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Old 03-29-2019, 02:59 PM   #41
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: '17-Vegas 24.1
State: California
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Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
Not to be redundant , but, question is still on the board....what panel goes with the thor system, my coach came set up with every thing but the panel... even the controller is hooked up...leaving everything as is... what panel goes with what Thor installed... can you buy the correct panel from thor...again..this is like an engine with no carb!!!
If youíre installing the panels yourself, look at Amazon:
- 100 watt monocrystelinne flex panels are $125. Windy Nation Brand is popular and trusted. But there are many China options to choose from.
Fasten with eternabond tape. Simple, clean install.
Weigh just a few pounds.
But generally only a 5 yr warranty and not as efficient as solid panels due to heat build up underneath

- 100 watt solid mono panels as low as $99.
Now you need to decide on how to mount. There are plastic mounts ($25-30) that can be glued onto the roof or fastened with screws. The mounts allow for air circulation underneath panel for cooling.
The solid panels weight 16+ pounds and have a 20-25 yr warranty.
Solid panels are the most solar efficient option

Finally, based on your controller, you need to decide if the panels are to be wired ďin seriesĒ or ďin parallelĒ

While youíre at it, most switch to 6 volt batteries if you donít already have them.

All of the info is on-line
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:28 PM   #42
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Model: Outlaw 29H
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
...

Have you observed how much of an increase you get when you tilt the panels? I expect the 325 Watts was with panels tilted towards sun? How much if not tilted?

...
I didn’t test tilted vs non but I can tell you that pic was taken in Soldotna AK around first week in June last year, around 1pm, with front of coach pointed east, so using the NOAA sun position calculator page (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/azel.html) looks like suns elevation was about 50 degrees. I’m sure tilting the panels south that day improved efficiency quite a bit. I stayed at that campground for ~3 weeks it was the only time I tilted panels on my trip cause I just didn’t stay as long in one place after that and sun got higher in elevation as trip progressed into summer and I moved south toward Wash DC and back to AZ. Maybe this year I’ll do a same day/time tilt comparison with sun elevation data.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:38 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegasruv24.1 View Post
Not to be redundant , but, question is still on the board....what panel goes with the thor system, my coach came set up with every thing but the panel... even the controller is hooked up...leaving everything as is... what panel goes with what Thor installed... can you buy the correct panel from thor...again..this is like an engine with no carb!!!
One more thing...
Here’s a 100 watt solid panel for $82
It’s polycrystalline (not quit as efficient as the more expensive monocrystalline)

But, you can have 200 watts for $164 plus your mounts

Amazon 100 Watt Solid Panel - $82
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:47 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post
One more thing...
Hereís a 100 watt solid panel for $82
Itís polycrystalline (not quit as efficient as the more expensive monocrystalline)

But, you can have 200 watts for $164 plus your mounts

Amazon 100 Watt Solid Panel - $82
WOW, thanks for the info...looks easy enough...so the plugs on the roof are mc4?....I need to get up there and measure what and where to put it...there's a mono 150 watt that's 40x40 ...that's probley as big as I would go with the 10 amp system...I think,..

https://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Max-Ba...1QZPJJPZADJKT1
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:22 PM   #45
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With 3 100 watt panels, 4 6V batteries in series/parallel configuration and a Maximum power point charger, I traveled full time form 15 years and never had a power problem. I don't waste electricity, maybe an hour or two of TV then read for another hour or two using LED lighting. In AZ I usually had a full charge by 9AM, anywhere else it was sufficient. You get a fair charge on overcast days but never a full amperage rating. Get a power point type of charge controller, it will give you about 1/3 more amperage which is substantial. No idea of pay back time but the convenience is priceless as they say.
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:54 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by azadv View Post
I didnít test tilted vs non but I can tell you that pic was taken in Soldotna AK around first week in June last year, around 1pm, with front of coach pointed east, so using the NOAA sun position calculator page (https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/azel.html) looks like suns elevation was about 50 degrees. Iím sure tilting the panels south that day improved efficiency quite a bit. I stayed at that campground for ~3 weeks it was the only time I tilted panels on my trip cause I just didnít stay as long in one place after that and sun got higher in elevation as trip progressed into summer and I moved south toward Wash DC and back to AZ. Maybe this year Iíll do a same day/time tilt comparison with sun elevation data.

