Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-25-2018, 08:55 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 21
Anyone self contained?

Has anyone hooked up solar for their power? Would you mind sharing what you used with a wiring diagram?
Thanks!
Joe
JoeKan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 12:08 AM   #2
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 1,391
There's not much to be gained by a new thread on this. A little searching will come up with tons of info on this topic.
BobC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 05:02 AM   #3
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 21
Do you have a link? When I type in solar, nothing shows up.
JoeKan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 05:26 AM   #4
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 539
Not sure what specific info you are looking for. Solar install can vary from a few hundred dollars for a solar panel or two you connect directly to your battery(s) and prop the panels up facing the sun outside your RV, to a $5000-$10,000 system to power just about everything you could want to use in your RV except for running your air conditioner for more than 2-3 hours when you include lithium batteries.



Here are several links with lots of detailed educational material.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
The 12volt Side of Life Part 2
RV Electrical
Last updated


If you really would like to dive into lots of info about whole RV solar installs I can give you 8-10 more links with lots of great info.


Also going to Forums - Escapees Discussion Forum and doing a search for "solar" will bring up a number of topics with great info
__________________
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
al1florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 09:00 AM   #5
Winnie-Wise
 
Tucsontoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 265
Two major things to consider. Where to mount and electric storage capacity. You did not say what kind of RV you had. How much real estate you have on your roof or portable units on the ground are involved in the panel selection. Batteries must be deep cell and with current technology the lithium are best but will cost thousands. You have to decide how many batteries you have room for. (At least two or more.) They key is to install as many amp/hours as possible. After these choices are made then a wiring design can be made.
__________________
2017 View 24V
Tucsontoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 09:13 AM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
Simple! 10 gauge from each of my three 100 watt solar panels to the combiner box. 8 gauge from box to controller. 6 gauge from controller to batteries. All within 2% loss or less. Haven’t used generator in last 60 days of camping.

See https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/...ight-wire-size

Remember “solar” isn’t “power.” Solar recharges batteries. Need adequate panels to recharge batteries. Need adequate batteries to store power.
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2018, 07:42 PM   #7
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Roosevelt, MN
Posts: 65
For the past several years most of our camping has been primitive (or boondocking), no "shore power". We have gotten by with 2-3 45W panels on the ground feeding the charge controller. Changing all the lights to LED helps extend the batteries' charge a lot too.

FWIW, rather than opening the battery compartment every time we set up camp to connect the panels, I came up with the idea to use the trailer's 7-pin connector, since the tow vehicle charges the house batteries through that. This is no longer an option with my 'new' motorhome, the connector is now the opposite gender and feeding that would only charge the chassis battery. So we added new connectors to solar-feed the house batteries at either end. Also, we don't want to roof-mount the panels because that exposes them to possible hail damage.
n0ukf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryW View Post
Simple! 10 gauge from each of my three 100 watt solar panels to the combiner box. 8 gauge from box to controller. 6 gauge from controller to batteries. All within 2% loss or less. Haven’t used generator in last 60 days of camping.

See https://www.windynation.com/jzv/inf/...ight-wire-size

Remember “solar” isn’t “power.” Solar recharges batteries. Need adequate panels to recharge batteries. Need adequate batteries to store power.

I always use a wire size calculator to size my wire runs. Here is one I like: Voltage Drop Calculator - for single and 3 phase ac systems and dc systems It is pretty simple to use, doesn't require you to remember to make sure your length measurement is for double the one way distance. The current has to travel round trip so the wire length has to be for both ways.



The cost of a little heavier wire to go from 2% loss to a 1% loss or even 0.5% loss is very minor compared to the cost of your system. Additionally if you design and build for 2% loss and in the future decide you want to add a panel or two, you are going to experience even greater loss. Far better to get as much power from the solar panels, charge controller, batteries as possible.



A lot of this is covered in great detail in the links I gave earlier in this topic. Don't depend on a half or full page reply in a forum entry for info. Go to the many page documents which cover batteries, solar and charging.
__________________
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
al1florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
“Additionally if you design and build for 2% loss and in the future decide you want to add a panel or two, you are going to experience even greater loss.”

I did, Al! I wired for 400 watts but only installed 300. Fills by 1 pm most days. My MPPT maxes at 30 amps so if I needed more than 400 I’d get a separate system. Can’t see that need however.
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2018, 06:14 PM   #10
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 539
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryW View Post
“Additionally if you design and build for 2% loss and in the future decide you want to add a panel or two, you are going to experience even greater loss.”

