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Old 02-10-2020, 06:11 AM   #1
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2020 28' International
Hillsborough , North Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 3
Solar Ready - what does it mean

OK folks, I am totally uneducated on solar panels, controllers, etc and this may be a stupid question, but here goes.

Our 2020 Serenity is "solar ready" according to AS. Does that mean I can simply plug in solar panels and recharge my batteries? I see lots of posts about different brands of controllers and monitors, etc, but is that necessary for a solar ready trailer?

I think I understand you need to know that the panels are working as desired and I think I understand you might need different batteries, but what if the AS is solar ready, what is really necessary vs. nice to have?

Like I say, I am uneducated so please be kind and don't beat me up!
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:22 AM   #2
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2019 25' International
Providence , Rhode Island
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swlovett View Post
OK folks, I am totally uneducated on solar panels, controllers, etc and this may be a stupid question, but here goes.

Our 2020 Serenity is "solar ready" according to AS. Does that mean I can simply plug in solar panels and recharge my batteries? I see lots of posts about different brands of controllers and monitors, etc, but is that necessary for a solar ready trailer?

I think I understand you need to know that the panels are working as desired and I think I understand you might need different batteries, but what if the AS is solar ready, what is really necessary vs. nice to have?

Like I say, I am uneducated so please be kind and don't beat me up!
It means that the wiring that is needed to install a solar panel hub, Ethernet wire for the solar charge panel, and DC charging wires that run from the roof to the battery box and distribution are all "in place".

It is just a matter of "adding" the requisite panels and hardware to make the system work.

We opted for the factory solar and even though it isn't Victron or "the best" way to go, it does a good job for what we need to keep the batteries topped off.

We don't do a lot of boondocking off of shore power, so your solar needs vs others may vary. You really need to try and figure out.........do I need only 180 Watts of solar, or 800+ because of XYZ requirements.
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Old 02-10-2020, 06:26 AM   #3
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I did what I consider a "minimalistic" solar install on the factory prewire on my 25' Airstream. It includes four 100W Renogy "Compact" solar panels, a Victron 100/30 SmartSolar controller, a cutoff switch, a 40A breaker, a Victron Smart Battery Sense module, 30' of 10 gauge duplex wire, and some wire connectors. All of this is described in the "Solar Show and Tell" thread: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ll-181608.html

Don't worry about being a beginner with solar. We were all there at one time. In February of 2018 I was a beginner just like you. Now I share how I did my basic installation with others. My basic 400W installation with 6V golf cart batteries can be self installed for about $1,200. Elaborate installations with Lithium batteries can cost $10,000 or more. Don't be afraid to ask questions. We are here to help.

Here is my parts list with links to where the parts can be bought for my 600W installation: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post2288463 I recommend putting as many panels on the roof as will fit. Since you have a 28' Airstream, I'm certain you could put six 100W panels on the roof and still use the factory prewire with a series-parallel configuration (like I have on my 27').
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2018 Globetrotter 27Q, 36 nights 5,235 miles, 600W Solar - Produced 50 kWh, PD4655L, 6V Batteries, Champion DualFuel, ProPride, 16" tires, 2019 F250 PSD
Sold: 2017 FC25FB, 316 nights 40,150 miles, 400W Solar - Produced 200 kWh in 216 days
2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:01 AM   #4
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I'm also going to offer a second solution. You can buy a "Solar Suitcase" which includes the solar controller, panels, and all the wiring. This solar suitcase can just be plugged into the connection on the side of your battery box (make sure the positive and negative are correct). Here are some examples: https://www.renogy.com/products/sola...lar-suitcases/
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2018 Globetrotter 27Q, 36 nights 5,235 miles, 600W Solar - Produced 50 kWh, PD4655L, 6V Batteries, Champion DualFuel, ProPride, 16" tires, 2019 F250 PSD
Sold: 2017 FC25FB, 316 nights 40,150 miles, 400W Solar - Produced 200 kWh in 216 days
2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
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Old 02-10-2020, 07:23 AM   #5
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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We also KISS...

I was/am reluctant to clutter up the roof. I go up every Spring to inspect for bad stuff happening.
Bad stuff WILL happen.🥴


Works for us just fine...👍
Two Zamp 180w portable panels charging thru the 7pin, 2 BB Lithium batteries, a 60w Boondocker lithium charger, Victron monitor. 🤓

Bob
🇺🇸
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:12 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

The "solar ready" pre-wire also includes a "Zamp connector" at the battery box to connect to outboard devices. It's a two way thing (it's just a wire). You can also use it to hook up 12V devices outside the trailer.

If you decide to put panels on the roof, spend some time working out what the max number of panels is. You don't *have* to put them all on at one time. The idea is not to put up the first panel(s) in a place that is not compatible with the layout for a "full set".

Bob
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittmaster View Post
It means that the wiring that is needed to install a solar panel hub, Ethernet wire for the solar charge panel, and DC charging wires that run from the roof to the battery box and distribution are all "in place".

It is just a matter of "adding" the requisite panels and hardware to make the system work.
I concur
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:56 PM   #8
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2017 30' International
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solar ready prewire

I have a 2017 "Solar Ready " International 30 signature RB Queen.
I would like to install 400 watts on the roof, 2 battleborn batteries and all the necessary hardware that goes along with it.
But I have no clue where to look for all of these pre-wired locations for my trailer. Where can I find this info,

Any help greatly appreciated !!
Thanks
Dazed and Confused
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo1952 View Post
I have a 2017 "Solar Ready " International 30 signature RB Queen.

I would like to install 400 watts on the roof, 2 battleborn batteries and all the necessary hardware that goes along with it.

But I have no clue where to look for all of these pre-wired locations for my trailer. Where can I find this info,



Any help greatly appreciated !!

Thanks

Dazed and Confused


I have the same trailer and year. On your floor plan the solar wires from the roof combiner box terminate under the L-couch at the front of the trailer. You’ll need to remove the couch to get at the wires and install your charge controller and batteries.

See here, this gentlemen also has the same trailer and posted some pictures:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...rb-205715.html
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