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Old 12-19-2017, 08:00 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Richmond , Virginia
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Solar recommendations?!

Hey folks!

Im looking for a recommendation from those who have gone before me.

Were renovating a 73 sovereign and plan on doing a lot of dry camping on public lands. We want to be as self sufficient as possible. We wont be using microwave but will have a small fridge. And other results electronics like charging phones and computers, running vent fans, etc.

Im looking for a 400+watt system I can install and dont know whether to go with lead acid or lithium. We did a camper van last year and I used 3 deep cycle lead acid and two 100 watt renology panels.

Does anyone have brands or systems they recommend? Looking to keep it around a budget of $2,000

Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:18 AM   #2
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Your budget precludes lithium. But 400 W sounds like a good target. Victron and Bluesky make great MPPT controllers. Grape (AM Solar) and Renology make good panels. I highly recommend a battery monitor. Check out AM Solar for everything. If you go with Renology, shop on Amazon or eBay.
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:16 AM   #3
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Of the "Renogy" panels to buy, I would go with the Eclipse which are back in stock at Renogy and nit usually available on Amazon. That's usually the cheaper panels.
Basically going to do the same system myself. Already have the TV2030 controller and TM2030 integrated monitor from Bogart Engineering wired in.


George
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:45 PM   #4
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Solar parts

I just install a solar set up on my new 2018 Sport. The dealer wanted
$1500 for very basic solar set up. I ended up getting 2 100 w GrapeSolar panels for homedepot on sale for $100 each, a Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar controller for $200. With the cost of some misc items like wire, panel feet, 3m tape and sealant, I spent about $600.
I still using my factory battery but will be swapping it out for 2 6v golf cart batteries. Thats about another $300 or so.
Gape solar has great customer service which I called several times. Victron is just fool proof and my unit has build in bluetooth which makes it very easy to monitor and setup. After doing the research, setting up the solar equipment was very easy and I'm glad I didn't pay the dealer $1500.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your solar system when its done. I know I do.
Andrew
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill367 View Post
I just install a solar set up on my new 2018 Sport. The dealer wanted
$1500 for very basic solar set up. I ended up getting 2 100 w GrapeSolar panels for homedepot on sale for $100 each, a Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar controller for $200. With the cost of some misc items like wire, panel feet, 3m tape and sealant, I spent about $600.
I still using my factory battery but will be swapping it out for 2 6v golf cart batteries. Thats about another $300 or so.
Gape solar has great customer service which I called several times. Victron is just fool proof and my unit has build in bluetooth which makes it very easy to monitor and setup. After doing the research, setting up the solar equipment was very easy and I'm glad I didn't pay the dealer $1500.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your solar system when its done. I know I do.
Andrew
A setup like this with 2x100ah battle born lithium batteries would just crack $2000. Very close to the OP's budget.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandttimes View Post
Of the "Renogy" panels to buy, I would go with the Eclipse which are back in stock at Renogy and nit usually available on Amazon. That's usually the cheaper panels.
Basically going to do the same system myself. Already have the TV2030 controller and TM2030 integrated monitor from Bogart Engineering wired in.


George


When you install your new monitors do you keep the airstream monitor connected?
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Old 12-23-2017, 11:00 AM   #7
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Yes. My micropulse didn't work from square one and Airstream paid my dealer to install the See Level , but there is no interference in connecting the TM2030.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTTinNJ View Post
A setup like this with 2x100ah battle born lithium batteries would just crack $2000. Very close to the OP's budget.
You mean crack just $1000.
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mx468 View Post
You mean crack just $1000.
If you steal a battery...

https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...cycle-battery/
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:20 PM   #10
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Your right ROADKILL was referring to 6volt golf batteries in his post not lithiums, my bad, doh!
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill367 View Post
I just install a solar set up on my new 2018 Sport. The dealer wanted

$1500 for very basic solar set up. I ended up getting 2 100 w GrapeSolar panels for homedepot on sale for $100 each, a Victron MPPT 100/30 SmartSolar controller for $200. With the cost of some misc items like wire, panel feet, 3m tape and sealant, I spent about $600.

I still using my factory battery but will be swapping it out for 2 6v golf cart batteries. Thats about another $300 or so.

Gape solar has great customer service which I called several times. Victron is just fool proof and my unit has build in bluetooth which makes it very easy to monitor and setup. After doing the research, setting up the solar equipment was very easy and I'm glad I didn't pay the dealer $1500.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your solar system when its done. I know I do.

Andrew


Thanks Andrew!

Based on your post I snagged 2 Grape panels from HD and a Victron 15 amp smart solar controller from Amazon for $130. I will probably set these up as portable units. What do recommend for wiring?

Dan
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TouringDan View Post
Thanks Andrew!

Based on your post I snagged 2 Grape panels from HD and a Victron 15 amp smart solar controller from Amazon for $130. I will probably set these up as portable units. What do recommend for wiring?

Dan
Hello Dan

I glad to see that my post was helpful. I'm not sure what you are referring to as far as wiring goes. I'll include a link to my YouTube video I posted for my solar panel project and hope that might help you.
If you are going portable with your panels then I guess you will be hooking them up to the Zamp connector by the batteries (that's if your trailer is prewired with Zamp connectors). If so, then you will need to buy an adaptor so you can connect the Grape panels to the zamp plug. You can get the adaptor on Amazon for $5.00. As for the wire, it depends on how far you plan on placing the panels. So if not too far then 10 gauge would be fine but if any distance then I would go with 8 gauge. You could just buy a set of solar panel extension cable wires and the adaptor and you would be set to go. I'll include the amazon link to both products I used.



Links to amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope I made sense and this helps you out.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:22 AM   #13
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I run 10 gauge wire for my 30ft run with my 200 watts of portable panels. 10 gauge is still flexible enough to easily handle and the voltage drop is well with bounds. If you go 50ft you might want to go 8 gauge.
The critical distance vs wire gauge is between the controller and the battery. Low is better there, short run with a low gauge wire.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:35 AM   #14
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A single 100ah lithium battery ranges from $850-$1,500. If you want a 400w lithium setup as you describe I would say your looking at the 5-10k range. Depending on if you are going to do it yourself, or have someone install it.
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