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Old 09-22-2017, 01:25 PM   #1
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Question Anyone using solar panels?

We have a 2014 View Profile G. Thinking we should get solar panel(s) to recharge battery so we can boondock longer periods of time.

Also, thinking of tossing out the generator. The only times we run it is 30 min. each month to not void warranty. Is that a good idea and is there are market for the generator. I think it added $3,000 to our ticket price.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:31 AM   #2
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I have solar (factory installed 100w panel) and I it does a great job of keeping the batteries charged. However, I don't think it would be enough to recharge the batteries after a night of normal use (lights, TV, vent fans).

You live in Florida and it is normally hot and humid and unlivable in motorhome under those conditions. That's what your generator is for - run the air conditioner, keep the batteries charged, etc. Removing it is not a wise decision.

Running it for 30 minutes a month is not recommended. Run it for 2 hours a month, under 50% load, is. The point is, use it.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:28 AM   #3
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Bought Harbor Freight (https://www.harborfreight.com/catalo...&q=Solar+panel) Item #96418, $65 , 15W Solar Panel w 12V cigarette lighter connector. Put it on the dash when using. Don't think it would charge the batteries with your usage but there is room on the dash for two, not much room on the roof. Easily fits in storage compartment when on the road.
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Old 09-23-2017, 06:48 PM   #4
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We have a new View 24D with 200 watts of solar due to the frig. being a new Norcold with a real 12V compressor. The solar if fine but the weak link is the NAPA batteries. These are dual purpose (kind of a starter and deep cycle battery combined) which is not ideal for deep battery use. Also at 75 amp/hr. each that not really enough capacity. We will be swapping out these out with (2) Trojan T-105 6 volts which will give me 225 amp/hr. of true deep cycle power. These are one of the most widely used batteries on sailboats which need a lot of deep battery capacity.

Good luck
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:16 AM   #5
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I have 300 watts on our Adventurer 35p from the factory. It has worked great for boondocking in mild weather for running the lights, fans, and even the TV at night. By the end f the day, the batteries are charged. I love not having to run the generator except for AC or convection/microwave. I would no get rid of my generator, however, as when camping or driving in hot weather, the AC is a must for us.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:37 PM   #6
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Adding solar to charge your house batteries is wonderful. I installed 650 watts of solar on my 29' Sightseer and 400AH of Lithium (equivalent to about eight 6V golf cart batteries)

We run the microwave, toaster, satellite TV receiver (a energy hog), laptops, etc.

Keep in mind there is a lot more to dry camping/boondocking for long periods, weeks or months than just throwing up a couple of solar panels.

Depending on your back ground and knowledge here are links to a pair of websites with excellent basic info about batteries and solar.
The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
The 12volt Side of Life Part 2
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:53 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Thanks!

I really appreciate the great comments and advice.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:22 AM   #8
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On my 24J View I started with the 100w factory. I could run the fan all day and keep up with the electric use... I got a great deal on a second panel that someone had traded in when they upgraded their system. I've noticed that the second panel really helps, especially in low light times.
I'm still using the original batteries but plan on upgrading when they go bad. I hate the thought of throwing away good batteries.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:24 PM   #9
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I boondock for extended periods of 5-10 days. I still use my Onan 4000 Watt Generator from time to time. It rains, it gets cloudy, sometimes you need to use the generator to charge the batteries. Sometimes you use the generator to run microwave for long periods or want to operate the Air Conditioner or Heat Pump for a while.

I have 600 Watts Solar Panels, MPPT Solar Charge Controller, 350 Amp-hours of house batteries, Victron BMP700 Battery Monitor, 100 Amp Charge Controller, a 3000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter, and transfer switches so the inverter can power the microwave and most outlets in the RV when the inverter is on. I kept the 2 original batteries, they were both less than 2 years old, and added 2 more. With this setup I mostly only use my generator when my battery charge falls below about 40 %. With the 100 Amp Charge Controller, I don't have to run the generator as long to charge the batteries back up when weather prevents it from being done with solar.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:54 PM   #10
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I have a 2017 View 24J, got it with 100w solar then upgraded it to 400w with 300ah lithium battery and a 3kW inverter. I can run everything off the battery, although not the A/C for too long.
The original NAPA batteries are crap, I gave them away to a friend.
I am also trying to get rid of the generator: I have never needed to use it. If sun runs out, I'll run the engine idle for a bit, it delivers 75amps to the battery. Plus we never stay put for too long anyway.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:57 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Thanks! Great feedback

Thanks everyone,

You've given me great feedback and much to think about. Looking forward to doing more boondocking.

