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moonlitsouls

Everywhere

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Posted: 01/03/21 06:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hope all is well, i am planning to upgrade the solar system of my truck camper. The camper came with 2 lead acid batteries which will be replaced with 100ah Battle Born lithium ion. THe camper also has 1 x 190w GoPower solar panel with the accompanying gopower solar controler.

Here's my plan

Upgrade the batteries
upgrade Solar controller to mppt
add 1 x 190 watt panel for a total of 380w
add inverter
transfer switch to turn on/shut off generator when power is needed
and id like a remote to turn on/off the inverter from the panel

I am still very new to this and not even sure if what im saying will make sense to you, but so far, i think this is what i need


i have created a list on amazon with a few products minus the additional panel and the batteries , pls let me know your thoughts on where i can improve and anything else i may be missing

https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/28BTUNU8WSZD8?ref_=wl_share

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 01/03/21 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Seems reasonable. How will the battery be charged when the sun doesn't shine?


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moonlitsouls

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Posted: 01/03/21 07:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Seems reasonable. How will the battery be charged when the sun doesn't shine?


hmm , well i assume through the generator bc ill be boondocking quite a bit, i have not secured an electrical hoookup and ill be full timing until i sort that out. i have a LP onan generator to run when the solar is not working. although i am concerned about this too, we dont get too many truly sunny days in NYC in the winter

CA Traveler

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Posted: 01/03/21 07:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stock charger right? Have you verified that it is compatible with the LI battery? They are not the same as flooded batteries.

moonlitsouls

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Posted: 01/03/21 09:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Stock charger right? Have you verified that it is compatible with the LI battery? They are not the same as flooded batteries.


if you mean the solar controller , its the Go Power that the dealer installed on the camper when the original owners upgraded it. It is compatible with lithium but im swapping that out for a victron mppt unit , is the solar controller what you're referring to? thanks

CA Traveler

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Posted: 01/04/21 01:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was asking about the 120V stock RV battery charger when you run the gen or shore power.

* This post was edited 01/04/21 01:45am by CA Traveler *

BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 01/04/21 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The cart looks good, but as was said be sure everything has a setting for lithium batteries.

You will want to upgrade the onboard converter/charger as CA Traveler mentions above. I have upgraded to Progressive Dynamics on my last 3 RVs and it's a vast improvement. the charging profile is such that you can put the unit into boost mode, that will output 14.4v and charge the batteries in about 2h of run time.

You can an upgrade kit from Best Converter that enables you to swap out the converter/charger and 12v load center without having to take out the enclosure and re-wire anything. Newer units will have a setting for Lithium batteries too.

It's a nice sunny day here in NY today! FYI, solar panels produce power whenever there is light, so they are producing even on a cloudy day, just not at full spec like they would in bright sunlight. If you have 400w worth of panels, they may still produce 100w of power on a cloudy day, enough to top off your batteries while you're at work.

I would also consider adding a multimeter like this that can clamp on and measure DC voltage. One of the things you'll want to do is start compiling data on panel output under various weather conditions and power usage under various scenarios.

One other thing that you should do immediately (if you haven't already) is to be sure that every single bulb in the camper is LED. I bought these 1141 replacement bulbs that have good color temp and lumen output and make updating the inside fixtures a breeze. A good speacialty bulb for the range hood is this one from SuperBrightLEDS.com.


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BurbMan

Islip, Long Island

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Posted: 01/04/21 09:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One more thing...BestBoatWire is a good source of quality 12v wire in the large gauges that you'll need.

The biggest challenge that you're going to have is where to put all this stuff...there's not a lot of storage to start with in a TC. I had to swap out my crank-down Winegard TV antenna with a King Jack unit to free up enough real estate on the roof for 1-100w solar panel. You don't say what model TC you have but hope it's bigger than mine [emoticon]

Speaking of TV antenna you may want to do that swap anyway to improve your stealth camping profile....

moonlitsouls

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Posted: 01/04/21 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:

The cart looks good, but as was said be sure everything has a setting for lithium batteries.

You will want to upgrade the onboard converter/charger as CA Traveler mentions above. I have upgraded to Progressive Dynamics on my last 3 RVs and it's a vast improvement. the charging profile is such that you can put the unit into boost mode, that will output 14.4v and charge the batteries in about 2h of run time.

You can an upgrade kit from Best Converter that enables you to swap out the converter/charger and 12v load center without having to take out the enclosure and re-wire anything. Newer units will have a setting for Lithium batteries too.

It's a nice sunny day here in NY today! FYI, solar panels produce power whenever there is light, so they are producing even on a cloudy day, just not at full spec like they would in bright sunlight. If you have 400w worth of panels, they may still produce 100w of power on a cloudy day, enough to top off your batteries while you're at work.

I would also consider adding a multimeter like this that can clamp on and measure DC voltage. One of the things you'll want to do is start compiling data on panel output under various weather conditions and power usage under various scenarios.

One other thing that you should do immediately (if you haven't already) is to be sure that every single bulb in the camper is LED. I bought these 1141 replacement bulbs that have good color temp and lumen output and make updating the inside fixtures a breeze. A good speacialty bulb for the range hood is this one from SuperBrightLEDS.com.



Hey Don! I am in the process of reaching out to the manufacturer to see what make/model the stock charger is. Been learning a lot the last couple days. And yes, all my bulbs are LED. The rig is an Eagle Cap 811

Regarding the lithium battery pack , i decided to build my own 280ah pack , the prices for battle born and others were just too high. Hopefully i can find someone on here who can help me assemble.

I have a lot more research to do on this solar system because there is a lot i still dont understand, but little by little.

FlashBuddy

Fort Collins Colorado

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Posted: 01/04/21 03:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OMG - A DIY battery guy, love it! If your just getting your feet wet check out his guy, I believe he is the go to guru when it comes to this kind of stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/user/errolprowse

Oh, when you make your battery bank, be sure to post your notes/method and a photo or two.


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