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Solar panels and charger

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You mentioned you might like a small solar setup to charge your 1 battery.  You could buy a cheap controller and a 100 watt or maybe up to 140 watt panel that would supply maybe 10 amps under ideal conditions.  Rarely will ideal conditions exist.  This would give power enough to run a few lights and the water pump but that is about all.  Parts could be purchased for around $200 if you shop around.  If you decide to go with a bigger system later it is often better to just start over.  The controller will be limited to the single panel and mixing panels has it's own problems.  Larger systems also require bigger wire and generally require rewiring as the factory wiring isn't near adequate. 

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On 6/12/2019 at 4:15 PM, Randyretired said:

 The use of a generator to assist the solar is also an option.  Solar is great for off grid camping but it isn't for everyone.

This is good advice. RV power is often presented as either using a generator OR solar panels, with nothing in between.

But if you are new to the solar powered world, there is no reason why you can't use a hybrid system that includes both. For instance, you could use a suitcase solar system for starters, and run the generator for an hour or two to supplement. This is a low cost way to generate your own power and learn how power is produced from both methods. After understanding how it all works, you can expand the solar system if you like.

Besides, it's not a bad idea to have a generator for prolonged cloudy days anyway.

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With a residential refrigerator you need a lot of solar to support the refrig, and good, sunny days. You also need to clean the solar panels once in a while. We have 660w of solar and have never seen a 100% SOC with just solar. Always need the generator for a bit.

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I'm coming in late to this discussion, but here is a link to a 2 part website, "The 12V side of life", with some great basic info about RV 12V elect systems, batteries, battery installs, battery charging, how much power the devices in the RV use, and lastly info about solar. 


This link will really help educate you on your RV system and help you decide how much battery and solar you will need.

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On 6/12/2019 at 12:36 PM, rm.w/aview said:

Here is something simple yet helpful

Solar set ups can be very simple or very complex, depending on end user and their needs/desires, but you'll find that it's not a complicated matter once the appropriately sized components are purchased.

This video was very helpful.  

Thank you.


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