Installing an RV Solar Panel

Dry Camping Electric Overview Introduction If you visit the Technical section of any RV forum on the internet you’ll soon see these questions How many solar panels do I need to charge my batteries? What size inverter do I need to run my microwave? How many batteries do we need to dry camp? After replying to several dozen of these, and similar questions, I decided to write a “how to” guide for this topic. One problem is that most people would like a simple answer, but it just isn’t simple. I’ll try to write this as concisely as possible, but there are many variables, and you’ll need some minor technical knowledge. So fair warning, this isn’t a short topic. I’ll use links to additional information on some topics.

Our Adventure

By Jim Dunmyer If you’ve checked out RV Solar Electric and other such sites, you should have a fair idea of what’s needed in the line of solar power. We’ve used solar for our electrical needs for 3 seasons now and have found NO need for a generator. Our summer camping is mostly done where we have no hookups, and we stay on-site from 2 days to as long as 3 weeks.

Some with high cargo capacity like bus conversions have over pounds of batteries.

The business began with consignment sales, parts, and service. Oliver and Marilyn did all the sales, sold all the parts and even serviced and cleaned the units themselves. In , we expanded to a new location, adding several employees and increases to our inventory. Today, Copley’s RV Center sits on 4 acres, and has generated over 50 million dollars in sales over the last 31 years. Fantastic service, great selection, and customer approval are just a few of the benefits we have to offer.

Customers feel comfortable as soon as they enter the dealership lobby because of the friendly, family atmosphere. Whether they are looking to buy or to have service done on their motor home, travel trailer, fifth wheel or toy hauler, our employees strive to ensure all of their customers leave happy. We employ a nationally ranked service manager, who leads a great service department, to take care of our customer’s service needs.

Here’s How To Hook Up Solar Panels (With Optional Battery Bank) To Run Your Home Power Station

If you’re new here, and just looking for information about local solar installers, you can Click Here to request a free cost estimate for your home. Installing RV solar panels is a much more convenient and clean way to power your vehicle. With RV solar panels you can produce all the energy you need for your vehicle without having to go through the usual hassles of an RV park and the like.

RV solar panels are also provided with a battery generally for backup over short periods. The number of solar panels required to power your RV depends on the type of the recreational vehicle used and the number of utilities used inside it.

The town of Madras will offer a unique experience for eclipse watchers:

The path of total solar eclipse arcs across 14 U. Taking an RV can provide a good alternative. Eclipse chasers from all over the world will be arriving on the eclipse path in the days and weeks before and after the main event. So book plane tickets and rent RVs and campsites well in advance. Follow this RV guide to the total solar eclipse to plan for the big event. Find other resources for the eclipse, such as weather forecasts, events, and local circumstances:

The Practical Basics Of RV Electrical Systems

Does the overloaded wiring just get hot, or can it actually catch on fire? But as I like to say, seeing is believing. Current overload can be caused by things like additive neutral currents from a bootleg volt outlet, or using a dog-bone adapter to step from a amp pedestal outlet to a gauge extension cord, or simply by plugging too many portable space heaters onto a circuit. However it happens, overloaded wiring is really dangerous since the insulation itself can burn and catch anything around it on fire.

In the first example, it appears that a amp transfer switch was built using gauge wires.

If you own a newer, high-end motorhome, you may have advanced monitoring systems, generator auto-start, etc.

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RV Electricity – Overloaded wires – What’s the big deal?

With the conduit in place, build a platform consisting of concrete pillars and 4x4s that will support the solar array. Step 2 panels are mounted to platform using angle bracket Mount the Panels Once the platform is finished, the experts are ready to get started. For the solar array, the team uses eight volt watt PV panels that have been pre-fastened to create the array.

Some of these will also have a built in battery charger, and this can be a plus.

We held off on solar the first few months of travel waiting for the brand new solar Flex Panels to be launched; it was worth the wait. We ordered watts of solar power for our roof, and honestly we could fit another watts if we wanted to. Unfortunately Fleetwood has seen some of my How Not to Install videos so they requested we have a dealer do the install, so someone other than me would be liable for damages.

