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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Solar expert please help me understand

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larry cad

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Posted: 04/06/21 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

[image]

We are staying at a CG with full hookups including 30/50 amp electric which is all working. There is a smaller class A in a site, with shore power cord plugged into his power pole. However, and here is where I get lost, he also has a 2'X 4' solar panel set up and wired in front of the RV, and it is always aimed toward the sun. What I don't understand is why? What does the solar panel do that the shore power doesn't?

What am I missing?


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BFL13

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Posted: 04/06/21 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Likely the solar is for his engine battery, while the house batts get the charger supplied by shore power


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Posted: 04/06/21 08:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're all just guessing here.. like his converter is shot, or he doesn't know what he's doing. Ask him!

There's always a nice way to ask.. like "hey, nice panels, where did yo get them.. blah blah." Then maybe he'll volunteer a reason.

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Posted: 04/06/21 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless there is something faulty in his onboard electrical system...there is no point to it.

Engine battery doesn't need solar to stay charged and it's simpler and more reliable to have a connection to the charging system for the house batteries with a disconnect.


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Posted: 04/06/21 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Maybe he is testing his solar system? Or maybe he wants to see how many Wh he can gather in a day? Maybe he collecting solar power makes him happy?

If this is concerning you why don't you ask them, as opposed to posting photos of of strangers RV on the internet?

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Posted: 04/06/21 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

Unless there is something faulty in his onboard electrical system...there is no point to it.

Engine battery doesn't need solar to stay charged and it's simpler and more reliable to have a connection to the charging system for the house batteries with a disconnect.
It's actually common for the chassis battery to not be charged from the house charger. Then there is battery self discharge and perhaps loads that can't be switched off as supplied by the mfg.

And while an alternate charging method might be simplier we would then be denied the fun of responding to this thread.


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Posted: 04/06/21 08:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To answer why I don't ask the owner, I have never seen him. The panels magically move to take in the sun, but I'm not sure how. I can see the rig out of my window, but have never seen a human there. Spooky.

I thought of the bad charger too, but thought this would be more expensive than a new WFCO.

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Posted: 04/06/21 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Toys are fun. Let them play.


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Posted: 04/06/21 09:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There is a meter loop on the pedestal. Perhaps he has a deal where he pays for the 120V he uses. Or, he is just trying to save the park some money because he has the solar to help - a little.

Oooor, he uses the solar to power a small heat plate for the Ranger Bob Mobile Meth Lab.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 04/06/21 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

Unless there is something faulty in his onboard electrical system...there is no point to it.

Engine battery doesn't need solar to stay charged and it's simpler and more reliable to have a connection to the charging system for the house batteries with a disconnect.
It's actually common for the chassis battery to not be charged from the house charger. Then there is battery self discharge and perhaps loads that can't be switched off as supplied by the mfg.

And while an alternate charging method might be simplier we would then be denied the fun of responding to this thread.


I would consider a starter battery with loads that can't be shut off to be a faulty system...at least if they are large enough to discharge the battery in under a week. If the battery is simply self discharging in under a week...again, something is faulty.

If he's parked long term, much simpler to run a line to the charger with a disconnect switch and turn that on for a few hours every so often as opposed to setting up and moving a solar array several times a day as indicated.

So other than to play with a new toy to see what it does, it serves no practical purpose.

Of course, there is the fun of discussing...but I doubt that's why the guy set up the solar array. [emoticon]

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