$500 Solar and $700 Complete Electrical System - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 11-10-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
RDinNHandAZ
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$500 Solar and $700 Complete Electrical System

Many here have developed the electrical system for their van and purchased too little, too much, or bought components that are technically sophisticated and expensive. I will give you some guidance here for a basic 200 watt solar, 200+ Amp Hour storage, with basic interconnection to the van and to shore power, plus an inverter. Many of these components I have used in my van or used in previous RV’s or have worked with others who have them. This system will run a 3 cu ft compressor refrigerator, a 700 watt microwave, LED lights, chargers for all your electronic stuff, 14 volt TV and lots more. It will connect to the van’s alternator, can be plugged into an outlet at a campsite or at your home, and can provide sufficient power when boon-docking for unlimited days IF the sun shines, if not run the van to charge.

1. Batteries- 2- 6volt flooded Lead acid golf cart batteries from Sam’s club 215 Amp Hour rating made by West Penn a very reputable firm. $84 each I suggest you vent them. https://www.samsclub.com/sams/durace...lp:product:1:1
Alternative- 2 similar AGM batteries- the cost will be $600 and they are not quite as long lived but you do not need to vent them. Venting saves $400

2. Solar- 2- 100 Watt Renogy monocrystiline Kit PWM controller which will be fine, kit includes lead in and connectors,


Buy a 3’ length of 2” angle aluminum at Home Depot to mount them.
Alternative- buy 2 similar panels and a Tracer MPPT controller. You can add a third panel if you later find it is needed but I betting it won’t be.

3. Shore power/ breakers/fuses for 12 volt circuits- WFCO power center, get a 20 foot HD extension cord to lead in to it, buy breakers at H-D



4. Interconnection to your van starting battery- Stinger 80 amp battery isolator.


I recommend a small switch to deactivate the interconnect most of the time.

5. Wire- http://assets.bluesea.com/files/reso...on_chartlg.jpg
THHN off the spools at H-D run in smurf tube (blue flex non-metalic conduit) when possible. To the other battery and to the power center run 4 AGW, to your refrigerator, lights and most low draw appliances use the Blue Sea chart.

6 Inverter- 1500 watt modified sine wave inverter- good for every thing you need- upgrade to sine wave if you must have a low watt induction cooktop. Some induction tops may run on this. Your risk. This comes with cables and a remote. https://www.amazon.com/KRIËGER-Inverter-Installation-approved-standards/dp/B00DNL05GW/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1510365966&sr=8-12&keywords=1500+watt+power+inverter
7. Fuzes and such. Use the Blue Sea chart to install fuses that protect the wires, that is they need to be no larger than the wires can carry.


Fuse BOTH ends of the Positive Battery wire AT EACH battery, fuse the inverter AT THE Battery, fuse the other wires with the WFCO. Follow the WFCO instructions concerning grounding the shore line as it doesn’t get grounded to the chassis!

OK It’s a bit over $700, but I did get you to consider it. I often say solar is $500 and it is, the above is a complete system exclusive of a few USB and cigar outlets, some small switches, a bit of wire and some connectors. I can’t know what you will need exactly.

Take the money you save and go CAMP, visit good bars and restaurants that serve great food and drinks, take some pictures, renew your relationship with your SO, find the winter sun in the South, and remember the sunsets. If you have enough, doing is always better than having more.

2015 136" HT Diesel 1500 Sandstone Pearl Metallic
Campervan build see:https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=37177
You can browse my build pictures at http://tinypic.com/RDsPictures
Conversion Costs see: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=85761
$500 solar and $700 complete Electrical: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=71562
If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.

Last edited by RDinNHandAZ; 11-10-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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post #2 of 48 Old 11-10-2017, 09:53 PM
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"If you have enough, doing is always better than having more."

I pity the people who never learn this.

www.woodworkingtraveler.wordpress.com

Website detailing my build: msnomersvan.wordpress.com

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post #3 of 48 Old 11-10-2017, 10:39 PM
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post #4 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
RDinNHandAZ
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Oh-Oh he is gonna post up the ULTIMATE! No vacation in Spain, no drive down to La Pas, no Arctic midnight sun, etc.

