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  1. Got Victron Inverter/Charger(Victron Energy MultiPlus 24/3000/70-50 Inverter with Charger ) Just realized it only has one hot, but I have 50 amps panel on my RV! now what? the shore line & generator input goes to a transfer case, and the output of transfer case suppose to go to inverter, but the inverter only has one hot, what do I do??? Please advise. Thank you! John
  2. In the process of designing 1,200w system for my motorhome I already decided to use 24v battery system. Should I use 24v batteries in parallel connection or use 12v batteries series & parallel connections to construct the 24v system? does it make any difference at all either way? All batteries are identical and will be purchase same time. Any pro and cons? Please advise. Thanks!
  3. I am designing a 6 100ahr battle born battery bank and 800w-1200w solar panel system for my 2017 35' motorhome.I understand that high voltage system is better as it requires smaller size cable and more efficient, smaller size charge controller, but I also would like the motor home alternator charge my batteries when I am driving (no a deal breaker but it is nice to have it) , Also the wires between the batteries ,bus bar & fuses are very close, so I do not see that much benefit on 24v battery bank system on my motorhome . Please let me know if I missed anything here.I am thinking about wire the solor panel at 24v and leave the battery bank at 12v use this MPPT charge controller:VICTRON ENERGY 30A SMARTSOLAR MPPT 100/30 CHARGE CONTROLLER W/ BLUETOOTHMaximum PV Open Circuit Voltage: 100VBattery Voltage: 12V/24V Auto SelectIt looks like I will be able to take the 24v or even 48v from solor panel and charge the 12v battery bank and take advantage of both 24v and 12v system, could anyone confirm that ?has anyone done this before?Also Battle born also sell the battery isolation manager, have anyone had any experience on this?Please advise.Thanks in advance.
  4. (I also posted this in the Victron Community Forums, but hoping to double up on potential viewers for more answers and suggestions.) To lay the groundwork for the question: We have a 50 amp fifth wheel. We bought the unit used from a private seller, very happy overall. The solar / Victron was installed by the seller or he had it done. We have 4x Battle Born 100ah LifePo4, 4x 190W solar panels, 2x MPPT, SmartBMV and the Victron 12/3000/120-50 We (the wife, the dog and I) are fulltimers, three months now! We have been, in the past three months, mostly on shore power, and always on (confirmed) 50 amps. We found that one of the monitor panels (not listed above) showed us at 30 amps continually. Reached out to seller, he indicated that if I had the inverter on, I'd be limited to 30 amps. Turned it to Off, and I'm back to 50 amps and I can run the air conditioners. Excellent for the Texas heat we'd been dealing with. Two days ago, we relocated to a park, and were fortunate enough to park in the shade. Sure, solar will be very much reduced, but that's okay: we have 50 amps. Tonight...the generator kicked on. Turns out we ran down the batteries to 50%. Direct DC usage in the rig, like lights, whatever else is straight DC, ran them down. With the Victron set to off, the shore power doesn't recharge the batteries. If I turn the Victron to just "Charger" (not Inverter), it will recharge the batteries, but I will still be limited to a 30 amp system. This feels wrong to me. I'm a programmer, have been for 30 years. I'm decent at debugging, but I haven't examined all the the wiring and gotten a deeper understanding of the layout. It just feels wrong that it's this way. When we have good sun, the batteries always get charged up the next day, even on cloudy days. We've been here, in the shade, for... two full days, I think. I'm trying to determine if one or more of the following are true: Is this a standard solar implementation scenario? That there is only ONE possible charger/converter to replenish the batteries installed at one time? Is there a possible wiring / schematic / system design oversight or bug. (I don't have a schematic yet, I have reached out to get one, if available.) There would have been an original charger/converter installed on the rig, before the Victron, etc. was installed. Does anyone ever have that still wired into the system? Really, my only choices are "have sun" or "be limited to 30 amps even when 50 amp shore power is available"? This cannot be right. I'm trying to determine that, if the Victron being on limits me to 30 amps, is there a different way to charge the batteries when on shore power? I know my question might be difficult to many without y'all knowing more about how it's wired up. But I'm hoping I kept my questions as free of the implementation as possible and focused on generalizations, and typical scenarios. For the moment, there's a chill coming into the area tonight and I don't need two A/C's. I'm okay with the 30 amps for now, and I'll get my batteries replenished. Not a long term solution. I truly appreciate any help anyone can put forth, or any education I can glean out of your answers. I did do extensive research into solar, DC, AC, converters/chargers, inverters, MPPT, etc. before we bought the rig. I feel sort of comfortable in my general knowledge. I was a little sad I didn't get to do the install myself so I'd REALLY know it, inside and out, but the deal was just too good to pass up and our seller was a pleasure to work with. But I lack the intimate knowledge that installing it myself would have gained. Thanks in advance for any assistance. - Will B. Somewhere in Kansas at the moment.
