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Old 01-13-2020, 09:30 PM   #1
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solar panels for boon docking

i have a Thor 4 winds chateau 33 sw with a residential refrigerator. i do mostly boon dock beach camping ,i am looking to put solar in .I have already added 4 more batteries in a bracket under the coach behind the rear axel. has anybody put solar in that will keep battery charged.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:33 PM   #2
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you did the right thing first: more storage, i.e., batteries!

now, you can simply add several 100w panels to the roof(beach camping will give you some good sun hours), run the wires down to the simple pwm controller, and then attach to your battery bank - done.

then you'll see the sun help charge the battery bank during the sun hours, minimizing generator run time. When you see it working, add more panels, upgrade the controller, etc.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:08 PM   #3
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Added battery capacity:
Add all the solar panels that you can fit, and it'll do nothing but help keep things up and running for you.
Just be sure to leave some room for you to get on the roof for your inspections of it's condition.
One other thing: plan ahead for upgrades by getting the controller you think you might end up needing, and wiring that is stout enough to handle anticipated loads.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:53 AM   #4
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Thank you for your input. I am now trying to figure out how many panels I can put up there.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:51 AM   #5
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Given space on the roof is at a premium, and panel pricing has become more reasonable, would suggest considering higher wattage panels. I went with six 200 watt panels. Batteries are key!
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:04 AM   #6
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thank you ,i am looking at a combination of 100 and160 w flexible renogy panels they only have to be taped down with special tape. I am looking to get at least 1200 w of panels on the roof.When i made the battery bracket i left room for 2 more battery just in case.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:27 AM   #7
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I am using the Renogy 160W flexible panels and they seem to work great. They are much lighter and easier to mount but they are a little more expensive.

The first set I installed I used Eternabond tape and taped them right to the roof.

I then decided if I ever want to remove or replace them, it would be a pain removing the Eternabond tape. I went to Home Depot and bought some corregated plastic panels and cut them to about the size of the solar panels.

I then drilled holes in the plastic and installed a thread lug so I could screw the solar panels onto the plastic panels. I then used two sided Eternabond tape to attach the plastic panels to the roof.

If I need to remove the solar panel, I only have to remove 6 screws and unplug them.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jim ward View Post
Thank you for your input. I am now trying to figure out how many panels I can put up there.
A good technique for this is to get some cardboard the same size as the panels you intend to use. A utility knife and some packing tape come in handy to replicate these.Create a layout and take a pic.

Place the cardboard mock-ups on the roof and get a good fit. Don't forget to leave yourself a 'walkway' so you're not precariously walking around existing solar panels to get to the one 'way in the back corner' and fall off the side or something. You may need to get up there and dust them off or...if you go high-dollar and get the tilt mechanisms, you'll need access to them.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:25 PM   #9
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I am using the Renogy 160W flexible panels and they seem to work great. They are much lighter and easier to mount but they are a little more expensive.
You could very easily add tilt mechanisms to this set up to get more bang for your buck, if that's something you want.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:22 PM   #10
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I ran 2011 Tuscany with 4 gel batteries and 450w panels. I do not recommend the flex panels the UV will kill them. That’s why the crystal panels carry 25 year warranty and flex panels usually do not. We only had to use gen when using ac or cappuccino machine
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:32 PM   #11
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I have a 31W, I added 4-100 watt panels and it will charge my 3 - 31 series 12 volt batteries. I also added a light timer to turn off the fridge for 3 hours, then on for 30 minutes during the night. Does your fridge make a “clunking noise when it starts up when only on battery power? Carlmatt@aol.com. Write to me, lets talk more about this problem.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim ward View Post
i have a Thor 4 winds chateau 33 sw with a residential refrigerator. i do mostly boon dock beach camping ,i am looking to put solar in .I have already added 4 more batteries in a bracket under the coach behind the rear axel. has anybody put solar in that will keep battery charged.
We. have a residential fridge in our Miramar 34.1. We added two additional house batteries and 480 watt (3 panels) Go Power Solar. Our system works great with the fridge. The key is the extra storage batteries that you added.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I am using the Renogy 160W flexible panels and they seem to work great. They are much lighter and easier to mount but they are a little more expensive.

The first set I installed I used Eternabond tape and taped them right to the roof.

I then decided if I ever want to remove or replace them, it would be a pain removing the Eternabond tape. I went to Home Depot and bought some corregated plastic panels and cut them to about the size of the solar panels.

I then drilled holes in the plastic and installed a thread lug so I could screw the solar panels onto the plastic panels. I then used two sided Eternabond tape to attach the plastic panels to the roof.

If I need to remove the solar panel, I only have to remove 6 screws and unplug them.

This is about as cool and simple as a Popsicle!! Will PM you for the details. It just made it to the top of my project list....which is a very short list. Did you change the two 6V batteries or leave them as-is?
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
This is about as cool and simple as a Popsicle!! Will PM you for the details. It just made it to the top of my project list....which is a very short list. Did you change the two 6V batteries or leave them as-is?
My Outlaw had two 12V batteries and I left them in place.

My Magnitude has two 6V batteries with room for two more. My plan is to add two more in the spring. I will probably do the Costco Golf Cart batteries since you can't beat the price.
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:33 PM   #15
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no it does not make noise on start up.I are going to put 6- 160w and 3 100w panel on the roof ,i want the batteries to charge even if overcast
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Old 02-02-2020, 06:36 PM   #16
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Don't want to use tilt would have to climb on roof.
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