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Old 02-16-2020, 04:19 PM   #1
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Denver , Colorado
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Solar sanity check and some other power questions

Hey all. Should be picking up or 2020 IS 30RBQ pretty soon and I’m trying to get the electrical planning worked out. I’m hoping you guys can sanity check me a bit here.

Part 1 - Solar:
My dad and I (both quite experienced with electrical work, though not solar) will be doing the install. Partially to save money and partially because it looks like a project we’d enjoy doing.

I work full time as a tech guy, so I’ll need a decent amount of power. Because of that I was thinking of starting with AM Solar’s “Deluxe Upgrade 600W”, but with one battery instead of two and 4 panels. That way I’m not over buying at the start, and I still have room to expand. I’m also hoping there’s enough room under the front lounge to install the batteries and any components that won’t fit where the factory gear is. Can anyone confirm or deny that? Is there anything else I need?

Part 2 - Generator:
I plan to pick up a Honda EU2200i with the Genconnex conversion and mount it where the factory battery box is. This is pretty straight forward, so no questions here.

Part 3 - Truck-as-generator while on the road:
I ordered my 2020 Ram 2500 with the dual alternator option, which adds a second 220A alternator to the standard 180A. I did this as I’d like to run some large gauge wiring to the back of the truck and terminate it at and Andersen Power Pole connector (the kind you’d use for a removable winch). I’ll put the other side of that connector on cables coming from the Airstream. Obviously I don’t want to connect directly to the lithium bank with this, but is there a way to run that “power source” directly to the charge controller in the above solar package (Victron MultiPlus 12/3000/120-50) or do I need some other type of charger? If my math is correct I should be able to run nearly anything in the trailer from that amount of power coming in.


Thoughts, concerns, suggestions?

Thanks all!
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:52 PM   #2
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Paradise , Texas
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Renogy makes a combination solar/alternator charger for lithium batteries. I don't know if it's programmable, or what exact specs are, but it could be pretty handy in your situation
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:02 PM   #3
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I forgot to add, I also intend to have all outlets on the inverter with the new setup.

Crackerman: Thanks, I’ll look into that.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:02 PM   #4
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I would just get a Victron 12v DC to DC charger for the TV to AS batteries. I have done this, works well, you can set the charge voltage.
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Old 03-19-2020, 12:37 PM   #5
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I would ask AM Solar about your setup regarding charging the batteries from the alternator as to the best piece of equipment between the two to accomplish your task.

Regarding the solar panels...I would consider installing more wattage rather than less as it doesn’t add much money when you’re doing the installation yourself. Real handy to have that solar charging when you’re in one place for a few days (assuming you have some daylight and aren’t under dense tree cover).

Couldn’t easily find the kit you’re proposing to purchase from AM Solar. What inverter/size and batteries/size are you proposing?
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:17 PM   #6
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A couple of other suppliers of DC to DC chargers are Sterling and Redarc. The Redarc has two inputs: one for DC from your chassis battery or alternator and another for a solar panel. Since a DC to DC charger is exactly like a solar MPPT controller it can do double duty. The Redarc has a high output voltage setting for Li batteries.

Which brings up my second point. You can put together your own solar package at half the cost of the AM Solar one. Just buy 12V panels from Amazon or similar and wire then in parallel to the Redarc device. If you also need batteries, install a couple of 100 Ah ones made by Battle Born or LION. Costco online has a special going on the LION 100 Ah batteries at $699 each.

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