  5. In a previous post, I described my 1750 Watt solar installation on the roof of my 29 ft. Arctic Fox 5th wheel trailer. Today, I am going to share the rest of my project: becoming independent of generators and shore power. Tu make optimal use of the solar power supply, I chose to install two Tesla Lithium battery modules instead of using a large lead acid battery bank. Each module weighs 55 lbs, has a storage capacity of 5.2 KW and runs with 24 V. A lead acid battery bank with a comparable capacity would weigh hundreds of pounds (400 lbs my best guess), but what is even more advantageous with lithium batteries is that they can routinely discharged down to 15% of their capacity without compromising longevity. With the discharging limit for lead acid batteries being around 50-60%, you would need even more batteries to match the usable power reserve of these two lithium batteries. I decided to keep the 24 V system completely separated from the 12 V house system, in order to keep things simple and straightforward. The solar panels feed into a Magnum PT 100 MTTP charge controller, which powers a 24 V bus that is connected to the batteries and a Magnum MSH 4024 RE inverter. I chose this 4 KW inverter because it is able to work in Hybrid mode: When connected to shore power and the AC load gets close to the maximum amps available, the Magnum supports the AC load by inverting and prevents tripping of the shore breaker. I left the built-in 12 V system untouched, meaning I kept both the two 12 V batteries that came with the unit as well as their converter-charger. When disconnected from shore, the 12 V batteries are being charged with the built-in charger using the solar/inverter power. I installed, however, a switch that enables directing solar power from the PT 100 to the 12 V batteries, just in case the 24 V system fails to work, from whatever reason. The only real downside with lithium batteries (besides the price) is their sensitivity to low and high temperatures as well as to overcharging and over-discharging, so I had to design and build some protection circuitry. The electricity to and from the batteries goes through two Victron Battery Protect units (basically unidirectional solid state relays) rated at 60 A and 200 A, respectively. They shut off at 20 V on discharging and 24.6 V on charging, and are connected to two temperature sensors that disconnect from charging below 35 and above 120 degrees, respectively. I also installed a heating blanket around the batteries that starts heating around 35 degrees, and a radial fan blowing air into the compartment from the outside if above 100 degrees in the compartment. The first pic shows the installed units without the batteries. On the upper right side, the solar charge controller, and on the compartment floor the Magnum inverter. It also shows the control panel with the protection circuitry that I built. Upper left corner, two circuit breakers in line with the two blue Victron Battery Protect relais guarding the charging and the discharging flow. Also shown is the switch that directs the solar current to the 12 V or the 24 V system, 4 temperature control modules, and in the lower right corner the Magnum battery monitor unit. The second pic shows the compartment with the two Tesla battery modules in place. The blue unit above the control panel is a 600 W Samlex inverter that is powered by the 12 V batteries and is used as backup if the 24 V system fails. The entire installation is super-compact and uses less than half of the front compartment, just about 8 square feet. My maiden voyage with this installation took me across part of the Southeast and included a week of boondocking. I planned a longer boondocking experience, but a week of rainy weather put an end to that - no sun, no solar! Bottom line is, on a sunny and warm day it is no problem to run the air conditioning and the fridge with the battery and the solar. And this was October, with the sun already pretty angled and the peak temperature still 88 degrees. Especially on long, hot travel days it's so nice to have the RV air-conditioned when you stop or arrive at your destination.
