Help with solar needed please - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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Wink Help with solar needed please

Hi there, Just purchased a 2000 Kodiak B+. All fibreglass. I also have one Renogy 100 watt panel and and a renogy RNG PWM controller. My questions is would you use this panel tHat attaches with aluminum brackets or buy a stick on panel. I was quoted $1000 for an entire system , the guy said I’d be unhappy with what I have. Any thoughts from our members?
I don’t intend to use the AC. And have thoughts of removing the AC. Again thoughts. Also I want to use “alone” time to really buff up the outside. What do members find has been the best products to use. Many thanks Meg
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:03 PM   #2
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Not sure if you are primarily interested in the mounting system, panel efficiency, or the amount of power you need.

Since you have a nice collector, why not use it as a portable, suitcase style system and see how much power you get? That way, you can start using it immediately. Then you can decide on how much larger you might need.

The mounting system also has to take into account the design of your roof. Can you get to the nuts to mount it? is the surface flat enough, or do you need special brackets to allow for the curve? Can you get wires from the roof to the batteries in a clean way?
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:22 PM   #3
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Solar

Thank you for the response. The roof of my Kodiak is rounded. , that is why I was asking. So is a renogy 100 watt a decent panel and controller. Should I buy an inverter to make it into 110. Will one panel make much of a difference.
So many questions
Meg
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:42 PM   #4
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Renogy panels are very good. I can't advise on the inverter because I have no idea what you intend to run, meaning how much power you will need.

Start out by charging your batteries and seeing how that goes. If you need a small amount of 110 volt power, to charge a phone or laptop for instance, get yourself a cigarette lighter style inverter of about 100 watts or so. These are cheap and will do the trick, but are not for running the microwave or other large loads. This will give you a starting point to get familiar with how this stuff works. With all of that you can have your lights, water pump, TV and computer working. Then you'll find the limit of the system and can begin to think about upgrades.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:05 PM   #5
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Renogy panels are very good. I can't advise on the inverter because I have no idea what you intend to run, meaning how much power you will need.

Start out by charging your batteries and seeing how that goes. If you need a small amount of 110 volt power, to charge a phone or laptop for instance, get yourself a cigarette lighter style inverter of about 100 watts or so. These are cheap and will do the trick, but are not for running the microwave or other large loads. This will give you a starting point to get familiar with how this stuff works. With all of that you can have your lights, water pump, TV and computer working. Then you'll find the limit of the system and can begin to think about upgrades.
Renogy is about the worst solar panel around. I have a Kyroceaira

Quote from the specifications...

Renogy 80% of of output after 5 years
Kyroceria 80% of output after 20 years.



I think I'd rather have the panel last 20 years instead of 5 years.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:00 PM   #6
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Thank you for that info
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:01 PM   #7
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Thank you, that is all very helpful
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by megamailh View Post
Thank you for that info

I wouldn't jump to any conclusions based on one or two posts.
You should ask for the source of specific info.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:30 PM   #9
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I had a flexible solar panel that failed, but that was a sample size of 1.
The flat panels can be mounted with an air gap that would let them run cooler due to air circulation underneath.
I have three 100 watt Grape Solar on sale now for $79.99.
I use an EPEVER MPPT 50 amp controller to charge two GRP 29 deep cycle batteries in my Scamp.
I made mounting brackets from some aluminum angle and used the awning case for one side of the mounting of two of them and through hull screws for the rest.
Of course it is easy to get bolts through the fiberglass hull, but harder to make it pretty.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Renogy is about the worst solar panel around. I have a Kyroceaira

Quote from the specifications...

Renogy 80% of of output after 5 years
Kyroceria 80% of output after 20 years.

