Help me sway the she-boss....solar panel - Page 10 - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #91 of 99 Old 02-27-2017, 09:42 AM
GaryBIS
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Hi,
One exception to the solar keeping the batteries charged while sitting in the driveway through poor solar days is snow. An accumulation of snow on the pv will cut down the solar charging to the point where they won't keep the batteries up. I came close to losing my batteries early this way -- I thought the sun would shine through a couple inches of snow enough to keep them charged, and when I finally checked to make sure, there were ice crystals forming in the batteries -- a few more days and they would have frozen solid.
So, I either clean the snow off or plug in during the winter.

This is with flooded batteries -- might be better with AGMs.

Gary

136 WB PM, high roof, 1500, gasser
SW Montana
www.BuildAGreenRV.com
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post #92 of 99 Old 02-27-2017, 10:46 AM
MsNomer
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Yeah, by the time RD and KOV got through my thick skull, I had to take ceiling panels down to install the solar. I would have been better off listening to them in the first place. No, solar doesn't work all the time, but by golly when it does work, it's magic.
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post #93 of 99 Old 02-27-2017, 12:55 PM
GaryBIS
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Agree that solar is great, and I'd not be without it.

Just put in the warning for people in snowy climates.

Gary

136 WB PM, high roof, 1500, gasser
SW Montana
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post #94 of 99 Old 02-27-2017, 04:57 PM
Charger7022
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Originally Posted by RDinNHandAZ View Post
Charger7022,
Resist the solar if you want but for about $400+- you get a full set of batteries every day, maintained full batteries if you donít use shore power or drive, the correct charging profile, simplicity and proven reliability. Youre' trying to avoid solar by installing complex 12v to 12V charger, electronic black box starter to van battery interconnect, and trying to match naturally different ages or capacity batteries, with different state of charge, and a complex shore charger. This is creating a Rube Goldberg system to do something simple. It will probably work, itís your money and time so go for it. With solar your coach batteries do not need to be connected to shore power or to the starter batter very often and only to occasionally top up or add to them when it is really rainy for several days. The batteries can live with that charging once in a while. Iíd suggest looking at it with as open a mind as you can. Have you heard anyone here say ďOh I wish I hadnít done solar?Ē

I'm may come around at some point LOL for me its not a money issue its the panels on the roof. if it was a dedicated camper van I would consider it more. but its more of a 50/50 van. I defiantly outfitted the inside for the camper but the van is also an everyday or every other day van. And I truly do see the benefits of having toped off batteries 100% of the time.
I had the shore power charger and panel so that was free and easy to hook up and at the moment my battery doctor was only $60 and very easy to install. and the 12v to 12v charger is not complex at all and much less effort than installing solar. now with all that aside because its really not about the cost or the effort its just the fact that I don't need it, I would much rather have a 6"x6" box mounted under the seat than a van roof full panels.

2016, 159" high top, Gas, converted to a camper for 4
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post #95 of 99 Old 02-28-2017, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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It's that 50/50 sitting around time that convinced me that solar should be considered.
Again going back to what Gary said about 90% of an RV's life being spent in the driveway.
And then suddenly I want to travel, and I'm good because the solar panel is always on

Agreed the solar panel was a harder sell than the ARB frig...but pointing out the cost of repeated bags of
ice got that one through the committee.

The number of panels though was a compromise. We just had to accept that we're often in 90+ temps with
100 percent humidity and a cool refuge will be nice. That said often we won't have shore power and will wish
we'd gone the two fan route.
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post #96 of 99 Old 02-28-2017, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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I did have this thought, and I'm sure it's been done many times....but recently Steve in Baja answered the questioned "no" to whether he missed a window on
the driver's side. That is a big expanse that could do something externally. We do have a thin window at platform bed level for ventilation on that side but for when parked (low level winter Sun too maybe ??)
a hinged fold up solar panel could be placed there. In our case it would provide shade for our bedroom window....and hardly any size limits on the panel. Of course driving down the road you'd heavily advertise your RV'er status....hmmm, put a removable 'wrap' on it? I don't know the mechanics involved with attachment and hinging but surely it wouldn't stick out past the mirror ??
Just thinking out loud-
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File Type: jpg fold up panel.jpg (55.4 KB, 16 views)

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post #97 of 99 Old 02-28-2017, 08:10 AM
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You say no rack, but this would be a good use--hinge on side of rack.
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post #98 of 99 Old 02-28-2017, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Agreed. Maybe leg-o-rack Rack with no crossmembers. Those nubbins might come in useful after all on the driver's side, though the rear most will help hold down the barndoor tarp at the rear. So on my Santa list are now two posts/uprights and a joining member that can support the hinge and panel I was kinda hoping Santa would bring a new camera though.
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post #99 of 99 Old 02-28-2017, 09:29 AM
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Garage
No solar that has to be deployed is a good idea. I have friends who have a camper and bought a flex panel kit and have to deploy it when they set up...... bad idea as it is not deployed when they travel or when they camp and not if they leave the camper as they worry about theft. I had a panel on the roof of my pop-up truck camper that could be raised either side to get the best angle and in 8 years I deployed it ONCE! Put ‘em flat on the roof, forget doing anything except using the power. Don't make your life harder. Do you want to hike, explore, see the area around where you are parked or do you want to spend time fussing with the camper, and getting the correct side to the south? Besides that we have two small windows on the driver’s side and wouldn’t be without them. Bed view and dinette view, love it! You never know what revisions you may want.

2015 136" HT Diesel Sandstone Metallic Born on 6/12/2015 Campervan build see: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/...ad.php?t=37177
Have Leatherman, Will Travel
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