Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-28-2016, 01:09 AM   #1
New Member
bread1969's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 8
Year: 1990
Engine: GMC 350 V8
Solar AC or Solar DC

Hi there,

I am looking for off-grid solar only options (with some propane appliance backup) for my 1990 Mini-bird breadbox bus. I'm seeing that DC kits are a lot cheaper. I know that AC is better for bigger spaces and large appliances but I'm wonder if I can get away with a DC system with 3- 160 V panels, and an AC system with 3- 45 V panels. My fridge is electric/propane optional. I don't have any other large appliances. I mainly need it for lights and an a couple small kitchen appliances.

Electric stuff is like a foreign language to me, so any advice is helpful. Oh, also I am in the 1800 zone as far as sunshine. 300+ days of sunshiine a year and no trees blocking or shading my bus or property.

Thanks a bundle,

bread1969 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2016, 03:11 AM   #2
crazycal's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NUNYA
Posts: 4,236
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 3800
Engine: DT408, AT545
Rated Cap: 23 500 gvw
Off grid as opposed to grid tie? Is this a test? Are we on Candid Camera? How do you think you get AC from a solar panel? Start with a DC panel and run it through an inverter.

I'm not sure what the 1800 zone is. Is that what you call the state someone is in after consuming this?
Attached Images
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2016, 10:56 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,782
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Welcome Morgan!

The AC kit likely comes with the solar panels, a charge controller, some wire and an inverter to take the DC electricity and convert it to AC. The DC kit likely has all the same things minus the inverter.

You don't need two different "solar systems" to get both AC and DC power. Solar panels only provide DC electricity, which goes through the charge controller and into the batteries. The inverter pulls DC electricity from the batteries and converts it into AC for those few appliances that use it.
Your bus already runs off of DC. All the lights, blowers, stereo are DC.

To run an air conditioner you will need much more than 3x 45 watt panels. I would say 600 watts is the minimum you would need. 600 watts accompanied by a sufficiently large battery bank should happily keep up with a small window air conditioner unit while the sun is shining.
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
jazty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
New Member
bread1969's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 8
Year: 1990
Engine: GMC 350 V8
Thanks for the info...i'm not going to be using air conditioning. I'm in a cool enough place to where I don't think I will need it.
bread1969 is offline   Reply With Quote

a/c, ac/dc, d/c, electricity, solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:50 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.