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Old 12-03-2023, 09:32 AM   #1
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2021 27' Globetrotter
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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What can I expect from recent solar upgrade ?

I recently upgraded my 2021 GT 27FBQ solar and batteries, I called Zamp and added three more panels Two 95W legacy and a 70W to go with the two 90W AS installed when new.This gives me in theory 440W total output, I also added two Battle Born GC2 batteries and configured both chargers to lithium. All I want to do is run everything except AC and convection Microwave. Will this be adequate for going across the country and back ? I also have a Honda EU3200i Generator that'll run the microwave and AC if needed. Things I will be running are the TV's, lights, fans, stereo, Refrigerator and hot water heater as needed, awning in and out as needed.
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Old 12-03-2023, 09:58 AM   #2
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All those things will be fine on your batteries. Are the TV's 12 or 120 volt? If 120, you'll have to run them off an inverter. Of course, the water heater will be run on propane. I imagine your refrigerator is a compressor type. If so, that will probably be your biggest power user. Depending on sun exposure, you may run the batteries pretty low sometimes, but that's what the generator is for.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:05 AM   #3
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2023 28' International
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It depends on the amount of sunlight you get. A few days of no sun or if you are staying in a shaded campsite and you may need to fire up the generator.

A few comments:
  • Do you have a 12V only fridge or the propane model?
  • The hot water heater is only propane or 120V so it really doesn't figure in the battery usage.
  • Do you have DC-DC charger to supplement the charging while driving? An 18A charger could generate over 100Ah of charge over a 6 hour drive, which is more than enough to replace almost all daily usage.
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Old 12-03-2023, 10:11 AM   #4
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Assuming you mean adequate without running the generator, probably. Most days yes. And, more likely yes if you have a dc/dc converter to help charge while you are driving.

The two big variables are solar conditions and the power consumption of the fridge. Cloudy days and/or shady conditions will reduce solar charging to insignificant levels. With hot days and warm nights the duty cycle of the fridge, and therefore its power consumption, goes way up. Combine those conditions and you may need the generator.
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Old 12-03-2023, 12:51 PM   #5
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2021 16' Bambi
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When we travel we usually will add an RV park stop or somewhere with hookups if we're without power for a while. So if you're going cross-country that's an option. But with the generator I'd think you're pretty safe.

We get more from our external panels since the roof is sometimes shaded and not always orientated to the sun. So, adding some of these is an option.
We have 300W on the roof and 400W external and get along fine without a generator. I usually leave the trailer unplugged in the driveway in the summer just to see how it performs and the rooftop solar keeps up with the electric refrigerator for the most part. When our axle was bent and it sat outside at the axle repair shop for a month (with refrigerator running) in early June batteries were at 95% when we got it back. All anecdotal of course.

One thing, I'm still not exactly clear on this: with the DC charging wire connected it's not charging with a lithium profile - it's just providing some constant voltage. With our dearly departed Bambi we didn't seem to get any charging from our 90W panel while on the road, so I was suspicious the 7-pin charging was confusing the solar controller. (There is a discussion about this in the forums somewhere). I have disconnected the charging wire on our new Globetrotter (while still trying to figure out the right DC-DC charger), but I think adding the DC-DC charger makes sense also from this perspective.
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Old 12-03-2023, 04:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10Smiles View Post
All those things will be fine on your batteries. Are the TV's 12 or 120 volt? If 120, you'll have to run them off an inverter. Of course, the water heater will be run on propane. I imagine your refrigerator is a compressor type. If so, that will probably be your biggest power user. Depending on sun exposure, you may run the batteries pretty low sometimes, but that's what the generator is for.
TV's are 120V, Refrigerator is compressor 12V, water heater is Girard tankless
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Old 12-16-2023, 03:28 PM   #7
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Nice setup!


Generally, if you are looking to run "everything except the AC", the best way to accomplish this is to get yourself a 3000VA Inverter that has "passthrough" capability. You can wire the output of the inverter to occupy the MAIN breaker of your 120V panel. These Inverters generally come with an internal transfer switch that allows them to seamlessly switch from shore power to battery power.

Generally, you will likely be able to do most of these things with your setup, with the exception being the hot water heater, as it will go through your battery bank fairly quickly (it's comparable in load to the AC unit).
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Old 12-17-2023, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSolarAZ View Post
Generally, you will likely be able to do most of these things with your setup, with the exception being the hot water heater, as it will go through your battery bank fairly quickly (it's comparable in load to the AC unit).
Just wondering, the on-demand hot water heater is propane. I would assume the only electric used is to fire up the gas burner. There's also a minor draw if it's cold to keep from freezing. I can't imagine anything else, other than the water pump.
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Old 12-21-2023, 08:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JeffKim View Post
Just wondering, the on-demand hot water heater is propane. I would assume the only electric used is to fire up the gas burner. There's also a minor draw if it's cold to keep from freezing. I can't imagine anything else, other than the water pump.
I was thinking the same thing with regards to current draw on a propane water heater would only be the igniter and control board that hardly draws any current when running.
Since solar upgrade I ended up removing brand new deep cycle batteries installed by the dealer and installed and set up two heated Battle Born GC2 batteries complete with Victron Smart Shunt and bluetooth Victron dongle for my MPPT 150/35 controller. Battle Born told me that two GC2 batteries is equal to five deep cycle lead acid batteries output.
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