  6. RV solar! We finally installed solar panels on our toy hauler. Full time RV living is so much easier with solar. It's definitely not cheap but is a great investment, especially if you love boondocking.If you have been watching the channel for a while you know that we had a solar system installed on our last rig (Keystone Cougar). We swapped rigs over the summer and acquired a toy hauler with a built-in Cummins Onan 5500 generator. This has made it possible for us to boondock without solar and save up money for our full solar install. In the video we talk about lithium vs lead acid batteries, where we went to get the panels installed, and show you all the basics of our system. Hope you enjoy and please don't forget to SUBSCRIBE!
  7. Hello all RVers! Due to personal circumstances, I have to sell my truck and RV. I still consider myself a newbie (been full-time since 2017). I planned to do lots of US/Canada travelling but that hasn’t happened for me. I have been researching the best way to sell to receive the most money since I still owe on both. I listened to the RVdaily salesperson and that is not the right way to go! Consignment takes 10%. I’m willing to put the effort in to sell on my own, but would love input from members on how best to evaluate my RV. When I speak to consignment people, they just quote standard book value, etc, not taking into consideration any additions /enhancements you have made to your RV (truck dealers did the same thing so I’ve listed it on craig’s+). I may need to take a reality check but I think there is additional value added to an RV with the extras and that they should factor into the sales price. This is especially true concerning the full solar panels on top of the RV designed to make my RV maximum boondock-ready. Dealers say my RV (2017 Keystone Fuzion 420 Chrome luxury toy hauler) should list at $65-70k BEFORE the end of ‘rebate promotions’ Nov 2019 when price would drop $10-20k. I am seeking advice from anyone with experience selling their RV(s). I am posting this in several forums to garner maximum input. I welcome and appreciate all comments, suggestions, etc!!! What is recommended that I value the extras (listed below) to add to the base value? Is there any value in selling RV WITH my truck (super clean, under 12k 2017 Dodge Ram 3500 dually, also w/ extras) as a combo deal? I am living full-time in an RV park so I can’t park anywhere more visible. Anyone familiar with the end of ‘rebate period’ that I was told will affect what I can sell my RV for? RV has under 12k road miles on it 1440 watt array solar panels on top ($17k) fully wired into RV that automatically kick on when not on shore power. LG WM3997HWA Ventless 4.3 Cu. Ft. Capacity Steam Washer/Dryer Combination with TurboWash, TrueBalance Anti-Vibration System, NeveRust Stainless Steel ($1650) comes with Anderson Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection ($1200). slideout toppers welded receiver on front to hold bicycle carrier PROGRESSIVE INDUSTRIES EMS-PT50X Portable RV Surge Protector (50 A) – ($335) new 5th wheel skirt ($199). RV WeBoost 4g-x rv cell phone signal booster (never used, $499)
  8. I am selling a 2003 Monaco Dynasty with 1575 watts of solar on the roof. Here’s a link to the website that will provide in depth detailed descriptions of all the various systems with matching pictures. SOLD!!! https://2003monacodynastyregal.blogspot.com/2019/10/live-off-grid-in-luxury-with-tv.html
  9. I love boondocking,and I hate generators. Recently, I sold my 37 ft 5th wheel and bought a 29 ft Arctic Fox 27-5L, because I was fed up with being stuck in tight National Park and State Park campgrounds. When I climbed on the roof for the first time and saw how cluttered the roof was with exhaust pipes, hoods, AC unit etc, and considering a usable roof length of less than 25 ft, I all but gave up on the dream of installing a meaningful solar power plant on this roof. But after taking exact measurements of the roof and the obstacles, and realizing how far the solar panel industry has come in terms of power output per square unit, I started some serious research. And came up with the solution of installing 5 of 350W monocrystalline JA Solar panels. They are about 38"x79" big and cost me less than $200 per piece (plus freight), which is a steal deal compared with what other dealers charge.Because several roof obstacles are about 40" away from the roof edge, I was able to squeeze 5 of these panels on the roof (see attached pic). Of course, mounting them so close to the edge and to hoods etc. was pretty challenging,and I had to use slightly different methods to fix the panels to the roof, depending on their location. Since no solar mounting hardware available on the market could be used because of the tightness, I devised my own, relatively simple method by using pairs of slotted aluminum angles in each of the four corners of a panel. Each angle was about 10" long; one was screwed to the panel, the other one on the roof in a way that aligned the slotted sides of the angles so that they could be bolted together (see pic). One of the panels had to be raised about 7" above the refrigerator exhaust hood, but that was the only more complicated construction (see pic). The 10 wires from the panels are connected in a combiner box that sits atop the hole that I had to drill right above a wall that is already used as a wire raceway. I chose AWG 1 wire from the combiner box to the solar controller (that sits in the front compartment), which probably is an overkill, but the cost difference is negligible compared to the overall cost of the project. In a subsequent post, I will talk about the installation of the solar controller, a 4000W inverter, 2 Tesla battery modules, and the necessary control and protection circuitry. And, of course, about the practical experience with running the entire coach off grid, with water heater, AC, microwave, toaster, hair dryer and all the other power hungry gadgets.
