Setting up a System - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2020, 03:11 PM   #1
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Solar Boler System Install

I am in the process of designing a system with two 300w solar panels, one being portable. What do you think, besides overkill?

I would love to hear from someone familiar with these systems to look over my diagram and tell me their thoughts / suggestions.
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Old 07-03-2020, 01:39 AM   #2
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Why the separate battery 1/battery 2 cutoff switch? I'd just wire them in parallel with a single cutoff. Much simpler.

I'm not sure I understand the wiring from the solar controller. Are you using both the load and charge ports separately? Just ignore the "load" connection and hook everything to the charge connection

I'm not sure I understand the "upper" solar panel. Is it connected to the tow vehicle rather than the trailer somehow? I definitely can't tell what the blue wire is for, but some sort of relay control?
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:03 AM   #3
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In my opinion, it looks more complicated than it needs to be, again; my opinion
I see two large house batteries, what is the third battery for?
I see a power converter, and a separate 110v plug in charger?
I see an inverter~500-1000 watts, (Battery Killer)
The shunt for the large batteries should have a switch for when not in use, it is a constant drain on the system.
I get the battery a, b or a+b,
why two separate charge controllers? you could just use one and parallel the input of the second
why the relays?

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Old 07-03-2020, 02:24 PM   #4
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Answers to both sets of questions:

I see two large house batteries, what is the third battery for? The third battery going to the alternator is the tow vehicles, the Ctek D250se dc-dc charger isolated the tow battery from the camper batteries.
I see a power converter, and a separate 110v plug in charger? I prefer to charge my batteries via the Ctek battery charger when in storage vs the converter, since I have lithium batteries.
I see an inverter~500-1000 watts, (Battery Killer) Yes I understand, but I also have 276 amp hours between the two lithium batteries.
The shunt for the large batteries should have a switch for when not in use, it is a constant drain on the system. Thank you, I didn't think of that. It is used to monitor the batteries.
I get the battery a, b or a+b,
why two separate charge controllers? I already had the epever unit so why not use it. Plus the CTEK is limited to 20amps or 300w of solar. I have a 300w panel for the roof and will use the Epever 30amp solar controller for a portable 300w panel, which I already own. you could just use one and parallel the input of the second
why the relays? The relays are used to shut down the panels when I shut off the batteries via the a, b or a+b battery selector, I do not want the controllers hooked up to solar with out the batteries connected.


Why the separate battery 1/battery 2 cutoff switch? I'd just wire them in parallel with a single cutoff. Much simpler. I agree it would be simpler, I'm using it as a terminal block that can also disconnect the batteries or give me the option of running one battery while protecting the other. But I agree not completely necessary.

I'm not sure I understand the wiring from the solar controller. Are you using both the load and charge ports separately? Just ignore the "load" connection and hook everything to the charge connection The Epever charge controller can double as a power manager and low voltage shut off

I'm not sure I understand the "upper" solar panel. Is it connected to the tow vehicle rather than the trailer somehow? I definitely can't tell what the blue wire is for, but some sort of relay control? The upper panel is mounted on the roof of the camper, the lower is a portable unit, not permanently hooked up.

I attached the larger 12v/120v wiring schematic for perspective.

Thank you both for your feedback.

Mark
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:35 AM   #5
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Hope this one clears up things, contains wire chart.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:56 AM   #6
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Hope this one clears up things, contains wire chart.
I really don't understand why you think you need that much power. I live in 13' Scamp tow to 3 months of the year no hookups, and have a single 74 amph battery and a 65 Watt solar panel and doo just fine withit even in cold weather.
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Old 07-04-2020, 11:39 AM   #7
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Ever watch Home Improvement with Tim Allen?
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I really don't understand why you think you need that much power. I live in 13' Scamp tow to 3 months of the year no hookups, and have a single 74 amph battery and a 65 Watt solar panel and doo just fine withit even in cold weather.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I really don't understand why you think you need that much power. I live in 13' Scamp tow to 3 months of the year no hookups, and have a single 74 amph battery and a 65 Watt solar panel and doo just fine withit even in cold weather.

The battery box I am designing will allow for quick removal of one of the batteries, which would allow the space to be used for extra storage. I do have several 120v appliances that require the additional power.

I understand the limitations of even a system of this size to run an 2000w pure sine-wave inverter and 1700w induction cook-top or 500w microwave, but those cooking appliances will only be on for short periods of time counted in minutes. I am curious of how well I will run the 506.4w A/C/pusher fan setup or 750w heater. I understand those 120v appliances can not be run simultaneously.

I'm a tinkerer and enjoy testing out my systems during camping as much as I enjoy the outdoors and being in nature.

How do you maintain your battery's temperature during winter camping?
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:50 AM   #9
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How do you maintain your battery's temperature during winter camping?[/COLOR]
I have a Lil Snoozy and the LiFePO4 batteries are in the space under the bed. We have a Propex heater, like you. Run the furnace and leave open or remove the doors to the under-bed area. Batteries stay warm enough.

