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Old 09-15-2020, 09:24 AM   #1
eZAK
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Solar

Does anyone know about the solar system in the new Montana HC's?
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:30 PM   #2
Daryles
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There are some Montana YouTube videos by Jamboni.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:00 PM   #3
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Someone on here posted they had ordered a Montana with the full solar package. They were going to report on it once they got it. I just don't remember who it was and I don't think they have it yet.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:53 PM   #4
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Yes, we did order the Super Solar Flex package, but ETA is likely November. So, can't report yet, but will definitely do so later in the year.

As to Montana and solar, there are 3 options (and I believe this includes the HC models as well, but my research was for Montana only...)
1. all models come with "Solar Prep". What that means for 2020 and 2021 models is that there is a connector on the roof, then 10 ga wires run into the basement behind the rear panel of the main storage bay on the curb side. Also, there are 5 outlets pre-wired (this is a huge timesaver!). They include the TV cabinet, recliners, kitchen popup, bedroom outlet by the dresser and... sorry forget the last one

2. Montana Solar Flex package. This package includes a single panel (now 300 watts) along with a Jaboni 30a MPPT solar controller and a 2000 watt inverter. The inverter powers the above outlets.

3. Montana Super Solar Flex package. 1200 watts solar, dual MPPT controllers, 3000 watt inverter, 510ah lithium batteries and all the techno goodies for power management. Wired to run the whole coach including all outlets, both ACs, etc.

So, no matter what you are ready to have solar installed. The decision can range from installing a single panel and controller to charge your single 12v lead battery, all the way up to the Super Solar Flex package. A lot of options.

What do you intend to do with your solar install? If you'd like to share more, I can direct you to the research I found.

Brad
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:19 AM   #5
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As far as my High Country goes, The only options where 'Solar Prep' or the 'Solar System'
I opted for the system. What's installed is (1) roof mounted panel, an inverter (which I assume has a controller/charger built in), (2) FLA batteries, and a monitor panel.

That being said, I find this;
Quote:
3. Montana Super Solar Flex package. 1200 watts solar, dual MPPT controllers, 3000 watt inverter, 510ah lithium batteries and all the techno goodies for power management. Wired to run the whole coach including all outlets, both ACs, etc.
Hard to believe!

Not that the poster is wrong, It is just that my calculations just don't add up!
And I'm not alone, see article below;

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-can-sol...%20and%20fans.

Back to my set-up, after doing my calculations, (having to dry camp) I find that I can use just what is needed and run an AC Fan on low at night.
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Old 10-04-2020, 01:08 PM   #6
kowbra
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Originally Posted by eZAK View Post
As far as my High Country goes, The only options where 'Solar Prep' or the 'Solar System'
I opted for the system. What's installed is (1) roof mounted panel, an inverter (which I assume has a controller/charger built in), (2) FLA batteries, and a monitor panel.

That being said, I find this; Hard to believe!

Not that the poster is wrong, It is just that my calculations just don't add up!
And I'm not alone, see article below;

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-can-sol...%20and%20fans.

Back to my set-up, after doing my calculations, (having to dry camp) I find that I can use just what is needed and run an AC Fan on low at night.
Well, I'm not sure what you find hard to believe.
First, etrailer is not talking about the Super Solar Flex package that Montana is now offering. Newer tech is key to what Montana has built, including new AC units that include not only soft starts built in but that have lower overall running draw. They also include sophisticated power management so that you can judiciously monitor and run loads as needed.

Second, in your calculations are you adding up the load for both ACs and all of the appliances, all running at the same time?? If so, re-read what I wrote; the coach is WIRED to run all of the above, but I never said it's intended to use them all at the same time

Now, if your calculations are different than that, please clarify what you find hard to believe.

BTW, glad to hear your Solar system package is working well for you. We came from a system with similar specs in our last 5th wheel, and we did fine for boondocking a few days at a time, and used a Champion 3400w inverter to run AC or charge batteries if conditions were not ideal.

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:03 PM   #7
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Brad,
So let me put it to you this way;
Is the 'Super S.F. pkg.' installed on your coach? and Do you personally have real world experience with this system?

Your statement:
"3. Montana Super Solar Flex package. 1200 watts solar, dual MPPT controllers, 3000 watt inverter, 510ah lithium batteries and all the techno goodies for power management. Wired to run the whole coach including all outlets, both ACs, etc."
This would lead one to believe that you can run everything!

