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Old 01-20-2014, 06:57 PM   #43
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Hey z8 hm (Hugh),

It's been over a year! How's the system been holding up? Anything you would do differently?

Brad (still contemplating solar for the SuperTrouper)
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:20 AM   #44
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Unfortunately, the OP hasn't posted since the above of 8/12.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:22 PM   #45
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Brad,

Sorry about the tardy reply, but life has gotten really busy. The solar system has been completely trouble free. The only thing I would do differently at all would be the number of batteries. Six batteries was really overkill. Despite rainy weather, trees, etc, we've never gotten below 45% SOC. And... we've paid a big price for all that weight. I had to upgrade the hitch, wheels and tires and add airbags to the truck, all to deal with the added weight.

If I did it over again, I'd only use 4 batteries, and I'd rebuild the bed frame to put the batteries farther back near the foot of the bed instead of putting them in the storage compartment. Given the 600 watts of solar, I might even think about 2 batteries. With the 600 watts, the recovery time is fast.

Though it was a pain to reroute the three AC circuits to the front so that the inverter could seamlessly switch them, we love the fact that system is completely seamless. You just plug AC appliances in and everything just works, whether you're hooked up or running off the batteries.

All in all, for our lifestyle, this was a terrific addition. If you decide to get into the install, feel free to PM me with any questions.

Hugh
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:30 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by z8 hm View Post
Brad,

Sorry about the tardy reply, but life has gotten really busy. The solar system has been completely trouble free. The only thing I would do differently at all would be the number of batteries. Six batteries was really overkill. Despite rainy weather, trees, etc, we've never gotten below 45% SOC. And... we've paid a big price for all that weight. I had to upgrade the hitch, wheels and tires and add airbags to the truck, all to deal with the added weight.

If I did it over again, I'd only use 4 batteries, and I'd rebuild the bed frame to put the batteries farther back near the foot of the bed instead of putting them in the storage compartment. Given the 600 watts of solar, I might even think about 2 batteries. With the 600 watts, the recovery time is fast.

Though it was a pain to reroute the three AC circuits to the front so that the inverter could seamlessly switch them, we love the fact that system is completely seamless. You just plug AC appliances in and everything just works, whether you're hooked up or running off the batteries.

All in all, for our lifestyle, this was a terrific addition. If you decide to get into the install, feel free to PM me with any questions.

Hugh
Hugh,

Thanks so much for the update! Just to be clear, would you think about 2 additional batteries or 2 AGM's total?

I'll let you know when I "pull the trigger"

Best,

Brad
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:37 AM   #47
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Sorry! Two AGMs total! (deleting 4 AGMs)

Hugh
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #48
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Thank you, z8, for the update!

Did I misunderstand that you would move weight away from the axle centerline? I might move something forward, slightly, from the "envelope" around the TT axles, but would be quite wary about moving anything back from there as leverage against the TT tires goes way up.

I was looking at an offroad motorhome awhile back and it had both 90-gls of fresh water and 1.3Kv of solar. That seems like an upper limit even with a "big" TT like mine. Thoughts on yours in this regard?

.
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Old 01-26-2014, 05:16 PM   #49
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Not sure I completely understand your question, and I'm a total amateur on TT/TV interactions, but here's what I was trying to describe.

Since I went with 6 AGM's, I ended up with almost 700lbs of added weight, almost all of it at the front of the trailer (under the bed in our FB design). Because I drive a little fast, and because of the weight, I upgraded the tires and wheels. Then I needed to deal with the over 1,200lb tongue weight. I've got a truck (F350 maxed out) that doesn't really care, but I did need to make a few changes. I upgraded to a ProPride 3P. My truck came with a snow plow package and therefore huge springs upfront, so no matter how much weight I try to transfer through the hitch to the front of the truck, the rear of the truck settled a bit and so primarily to keep the headlights down on the TV, added airbags to keep the truck level. So, all the problems were solved, but, even though it all works (massive TV, huge hitch, etc), the whole thing is super stiff.
My comment was that if I had to do it over again, I'd have fewer batteries to reduce the overall weight. Then, I'd stick with the bigger wheels and tires on the TT, but I'd move the battery weight rearward (since it's a FB) a couple feet to reduce the tongue weight and put more of the battery weight on the TT axels.
What I am happy about is the 600 watts of solar. Some would argue overkill, but other than the purchase price and install hassle, I don't have any long term effects from all the solar (unlike the battery weight). But it gives me the ability to park in partially shaded spots, deal with cloudy days and recover the batteries much more quickly. So, though conventional wisdom is to have roughly the same amp-hours of battery as watts of solar, I'd use a more complex calculus that puts more value on reducing battery weight and using solar to compensate for less battery capacity.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:51 AM   #50
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Yes, more than good enough. Thanks. Sorry my Q was vague.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:33 PM   #51
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How do you feel now about Lithium Ion batteries? They've come a good way in a year....
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:28 PM   #52
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Well done! Very clean installation. DC Fuse?

Hugh,

Well done!Very clean installation.

While reviewing your amazing installation something caught my attention… your main DC fuse. From what I can see from your photos it looks like you have the +DC that supplies your trailers DC system as well as the +DC from your solar controller landing on the same side of the DC fuse as your battery bank. Those wires should be on the other side of the fuse; only the +DC battery wire should be on the battery side of the main DC fuse.The +DC for your trailer DC system could even land on the same side of your RED on/off switch as your inverters +DC.

What makes the way you have it wired dangerous? Hypothetically speaking let’s say your +DC that supplies your trailers DC system were to short to chassis, with no fuse between your +DC system cable and your battery bank you will have full access to all the current in all the batteries all at once…Think arc welder, think FIRE.

Good luck and once again you did a fantastic job on the installation.

MrMindlink
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:45 PM   #53
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How do you feel now about Lithium Ion batteries? They've come a good way in a year....
Lithium Iron Phosphate LiFePO-4 batteries (Lithium Ion are the ones that burn up) are not quite ready for prime time YET! They are getting really close and when the consistency issues between individual cells are solved, they will be game changers.
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