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Old 02-26-2021, 01:25 PM   #1
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Need advice - shore hookups only with option to add solar

I need advice on what I need to do a shore hookup only for a while. We can seem to find what we need solar wise for less than $5500 so we are gonna have to figure out a temporary solution to have power until we can afford our system.
Advice, product links, diagram maybe? would be helpful.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:08 PM   #2
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A shore hookup is an extension cord connected to a subpanel inside the bus, appropriately wired. Alternatively shore power can be just an extension cord plugged into your inverter, if you have an inverter for 12 VDC power and it has a power cord.

Typical shore power is 30 or 50 amp. 30 Amp is probably most common unless you've got lots of appliances. Do a power budget to determine the right size. I'm using a standard Home Depot 30 amp subpanel with circuit breakers, one of which powers my inverter, the others branch out around the bus. The subpanel is fed through a RV power inlet (search on google) using an RV power cord (search on google). I decided 30 instead of 50 because I didn't need the power and it's cheaper components.

Read, understand and follow all postings about grounding the panel. Electricity is deadly and proper subpanel setup and grounding is key to long life.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:26 PM   #3
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Do you want 30 amp service or 50 amp service?
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:01 PM   #4
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OP, if you'd like to talk electrical, feel free to PM me and we can setup a phone call. Sometimes a realtime conversation with a person where you can ask questions as you think of them can help. Energy is a multifaceted endeavor and to plan a rollout proper we kinda need to get a feeling of what you're trying to do, what your expectations are, etc.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
A shore hookup is an extension cord connected to a subpanel inside the bus, appropriately wired. Alternatively shore power can be just an extension cord plugged into your inverter, if you have an inverter for 12 VDC power and it has a power cord.

.
well 95% of our stuff is 12v - including our fridge - deisel heater - water pump-
propane water heater - propane rv cook stove - once i a while we will run a microwave (700w) and my hair dryer, curling iron.
all the lighting and such is 12v as well. my computer charges on 120v but im just going to get a 12v charger for it before we move in

we plan on 900w solar and 600AH of batteries in the future.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey.Wilderness View Post

we plan on 900w solar and 600AH of batteries in the future.
Who's quoting you $5,500 for that?!! I paid less than that for my 2kW solar system that uses two Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controllers and eight golfcart batteries (c. 850aH total). These days PV panels are about 50 cents a watt (that's much less than I paid for mine), so your $5,500 quote seems excessive.

John
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Who's quoting you $5,500 for that?!! I paid less than that for my 2kW solar system that uses two Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controllers and eight golfcart batteries (c. 850 aH total). These days PV panels are about 50 cents a watt (that's much less than I paid for mine), so your $5,500 quote seems excessive.

John
I'll echo this.. somewhat.

Buying your components individually on your own you will likely end up with a system as capable or more capable for a lower price than mentioned.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:31 PM   #8
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I'd like to back up a bit, though, to make sure I understand your needs. And kazetsukai's offer is very kind...take him up on that! But in the mean time, help "unconfuse" me.

If you want only shore power, you don't need solar now. So are you looking for help with just a shore power hookup that provides all your power (12V primarily, right?) with the ability to add batteries and solar and a charge controller later? Or do you want batteries now?

As to the solar part, you can get decent used 250W commercial panels (with a warranty) for about $50 each from a place here in AZ. $200 bucks and you've got 1000W of solar. For a starter battery bank, there are some decent low-buck options.

Where in CO are you? You could drive down to AZ, to SanTan Solar, to buy panels and on your way back stop by here (near Flagstaff) and I can help you out, too.
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:22 AM   #9
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If the goal is to focus on mostly-solar off-grid long-term stays

then you should **only** attach your (high amp) shore charger to the mains grid supply.

Forget or de-prioritize the charge sources for now, genset, alternator/DC-DC, the solar panels.

Wire 12Vdc throughout, try to minimise the use of appliances requiring inverters on your load side, spend your budget on **very** energy efficient devices

carefully measuring with a coulomb counter 12Vdc consumption on a Ah per 24hr basis.

Even a couple of cheap lead batts for storage, high quality GC2s at 200+Ah for around $200 will do for your House bank for now,

they are just acting as a buffer for the incoming shore power anyway.

Experiment with getting your bank to 100% Full, then turning off the charger and seeing how long the House bank lasts before getting to your 50% SoC cutoff.

This "transition" strategy will constantly reinforce the **extreme** importance of conserving energy usage

in order to reduce future off grid genset cycling and investment in kWs of panelage.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:22 AM   #10
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We had a conversation to get things started/rolling. Powering 12V stuff seemed to be the priority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
Where in CO are you? You could drive down to AZ, to SanTan Solar, to buy panels and on your way back stop by here (near Flagstaff) and I can help you out, too.
I'm a bit farther away (KY), but I'll echo this offer as well. I've been meaning to get out to AZ for one of the big nomad meetups, maybe I can say hello to you then.


It would be super cool to see some folks out on the road.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
I'm a bit farther away (KY), but I'll echo this offer as well. I've been meaning to get out to AZ for one of the big nomad meetups, maybe I can say hello to you then.
We've got a parking space, with a great view. We'd love to host you for a few nights on your way through. We're high enough up here that it's pleasant in the summers.
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