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 > What's the Latest Solar Tech?

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BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did a search and didn't find what I was looking for...The last time I looked at a solar system was a probably 5 years ago for our old Terry TT. Good systems were out of my budget range them and I stopped following the tech.

Fast forward to the Lance 811 truck camper we are rebuilding (water damage) and I'm once again looking into solar. The tech is moving so fast, stuff that's even a few years old is obsolete.

I've only got storage for one battery today, and that's a Costco Group 27 Marine/Deep Cycle. We're removing the microwave, so the only thing that will draw any power is phone recharging and a small TV at night. Which is just as well since I don't have much real estate on the roof this camper either.

Any suggestions for a good system for this small setup?


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Laramie Crew Cab Long Box, Cummins diesel

Under renovations:
2002 Lance 811 Slide-In Camper

SOLD: 2001 K2500 Suburban LT 8.1L/4.10
2008 Terry 34' TT many mods, Hensley Hitch


KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solar panels are under one dollar per watt now. If you buy big residential panels in the 300 watt range they can be down around 50 cents per watt.
I don't really recommend lithium ion batteries for RVs but if you truly only have room for one that might make sense. Considering your light loads I would think your current battery would suffice. You may want a small inverter to provide 120v AC for the TV and other things. I would only get a purse sine wave unit. They too have really come down in price. Morningstar makes and excellent 300 watt inverter.
For a small charge controller there are many options. You don't really need an MPPT unit for a small system, particularly with only one panel. But, MPPT can get you more output from a given array. Blue Sky is my choice for small MPPT controllers.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No idea about new solar tech, but nothing wrong with 10-5 year old tech and it is proven.

Meanwhile, in case you are new to TCs, you can carry more batteries. I just posted this earlier, so copied it here. You can carry two more batts on the passenger side too. Weight might be an issue if your truck is already struggling with the TC, but otherwise it works.

"With the 2003 truck same as yours and the TC we had, I carried two golf car batts in the bed driver's side up front. Had to stop the slide-in when the camper was by the wheel well to hook up the wiring, then slide in the rest of the way. Couldn't get at the batts once the camper was all the way in.

So you could do that plus still have your 27 in the camper. One of my set-ups was to have two 6s in parallel with one 12 for when camping. Separated at home between trips. Worked great.

Camper was off the truck most of the time, so the two 6s were off the truck too so we could use the truck for other jobs. Gives a chance to get at the batts for maintenance too (see the SG, and if need water)"


1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
See Profile for House electronics set-up.
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas

Lwiddis

Owens River Road, California

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Posted: 05/26/20 03:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“The tech is moving so fast, stuff that's even a few years old is obsolete.”

I disagree. Sounds cool however. Biggest forward “jump” IMO was the introduction of MPPT controllers and that’s a while ago. PWMs still work well too.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watts solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL pole for flags. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560)


naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 05/26/20 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the web site "mobile-solarpower.com" can be of enormous help. I have been following it for over a year, and it is constantly updated with newly recommended parts and sources.





Seattle Steve

Tucson

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Posted: 05/26/20 05:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RV With Tito is one of my favorite websites and youtube channels. He has a lot of information on many RV DIY and maintenance issues, and has done a lot of personal reviews on various solar products. He does not sell anything, so his info is really unbiased. Somewhere on his website he has a PDF document, almost a book, of solar setup information. I read it about a year ago and was really impressed.

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 05/26/20 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The battery is really the big thing in tech that has advanced. Yes, a little risky to mount lithium in camper cause you fear it will catch fire.

Check out this full-timer's review of a couple of systems. He has a Jackery, which is a self contained power pack. A battery, controller and a small inverter in a box not much bigger than your existing battery, and it is lighter. It is portable, so you can take it out and use it, or store it wherever you want.
Down2Mob videos

If I was going to start from scratch I would consider this. The battery being a huge advantage in that it is light and you can discharge it a lot deeper than a GC battery and not damage it. Being able to discharge it deeper means you get more battery availability, so that one is now equal to two lead acid batts.

Bend

Oregon

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Posted: 05/26/20 06:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here are the major components for a 12v system (not MPPT) that would satisfy your group 27 batt and it is easily upgradable for more batt AH as what BFL13 mentioned for 220 AH (just add an identical second panel) :

Panel-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QR9LMGM/?co........2ZBKPJ1MXQ6H5&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

State-of-the-art integrated PWM Controller & batt monitor-
http://www.bestconverter.com/Trimetric-Battery-Management-System_p_683.html

300w invertor-
http://www.bestconverter.com/Samlex-PST-300-12-Pure-Sine-Inverter_p_546.html

Good luck!

* This post was edited 05/26/20 07:24pm by Bend *

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 05/26/20 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks guys, and yes I am BRAND new to truck campers. I see that Xantrex still makes the little 15a transfer switch that I used in the Terry with a 150 PSW inverter, and I'm planning the same here. Looking at this Samlex 300w PSW.Solar to keep the battery topped off during the day, and then the inverter to watch a little TV at bedtime. Haven't bought the TV yet but even the larger LCDs use like 30w. Don't have room for a very big one in the TC.

I still have the Honda 2000EUi, but if I can get by 2-3 days without it, that's one less thing to lug around. Getting used to less storage in the TC vs the TT.

* This post was edited 05/26/20 08:46pm by BurbMan *

Lwiddis

Owens River Road, California

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Posted: 05/27/20 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“but if I can get by 2-3 days without it,” (the generator)

The above is the wrong attitude. A proper solar system fills the battery almost every day...not limps you along for 2-3 days.

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