My Solar Installation in a Lil Snoozy - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:19 AM   #1
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My Solar Installation in a Lil Snoozy

After lots of useful advice from this forum (thank you) I went ahead with my project. It included a Renogy 100x flexible panel $200, a Xantrex C12 controller $92, aluminum channel from online metals $70, 50' of 10 gage boat cable from genuine dealz.com $55, 3m VHB tape $35 from Amazon and misc bits from Lowes $? and a lot of TIG welding from my son in law.

I picked the Xantrex controller as it was the only one I could find that let me adjust the bulk and float voltages to exactly what Trojan recommends for my battery. It's mounted under the bed with the rest of the electronics.

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The panel is quite flexible, a hair more than 1/8" thick and very light. Renogy says it weighs 3 lbs; I didn't weigh it but it seemed to weigh about as much as the cardboard box it came in. We built a roof top frame with a channel that the panel slides into. It can be taken out and mounted in a portable frame on the ground if we camp in the shade. The 50' of cable was enough to go from the controller to the roof plus make up a 25' extension cord if the sunny spot is more than 7' from the trailer.

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The rear cross piece of the frame is removable.

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The strip of wood down the center was necessary to guide the middle of the panel into the channel.

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The roof of the Snoozy is curved in both directions but the aluminum channel was easy to bend to fit. The VHB tape sticks amazingly well. The particular type, 5952, was recommended by a 3M tech support guy. He even called back a week later to see if I had any more questions!

The wiring runs from the electrical opening for the shore power cable under the nose under the trailer and up the rear wall to the panel. It looks a little 'busy' but there are no holes in the roof and the MC4 connectors need to be available to use the extension cord. The cable goes up the rear wall in a plastic conduit box with a snap on cover meant to neaten up computer cable runs.

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No performance info yet but we are leaving tomorrow for a month of camping so I'll have some data soon.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #2
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Beautiful job. Well thought out Sweet mounting job. The aluminum frame is impressive. I wish I knew these charge controllers could e fine tuner to the batteries.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:19 AM   #3
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That sounds perfect! I'm looking forward to your data and discussion of the system in use.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #4
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Looks good! Can't wait to see the data.
Does your son-in-law do contract work?:-)
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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Nice job Denny. Thanks for the pictures.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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This definitely goes into my wish list folder.

Great job. And to maintain the integrity of

the holeless roof is priceless.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:29 AM   #7
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Nice!!!!
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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Here's a pic of the portable frame
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It's only 3/4" thick so I thought it would stow neatly under the cargo area mat of my jeep. Unfortunately it has to go the long way with one of the seat backs folded forward.

When I get home next month I'm going to try to devise a way to stow it underneath the trailer.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:25 PM   #9
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And another of the back showing the cable run.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:54 PM   #10
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Pretty slick installation! Any chance you can slip that frame behind the Snoozy's sofa? Just a thought.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Pretty slick installation! Any chance you can slip that frame behind the Snoozy's sofa? Just a thought.

Hmmm that's a good thought. I'll check.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:10 PM   #12
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Had two days off grid with propane furnace running at night and 12v fridge running all the time and computer charging as needed, desert sunlight, no shade. In the morning I'm down about 28 ah. By late afternoon I'm fully charged. In this good sun the 100w panel is more than enough to meet all our needs.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:21 PM   #13
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Theis is great, Denny! Thanks for being the Snoozy mods pioneer.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:23 PM   #14
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Unplugged the battery charger 17 days ago and have spent 5 nights off the grid camping with lows in the 30s and 40s. Even when we are plugged in the solar panel is the only charging source for the battery and lights and fridge are 12v from battery.

We have been in the desert so little shade and few clouds so the panel is getting lots of sun.

I check soc every morning, lowest I have seen is 85%, when we were off the grid and it was about 35 at night so furnace ran quite a bit. This morning (on the grid) battery was fully charged by 10:30 AM.

I'm getting way more energy from the 100 w panel than I expected, probably due to desert sun.
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Old 04-18-2014, 05:42 PM   #15
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I'm so excited about this! Can't wait to start my project.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:38 PM   #16
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Sounds like you've got the right set up.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:12 PM   #17
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Great news Denny!
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:25 PM   #18
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Nice looking solar project Denny.
I'd been eying flexible solar for awhile...this might be the route I take also.

Cheers,
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:09 PM   #19
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Ebay has some flexible panels that are mounted on an aluminum sheet.

Great job. I am still learning, so appreciate your info.
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Old 04-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #20
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That is a very nice setup, I am pretty close to what you have on hand except for the battery. Which trojan did you go with.

Cheers
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