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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > solar project starting to come togeather.

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Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 08/07/20 10:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Setup, takedown, store, setup, takedown, store gets old fast. And watch it for theft. But on the roof...


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


towpro

Compass PA

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Posted: 08/07/20 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

StirCrazy wrote:

Freep wrote:

I never use Dicor. I use commercial grade caulk, Sikaflex.

What kind of truck camper do you have?


I have a 1991 slumberqueen 100WS. it has a 1 piece alumium roof.

Steve


Aluminum I would use this.


Forest River Forester 2401R Mercedes Benz.

Sold: 2016 Arctic Fox 990, 2018 Ram 3500, 2011 Open Range

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/07/20 06:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

StirCrazy wrote:

Geewizard wrote:

I wouldn't put a solar panel on the roof. I'd set it up to be on the ground with a 50' cable so you could park in the shade and put the soler panel out in the sun. Yes, you have to move it once or twice in a day to catch optimal solar input.


Im the opposit, I wouldnt put it anywhere but the roof, I have a 480 watt setup on my 5th wheel and I dont want wires running accross the campground or the extra time worrying about where to put them. they work just fine on the roof.

Steve

That shows how differently we use our campers.
In BC most of the year you want the camper to sit in sunlight, to get some so needed heat.
In central states you rather park in the shade to keep it cool.
I camp mostly in Southern states and I would pay high premium to have trees available to camp under.
Month ago we went to Lake Powell, AZ and mid-week we had about 100 campsites to choose from. Only 1 site had tree about 18" tall so we pick up this one. Turned out that trees in AZ turn the leaves vertically, so sitting under - you still have sunlight on you.
Bottom line AC runs 24hr, unless campground forbids running generator at night.
Last summer I took front-mounted generator to Alaska.
Turned out to be dead weight for 8000 miles.


ya for me is is an anomily, I live in the "hotest city in canada" the summer 4 or 5 months it is between 90 and 118 degrees most of the time, but where I go camping it is out of the valley in the mountians, down on the coast or a different provence. so the temps fall to under 90 most of the time. they way they design most of the provincial parks it would be hard to find a site that is full sun, but the pannels on my 5th wheel have shown me they still work.

Steve


2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK

StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/07/20 06:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Yes, in the drilled hole, under the bracket and over the bracket.
Mount the controller as close to the batteries as possible in a dry, protected place. A closet seems too small. Dimensions?
What wire sizes are you using?


using 10ga from the panel to the controler as it is only 8 amps and a short run, acording to the charts I can use 10 ga to the bateries also so I might try it and decide if I need to upgrade the clable later.

Steve

msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 08/08/20 05:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Steve,
For everything that goes on my TC's roof I use either Dicor or butyl tape under the mounting surface (depends if I expect to remove it or not) and Dicor over the mounting bracket and over the screw heads. I don't personally think that it is necessary to put Dicor inside the screw holes.

As long as you mount the charge controller in the orientation specified by Renogy, a closet should be fine. The controller will get warm, but not hot. Keep in mind that you want to keep the wires from the panels to the controller as short as possible. I don't know how long your cable-run is, but I'd consider 10ga to be the bare minimum... same goes for the wires from the controller to the batteries.

I do have to ask why you are going with the lead acid GC2 batteries???
A single 100A LiFePO4 battery from LifeBlue or BattleBorn will give you the same usable capacity, faster charging & discharging, and be 1/4 the weight of the two GC2's.
Yes the LiFePO4's a expensive.... Pay now, play later [emoticon]

Cheers
-Mark


'04 Alpenlite Saratoga 935, 328W of solar, 300Ah Odyssey batt's, Trimetric, Prosine 2.0
05 Ram3500, Cummins,Vision 19.5 w/M729F's, Dynatrac Hubs, RR airbags w/ping tanks, Superhitch, Roadmaster Swaybar, Rancho RS9000XL
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StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Posted: 08/08/20 06:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msiminoff wrote:

Hi Steve,


I do have to ask why you are going with the lead acid GC2 batteries???
A single 100A LiFePO4 battery from LifeBlue or BattleBorn will give you the same usable capacity, faster charging & discharging, and be 1/4 the weight of the two GC2's.
Yes the LiFePO4's a expensive.... Pay now, play later [emoticon]

Cheers
-Mark


well , I got them cheep on sale and they worked. Plus I didnt know I could build my own 280AH lithium pack for about 600.00 at that time eigher or I would have went that way. I dont have anything that is 110v in the camper, might add a microwave at a later date, so the biggest usage would be my furnace. I have had 4 batteries in m y 5th wheel for 12 years now, they are just starting to show there age, so I will be looking at building a LiFePO4 set up there, just have to figure out where I want to move the batteries to so they will be warm in the winter. I do a lot of camping in temps below 32 also.

Steve

Geewizard

WA

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Posted: 08/10/20 09:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Setup, takedown, store, setup, takedown, store gets old fast. And watch it for theft. But on the roof...


Put up the ladder, clean the panels, walk on the roof, take down the ladder, move the RV into the sun, set up the generator, start up the generator, take down the generator. And watch it for theft. But, on the ground.......

My portable solar setup takes 5 minutes to deploy and produces more amps since it is aligned with the sun than a roof mounted solar panel at an angle to the sun.

To each their own, of course.


2004 Outfitter Apex 8
2014 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
300W solar, MPPT controller, LED lights
2 Fullriver 100AH AGM batteries
Compressor fridge
Wave 3 Heater
Air Lift WirelessAIR and air bags
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DWeikert

York, PA

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Posted: 08/10/20 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

msiminoff wrote:

Hi Steve,
For everything that goes on my TC's roof I use either Dicor or butyl tape under the mounting surface (depends if I expect to remove it or not) and Dicor over the mounting bracket and over the screw heads. I don't personally think that it is necessary to put Dicor inside the screw holes.

Cheers
-Mark

^^^^
This.

When I upgraded the solar on my Northstar I used a strip of butyl tape under the mounting foot with the screws going through this layer of butyl to seal under the screw heads, then self leveling Dicor over the foot and screw heads.


Dan
2008 Chevy D/A 2500HD ECSB
2010 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer


StirCrazy

Kamloops, BC, Canada

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Joined: 07/16/2003

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Posted: 08/20/20 09:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

well, yesterday I got the panel mounted and cables ran down to the charge controler. Decided to step up the battery side cable to 8 ga so I had to go have a couple of thoes made and I should be able to have it all running today. in about 3 weeks I am going to be loading up the camper and touring around Alberta, so that will be a good test as it should be cool enough at night for the furnace.

mounting system for screws that dont hit a stud
[image]

panel all mounted and sealed in
[image]

panel wires done.
[image]

MPPT controler mounted with battery temp sensor and bluetooth cables conected.
[image]

grabbed two of these 30A breakers to use as disconects. I put one on the positive panel wire and one on the positive battery wire.
[image]

Steve

Geewizard

WA

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Joined: 08/25/2004

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Posted: 08/20/20 10:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

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