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Old 04-14-2021, 05:46 PM   #1
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Inverter solar install

Hello fellow RVers,
I think this is only my 2nd time posting a question. Hope all you seasoned RVers can help. I wish to install a GoPower Elite solar kit. My wife wants to get off the grid completely when we camp, and I think this kit will do. One big problem. The company does not have any installers in NJ. I do not want to go to my RV dealer because I would be the first install they do. I would greatly appreciate any help in finding anyone that has done a complete solar/inverter install that actually knows what they are doing, because my RV dealer does not.
I am willing to travel a certain distance or compensate someone for travel.

Desperate RVer,
George G
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:09 PM   #2
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Don't anyone that does not have experience in solar installs touch the rig.

It appears there are several kits on the markets with different panel wattages, etc. As if it will allow you to get off the grid is impossible to say without knowing which kit, how much battery capacity you have, how much power you use in 24 hours, how much space on your RV roof you could mount panels on, etc.

Being in New Mexico I have no idea about local installs back there. Even "experienced" solar installers can do a really bad job. Too many people have to replace their solar system once or twice before gettin git right. IMO- do you homework well ahead of time and get a good install up front. There just is no one kit right for every case.

Do you have a good battery monitor that allows you to monitor power usage right now? If not I'd get that done first so you have real data to work with and not just wide guesses. This stuff is not really all that hard if you take time and learn about it.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:23 PM   #3
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Why the go power kit, you can do a lot better, for less money?
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Old 04-16-2021, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
It appears there are several kits on the markets with different panel wattages, etc. As if it will allow you to get off the grid is impossible to say without knowing which kit, how much battery capacity you have, how much power you use in 24 hours, how much space on your RV roof you could mount panels on, etc.

Too many people have to replace their solar system once or twice before gettin git right. IMO- do you homework well ahead of time and get a good install up front. There just is no one kit right for every case.

Do you have a good battery monitor that allows you to monitor power usage right now? If not I'd get that done first so you have real data to work with and not just wide guesses. This stuff is not really all that hard if you take time and learn about it.
I agree with rarebear.nm. Before you choose a kit to install and an installer, do your homework upfront to decide how much solar you need. You've got to first figure out how much power you typically use while boondocking. A good battery monitor will help you do that. Too many people skip this power audit step and end up with a solar system that doesn't meet their needs. Here's a good place to start reading: https://diysolarforum.com/threads/re...ginners.16207/
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Old 04-18-2021, 08:31 PM   #5
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Hey George. I live in Southern Delaware and would be happy to try and help you. I installed 720 watts of solar on my Entegra Odyssey and use 2 100 amp hour lifepo4 batteries. I did a ton of research, went overkill on my wiring and used fuses on what was needed. It was a fairly straight forward job, but again, only after watching a ton of YouTube videos and knowing exactly how I wanted to run my system. Drawing a half assed diagram of everything I wanted to install and the wiring was crucial.

You have to really know how you want to run your system. I used a renogy charge controller that I was also able to connect my alternator to. I also put in a 1500 watt inverter that i connected to a GoPower transfer switch. This allows me to turn on my inverter to make all outlets on my RV hot. Of course I watch what I turn have on at any given time.

You also need a good battery monitoring display by adding a shunt to your system.

Well anyway, I don't blame you for maybe skipping the research and leave it up to an installer, but some questions do need answered.

-How many amp hours of lithium batteries (a must) are you looking to have/need? As others have said, you need to do a power use audit and ask yourselves what do you want your solar to power while off grid. Some things simply can't be used without a big inverter/a lot of batteries, or a generator. For example, i knew I didn't want to run my air conditioner or microwave off the batteries and inverter, so that cut down on batteries needed and not needing a big inverter.

-What kind of RV do you have? Is there enough space for what you need? Maybe more importantly, is your RV solar ready? Not the wimpy go power solar prep I see on most RV's, but actual mc4 connectors on your roof already? That's about 50% of the battle right there.

-Using the furnace can be a big battery drain, so I connected another propane hose from the furnace hose, and this runs my big buddy heater when boondocking, so i don't use hardly any battery power at night.

-Like others mentioned. There are far better ways to piece together a system and cheaper, versus getting a kit. To be honest, the wiring they give in some of these kits are potential fire hazards in my opinion.

I know I've thrown a lot at you, but adding solar is a big and thought out job. There are many factors and items involved in simply installing solar, but knowing what you need is about 20% of the battle. Then the whole VHB tape only method vs screwing and sealing when installing your panels... Hahaha...soo many details.
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