As far as calculations go, you'll need to convert DC to AC. Then you'll need to do a load calculation based on the loads connected to the inverter. after that you can determine your usage per hour, which in turn will give you an estimate on the longevity of your batteries.

And if that is not enough, Everything would have to conform to OHM's Law,
AND for safety, comply with the NEC and NFPA codes.

Now, that's not to say the system won't work with out fault,
BUT if something were to happen...............
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kowbra View Post
Well, I'm not sure what you find hard to believe.
First, etrailer is not talking about the Super Solar Flex package that Montana is now offering. Newer tech is key to what Montana has built, including new AC units that include not only soft starts built in but that have lower overall running draw. They also include sophisticated power management so that you can judiciously monitor and run loads as needed.

Second, in your calculations are you adding up the load for both ACs and all of the appliances, all running at the same time?? If so, re-read what I wrote; the coach is WIRED to run all of the above, but I never said it's intended to use them all at the same time

Now, if your calculations are different than that, please clarify what you find hard to believe.

BTW, glad to hear your Solar system package is working well for you. We came from a system with similar specs in our last 5th wheel, and we did fine for boondocking a few days at a time, and used a Champion 3400w inverter to run AC or charge batteries if conditions were not ideal.

Thanks,
Brad
Quote:
Originally Posted by eZAK View Post
Brad,
So let me put it to you this way;
Is the 'Super S.F. pkg.' installed on your coach? and Do you personally have real world experience with this system?

Your statement:
"3. Montana Super Solar Flex package. 1200 watts solar, dual MPPT controllers, 3000 watt inverter, 510ah lithium batteries and all the techno goodies for power management. Wired to run the whole coach including all outlets, both ACs, etc."
This would lead one to believe that you can run everything!

As far as calculations go, you'll need to convert DC to AC. Then you'll need to do a load calculation based on the loads connected to the inverter. after that you can determine your usage per hour, which in turn will give you an estimate on the longevity of your batteries.

And if that is not enough, Everything would have to conform to OHM's Law,
AND for safety, comply with the NEC and NFPA codes.

Now, that's not to say the system won't work with out fault,
BUT if something were to happen...............
Quote:
Originally Posted by eZAK View Post
As far as my High Country goes, The only options where 'Solar Prep' or the 'Solar System'
I opted for the system. What's installed is (1) roof mounted panel, an inverter (which I assume has a controller/charger built in), (2) FLA batteries, and a monitor panel.

That being said, I find this; Hard to believe!

Not that the poster is wrong, It is just that my calculations just don't add up!
And I'm not alone, see article below;

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-can-sol...%20and%20fans.

Back to my set-up, after doing my calculations, (having to dry camp) I find that I can use just what is needed and run an AC Fan on low at night.
Guys, here you see what Keystone did to the Montana

https://youtu.be/3joKSWgueEQ

And famous Josh https://youtu.be/apeWU8CN_eU

Go grab you cash ... I think they ask $12k for this

Mike
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Old 10-08-2020, 11:59 AM   #9
kowbra
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Originally Posted by eZAK View Post
Brad,
So let me put it to you this way;
Is the 'Super S.F. pkg.' installed on your coach? and Do you personally have real world experience with this system?

Your statement:
"3. Montana Super Solar Flex package. 1200 watts solar, dual MPPT controllers, 3000 watt inverter, 510ah lithium batteries and all the techno goodies for power management. Wired to run the whole coach including all outlets, both ACs, etc."
This would lead one to believe that you can run everything!

As far as calculations go, you'll need to convert DC to AC. Then you'll need to do a load calculation based on the loads connected to the inverter. after that you can determine your usage per hour, which in turn will give you an estimate on the longevity of your batteries.

And if that is not enough, Everything would have to conform to OHM's Law,
AND for safety, comply with the NEC and NFPA codes.

Now, that's not to say the system won't work with out fault,
BUT if something were to happen...............
---
No, in an earlier thread I indicated that our unit is on order and won't be here for a few more weeks.

And, sorry for the confusion, but I thought I was being clear about this package namely that the difference between the other 2 options was that everything was wired to be run from the batteries whereas the other packages have only 5 outlets wired to run from the batteries. I can see where that might be misleading and that was not my intent.
But in my defence, there is a lot of information that is easily found on Montana's Super Solar Flex package; on their site, on youtube, on Haylett RV, and a growing list. I suspect if someone genuinely wanted to know more about the system capabilities, they would find it. I know I did, and is why we decided it was worth the money. YMMV...

