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Excellent Review of RV Battery/Solar/Charging & Monitoring


Al F
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Many people with RV's don't have a basic understanding of the components which make up a good functional RV battery, solar and charging system or how they work together so you can easily dry camp or boondock.  This isn't intended to provide detailed info, but an excellent overview of the components needed and how they interact.

Here is the link to a quick review of a RV set up for Solar and the components used for charging, monitoring, etc.  There are also additional links to more details about their system.

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Their confusing (and often incorrect) use of the terms amps, amps per hour, etc, is bothersome.  It would be nice if they were correctly using the concept of amps vs amp-hours and completely dropped the term "amps per hour". For instance:

We were getting in between 16 and 17 amps per hour (should be amps) at the peak time of the day around noon.

and...

So, let's say we get an average of 14 amps of solar for five hours a day - that's 70 amps (should be amp-hours) that our batteries are re-charged each day under perfect conditions .... this time of year at this location. We probably get in another 10 - 20 amps (should be amp-hours) total in the morning and late afternoon. So, as long as we don't use anymore than 80 - 90 amps (should be amp-hours) per day, our batteries should get back to full charge by just using our solar. 

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1 hour ago, Darryl&Rita said:

It's a review. The value of the content is debatable, given the authors intent to become a YouTube authority.

What did you see that was inaccurate?  Howard is very thorough in his presentation.  Perhaps, Jack Mayer can comment of Howard and Linda's solar setup.

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I was on the road when RV solar was in its infancy and never really got into it as our lifestyle wouldn't have gained that much from it. Even so, I am fascinated by the recent improvements in the equipment and what is available. We did a lot of primitive camping with a 4WD and tent as well as living from a backpack. We even took one 2 week trip by horseback into a major wilderness area. While I don't see RVs doing what we did yet, they do come closer each year and I am not without some degree of envy. 

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However, back to my opening statement:

Quote

Many people with RV's don't have a basic understanding of the components which make up a good functional RV battery, solar and charging system or how they work together so you can easily dry camp or boondock.  This isn't intended to provide detailed info, but an excellent overview of the components needed and how they interact.

I see so many topics by people wanting to install larger batteries, or more batteries and solar and they don't have any knowledge about how to monitor their usage or how they plan on recharging the batteries. 

I look at what Howard wrote, is to provide a VERY good review of goes into a good usable battery and solar system.  It also provides very useful info about recharging, including what Jack Mayer has recommended, "use the generator for an hour or two to get some good bulk charging into the batteries and then let the solar take over". 

If it makes anyone happy to pick apart the details, then go for it. 

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On 1/20/2018 at 2:13 PM, pjstough said:

What did you see that was inaccurate?  Howard is very thorough in his presentation.  Perhaps, Jack Mayer can comment of Howard and Linda's solar setup.

Jack assisted with or designed Howard & Linda's solar/battery setup quite a few years ago.  

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It appears that they have a robust and well-designed system that is working well for them.  

But I often see confusion with understanding the concept of amps vs. amp-hours and that confusion is present in the article.

If you think that is "picking apart the details" than so be it. I believe understanding and using those terms correctly is critical to monitoring usage and understanding the overall system.

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