Thanks for reply, and look forward to additional data if you test affect of tilting the panels on power production. Based on length of shadow on motorhome roof seen on one of your pictures, Iíd bet it will make a significant difference.

The issue Iíve thought about, since panels have become cheaper, is at what point it may make sense to add more panels instead of tilting mechanisms. Granted, roof space may not allow additional panels anyway. Any idea on how much the tilting mechanisms added to total cost?
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Old 03-30-2019, 10:14 PM   #47
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Size your panels based on the Ah of batteries you plan to install. For example I have two Trojan 6V 360 Ah batteries. Therefore I need only one 360 watt panel or 3 160 watt panels give nice ďoverageĒ for part shat etc. This will give you about 27 amps of output, 9 amps per panel.

What you are looking at would require about 1200 Ah of batteries, 1200/60 = 20 of the batteries that come with your coach - dual purpose. Or by weight 1,200 pounds of batteries.

The big problem is voltage loss due to undersized wiring. Look to install 6 to 8 g wires to your solar controller and then to your batteries. Skimp on this you loose big. Do a search for a voltage loss wire size calculator and it will show you loss versus amps vs voltage vs length.

1200/12 = 100 amp of charging will require some really big wires.

My system work, bought wire and controllers from Arizona solar. Have replaced several for folks who just donít listen. Itís in the physics.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:28 AM   #48
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azadv - You are sooo right about the solar panel mounting brackets being way too much.

I was just planning on making some myself too. I like what you did. What did you make them out of, Stainless steel? Aluminum?

I plane to VHB tape mine down. I have everything else installed but the solar part. I already have all parts but the brackets. I really would like tilting option also so I can get under them for maintenance/cleaning.

I would appreciate any info you can give me on the brackets part of your solar install.

Thanks, Jeff
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:51 AM   #49
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I just watched the nomadic fanatic on YouTube he just installed solar from that place you might want to see what he did. He has a coachman class A but might give you ideas of what is possible.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:18 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Oregonjaf View Post
I'm pulling the trigger on a solar package from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun.

https://www.solar-electric.com/rvkit-024-1280w-12v.html

Anybody have a new Thor, better yet, Quantum who has mounted a similar package? Does the stock wiring and setup work well? Any modifications? Am I buying too much? I'd like to use solar 100% for my power needs, as I will be full timing it.

Thanks!
That is very expensive. You should try Windy Nation. They have a 1600 watt system for 1/3 that price. I have the system. I don't use it for my RV. I use it to power my garage and as a backup when winter storms cut power to my house.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:50 AM   #51
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Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Arkansas
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This is how we ALL learn: somebody asks a question, or starts a conversation... and we're off to the races!
I absolutely love it when you guys go off to the races, I get to learn from y'all who've been there & done that & have a great time while I'm at it. I think that makes this forum & it's members priceless (but please don't start charging for the show, I couldn't afford the cost of admission!). Thanks guys! & thanks Oregonjaf for the questions, I'm just as 'solar stupid', as you put it - tech phobic to boot!
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:57 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by wingnut60 View Post
Outside of the above good advice--solar power is simply amp-hours stored vs amp-hours used. No different than a bank account, the bank being the batteries. I have 1260w and 4 AGM batteries--no way is this totally an 'off-the-grid' setup. And there are power draws in the RV that are on all the time that you will find out about....
AMSolar did my install, no way would I have attempted it myself.
I upgraded to 2 agm 6v's after my 1st week of below freezing temps that was my intro into my very 1st week of rv'ing. My old 12v couldn't make it thru a single night & that scared me. Is the math just as simple of the production/storage? If you can run your 1260w w/4 agm's is it likely I can start w/600w w/my 2 agm 6v's??? Thx!
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:32 PM   #53
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Jimbo21793,
Just curious how it'sgoing with your "portable" solar option. We have a Palazzo and I really don't want to take the big dive into permanent mounting a 400w (or larger) system on the roof. Just looking for something to offset running the generator as often I do.

How do you like it? Is it doing what you had hoped?

Funhog
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:59 PM   #54
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Solar setup

I installed two Renogy flexible 160W panels on my Outlaw 29H with a Rover MPPT Charge Controller about 8 weeks ago.

I used Eternabond Tape to mount them to the roof since it was pre-wired. Iím still using the two stock 12V house batteries that are 2 years old as well but will switch them out to two 6V AGMís when they die.