  10. Hi everyone, I am new to the community. I’m going to be moving into my small RV in the next few months. The refrigerator is not working and it will cost to much to be replaced. I am trying to keep the spending down as much as possible. What are your thoughts on putting in a small garage/patio type unit like cubic 3 ft. A/C freezer refrigerator in its place? They vary in electric usage from $26 to $13 a year and from 197 kWh so 138 k a year. And I will be Boondocking probably 90% of the time for 6 months of the year and on my property with electricity the other six months. I have only one large marine battery, but I do have a generator. Another concern is will it hold up to the shaking and jarring that the RV will have driving on unpaved roads Boondocking?
  11. I just bought a 2001 Komfort 24fs fifth wheel, I am fairly handy, I had to put in a new floor in the slide out, I want to add solar, I found a red and wht. 10ga wire "cut ends" in a loom by itself next to the battery compartment in the basement, I also found 2 of the same "4 wires" under the sink just wires in a loom and cut ends, they do not go to the 12v system or ground, they do not go to each other unless I am missing a cut off switch somewhere, my question is did Komfort wire for future inverter / solar? if so where do they go? any help is appreciated. PS, I did check continuity for all wires mentioned to each other and ground and for voltage.
  12. So I'll be honest with y'all... I'm a newbie to RVing, a newbie to full-timing, AND even a newbie to towing a travel trailer (or towing anything at all really! yeah, I know, gasp!)... but I'll be doing ALL THREE in about 4 weeks. I went through RV Online University already, and I'm graduating from Escapees Bootcamp tomorrow at the Escapade in Sedalia, among other classes I've completed, so I think I've done as much video and word-of-mouth and classroom educating myself as I can at this point (and I do have an in-person driving class tentatively scheduled for my trailer pick-up date too). However, there are several very specific electrical and security-related mods that I want done to my travel trailer (it's a tiny econo-20-footer, FYI), and I am looking for recommendations from people who have had mobile RV tech work done in Arizona and can vouch for the both the trustworthiness of the tech and the quality of the work they had done. As a solo female, I really find it critical to educate myself ahead of time and get as many recommendations as I possibly can, never really taking the first, second, or even 13th person's word on anything... because... I mean... it's a wild world out there (even if you aren't Cat Stevens). And traditionally, I was never the used-car-dealership-savvy-type, if that says anything about my vehicle acumen. I didn't even know it was possible to negotiate the price of the very first USED car I bought (as a lowly Air Force enlistee). So I just paid them what they asked. Yeah, I know... cringe, cringe, cringe! And yeah, I do know a *bit* more now. I know enough to be skeptical of everything, at least. But I also know that there are some really good people in this group. So please, help a girl out if you can? So to be honest, the potentially most expensive mobile tech work I'm looking to get done (and I don't have an unlimited budget) include: a solar panel array (160 watt x 3) + inverter (3000 watt pure sine) + replacement battery bank (200-300 Ah lithium ion bank) install (and making sure that the wiring is compatible with all of the existing appliances) so I'd need someone who can do all of that... on a 20-foot travel trailer (roof space is at a premium, but I really don't want to do portable/foldables, and I think the 3 160s would fit, even if with brackets to raise them above some of the roof structures/appliances). Also... a smaller matter... but an RV-specializing locksmith... I want to put a deadbolt on my door, among a few other security-related things. Any recommendations in that regard, whether in AZ (maybe near Tucson or Phoenix)... or even better, in Indiana near Nappanee, would be great! Thanks for reading! Any constructive comments are much appreciated!