I find your paragraph about compliance kind of confusing and a bit funny actually. Things don't "conform to OHM's law" the same as things don't "conform to gravity"
And, as to standards, I believe RV manufacturers adhere to RVIA whereas you have cited building codes. I did confirm before ordering that the SSF package does meet RVIA standards, and the Montana product manager indicated that RVIA dictated a lot of how the solution was designed and built and that they did not release the package until RVIA compliance was met.

And, as to your last paragraph... not sure you're stating anything other than just leaving us with a hanging sentence, that is what - designed to scare us??

I have admitted and do admit here that this is leading edge technology, and I do understand that some will not be comfortable with that; that is entirely ok with me. My career is in IT, so have always been at the leading edge of technologies in many areas. Likely that leads me to be more open to this option. And, as I indicated in another post, I do feel like I will be a guinea pig, because so far I did not get any indication that there are others on this forum that have the system and were speaking from first hand experience. (I'm sure Montana has sold some of these, so in a sense that reassured me also as they must be happily using their systems and not coming here to complain).

Hope that explains my perspective better.

Brad
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Old 10-08-2020, 12:01 PM   #10
kowbra
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Originally Posted by suny07 View Post
Guys, here you see what Keystone did to the Montana

https://youtu.be/3joKSWgueEQ

And famous Josh https://youtu.be/apeWU8CN_eU

Go grab you cash ... I think they ask $12k for this

Mike
Thanks for the references Mike,

And, yup, already did pony up the cash. Hope to get our unit and use it before year end.

Brad
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:35 AM   #11
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First let me say that I've been an electrician for over 35yrs.
And been installing solar arrays for the last five years!

Photovoltaic systems have been around for years, nothing earth shaking or worthy of guinea pigs here!

As a note the RVIA uses NFPA 1192 as their sole source for electrical system installations! Also, the NEC has Article 551 pertaining to RV's and RV parks.

The take away here is that, with no shore power, The RV'er will need to make sure that their batteries have enough capacity. After all, you are powering your rig with your Batteries through an inverter with the help of photovoltaics in accordance with National standards.

Now, Getting back to my Original question; I was hoping to learn more about the system installed in 'High Country' Namely the inner workings of the Jaboni system.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:02 PM   #12
kowbra
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Originally Posted by eZAK View Post
First let me say that I've been an electrician for over 35yrs.
And been installing solar arrays for the last five years!

Photovoltaic systems have been around for years, nothing earth shaking or worthy of guinea pigs here!

As a note the RVIA uses NFPA 1192 as their sole source for electrical system installations! Also, the NEC has Article 551 pertaining to RV's and RV parks.

The take away here is that, with no shore power, The RV'er will need to make sure that their batteries have enough capacity. After all, you are powering your rig with your Batteries through an inverter with the help of photovoltaics in accordance with National standards.

Now, Getting back to my Original question; I was hoping to learn more about the system installed in 'High Country' Namely the inner workings of the Jaboni system.

As to the Super Solar Flex... it is obvious you have little interest in what new technologies Montana is actually packaging together here. It is a whole lot more than just photovoltaic panels and batteries... but since you decided on the regular Solar Flex package, I guess that explains your lack of interest. Let's leave it at that...

BTW, if you re-read my original response, you will see it was not all about the Super Solar Flex and that I was trying to answer your question (which was very broad). I did so by outlining all 3 solar options currently available...
I also did try to help further by asking you to be more specific about what your intended use is, but you did not answer that. Instead, you decided to derail your own thread by challenging the information I presented on an option you aren't purchasing


Now to try to help more with your original question... here is a good video explaining how Montana has partnered with Jaboni to prewire for solar...


And, the Jaboni Youtube channel has more info...
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChV..._L_x__wi6MGuhQ

I would also recommend reaching out to Keystone Montana customer service. I filled out a web form asking about the solar solutions and by the next day I had 3 phone calls... the district rep for my region, but also Sam Lengerich the Montana Product Manager (head honcho) and Matt Wolkins the solar guru doing the above videos. It was amazing to get such fast response and from the folks who really know this stuff inside and out. And, they have stayed available by email as I had follow up questions.

I hope the above can help answer the questions you have. We looked hard at the Solar Flex package before deciding to upgrade to the Super Solar Flex. I think the Solar Flex is a great basic system that leaves a lot of room to upgrade.

