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Old 04-18-2021, 07:11 PM   #1
Jersquared
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Solar needs

I'm curious as to how much solar do you all run.. I don't boondock nor do I have a need for an inverter.. I purchased a 2021 3120rl in July of 2020 and I'm just now getting around to installing some solar to maintain batteries.
So far I have not camped anywhere without full hookups, come June we will be taking the 5th wheel over the mountain for 5 days dry camping... In the past I had a smaller TT we would only go for about 3 days but by the Sunday my batteries (2 deep cycle 12v about 150ah total) were pretty low. It gets down into the 30s at night, as you can imagine the majority of our consumption was the heater ( I refuse to not be comfortable in my bed lol)
With the 3120rl I purchased, I went with 4 Trojan 6volt batteries about 480ah total. I have my eye on a flexible 175w panel and a 40a mppt controler incase I want to down the road add another panel. With this setup I think I should reasonably be able to put depending on the day, shading etc 50 - 70a back to the bank. I'm really curious as to how much solar some of you all and what your experience has been with it.

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2021, 09:56 PM   #2
Daryles
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400W solar, 100/30 MPPT, 552AH lithium batteries, 2000W inverter.
Recently spent 5 days boondocking. Perfect weather. Temperatures day 65 to 70, night 50's. Lowest 40's. Ran the furnace a little overnight (largest consumer, next to the coffee maker). TV, satellite, wally, Nintendo.
In the morning batteries were at 80%. Solar panels had them back to 100% by noon.
For a back up, DC-DC charger.
https://www.montanaowners.com/forums...hlight=charger
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Old 04-18-2021, 10:21 PM   #3
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Jer,

I have four 6v golf cart batteries and 540 watts solar. Also have a 3000 watt inverter that will run everything but the a/c and water heater. Will break out the Honda genny for poor sun due to clouds or trees if I am using a lot of power.

Without an inverter your power usage will be driven by your furnace use.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:15 AM   #4
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Jer
I assume you have been recharging your batteries when boondocking with a generator? I have run 4- golf carts and in about 2 days need to recharge my batteries. New trailer will have Lithium, and a 300W solar, and hoping to not need to run the generator 1/2 as much as I used to.

Allen
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:34 AM   #5
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16.8 kwhr of LiFePO4, 2500 watts of solar, adding an Onan onboard as a backup and to intentionally add pin weight. This is not a setup for someone who predominently goes full hookup to full hookup.



Let your needs and style of travel/living dictate your solution. Remember those FLA total amp hours are not all usable capacity. Also it's been my experience that flexible panels may not last you as long as you might like. There is a debate within the industry regarding why this is. One agreed upon reasoning is the lack of air flow around the panel to remove the heat generated. The flexible offering from BB is still really new and waiting to see real world feedback from the industry professionals.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:01 AM   #6
Jersquared
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemiallen View Post
Jer
I assume you have been recharging your batteries when boondocking with a generator? I have run 4- golf carts and in about 2 days need to recharge my batteries. New trailer will have Lithium, and a 300W solar, and hoping to not need to run the generator 1/2 as much as I used to.

Allen
Actually I opted not to get the Generator. I do not consume much energy... I'm not making coffee in the morning or running a TV... We haven't boondocked let alone even dry camped yet... Worth my old travel trailer when camping without shore power we pretty much never spent anytime in the rv except to cook, sleep and shower... So to me a generator seemed like added weight and cost for something that would rarely if ever get used... I know the girlfriend would like coffee in the am, so maybe an inverter will come eventually... I'm basically just looking to restore the power consumed from the furnace.

Jer
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:22 AM   #7
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Jer,

You should be able to run your furnace continuously for 24 hours on fully charged batteries. Furnace blower takes about 10 amps so 10x24=240 which takes your batteries to 50%. Of course you typically will not run it continuously.

On the recharge side you are putting in about 14 amps with full sun and little loss. You will be fine for a few days if all you are doing is the furnace.

If you are going to boondock longer or add an inverter to run other things you will want to add more solar.

You can make great coffee on the stove.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:20 PM   #8
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We have 600w of solar, 100/30 Victron MPPT controller, Victron Multiplus 3000w inverter, 4 x 6v batteries for 440ah with 220ah useable. I can run most normal loads and on a sunny day the solar can keep the batteries above 80%. I also carry a 3000w Hyundai generator for cloudy days. My controller might be a bit undersized, although I've never exceed the 30a limit, at least not yet. Panels will always operate below 100% efficiency. We camp a lot in the mountains so the furnace gets a good workout at night, AC not so much.
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