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Old 06-12-2019, 04:32 AM   #1
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How much solar ?

I have a vista 36y , on the roof are 3 - 160 watt panels (480 watts or 40 amps) Battery bank Is 450 AH 12v dc. Just purchased a Vic Tron 50 amp solar charger. First time heading out west from Florida, Will this be enough power for Boondocking along the way ? We never boondocked befor. We plain to occasionally take a full hook up rv sight to dump and fill water tank. Thanks for any help.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:52 AM   #2
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The only way to know is for you to prepare a "load chart". You need to know your energy budget, how many watts you use every 24 hours in a normal day inside the rig. There are several ways to do this, your BMS can tell you an approximation, measurement etc.



It certainly sounds good but it all depends on how many watts or AH you plan to use. The nice thing about touring is the alternator is working to recharge the battery bank. If your use at night time is reasonable you should be good with a battery bank that large. In the touring mode it really doesn't matter about the solar panels - they come into play when you are parked during the day. Driving the rig the alternator is charging much more than those panels. Think about how many hours you plan to drive each day vs how many days you will stay parked with no hooks or power.



You didn't mention a BMS, Victron makes several like the 712. That's the best way to keep up with watts, AmpHours, in and out of your battery bank.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:32 AM   #3
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As Kayak 73 mentioned, a load chart will give you a better idea of need vs capability. We boondock long-term with 1400W solar / 660A batteries running RR, fans, lights, TV, sat and recorder, and short duration MW. Our coach also has a fairly robust parasitic load. For anything else we use the generator.

I think you're in decent shape and should 'try it out.' The generator is available if you need A/C, encounter cloudy conditions or need a battery charge boost. And your balance between solar production and battery storage is decent. You may be in a situation where you'd spend a fair bit of cash for a diminishing return.

Check out AM Solar's website for more info, and there are certainly others.

http://amsolar.com
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:22 AM   #4
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With so little info no one can answer your question.
1. What kind/size inverter do you have?
2. Residential fridge or RV fridge?
3. How much power do you use in a day?
4. How many days will you be dry camping and not driving?

Even if we knew all these things the only answer to your question is to get out there and see for yourself. After your trip youíll learn so much and then youíll know the answer.

A Battery Monitor Kit is a mandatory first step to install if you havenít already.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franksteer View Post
I have a vista 36y , on the roof are 3 - 160 watt panels (480 watts or 40 amps) Battery bank Is 450 AH 12v dc. Just purchased a Vic Tron 50 amp solar charger. First time heading out west from Florida, Will this be enough power for Boondocking along the way ? We never boondocked befor. We plain to occasionally take a full hook up rv sight to dump and fill water tank. Thanks for any help.
While a load chart would be great, as long as you are careful about what power you use and for how long, 480 watts and 450AH of battery should work just fine.
Here is a link to some info about what different devices in an RV will use: The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
Scroll down to the bottom and click on the link "continue to part 2" for the load info.

By the way, what batteries do you have that add up to 450AH. Kind of an unusual AH total.

BTW, 480 watts of solar, at noon sun time (1pm to 1:30pm clock time) on a very clear summer day in the southern USA is more likely to give you at the most about 30amps of 12V. Very seldom do you get a really clear (read that absolutely no haze) day in the summer.
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