I will probably eventually install a 12V resistance heater that can provide an alternate heating method.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:45 PM   #10
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I am presently working on a 12v resistance heating solution using digital thermostats and 3d printer heating pads.
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I have a Lil Snoozy and the LiFePO4 batteries are in the space under the bed. We have a Propex heater, like you. Run the furnace and leave open or remove the doors to the under-bed area. Batteries stay warm enough.

I will probably eventually install a 12V resistance heater that can provide an alternate heating method.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:01 PM   #11
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You can also hijack the furnace control. Set up a temperature-controlled relay so if the batteries get too cold it just turns the furnace on. I'm planning on setting up something similar for the water tanks in my Bigfoot.
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Old 07-05-2020, 09:26 PM   #12
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You can also hijack the furnace control. Set up a temperature-controlled relay so if the batteries get too cold it just turns the furnace on. I'm planning on setting up something similar for the water tanks in my Bigfoot.

I'm no electrical engineer, just a hobbyist and tinkerer. The Propex furnace thermostat/switch is self contained and I'm not going to try to hack it, however a Dometic thermostat might work if that's what you have.



I will not be holding my batteries in the cab, rather they are being placed in an insulated tongue box that will provide heating and cooling to the battery storage area. Thus the temperature inside the camper has little effect on the battery storage except for some convection heating provided by the Propex exhaust.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I really don't understand why you think you need that much power. I live in 13' Scamp tow to 3 months of the year no hookups, and have a single 74 amph battery and a 65 Watt solar panel and doo just fine withit even in cold weather.
You seemingly think that everyone should camp or set up their trailers the way you do. Just because you live in 13' Scamp 3 months of the year with no hookups, and have a single 74 amph battery and a 65 Watt solar panel and do just fine with it even in cold weather does not mean that everyone else wants to follow in your footsteps. If it makes you happy, great. Others here are not necessarily into “look at me and how minimalist I am. Other than the first four words which hit the nail on the head, your post did not add anything valuable to this thread or help the OP in any way.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:22 AM   #14
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I am presently working on a 12v resistance heating solution using digital thermostats and 3d printer heating pads.
Mark, there is a very long blog thread from Will Prowse on Li battery heaters that you might want to look at if you haven't already.

https://diysolarforum.com/threads/li...emperatures.5/
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:22 AM   #15
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Mark, there is a very long blog thread from Will Prowse on Li battery heaters that you might want to look at if you haven't already.

https://diysolarforum.com/threads/li...emperatures.5/

I am a fan of Will Prowse and that thread is perfectly on point to the heating solution I have been working on. Thank you.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:16 PM   #16
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wiring in the brakeaway
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:00 AM   #17
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KISS.
We find a hundred watt panel with two golf cart batts just fine, runs the computers and the morning coffee maker, a hair dryer when SWMBO needs one all the lighing (LED of course). We also run dedicated wiring from the truck to the trailer to help speed charging while towing.
Looks like you are not going camping, you are going off to work full time on your electrical system.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:27 AM   #18
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Haven't seen anything yet about power demands and if workable. As mentioned the original layout is over complicated and we are not going into space. As the old saying goes "put the horse in front of the buggy not the buggy before the horse."
What I am saying ; decide what you want your system to do and work from there. Stay away from huge power consumers like toasters , coffee makers , microwaves and most 110-120 vac powered devices as to convert from 12v to 110-120 v you are multiplying the current draw by at least 10 times. To run a 1200 watt device you are going to draw around 100 amps (1200/12=100)and that is one heck of a lot of power from a 100 amp 12v battery or even multiple batteries.
A propane stove with a $10 toaster device will toast bread 5 times faster. Same with a coffee maker. The old Melita drip is the way we go and makes better coffee. Filter in the holder , add coffee grinds , add boiling water from the kettle heated on the propane stove and you have coffee. As one poster says... use the KISS method.


Research you solar panel selection as they are not equal in design and efficiency. All too often I see and hear of people buying cheap solar panels with lots of promises of performances that don't deliver.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:43 AM   #19
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Research you solar panel selection as they are not equal in design and efficiency. All too often I see and hear of people buying cheap solar panels with lots of promises of performances that don't deliver.
X10 on this.

I bought a cheap '10 watt' panel to use as a battery tender.

ok, the specs:

"Open circuit voltage: 14.4V"
"Short circuit current: 0.7 amps"


and yeah, 14.4 volts * 0.7 amps is about 10 watts. Except, an open circuit is ZERO amps, and a short circuit is ZERO volts. Judging by the size of hte panel, its unlikely to be more than 2-3 watts actual output into a discharged 12V battery.

that all said, its doing the job of keeping my tractor battery charged when it sits outside for months on end.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:44 PM   #20
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Solar panel

Correct me if I am wrong but a good panel should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 volts. That goes thru a charging voltage regulator of somewhere in the area of 14.5 volts output.When the battery is charged it cuts out. Also the other specs are relevant to where the panel is located and by that I mean best performance is down around latitudes in Texas and as you move north the performance decreases even though the panel may be at 90 degrees to the sun. As it clouds over the performance decreases to zero. Good ones will still charge but at a lower rate. On an overcast day , mine still charges but again the performance is subject to how thick the clouds are.

Lots of good stuff to read and learn out there if you Google for it.
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