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Old 11-12-2017, 06:34 PM   #21
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Axis 24.1
State: Florida
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THOR #4366
Here is a link to what I did. http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f27...olar-5678.html

A few notes if all your camping is out west without shade series panels will save you on wire costs but will lock you into using MPPT for a controller.
Parallel the panels if you camp in a lot of shade and make some portable.
The charge controller isolates the system from the on board converter, and the alternator.
Base the number of panels on 10% of your battery bank aH capacity. For example two 6 volt batteries in series is typically 225 aH there for the panels should produce 22.5 amps in full sun. While you can drop this to 5% it may reduce battery life. Just remember at 10% it will take about 6 hours in full sun with clean panels to reach full charge if you are drawing nothing out of the batteries while charging.
While the rule of thumb is 100 watts of solar per 100aH of battery we have found it is closer to 140 watts and that is extremely conservative in usage.

Pre wired RV's tend to have to small of wires, I replace the 12 awg wires that come with panels with 10 awg. If you have a run that goes over 20 feet plan on going up in size to 8 awg. With 2 100 watt panels on the roof feeding 10 amps to the charge controller my system loss is 0.2volts for a 15 foot run.

With panels in series you can do fine with 12 awg wire for short runs or 10 awg for long runs


On our system the battery monitor doesn't measure current to the cranking battery since I wired the shunt in the house batteries only.

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Old 11-12-2017, 06:49 PM   #22
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
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I've been all over your thread about "The Nest"...
Thanks for all of this VERY useful information: I'm trying to absorb what I can of it, before pulling the trigger...
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #23
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
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Another question...
I've been looking at 400 watt kits. They seem to be more than adequate for my needs...
But I was under the impression that the charge controller needs to have at least enough capacity to handle the maximum potential loads that they'll be seeing...
These kits all seem to have just a 30 amp controller, and I sort of am under the impression that it should have a bit more capacity than that...
Can anyone help fill in this info?
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:46 PM   #24
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 35C
State: South Dakota
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THOR #3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Another question...
I've been looking at 400 watt kits. They seem to be more than adequate for my needs...
But I was under the impression that the charge controller needs to have at least enough capacity to handle the maximum potential loads that they'll be seeing...
These kits all seem to have just a 30 amp controller, and I sort of am under the impression that it should have a bit more capacity than that...
Can anyone help fill in this info?
The answer depends on whether or not you will run the panels in parallel or series. In parallel, the 30A PWM controller should be fine. In series, you would need an MPPT controller to handle the different voltage/power requirements. We are using a Renogy solar kits with 4 x 100W panels and a 30A PWM controller. At some point we may consider adding more panels and upgrading the controller.

Additionally, with the panels flat on the roof you can only expect about 80 percent power generation due to the angles on a sunny day. Overcast days we are lucky to get 50 percent of the rated 400W. Many folks have opted to add hinges to their panels to aim them more fully towards the southern sky for better power efficiency.

There are lots of things to consider, and it is good to take your time and start slow. We chose to get a "starter" kit and build on it from there.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:09 PM   #25
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So if I'm good to go with that kit: I found it on sale for a touch over $650...
Does the price seem reasonable?
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:58 PM   #26
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Yup, that was pretty much what we got it for on Amazon. I did add a few things such as inline fuses and additional cabling to make sure we had enough.
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