Originally Posted by KTB
Hi Guys! We just bought a 2017 Thor Challenger 37tb and with the residential refrigerator, I'm thinking solar panels will be a great investment for dry camping trips. I've done some electrical at home and lots of car stereo installs so I'd planned on installing everything myself. The coach came with 2 6v batteries for the coach and I'm going to bump that to 4. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Our friends have the a residential refrigerator with 4 6 volt batteries for a bank of 432 Ah. They have to run the ginney 4 to 5 hours each day to recharge the battery bank. Their inverter/charger generates 60 amps.
If your refrigerator is anything like theirs 60 amps for 18 volt, 12 volts after the charge controller, is about 1086 watts of solar to produce that much charge. You can go with higher voltage panels and a MPPT controller which will help; but your final solar array will still be something like 1200 to 1500 watts when you take in other usage etc.
Based on that you will need to probably mix both solar and ginny run time.
The residential while more efficient then propane is maybe not the best way to go for dry camping. When the cost to run it with a solar/generator is figured in. It is difficult to get rated wattage from solar panels due to real world conditions, dirt, partial shade, or winter sun.
We spend 6 to 8 months a year dry camping.