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Old 08-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #301
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Thanks for the advice, Lorna.

Today I went ahead and bought this RV solar kit. It will give me 50 watts more than I started with, plus it comes with almost everything I'll need to install the thing.
RV, Van, Marine Solar Kit With 140 Watts of DC Power and Low Voltage Disconnect

I already have a charge controller and inverter. But I hope the charge controller that comes with this will be a little better, and I definitely needed all the other "bits & pieces" that are included with this kit.

I'm such a geek... at work (*shhh! don't tell the boss ), I created a cost matrix and scored 10 different RV solar panel packages based on 3 criteria:
  • Overall Cost[/*:m:2h3ec8b2]
  • Cost per Watt[/*:m:2h3ec8b2]
  • Value of Accessories Packages[/*:m:2h3ec8b2]
Each was given a rank by price and the overall ranks added to a final "score". In the end, the kit above was the best value per dollar in everything except initial cost (which ranked 9 of 10 where 10 is the worst). But even with that awful score, the other two cost points were 1 out of 10 and 2 out of 10, so that shot it right to the top of the list.

So, it is done. I ordered it this morning right before lunch, and if all goes well, the package should arrive by the 20th. By then it should be one of the last items to be installed.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:37 PM   #302
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Not sure "exactly" what your purpose of solar is...I assume to keep battery up.
In perfect conditions your looking at almost 8amps of 12V.
So assuming(since panel will be flat on roof) you can get 5hrs of 5amps going int batteries(these are all assumption numbers)you can look at replacing say 25AH of battery use could be more or less remember.
The controller is a good reliable unit(make sure to read manual about hooking it 12v source first,before hooking panel to system)
Not sure why the miny box w/breakers is supplied...mmm...weird.
That single panel won't supply enuf "juice" to use both or 1 off the breakers

This panel hooked to your battery will be like plugging a 25amp battery charger to it,it does have a better or shall I say a smarter battery charger mode.
Just things to ponder...I can't wait to read the daily trip reports
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:39 PM   #303
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Oh by the way...since it has such a long cord,you could park in the shade and actually have in the sun pointing directly at the sun when parked...that will really hep getting the most out of it
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #304
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Also make sure use the mounts so it is up off the deck,that way air can circulate under it to help cool it off.....so another week and you'll be on the road?if your somehow near us(our lost ) bristol tn/va area give me a shout...good luck and god speed.....may your adventure be epic!
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:17 AM   #305
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

I have very few solar power needs. I have 2 strips of LED lights I would like to run. Maybe a fan if it's OMG hot at night, and my laptop (maybe... but only if I can't get the 12V cig lighter plug installed before leaving).

3 weeks and counting! I'll be leaving Labor Day weekend. And, yes, I will probably make a stop over in Bristol, VA to visit a dear friend. Maybe I can stop by to say HI too? drop me a PM.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:56 AM   #306
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

The cig lighter thingy is a 1 wire job. Mount the unit on a metal base ie dash ...... run your hot wire direct to the battery, either the house battery or engine battery, preferably the house battery....
be sure to put a inline fuse between the battery and the cig lighter unit....... plug in your converter and you're in business.....
10 minute job...... or 3 days .... whichever comes first....
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #307
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyEagle
10 minute job...... or 3 days .... whichever comes first....


Sounds like how my "simple" projects turn out
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:51 PM   #308
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by browncrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyEagle
10 minute job...... or 3 days .... whichever comes first....


Sounds like how my "simple" projects turn out
EXACTLY!!!

There are only 21 days, 3 weeks, and 2 weekends left to get stuff done.
Holy crap! I better stop typing and start working!

END OF DAY EDIT... What the heck did I do today???
  • Took the dog to the vet to get the last of her shots[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Stopped by one RV shop and picked up the parts necessary to make the dump valve for the black tank[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Stopped by Lowes and bought the 2" black pipe needed for the plumbing[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Took a nap with the dog and kittens [/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Went to another RV shop and picked up a 30 amp land line, ordered the 30 amp connection point that will go to the bus, and bought a water inlet for potable water.[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Got caught in a massive downpour on the way home that totally soaked the inside of the bus because 2 windows were CRACKED open (seriously, it was just like a half inch, but still the rain was that bad and blew in while I was driving).[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Installed the dump valve once the rain stopped.[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Installed my 2nd LED light strip over the couch area. Now the bus is really lit up at night. I LOVE my LED lights![/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
  • Built the framework for a short wall behind the driver's seat, which helps support a shelf over the driver's side wheel well. This will be where the batteries and electrical stuff lives.[/*:m:1y2sw4qo]
Looking at the list, it seems like a lot of stuff, but it still feels like nothing is getting done. I know it is intellectually. But emotionally, I'm too ready to have everything done, and be on the road already!
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #309
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

QUOTE -Built the framework for a short wall behind the driver's seat, which helps support a shelf over the driver's side wheel well. This will be where the batteries and electrical stuff lives.-QUOTE

Make sure you vent the batteries outside the bus !!!........ nothing good came become of having them vented inside. Batteries give off poisonous gases.....
Just in case FYI
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:16 AM   #310
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
...This will be where the batteries and electrical stuff lives...
Gasses from batteries eat up electrical & electronic innards. Batteries really should be sealed from all other equipment and vented outside. Batteries just don't play well with others.

Our batteries will live in one of the two original battery bays. Electrical/cable hookups will live in the old battery bay next to the batteries. Panel box/charger will be inside the bus.
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