  13. Live full time in your RV in the southwestern NM desert Take advantage of solar power! Features: 10 acres developed: water, electric, septic 2 large insulated workshop buildings concrete patio, 25' x 50' RV port (36' x 20' x 12' high) with gravel parking 3 RV electric pedestals 4 RV city water yard hydrants landscaped; spectacular star gazing and bird watching Moderate winter climate with 300+ days of sunshine; altitude 4,120'. Must see to fully appreciate the amazing 360º views, unique geology and experience the quiet privacy of this property. Located in the Village of Columbus, NM; 30 miles south of Deming on Highway 11 coordinates: 31º51'24″N 107º39'17″W 90 miles from Las Cruces or Silver City, NM & El Paso, TX contact Lew, owner 864-915-1556 8a.m.-7p.m. MT or Sun Country Realty, Frank Christensen 575-544-4450 MLS#20176078 asking $80,000
  14. I'm looking for someone who will install customer provided solar panels and provide other components for the 3 or 4 panels I have. My coach is a 2006 Monaco Diplomat with the standard 4 - 6V battery configuration and 2500 W Modified wave inverter/charger. The panels are 220W at 34V. I will need mounting hardware, controller and appropriate instrumentation and likely new batteries. Any advice welcomed.
  15. I recently installed two Battle Born lithium batteries and an Ames 2000 watt inverter charger into my travel trailer. Here is how it looks all finished up minus the parallel cables for the two batteries, Here is my real world usage for those batteries anybody else using these batteries, I am a big fan. I will no longer carry a generator 2-4 day boondocking trips.
  16. I installed a solar system a while back, but have only recently begun to demand much from it. Here's what I have: 4 panels of Sunmodule SW260 260W Poly V2.0 Module -- nominal 260 W and 30 Volt panels -- flat mounted on the roof of the trailer ---- The panels are wired with 2 sets of 2 panels in series, for an intended nominal 60V @ 7 to 8 Amp feed on 50 ft of 10 AWG wiring Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 charge controller 8 ea. Crown CR-23 6V deep cycle batteries in a series/parallel configuration = 4 @ 12 V and 235 Amp Hours Trimetric - T 2030 meter After two weeks of full-time boondocking, with several rainy days we were at about -385 amp hours. We got a good sunny day (at Grand Teton - so not too directly overhead) and only picked up about 80 Amp Hours of battery. All the lights were off, refrig on propane, etc. so there should have been minimal draw. I would have expected at least 3 or 4 times that amount on a bright sunny day. Am I crazy? What am I missing???
  17. Mornin gents, okay, over the winter I had several occasions to dry camp and test out the capacity of my 29 Ft Class C (relative low energy user, approx. say 125 to 200 Amp Hours per day) equipped with 470 Watts of flat rooftop solar and four Trojan T-105's (450 Amp Hours) which performed quite well. HOWEVER when the temperatures were 80+ I faced the dilemma to park in the shade where it was cooler,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, or out in the sun which harvested more solar energy HMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Soooooooooo not being one who likes to discharge my batteries over 30% and one who prefers to camp in the shade when its hot, I ADDED ANOTHER 245 WATT PANEL YESTERDAY (90 cents per Watt) TAKING ME UP TO 715 TOTAL WATTS yayyyyyyyyy QUESTION 1) We know you still harvest energy (albeit significant less) even in the shade, so if the sun was bright yet you're under total shade my best "guess" is I might harvest say 30% as much as if in the sun. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AND GUESS AS TO HOW MUCH IS HARVERTED IN SHADE (all else equal) VERSUS UNDER THE SUN ????? Even when I am parked in my pole barn covered lean to close under the roof I still harvest "some" energy so I'm hoping under a shade tree on a bright day I can keep up. My typical dry camping energy use is two powered roof vent fans (maybe 12 hrs per day),,,,,,,,, A small Haier dorm sized fridge 24/7 (maybe 50AH per day) ,,,,,,,,,,,,,Occasional water pump and kitchen vent fan and all LED lights. The onboard Generator is run maybe 30 mins or more per day for hair dryer and coffee and microwave (I prefer that method versus batteries and my 2 KW PSW Inverter) during which time my 80 Amp PD 9280 Smart Charger pumps a good amount of charge into my battery bank SO OVERALL IM IN GOOD SHAPE even if parked in shade is my best guess. If not so be it lol if 715 watts isn't enough I can run the genset (and 80 amp charger) a tad more morning and evening, I've spent and updated ENOUGH as it is. QUESTION 2) I normally, of course, have windows open and BOTH front and rear roof vent fans exhausting air OUT OF the RV top. However I read on some forum its best to have one roof fan blowing air in and the other exhausting air out ????????????? Does that make any sense to yall??????????? I had to upgrade to a 50 Amp MPPT Charge Controller so I'm selling my old 30 Amp TrakMax Smart 3 Stage MPPT temperature compensated. Be safe and best wishes John T Back home again in Indiana