Its equivalent power to the battery bank we had with Windy but now we have a residential fridge which is kind of a power hog! Extremely durable so you can walk right on them, no more unsafe tippy-toeing around the panels on the roof. The kit comes with a solar controller to monitor the batteries and prevent over charging. It displays the solar charge coming in, the current battery levels and of course the nifty power boost technology that tops up the batteries at the end of the day to keep us powered through the night.

Warranty — Why a 10 year warranty for the flex panels instead of the 25 year warranty like the glass panels?

Electrical Grounding on Boats and RVs

If you generally park in a place with electrical power, you will find it hard to justify the cost of adding solar power to your rig. But… if you like to dry camp, or boondock, for extended periods of time, a solar panel and inverter will certainly add to your comfort. Do a lot of research on rv solar power, talk to as many RVers as you can, get recommendations for where to go, what to get, and so forth. Parry’s Penstemon I have one watt rv solar power panel on the roof of my rig, and for a few extra dollars got the brackets necessary to tilt the panel up in winter, thus getting more sunlight.

The inverter is by Xantrex, and there is a Solar Boost e monitor panel above the stove. The house batteries are two V deep cycle Wal-Mart batteries.

The Flex panels are not really made for tilting, but they will conform to the shape of the roof.

Gather supplies and lets get started. Add Tip Ask Question Step 1: The first thing you want to do is charge your batteries with a charger. This will insure they are charged to capacity and ready to go at set up. While the batteries are charging, you can set up the solar panels and get them wired up and ready to go. Add Tip Ask Question Step 2: Place Batteries in Container. Once the batteries are fully charged, place them in the container and. Once in place, measure from terminal to terminal to make the jumpers.

Add Tip Ask Question Step 3: Next, we want to connect the batteries in parallel. To do this, Make some jumpers out of 2 AWG cable. Make sure to size your jumpers for your system. If you want to use a larger inverter you will need to use larger cable.

Our Adventure

Yet a growing minority of RVers rarely use this furnace, opting for alternate forms of heat. This article will attempt to explain the reasons for these alternate heating systems, and assist the reader in deciding whether to acquire one of these options. Advantages of the conventional ducted propane furnace: Although this article is not about the traditional propane furnace, reviewing the familiar characteristics provides a starting point for evaluating alternatives.

The great majority of Americans grew up with an automatic forced-air furnace in their home. The RV furnace seems very similar to a home furnace and is completely automatic – just set the thermostat and forget it.

Some campgrounds have a circuit breaker in the box that must be turned on to allow electricity to the RV.

Do not run the generator. Cover the solar panel face with cardboard to prevent a current from being generated. Find a good mounting location for the panel, face it so that the width end is forward – less wind resistance! The location should be near a logical meaning an easy place to route the wiring. Find a place where the panel will not be shaded by roof mounted items. If a tilt mount is being installed ensure that full tilt can be achieved.

This panel has been mounted so that the wiring can be run down the refridgerator vent Seal all roof mounting points There are four panel mounting screws that must be sealed Select a location to install the regulator and display panel. This space above the refridgerator is a “natural” The shorter the wiring runs the better

Welcome to RV Solar Electric

Log in or register to post comments One of the least understood aspects of boats’ and RVs’ electrical system, and the most troublesome, is the proper method of grounding. This article is intended to clarify the questions on electrical grounding on boats and RVs. There are four separate ground systems:

Shut off converter or battery charger or unplug your RV if it’s a cheapo with no way to switch it off.

If I get a nice big Ah Group 27 battery, the trailer will kill it if I unplug it for 10 days – that’s not using anything, mind you – sitting idle. Now clearly I can get rid of the radio drain by pulling the fuse, and that cuts it in half. I guess I’ll leave the LP detector Why does the power converter suck power back from the battery? Doesn’t make that much sense. Good Ideas gone to waste First I realized that I already have a 2 stage charger So I decided to hook up PC’s output to the solar charge controller.

Here is the plan:

Stupid-Easy Solar for Going Off Grid, RVs and Boondocking