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Old 06-16-2015, 12:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by padlin00 View Post
I posed the question on another rv technical forum, results came down pretty solidly on the "do not do it" side. The long and the short of it was that you can damage the solar controller and maybe the converter.
The above would be my fear at doing what was suggested in regards to just running the onboard charger system through the solar controller.

If rerouting the onboard 110 power charging system through the solar controller was viable & beneficial I suspect we have a lot of people here who are known to be the masters of all things solar for a LONG time that would have done that. Then again perhaps one or two of them have and will speak up on the topic, assuming they are all not out enjoying camping season.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:03 PM   #22
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call me confused

"the most I've gotten out of a single 160W 8.6A panel on a sunny summer day if 50A" (???) so is that 8.6A times 6 hours or so ???

anyway, the way this discussion is going....I'm glad I got rid of my converter in favor of a stand alone charger (on it's own breaker) ALL 12V power now comes from my batteries ALL the time....

I don't have to wonder about unplugging the trailer (or not) to charge with solar....I just flip the breaker and stay pugged in

that's the way my trailer "lives" in my backyard...plugged in to keep the firdge going....charger off...solar panels out

quite the "puzzle" this solar stuff.....lots of fun...cheers, F
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:01 PM   #23
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"the most I've gotten out of a single 160W 8.6A panel on a sunny summer day if 50A" (???) so is that 8.6A times 6 hours or so ???
That is correct Franswa, 50 amps is what I gained in a full day of full sun in mid summer.

The panel is rated for 8.6 amps, I've not seen it that high but it will hit 8 occationally. Keep in mind this is flat mounted in New England, not pointing at the sun in Phoenix.

Using the fridge as a load, I ran the batteries down 100 amps overnight then turned off the fridge.

By the end of the day solar has replenished 50 amps according to the battery monitor.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:37 PM   #24
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I assume you mean 50 amp hours.
My Norcold draws about 40 watts on 12 volts or 40 watts / 12 volts = 3.3 amp hours and runs lets say 50% of the time or a total of 3.3 X 12 Hours (50% of the time) = 40 amp hours.
That 50 amp hours would seem to be marginal for my needs.
I hope to install 200+ watt panels and do a little better than I need to keep the Refrigerator running on Solar alone. Perhaps I need to plan on a little more rating.
The reason that the current delivered into the battery is not as high as the panel rating (for one reason) is that the voltage at the current rating is higher than the battery charging voltage pulling the panel down the curve. An MPPT controller has a DC to DC converter to translate the higher voltage at the peak of the panel and converts that to the voltage to properly charge the battery.
Bogart says the trade offs are not as serious if the battery charge is maintained closer to 13 volts and the panels are nearer normal temps and not cold.
It seems to get pretty complicated.
I think I will start with the Bogart system powered from the converter to maintain the battery in good condition when plugged in. Later I think I will add two of the flexible Renology panels to make sure I have enough keep the 12 volt system in good shape plugged in or not.
I want to be able to park the rig anywhere leave it for a day or so and not worry too much about the electrical systems. Also I want the electrical system to not rely too much on the power from the tow car to keep the thing charged.
I am also working on LED lights and I haven't decided if I want an inverter or not for the microwave etc. For cooking other than the Convection microwave I am looking at the Propane grills that hang on the side of the camper next to the door.

Redoing this Scamp os a work in progress!
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:45 PM   #25
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get it now....

sounds like you are very well equipped in the measuring tools department.....at the other end of the scale all I got is a permanent display volt meter (don't tell you much, no detail)...so I'm going by feel sorta

my fridge (large) is a 2 way...so it's either on propane or AC...besides the usual trailer stuff all I need DC for is to run the ghetto blaster, the computer and recharge gadgets....being that my needs are minimal I seem to be way "ahead of the game"... so far... with a permanent 40W on the roof (flat) and a 40W deployable.....so it's hard for me to justify, at the moment, investing more trailer bucks in more sophisticated measuring equipment....the old hydrometer checks will have to continue cheers, F
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #26
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For cooking other than the Convection microwave I am looking at the Propane grills that hang on the side of the camper next to the door.

Redoing this Scamp os a work in progress!
Why do you want to hang it on the trailer? You can't control where the smoke goes and your work surface is 'over there'.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:04 PM   #27
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Why do you want to hang it on the trailer? You can't control where the smoke goes and your work surface is 'over there'.
I was unwilling to build in a cook top for the inside cabinets since I think we will be using the trailer like a mobile motel room with a refrigerator and microwave. The small barbecue is for the occasional ceremonial burning of various dead animals etc. Not for everyday use.
We thought the campground tables might not be close to the trailer where the (yet to be bought and installed) awning would give some protection from possible rain.
We plan to try to keep meals simple.
The Scamp (it seems) not too much. one change begets several more.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:40 PM   #28
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Also confused

Now we are on to barbecues but no problem! This thread seems to me to be an exercise in futility. I agree that sometimes the solar will recharge the battery faster than the converter. But sometimes there is no sun or its night time. I agree with MCDenny. Just leave it be! Maybe take a walk, read a book, volunteer or plant some beans. It just would not be the end of the world if you forgot to plug you camper back in at night after letting the solar quick charge the battery.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:18 PM   #29
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I have a question for those who have installed solar in their eggs.
I am looking into one or more Renology flexible panels and perhaps a Bogart charge controller and battery monitor.
My question is if you have a on-board battery charging system is there a way to automatically switch from the AC powered charger to the Solar when conditions permit?
I want to leave the two systems active and let the "Best" one win.
Since I have a swing compressor refrigerator and it lives better running I want to keep the 12 Volt system charged and ready if I am parked with power or parked in the sunlight and not plugged in for a good while. I don't want to be able to forget to switch from solar to AC or back and have the batteries run down.
I talked with the Guy from Bogart about the charger and would it regulate the charge from a ac powered charger like it would from the higher voltages from a solar panel system.
Any ideas?

To answer your question directly. It's OK to have more than one charging system. Once the battery is close to fully charged all will drop out except for one, depending on what each system considers the fully charged voltage to be. The last one will have the highest voltage point.
Think about this for a moment, many trailers have full time solar and tow vehicle charge lines. Many have a converter, tow vehicle charge line, and solar. No switches to turn off the solar, unless put in by a shade tree mechanic.
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:32 AM   #30
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Why not put more solar panels on your roof and the install a grid toe inverter and out the extra power into your house instead of the other way around. I have only used my charger twice in the last year.


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