  18. Anyone using Relion Lithium-ion Batteries on your RV? If so, how have they worked?
  19. I would like to install a super simple solar system on my travel trailer -- one or two panels, battery, inverter. This would be for minimal use....like for lights in the evening. I would very much appreciate learning where to look for a good quality, affordable "starter package". Thank you
  20. Since I've settled on the 2016 Arctic Fox 27-5L and a Chevy Silverado 3500HD to tow it, my next step is figuring out how to add the right solar setup for boondocking and off-grid living. This gentleman seems to have a very solid setup. I'd like to copy it, although I hope to avoid putting any new holes in my rig. My daytime usage is going to be one or two laptops, a 4G hot spot, and perhaps the television. At night I'll be using the aforementioned items plus the lights. I'd like to cook with propane instead of convection/microwave and keep the fridge on propane as well. I know that I'd like to put 400 watts of solar on the rig, with the remaining equipment copied from the above setup: charge controller, 2000W pure sine wave inverter, automatic transfer relay switch, etc, etc. I'm still going to get a generator to fall back on, if I need to run A/C for example. Questions: 1) Do you have other recommendations for solar setups aside from the above-linked one? I'm open to hearing more ideas. 2) Do you recommend solar panels that can tilt, or are flat panels sufficient? 3) Is there a way to put 400 watts of solar panels on my roof without any permanent modifications to the exterior or interior? I'd like to keep the rig unmodified to the greatest extent possible. 4) Do you recommend any installers who can perform the work? I'm willing to drive quite a ways to see the right person. Thanks for any advice.
  21. I'd heard about something similar a while ago but this is really some interesting tech. Imagine if RVs could be equipped with these windows and add to or be the only solar system for boone docking. Now folks this is not a product just what the DOE labs are working on today. Excerpt: "Researchers in the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics at Los Alamos National Laboratory are seeking to transform everyday windows into solar collectors by harnessing the unique properties of quantum dots. The advantages of solar power as a source of clean, renewable energy seem obvious. Sunlight is abundant, free and, for all practical purposes, eternal. While the price of solar photovoltaic cells recently has plummeted and their efficiency has gone up, challenges remain around siting vast arrays of solar-electric panels and finding ways to integrate them into buildings and other applications. These challenges prompted a joint research team from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy to try a fresh approach to solar power. Working with quantum dots, the team achieved a breakthrough in solar-concentrating technology that can turn windows into electric generators and revolutionize the way we think about where and how we generate energy. Think about it: If windows can generate electricity for use on site, the consumer would gain the advantages of free, non-polluting power and at least partial grid independence. The grid would reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, gain resilience and get relief from peak-use demands, which would slash greenhouse gas emissions. Solar windows would also be practically unnoticeable, meaning you could reap the benefits of solar power at home with a minimum of impact on you or the community around you. If this technology replaced all the glazing on the One World Trade Center building in New York City, the windows could power more than 350 apartments." More in the article here with pictures of the material: http://energy.gov/articles/turning-windows-solar-panels
  22. The Wheelinit.us blog is posting some great info about their recent upgrade to Lithium batteries and additional solar panels. Not only are they providing great info about the whats and whys of what they did, they provide a number of links, all in one spot, to a huge amount of technical detail about solar & batteries in RV's. Here are the first two entries. There are more entries to come in the near future. http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/24/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-i-why/ http://wheelingit.us/2016/02/29/the-big-beastly-solarbattery-upgrade-part-ii-component-details/