I have run my fridge 8 hours on the batteries during the day with a mix of sun and clouds without any issues.

I have also run the garage air conditioner (5000 BTU) for a couple hours without a low battery warning or any issues with a mix of sun and clouds. I swapped out the stock Inverter for a Xantrex Freedom Xi 2000.

The flexible panels are more expensive but I liked not drilling holes in the roof and that they were very light. Also two panels can generate over 300W in ideal conditions.

Also, the Renogy MPPT Charge Controller has an Equalization Mode in addition to the three standard charging modes. As a result I am going to live with my stock WFCO Converter until it needs replaced now. Iím not even plugging in anymore when the rig is sitting in the driveway.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:09 PM   #55
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we have a Palazzo, too, and decided to add two 100w panels before our trip to Alaska, and Canada, and back thru the western states back in June and July 2017.

I purchased mine as a package, for about ~$300, with the two panels, 20a controller, wiring, Y connectors, and decided not to mount anything to the roof, but keep them in a 'portable' capacity, using an old 4-bike rack as a 'articulating solar mount', with the panels riding comfortably between our Palazzo and the toad... I just ran the wiring under the chassis and into the battery bay.

As for the 'outcome', or benefit, of solar, my quest was just as yours - limit the usage of the generator, especially since you have so much 'daylight' during the Alaska journey where sometimes the sun never 'sleeps'...

the reality is that solar is a 'sometimes yes, sometimes no' offsetting benefit to what you'd normally experience while traveling.

There are big differences also in whether you are off-grid for days at a time, parked the whole time, and relying solely on solar and the generator, or whether you are traveling extensively and hoping that the solar will provide a shorter overnight generator run time when overnighting along the way, with no other electrical options.
The difference is this: you ONLY receive any charging, power, and benefit from solar WHEN you are parked and the coach is not running. Period. Otherwise, your House batteries are already being charged by the Alternator when driving, or by the Shore or Generator, otherwise. Remember, also, that you'll still need the generator when running the microwave for long runs, making coffee, needing air conditioning, etc., and those times also charge your House batteries.

So, think about the little 'time' when you are A) Parked B)Off-grid and C)the sun is OVERHEAD... that's probably not a great amount of time, since during the 'day' you may more often be traveling, or you don't want to park in the sun, since it's HOT during the summer, and therefore your panels are in the shade, too, etc.

You might find that the cost of solar, and the actually 'real' time that it's actually in play, is a relatively expensive 'fourth choice' for power, and it's not always 'available' when you want it, or need it, since you are the mercy of the sun, or shade, or obstructions.

Also, how MUCH solar you have, and how MUCH battery storage you have, go a long way to actual 'off gridding' with solar power as the only source, at least for very long. If you don't have plenty of solar, and plenty of battery storage to 'hold' that power for later use, then it's like thinking that you are doing yourself some great service, when in reality not much changes - you still will need to run your generator, it just may be a little while later.

Is any of this to deter your efforts? Maybe, but the information is important for anyone considering the pros and cons, the expense, and the effort involved.

Having more batteries might actually be a more practical, useful, and lower cost upgrade.
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:14 AM   #56
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Model: Palazzo 33.2
State: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonjaf View Post
I'm pulling the trigger on a solar package from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun.

https://www.solar-electric.com/rvkit-024-1280w-12v.html

Anybody have a new Thor, better yet, Quantum who has mounted a similar package? Does the stock wiring and setup work well? Any modifications? Am I buying too much? I'd like to use solar 100% for my power needs, as I will be full timing it.

Thanks!
Nice setup, wish I'd bought it! I agree you need 6 of those batteries though and not just 3.
When you get familiar with the BMV 712 Smart, and play around with the ME-ARC50 Remote you can go to the Control Charger setting and command a Bulk charge to shorten your recharge time, since those batteries can take as much as you can through at them.
When you install the new Magnum MS3012, if your current RV inverter/charger only has a single circuit AC input, be sure to wire the jumper to the unused side per Magnums instalation instructions so you can get the full battery charging amp benefit of your new Magnum MS3012. I didn't do it initially since it was optional and would only get ~56 amps in Bulk mode. After I added the recommended jumpers, I now get ~130 amps in Bulk mode which cuts my recharge time in half when using the gennerator.
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