topic - the administrators do a good job of trying to refocus us on what these forums are all about. Members helping members, sharing knowledge, sharing good natured fun at times too. A forum with a good group of administrators is real bonus, as it's an art to know when to step in, and how hard to step in. (To be clear, this was complement to IRV2 Admin's.)

Off of my soap box now. But a shout out thanks to my fellow IRV2 members, other then my HiFi 'Got Tube's?' hobby - I enjoy and appreciate IRV2 as much as any of the 6-10 different forums I pop into during the week.

Best to all,
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:10 AM   #53
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Voiceninja,

Donít listen to the naysayers on this thread some just donít know what they are talking about and is probably best they do not have solar.

Your 600 watt system will substantly cut back on your generator run time while boondocking. When you expand it in the future you can most likely be generator free (except for AC). One addition you should consider to know what power you are using on a daily basis is a battery monitor such as a Trimetric, Victron, or Magnum BMK. This way you will know exactly what is going into and out of your batteries.

Enjoy your system and the peace and quiet it will bring along with the satisfaction you are producing your own power.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:37 AM   #54
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Enjoy your system and the peace and quiet it will bring along with the satisfaction you are producing your own power.
Thank you, 757Driver! We'll definitely make preparations and have wiring/controller capacity for expansion, and the install will include adding an ME-BMK and upgrading our ME-RE-50 to an ME-ARC-50. It's going to be fantastic! :-D
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