I think I'd rather have the panel last 20 years instead of 5 years.
I dont know where you got those specs. Currently both the Renogy 100 rigid and flex panels show this spec:

WARRANTY INFORMATION - Panels
25-year power output warranty: 5 year/95% efficiency rate, 10 year/90% efficiency rate, 25-year/80% efficiency rate
And Renogy has a great reputation. I choose Renogy.
Of course panel lifetime is affected by many factors outside of the manufacturing, especially how hot they get. So YMMV.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:03 PM   #11
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I dont know where you got those specs. Currently both the Renogy 100 rigid and flex panels show this spec:

WARRANTY INFORMATION - Panels
25-year power output warranty: 5 year/95% efficiency rate, 10 year/90% efficiency rate, 25-year/80% efficiency rate
And Renogy has a great reputation. I choose Renogy.
Of course panel lifetime is affected by many factors outside of the manufacturing, especially how hot they get. So YMMV.
Gordon,

Uh-oh. Looks like you took the bait.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:39 PM   #12
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Gordon,

Uh-oh. Looks like you took the bait.
Thats one way to look at it. But really I just didn't want people to totally reject a respected brand because of one questionable detail.

And at the same time I am really proud of myself for NOT posting in the "Why Stay Home" thread which now has apparently been completely removed because of various improprieties by the membership. For now, I am doing well with staying on the topic of fiberglass campers and subjects that are closely related.
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I dont know where you got those specs. Currently both the Renogy 100 rigid and flex panels show this spec:

WARRANTY INFORMATION - Panels
25-year power output warranty: 5 year/95% efficiency rate, 10 year/90% efficiency rate, 25-year/80% efficiency rate
And Renogy has a great reputation. I choose Renogy.
Of course panel lifetime is affected by many factors outside of the manufacturing, especially how hot they get. So YMMV.

I think it's been a year or so since I checked the Specs. It's possible that Rengy changed their process or supplier in the mean time.

Looking at their web site it would appear that they've change supplier. Different look from earlier panels.
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Old 03-23-2020, 08:37 PM   #14
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Gordon,

Uh-oh. Looks like you took the bait.
If you don't like my opinions then make all the nasty comments you want.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:59 AM   #15
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This is not about solar and I find solar very technical, my daughter got solar for the roof of her house based on current gov incentives which were dropped after a year. Now I hear that most roof installations are not as effective as advertised . You can get better results by buying them on a remote site and getting the resulting rebate. I used a solar panel on the dash of my van through the cigarette lighter and it emptied and killed the battery. I am just saying that you need to know and learn how to get results out of them.

The other thing that i never do is remove AC from a vehicle although I rarely use it. You just have to end up driving in 40 F weather one day and you will understand how valuable it is in rare circumstances.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:10 AM   #16
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Recently I was considering solar on the RV roof. For now, I just upgraded the “extension cord” for the suitcase solar (Renogy). If I do a rooftop mount, I’ll use a flexible panel and vhb (very high bond) tape to attach it.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:15 AM   #17
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Solar doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a panel and a charge controller you can use the panel as a portable and hook the controller to a larger battery(mine is sealed 125 ah $275) and you’re in business. As long as you don’t demand too much of this small system ie: AC, microwave, hair dryer, you can boon dock for days.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
Recently I was considering solar on the RV roof. For now, I just upgraded the “extension cord” for the suitcase solar (Renogy). If I do a rooftop mount, I’ll use a flexible panel and vhb (very high bond) tape to attach it.
+10 Suitcase/portable panels plus long cord allows me to camp in the shade while the panel is out in the sun. Win/win. I don't want to do any additional drilling on my camper, nor do I want to stick stuff on the roof.

And since I own two campers, portable solution is the best, as one system works for either trailer.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
Recently I was considering solar on the RV roof. For now, I just upgraded the “extension cord” for the suitcase solar (Renogy). If I do a rooftop mount, I’ll use a flexible panel and vhb (very high bond) tape to attach it.

That's what I was thinking, try it out first, see how it goes and then maybe after a season, explore a more advanced system....thanks
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:15 PM   #20
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thanks,
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