Sam
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:18 AM   #12
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Yes, 400w of solar, which is great, even here in the U.K. When we go south for the winter, to Spain, Portugal, or even Morocco, it is possible, with the correct inverter, to never connect to shore power ever again.
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Old 10-25-2017, 05:33 PM   #13
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We went to the 2017 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and dry camping for at least 12 days in our 2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F. We have two Group 31 deep cycle batteries and a 1000 watt inverter. We bought a 100 watt Renogy suitcase. It comes complete with everything you need. Had plenty of sun, so it worked great for us. Still needed to run the generator, but only for a couple of hours.
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Old 10-25-2017, 08:09 PM   #14
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I installed (3) 300 watt panels and installed (6) deep cycle batteries. I had to move the chassis battery to the front of the coach where it belongs.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:13 AM   #15
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We use solar to charge batteries while unit is stored. We try to run monthly also during winter.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:56 PM   #16
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I have a 16 View 24V. I want to upgrade the 2 factory NAPA house batteries to lithium. I also have the factory one solar panel and add 2 more to the system. I'm planning on shipping the rv to europe and won't have shore power as it will be 220v. Also they are not fans of using generators there. Just seeing how long I can go with solar and batteries before needing to run engine or generator (if left with no other choice). Anyone have any experiences to share?
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonR View Post
I have a 16 View 24V. I want to upgrade the 2 factory NAPA house batteries to lithium. I also have the factory one solar panel and add 2 more to the system. I'm planning on shipping the rv to europe and won't have shore power as it will be 220v. Also they are not fans of using generators there. Just seeing how long I can go with solar and batteries before needing to run engine or generator (if left with no other choice). Anyone have any experiences to share?
First, you will get a lot more info if you start a new topic with your questions than adding to an ongoing topic.

Second, here is an extensive blog from a couple who did what you are thinking doing, taking an RV to Europe. Lots of great info. However nothing about solar. 2008 Weblog | Our Travels with Rover | David Bratt
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonR View Post
I have a 16 View 24V. I want to upgrade the 2 factory NAPA house batteries to lithium. I also have the factory one solar panel and add 2 more to the system. I'm planning on shipping the rv to europe and won't have shore power as it will be 220v. Also they are not fans of using generators there. Just seeing how long I can go with solar and batteries before needing to run engine or generator (if left with no other choice). Anyone have any experiences to share?
Greetings from this side of the pond.

You are right, start a generator at a campsite and you would get short shift. Wild camping, as you call boon docking, it would be ok if on your own, but wilding is difficult to do in the U.K. as we are only a small island and every square inch is owned by someone, although itís not impossible. Solar, depends on the time of year and location. Here in the UK we rarely get enough continuous sun to be entirely dependent on it. In Portugal during the summer months we survive easily.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:27 AM   #19
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Posted this elsewhere but it fits here too...my write up on delving into the solar panel option:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f56/help-...ml#post3301544
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourgonbound View Post
I have a 2017 View 24J, got it with 100w solar then upgraded it to 400w with 300ah lithium battery and a 3kW inverter. I can run everything off the battery, although not the A/C for too long.
The original NAPA batteries are crap, I gave them away to a friend.
I am also trying to get rid of the generator: I have never needed to use it. If sun runs out, I'll run the engine idle for a bit, it delivers 75amps to the battery. Plus we never stay put for too long anyway.
Did you add additional panels, if so are they on the roof or portable? Did you change out the factory panel? I just purchase a '17 Navion myself.
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