2015 136" HT Diesel 1500 Sandstone Pearl Metallic
Campervan build see:https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=37177
You can browse my build pictures at http://tinypic.com/RDsPictures
Conversion Costs see: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=85761
$500 solar and $700 complete Electrical: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=71562
If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.
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post #5 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 09:09 AM
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Love this thread. I know when first starting to look into this stuff it gets confusing fast. Id hate to add to the confusion for people but just posting a couple other options for around the same money.

Cheap Pure Sine inverter for anyone interested. Does have a transfer switch in it though.





Another option for solar is Grape Solar sells $99 100w poly panels at Home Depot. The PWM charger included in that Renogy kit is positive grounded. I was originally going to get that until I saw it was positive ground. You can get the Wanderer controller from them on amazon for $50. They may even have started to include it with those kits now because I did see Renogy wanted to get away from selling any positive ground controllers.
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post #6 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 09:48 AM
ThomD
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What?! No diagram of how all the pieces fit together?

Thanks for pulling this into a single post. It shows that a simple, safe, effective system can be put together for not too much money.

I'm only building out my van so I can put in a fancy Blue Sea electrical system, but that's my personal problem.
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post #7 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNomer View Post
"If you have enough, doing is always better than having more."

I pity the people who never learn this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keeponvaning View Post
Winston? Calling Winston
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDinNHandAZ View Post
Oh-Oh he is gonna post up the ULTIMATE! No vacation in Spain, no drive down to La Pas, no Arctic midnight sun, etc.
Thanks RD for finally posting an excellent summary of "the other side".

And we haven't forgotten to live . . . sitting here in Mobile . . . with an odometer check revealing 26,500 miles of exploration since launch on April 9th . . .

2016 159" HT (Standard Length) Gas

Build Thread: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...26&postcount=1
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post #8 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
RDinNHandAZ
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Thank goodness you rose to KOV’s bait. I know you’ve done it all this year. It’s gotta beat that Jetta or whatever you went a gazillion miles in! Be safe, hugs to VJ. Just remember our side has cookies... Wait a minute you have cookies too! I appreciate the self restraint and don’t forget I do have that picture of you under the van fixing the 2nd alternator razor belt with the snow all around just in case!

2015 136" HT Diesel 1500 Sandstone Pearl Metallic
Campervan build see:https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=37177
You can browse my build pictures at http://tinypic.com/RDsPictures
Conversion Costs see: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=85761
$500 solar and $700 complete Electrical: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=71562
If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.
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post #9 of 48 Old 11-11-2017, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDinNHandAZ View Post
. . . and don’t forget I do have that picture of you under the van fixing the 2nd alternator razor belt with the snow all around just in case!
Chapter 2:

That electrically taped block of wood worked for over 20,000 miles. Made it all the way to Alaska and the Yukon and back.

But just to be safe, we had son Timothy look at it when we got home . . . he left the slightly 'injured' radiator hose in place, adjusted something and pronounced it "good to go". Then (and we should stay out of Kentucky) . . . in Kentucky, we again sprang a leak . . . radiator fluid everywhere. Timothy claims he did nothing with our block of wood . . . dubious and skeptical, we rang-off with Timothy - - clearly he wasn't going to 'motor-down' to Kentucky to save us.

So, to the emergency 'supply kit' with its limited 'fix' possibilities: electrical or duct tape, cable ties, or hose 'worm' clamps. Here is our latest (temporary?) fix:


2016 159" HT (Standard Length) Gas

Build Thread: https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...26&postcount=1
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post #10 of 48 Old 11-12-2017, 05:33 AM
keeponvaning
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Ah, kids! nothing like an ol’ phart to be able to truly "fix" something anywhere, anytime after getting help from them!

2014, High Top/159 WB, 2500 gas Promaster camping conversion. https://www.promasterforum.com/forum...ad.php?t=43121
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