I did, Al! I wired for 400 watts but only installed 300. Fills by 1 pm most days. My MPPT maxes at 30 amps so if I needed more than 400 I’d get a separate system. Can’t see that need however.
That was excellent foresight to wire for 400 watts of solar and only install 300 watts.

My main thrust is to emphasize that anyone planning on installing solar is not to look at your wiring sizes and just duplicate what you installed, but to spend time researching wire size, power needs, and many more things.

You being able to fill your batteries by 1pm most days, means you did a good job of designing your system.
Others really must be sure they do a good job of estimating their daily battery power requirements if they want to dry camp for more than a day or two.
__________________
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Journey 36G
al1florida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2018, 06:16 PM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
Agree, Al!
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2018, 02:32 AM   #12
Winnebago Owner
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Roosevelt, MN
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by n0ukf View Post
For the past several years... We have gotten by with 2-3 45W panels
Oops, make that 2-3 15W panels, for a total of 45W charging currently.
n0ukf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2018, 06:36 AM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
As long your 30 to 45 solar watts brings your battery to 100% daily, that’s enough for your needs. Most is absorption phase anyway.
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2018, 08:11 PM   #14
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 10
The "best" power saver I have found is to replace any incandescent light bulbs with leds. This reduces your load significantly so your stored power in the batteries will last longer.
I have helped several couples do this as they did not have the means to purchase the solar but greatly reduced their use of a generator.
More info on your rig and how you intend to use it would help members here guide you.
leadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2018, 02:50 PM   #15
Winnebago Camper
 
djlgnd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chilliwack B.C. Canada
Posts: 17
I have a 1989 Elandan, can someone recommend what solar panel set up to use as a charging system.
djlgnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2018, 02:58 PM   #16
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
Start with an energy survey to determine how many amp hours you use in an average day then multiply by 1.5. Then you can determine the "heart" of any solar system...the batteries. You need at least...at least...twice that number of battery capacity. Then, if that number is say 200, you'll need panels that are rated at least 200 watts...1 solar watt per battery amp hour capacity. Any of the major brands are good. I'm a WindyNation guy.
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2018, 03:22 PM   #17
Winnie-Wise
 
Tucsontoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 265
Measure all of the open space on your roof. Pick a brand or model that would total to the highest number of watts possible. From there back into controllers and batteries. Plan for one amp/hr of battery for every watt of solar. You can never have enough. I have 12,000 watts on my house and could use more. Your pocket book may be the limit.
__________________
2017 View 24V
Tucsontoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2018, 07:36 PM   #18
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Glass Creek USFS - north of Mammoth
Posts: 531
Appears your Elandan has sufficient roof real estate.
LarryW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2018, 05:40 PM   #19
Winnebago Master
 
jerichorick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Full-timer/volunteer w/SOWERS
Posts: 2,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKan View Post
Has anyone hooked up solar for their power? Would you mind sharing what you used with a wiring diagram?
Thanks!
Joe

I just emailed a friend of mine. I hope he posts here for you.
__________________
Rick & Melissa Young & Dawson (RIP), 2011 Meridian 40U, FL XCL, ISL 380HP/DEF, Al 3000 MH, 2014 Honda CR-V, SMI AF1, Blue Ox TruCenter & tow equip.,EEZTire TPMS.
Servants On Wheels Ever Ready. Best job we ever paid to do . (full time volunteers)
jerichorick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2018, 04:40 PM   #20
Winnebago Camper
 
djlgnd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Chilliwack B.C. Canada
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryW View Post
Start with an energy survey to determine how many amp hours you use in an average day then multiply by 1.5. Then you can determine the "heart" of any solar system...the batteries. You need at least...at least...twice that number of battery capacity. Then, if that number is say 200, you'll need panels that are rated at least 200 watts...1 solar watt per battery amp hour capacity. Any of the major brands are good. I'm a WindyNation guy.
Thank you for the information, will come in handy, i am in canada so some of the manufacturers are not available to me.
djlgnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Self induced electrical problem Switchflicke Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 7 07-05-2015 06:45 PM
Winny owner self-replacing rear camera wagonmaster2 Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 16 04-12-2011 12:50 PM
Does anyone want/need a 235/80/22.5 spare tire? RCtime Running Gear, Axles, Brakes, Wheels and Tires 20 03-13-2009 07:54 AM
Anyone know Winnebago Plant Schedule? Oldcarfun Winnebago General Discussions 6 01-04-2009 10:43 AM
Anyone upgrade their Sleepnumber bed to a better Sleepnumber bed LK23 General Maintenance and Repair 17 12-11-2008 04:17 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×