Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Portable solar installation has me stumped
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Portable solar installation has me stumped

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next
coachellacanuck

Alberta

Full Member

Joined: 04/03/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/05/20 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My little vintage Kustom Koach (affectionately named Gertie) serves as my studio. The previous owner gutted it and fitted it out as basically a bedroom on wheels. I, in turn, took out the bed platform and added bookcases and an IKEA table for sewing, and a desk for computer workspace.

The electrical system plugs into the seasonal campground power box, and I also plug it into our larger TT, using an adapter to plug into an external outlet. A distribution box inside Gertie runs power to several outlets on the four walls. There is no battery.

That’s the rub. I have a 100W portable solar panel kit that includes an 8.5A charge controller, voltage tester, 8 ft (2.4 m) extension cable, battery clamps and stand.

Now, I know I need a battery and I have identified a good deal on a 12v deep cycle battery.

What I am sure of is how do I get power from the battery into the trailer? As I said, as of now, there is no battery connected to the trailer’s electrical system.

Could someone help me with my continuing education in all things solar? TIA

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/05/20 10:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi fellow Kustom Koach owner,

Where are the breakers? (i.e. power distribution center) Is there still a converter (mine is under the bed)?

My OEM battery bank was just behind the driver's side door. There was room for 3 deep cycle group 29 jars.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

CA Traveler

The Western States

Senior Member

Joined: 01/03/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/05/20 11:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do you still have 12V lights vs 120V lights. If so then you have a converter or charger sowewhere that runs the lights. Let me back up - Do you have lights? You just never know on a gutted RV.

Basic wiring: Charger 12V output to battery and the 12V lights etc are on this same circuit or branch circuits.

Solar panel to solar controller. Solar controller to the battery.

Plus CBs, fuses, disconnects, correct sized wiring and secured.

It might be best to get someone there to help understand and how to proceed.

What would greatly concern me is the 120V wiring. Is it original and connected properly and in good condition? Have you plugged in a $5 household tester to determine it's wired correctly? Is the frame grounded? Have you plugged into a GFI with the shore cord to make sure there are no ground faults? Is the frame connected to the 120V ground? 120V can be very dangerous and must be wired correctly.

Safety first.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

Bob


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 01:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This series of plain English articles may help:

https://freecampsites.net/adding-solar/

valhalla360

No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile



Posted: 08/06/20 05:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What are you trying to accomplish with the solar system?

If you are already connected to the grid and it's providing the power you need, there really is no purpose to adding solar in most cases.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2008 Copper Canyon 5er
Catalac Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

Senior Member

Joined: 12/18/2004

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 10:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

What are you trying to accomplish with the solar system?

If you are already connected to the grid and it's providing the power you need, there really is no purpose to adding solar in most cases.


Perhaps trying to lower the bill for power?

coachellacanuck

Alberta

Full Member

Joined: 04/03/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 05:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:



Where are the breakers? (i.e. power distribution center) Is there still a converter (mine is under the bed)?

My OEM battery bank was just behind the driver's side door. There was room for 3 deep cycle group 29 jars.


There is a small breaker box. Don’t know what a converter is but there is nothing in the trailer except the breaker box and 4 outlets, one on each wall.

There is very little OEM in this wee little girl!

coachellacanuck

Alberta

Full Member

Joined: 04/03/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

What are you trying to accomplish with the solar system?

If you are already connected to the grid and it's providing the power you need, there really is no purpose to adding solar in most cases.


Perhaps trying to lower the bill for power?


To connect the KK to the larger trailer, I string the power cord across the campsite and with an adapter I plug into an exterior outlet near the front door. It’s a tripping hazard.

I want her to be self sufficient. So I guess it’s more a case of want versus need. I want it.

profdant139

Southern California

Senior Member

Joined: 11/14/2005

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 05:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For whatever this is worth, we connect our portable solar panel directly to the battery with alligator clips on the battery terminals. The controller is mounted on the underside of the panel. The cable runs from the controller to the battery.

When it is time to move to a new campsite, we unhook the alligator clips, wind up the cable, and fold the panel.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
2013 Toyota Tacoma Off-Road (semi-beefy tires and components)
Our trips -- pix and text
About our trailer
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single list."


coachellacanuck

Alberta

Full Member

Joined: 04/03/2015

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 08/06/20 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, 12v deep cycle marine battery has been procured. Stopped in at the local RV dealer and spoke with someone in the service department. He had no clue as to how to bring power from the solar setup into the trailer. It shouldn’t be this hard, should it?

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 2  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Portable solar installation has me stumped
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:




© 2020 CWI, Inc. © 2020 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.