  23. Hello all, I am hoping I can get some info./assistance/guidance from some of you kind and knowledgeable folks... I do realize this is an RV forum, but I know you can still give me good advice. THE SHORT: BALQON = NO USER MANUAL or USER GUIDE = NO COMMUNICATION = MY 27kwh LiFEPo4 Battery pack sitting outside for several months NOT hooked up = me freaking out about self discharge (which I didn't even know existed) and a possible 800lb. expensive brick!!! THE LONG: This past summer (2015) my wife and I refinanced our house, took out loans, and spent our life savings to pursue our mutual life-long dream of a full turnkey Solar scenario. The goal was to get all the components in and then hire a local professional to put it all together and guide us through it all, including the use and maintenance. After doing some comparisons of battery options I decided to go with LiFEPo4. I contacted Balqon, and Samra (CEO?) spent well over an hour on the phone with me and convinced me that was the route to go and that his company was the way to go. We went through a Solar company to get 24 panels, mounts, a Schneider/Midnight Classic all-in-one wall of electronics and a 27kwh battery bank in an external enclosure, from Balqon. Balqon took tons longer to ship than promised, after awful communication. Then, despite calls and emails DAILY from myself as well as from the company I bought it through, we still have yet to get a response. And all we were trying to do was get a User Manual or User Guide for the 27kwh battery pack. You know, "This is how you hook it up, Do this, Don't do this, This button does this, This is how to actually open it up, etc..." Well, then there had been ridiculous and extensive problems and delays in getting the mounting in. (FedEx Freight basically ran over everything with a fork lift, then I get sent the wrong stuff, then they won't send the right stuff, then they want me to pay for the right stuff cause it's not what they were told to send, etc...) So, as of today I now have all the components in. (Except any of the information I needed from Balqon, that is.) While online last week doing some research I ran across people talking about self-discharge (which, again, nobody ever told me was even a thing) and how it could brick your battery. (I am aware of the BMS and it's self cut-off to prevent it getting too low, etc.) Well now I am FREAKING OUT!!! Due to all the calamity of errors and delays, the battery has been sitting outside untouched for several months! I don't know how much charge it came with, how to hook it up, nor how to operate it (because I never got a manual, nor did I have everything in to begin an install) From the looks of things it will probably be this Spring until the panels are mounted and we are ready to actually hook up to it. So, please, tell me, what do I do??? Assuming I hit the "On" button and it isn't dead, how on earth can I put a charge into it without all the solar panels hooked up to get it to last till the spring without bricking? Can I hook jumper cables up to it from my car for countless hours? Is there a way to hook up a generator directly to it without the wall of electronics? Can I plug into it from my house? I mean, I don't need to fill it up and worry about an over charge, I just need to keep it from dying. Then, If I go to push the "On" button and nothing happens, or it is totally dead what options do I have? Quite Sincerely, Recent Newb
  24. We just posted a blog asking anyone for help to learn the true cost of RV installation. We're not technically savvy enough to install panels ourselves, yet we don't want to pay someone as much for installation as we paid for our entire solar system. We have a decent amount of money budgeted for this process, but we want as much of it as possible to go into our solar needs—and not an installer's pocket. Does anyone have any firsthand knowledge of how much this might cost us? Thanks for your help, boondockers. We hope to join you starting Feb. 29.
  25. I am an avid backpacker who intends to use my Bounder as a boondocking basecamp from which to do multi-day backpacking trips in the mountains and canyons of the western US. I am looking for a reliable and trustworthy supplier/installer who can help me develop an optimal configuration and complete the install. I have heard good things about AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon but will need o travel from Austin, Texas for the installation. Proper solar configuration and installation is crucial to my backpacking strategy. Can anyone weigh in on their own experiences with AM Solar and any other installers in the western US?
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