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Old 11-27-2019, 12:54 PM   #21
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Highlands Ranch , Colorado
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Go Power! has a sizing tool on their website that may help you figure out how many solar panels you need. It can also suggest a kit. As a DIY with no experience in how to put together a system it's how I would start if I planned to roll my own. I had an RV service facility install a single panel and controller in my trailer a few years ago. It works well for it being a single panel. The controller is from Go Power! and I've had no problems with it.

I installed an inverter myself but it's not tied into the main power of the trailer. The Xantrex 1000 watt inverter, which is almost 20 years old, feeds a single outlet that I use primarily for the coffee pot.

Here is a link to the sizing web page: Go Power! Calculator

The documentation I've read on the Go Power! products has been well written and understandable enough that I think I could do a full solar install myself with one of their kits.
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:05 PM   #22
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Pasadena , California
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LFP batteries....

Iíve had very good success with Bienno LiFePO4 batteries for my backup/portable power system for my ham radio. (It draws about 25A when transmitting.) Note that Bienno, whose batteries are also distributed by Powerwerx, recommend that one does NOT connect multiple (e.g., 100Ah) units in parallel to achieve desired capacity!! Instead, they direct you to purchase ONE battery with the requisite capacity. They offer 100, 150, 200, and 300Ah LiFePO4 units that have embedded microprocessors to ensure load balancing and properly-distributed charging current for all the individual cells in these units. (They are not cheap...) I am planning to purchase their 200Ah unit, which can sustain up to a 200A draw.

BTW... One must also take into account not only the capacity (rated in Ah), but also the maximum intended current draw (rated in A). BEWARE! A 90% efficient 12V-to-120V inverter at 3000W full load draws 278A! Similarly, a 200W inverter will draw 185A. Accordingly, these units require very heavy duty cabling between battery and inverter.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:08 PM   #23
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Clearlake , California
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https://battlebornbatteries.com/shop...ithium-bundle/
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Old 11-27-2019, 01:10 PM   #24
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2004 19' International CCD
Pasadena , California
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LFP batteries....

I’ve had very good success with Bienno LiFePO4 batteries for my backup/portable power system for my ham radio. (It draws about 25A when transmitting.) Note that Bienno, whose batteries are also distributed by Powerwerx, recommend that one does NOT connect multiple (e.g., 100Ah) units in parallel to achieve desired capacity!! This is to maximize the useable life of these v expensive batteries. Instead, they direct you to purchase ONE battery with the requisite capacity. They offer 100, 150, 200, and 300Ah LiFePO4 units that have embedded microprocessors to ensure load balancing and properly-distributed charging current for all the individual cells in these units. (They are not cheap...) I am planning to purchase their 200Ah unit, which can sustain up to a 200A draw.

BTW... and this is critical... One must also take into account not only the capacity (rated in Ah), but also the maximum intended current draw (rated in A). BEWARE! A 90% efficient 12V-to-120V inverter at 3000W full load draws 278A! Similarly, a 200W inverter will draw 185A. Accordingly, these units require very heavy duty cabling between battery and inverter. Also of critical importance: If you don’t go with LFP batteries (e.g., instead opting for the way-cheaper FLA or AGM units) you would likely need 400Ah capacity to handle the current draw from a 2000W inverter. Careful planning is thus required.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:32 AM   #25
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
..save your money...

Investing in solar saves money if you use your Airstream frequently and enjoy staying in remote locations without shore power. .......
Hi

Even in *non* remote locations solar saves. Harvest Hosts rarely have power and generators are mostly not an option there. When we are moving cross country we stay at a series of them for many days. Same thing applies to Cracker Barrel and Walmart.

If you store outside, solar is a wonderful way to keep the batteries topped off. Generally, outdoor storage is the cheaper than indoor / with electric.

When you go to sell your trailer (if you ever do so), I have no doubt that a working solar setup will be a plus. You will get some money back out at that end of the process.

Just how much payback there is gets into a lot of "that depends" sort of things. Like all money into an RV, there is a bigger return if you use it a lot. Six months out and about is a different thing than six weekends ....

Bob
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:22 AM   #26
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Mesa , Arizona
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Whether you go with Trojans or lithium, you will need at least a 2000watt Inverter. The anemic little 1000watt inverter that Airstream typically installs is next to worthless. My coffee maker uses 1600 watts.
I have a Victron 2000 watt inverter/converter/charger Iím very happy with. Coupled with 400 amps of lithium and 300 watts of solar itís like being hooked up to shore powe4 all the time (except for AC). It was definitely a budget buster though.
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Old 11-29-2019, 07:29 AM   #27
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Albertville , Minnesota
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[QUOTE=Ecodog;2311453]Here's our install in a nutshell. I tried to keep a handle on budget as much as possible, but given the nature of lithium battery pricing, that became a challenge. We have a 2007 Safari 25FB so our configuration is similar to yours. I mounted 400W of Renogy panels on the roof, with room for 2 more in a pinch. Under the bed I have 400AH of Battleborn Lithiums placed near the centerline of the trailer and on the other side of the bulkhead, a Renogy 40A charge controller, all of the fuses and disconnects, shunt and busbars. On the floor of that space is a 3K Renogy Inverter/ charger. The lines from the roof came down the triangular chase that houses the black tank vent. Our control panels are located on the end of the kitchen cabinet by the door. Our total cost came in under $5500 doing all the work myself and buying our batteries during Battleborn's last blem sale, which BTW they are having again on cybermonday!!!. Have fun and please message me if I can help in any way. I'm a newly retired Electrical Engineer...

Nice Job!
How heavy gauge wire did you use from the solar panels to the controller?
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:20 AM   #28
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[QUOTE=Dkoelfgen;2311866]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecodog View Post
Here's our install in a nutshell. I tried to keep a handle on budget as much as possible, but given the nature of lithium battery pricing, that became a challenge. We have a 2007 Safari 25FB so our configuration is similar to yours. I mounted 400W of Renogy panels on the roof, with room for 2 more in a pinch. Under the bed I have 400AH of Battleborn Lithiums placed near the centerline of the trailer and on the other side of the bulkhead, a Renogy 40A charge controller, all of the fuses and disconnects, shunt and busbars. On the floor of that space is a 3K Renogy Inverter/ charger. The lines from the roof came down the triangular chase that houses the black tank vent. Our control panels are located on the end of the kitchen cabinet by the door. Our total cost came in under $5500 doing all the work myself and buying our batteries during Battleborn's last blem sale, which BTW they are having again on cybermonday!!!. Have fun and please message me if I can help in any way. I'm a newly retired Electrical Engineer...

Nice Job!
How heavy gauge wire did you use from the solar panels to the controller?
Hi

Number 10 will do fine.

Bob
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:27 PM   #29
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Mt. Shasta , California
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As Bob said, I used #10 for the run from the panels to the charge controller. The panels are currently configured in series and fused at 10A, so #10 is overkill for this setup.
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