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Old 03-13-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Vintage RV Owners Club
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Solar - battery question

its been a while since i have been here, anyway on to my question:
im thinking of adding a couple more house batteries to our rig. the only thig they will be used for is watching a little tv at nite with a light or 2 on plus the wifes breathing machine when we sleep.
what size solar panel would be needed to keep the batteries charged so they last all nite?
Mike,Deb and our 3 awesome dogs/ Rosie and Bear the pitbulls and Sassy the boston Terrier while Cheyenne is always in our hearts
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:55 PM   #2
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I wouldn't go less than 100 watts. If you have the space on the roof, double that. On a bright, sunny day, you'll charge everything up, on a cloudy day, you'll just reduce the amount of time the generator will need to run. Calculate your actual watts used and go from there.

Bob & Donna
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:24 PM   #3
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Check out AMSOLAR's web site. In their education section they have good info on sizing using calculations or by rules of thumb.
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:55 PM   #4
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ALWAYS, always, always start with an energy audit to see what your needs really are. You're going to require more watts than you think. Buy one of these FIRST and use it. Best Twenty Bucks you'll ever spend.

DISCLAIMER... The above is my based upon my personal experiences and knowledge only. It was NOT my intent to offend anyone with my statement. Mea Culpa....

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:22 PM   #5
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I have found that 100 Watts solar for a 40 Amp discharge will bring the batteries back to 100% rain or shine before the next evening. A Trimetric meter will enable you to accurately see how much of a discharge you now have with all the equipment running. The average 100 Watt panel will provide 6 amps per hour of current to charge the batteries.

Good idea if you have a battery not to discharge it by more than 50% before it is recharged back up to 100% or it shortens the life of the battery, in particular the AGM type.

Don't rely on the RV's battery charge indicator from the factory as you proceed as they can be off by 20% or more.
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:51 AM   #6
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I found that my truck and converter were capable of charging my 3 batteries at 23 max amp rate when they were lower then 12volts.
So it was a no brainer that 200 watts of solar was better then using the converter on jenny power or the truck.
So my choice with available deal package was 200 watt panels and 20 amp MPPT controler. With over 8 hrs of sun it has been much better then anything else, even on cloudy days.
Batteries are always well charged before night fall. Been great so far through summer, fall and winter. Plus the solar controler charges the batteries to 100% everyday while the converter only 90%. The converters in new units are not designed for boondocking, but for battery safety while connected to shore power
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:12 AM   #7
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Here is a link to help you determine how much solar you will need. A 100 w panel will give you 70W @13.5 = 5 Amps only. That would not be enough to recharge your batteries. One think is not enough sun for the time to be straight on the panel. The Cal below will help you determine how much solar and how many batteries you will need

BatteryStuff Tools | Solar Calculator Tutorial
Dale&Susan, 08 Alfa Gold, DaGirlsRv Blog
2015 F-150XLT_2000W Solar_800 AmpHr Lithium
Magnum_MSH 3012 & PT100
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:11 PM   #8
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thanks everyone for the great info.
looks like i have lots of reading and figuring to do
thanks again
Mike,Deb and our 3 awesome dogs/ Rosie and Bear the pitbulls and Sassy the boston Terrier while Cheyenne is always in our hearts
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:28 PM   #9
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check this site
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:50 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pops2 View Post
check this site
I agree... I like the GoPower solar packages and I had the 160w weekender package installed on my motorhome. About a month after adding the package, I had a second solar panel installed for a total of 320w. The equipment seems to be of good quality.
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:00 PM   #11
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Quartzfest RV Solar Battery bank and Solar systems by N8GS
2013 Leisure Travel Vans Unity U24MB, 635 watts solar, 440 AH batteries, 2000 watt inverter, Koni struts and shocks, Hellwig rear anti-swaybar, SumoSprings front and back, 2012 Hyundai Accent SE, Blue Ox baseplates, Aladdin towbar and Patriot
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solar, battery

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