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Want to add solar to 2020 260RD.

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  • Want to add solar to 2020 260RD.

    Recently purchased 260RD that is pre-wired for solar. I wish to add solar for some off-road camping. No plan yet. What are you all using for panels and charge controller? How many and what kind of batteries? My research so far into batteries is four 6vdc AGM batteries wired for a 12vdc system, pairs in series, with the two pairs wired in parallel. Anyone know how big (in watts) I'd need to maintain those batteries? What type and size of charge controller? Any help appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Grt520 View Post
    Recently purchased 260RD that is pre-wired for solar. I wish to add solar for some off-road camping. No plan yet. What are you all using for panels and charge controller? How many and what kind of batteries? My research so far into batteries is four 6vdc AGM batteries wired for a 12vdc system, pairs in series, with the two pairs wired in parallel. Anyone know how big (in watts) I'd need to maintain those batteries? What type and size of charge controller? Any help appreciated.
    You will find several threads here on solar, I would direct you to the search feature. Most of us are running lithium, the price has come down to the point where it makes sense if you are planning to do a lot of dry camping. I run six Lion Energy 100ah batteries, powered with six 200 watt panels. I am a fan of Victron gear, I run their BMV, solar controller, and inverter. The amount of solar you need will not be dependent on the number of batteries as much as your draw. You want to add up how much power you use in a day and have enough solar to replenish that, plus extra to make up for days with no sun, or tree cover.
    Neil Citro
    2018 Reflection 28bh
    2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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    • #3
      As ncitro said, your first step is to do a search and do an energy audit. You should determine what you want to use while on battery power. That will determine your energy needs. You then size your panels and batteries to fit your energy needs. The solar charger is determined by your panels (how many watts, Voc, Imp and if you run them in series, parallel, or series-parallel).

      A general rule of thumb is you calculate your energy needs in watts) then multiply 2 or 3 (some prefer 2, some perfer 3). That will be the total daily energy your solar system will need to supply. Average 5 hours of sunlight per day to calculate your solar array. Another rule of thumb is that your battery storage should be about half your solar panel wattage. For example you have 800W solar array. You would have 400 AH battery bank.

      If you're thinking about running your entire trailer on solar (AC included) get ready to spend at least $10K....and a major installation. Generators are a much, much cheaper alternative if you just want to power your trailer while boondocking. I'm thinking the 260RD is a 50 amp trailer. You can easily get a generator (or generators) for under $4000 to power the entire trailer.

      We are considering a major solar array for our small trailer but do not intend on running AC (at least more than 2 hours a day) with it. Our energy needs dictate about 3000W per day. Multiply by 2 and you have 6000W per day...at least. 6000 divided by 5 (5 hours of sunlight per day) is 1200W solar array. If we multiply by 3 we get 9000W per day. 9000/5 is 1800 watt solar array. We are planning a 1600W solar array and 400 AH battery bank. we are going to go with a 24V system which reduces the number of solar charge controllers needed and, technically, makes our 400AH battery bank an 800AH battery bank at 12V. With this setup we are budgeting about $8000. If I have somebody else install, it will probably be closer to $10K. And this is for a system that is NOT intended on running an AC all day....or night.
      Momentum 21G

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