Brad
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:58 PM   #13
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What does this Super Solar Flex $12,000 option add that makes its a better choice than having a generator added?
Can you run both ac’s with it?
If your using shore power neither would offer anything.
What am I missing?
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
What does this Super Solar Flex $12,000 option add that makes its a better choice than having a generator added?
Can you run both acís with it?
If your using shore power neither would offer anything.
What am I missing?
If you only use parks you don't need solar or a genny. If you enjoy getting out and seeing our great country boondocking should be one of your tools. Its no fun listening to a genny running all the time. The big solar package and battery bank should minimize the need for a genny but not totally eliminate it. We will need to get some reviews from those that buy it to see how it does with a/c.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:04 AM   #15
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We have been living in our 2020 3791 SSF for a month now and love it! We are in the West and have had plenty of sun and have only tried the ac once. I’m not convinced that 1000 watts of solar is enough for ac use 24/7. I’ll give an update when it’s been used more. The microwave, coffee pot, tv, refrigerator all are working fine. One of the solar controllers had gone off line, I think it was that way from the dealer, but a quick call to Jaboni fixed that issue. Our propane use is WAY down, still on our first bottle. Cook some and take the chill off in the morning. Our 3790 we had used a bottle every week or 10 days. So far so good!
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by djrich View Post
We have been living in our 2020 3791 SSF for a month now and love it! We are in the West and have had plenty of sun and have only tried the ac once. Iím not convinced that 1000 watts of solar is enough for ac use 24/7. Iíll give an update when itís been used more. The microwave, coffee pot, tv, refrigerator all are working fine. One of the solar controllers had gone off line, I think it was that way from the dealer, but a quick call to Jaboni fixed that issue. Our propane use is WAY down, still on our first bottle. Cook some and take the chill off in the morning. Our 3790 we had used a bottle every week or 10 days. So far so good!
Thanks djrich! I appreciate your first hand experiences.

I agree that for extended AC use that more solar and likely more battery power is needed; perhaps a lot more. I think we may still bring a portable generator for the times it may be needed (such as lots of AC use or several cloudy days, or camping in trees).

Brad
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
What does this Super Solar Flex $12,000 option add that makes its a better choice than having a generator added?
Can you run both acís with it?
If your using shore power neither would offer anything.
What am I missing?
Some comparisons:
-to compare the SSF to a built in genny; they have similar convenience in that the SSF package has the ability to just run stuff, for the most part. Both AC's? Likely, for short periods of time. Both AC's and the microwave? No. The SSF overall is more like 20-30 amp power, whereas a built in genny is about 45 amp.

-to compare SSF with most solar installs and portable gen (our last system); with smaller solar systems, you can only run the few outlets before you need to go and get out the portable genny, start it up, then go inside and run the AC, or make coffee, run hair dryer, microwave, etc.

-what does SSF add if you are plugged into shore power? If you have only 30amp power available (or even driveway 15amp), SSF adds the ability to run loads in excess of the shore power. It will automatically draw from battery to make up the shortfall, where possible. So now if you have AC on and you run the microwave you won't trip the 30amp shore breaker. We typically spend a lot of time in AZ in the winter, and have a mix of boondocking as well as one favorite spot that has only 30 amp power, so for us SSF will help with both scenarios...

So, advantages for each:
-SSF has much of the same convenience as built in genny (within the above limits) but has no smell and no maintenance, as well as no fuel costs. A built in genny can burn through 40lbs/day propane under heavy use; even typical use will likely burn through a bottle per week or more.

-built in genny has advantage of higher total power, so extended AC (or dual AC) use and running more high load power draws at the same time are possible.

As mentioned, if you spend most of your time plugged in to 50 amp power, there is little to be gained by SSF or a built in generator. Likely the best solution is a small solar install to use for the occasional overnight in Walmarts while driving to your destination.

For us and our use, having the convenience of a built in genny with no ongoing costs, along with the ability to run most things whether unplugged or plugged in to 30 or 15 amp power, were key reasons to buy the SSF.

HtH!
Brad
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:57 PM   #18
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Just because I can, I think I’ll add another 500 watts of solar. I’ve already got the panels and controller, just need some labor and wire. The generator is sure an option but I’d like to avoid it. Adding batteries gets iffy. Not sure about keeping the same age and how much of a big deal that is with lithium. Hard to get a straight answer on that topic. At least an answer I can understand. lol
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