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Solar addition to Factory

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  • Solar addition to Factory

    Hello everyone! We just purchased a 2022 Imagine 2670MK and love it. It came with the 165W solar and 25A Furrion controller along with the 12V fridge. I have heard that the fridge may consume all of the solar output so this is what I have in mind. We will be boondocking about half the time.

    Upgrade right away to a 200AH LiFePhosphate battery and replace the WFCO converter to Lithium switch compatible (why not start that way GD?). I'll then live and learn on that for a while.

    Then eventually add some more solar panels. The 165W Furrion solar panel is waaaaay expensive compared to other panels. Could I add on a 160W "other" panel and have it work well (series or parralel)? or do you really need identical panels for add-ons? My other thought is to add a whole new separate 400W system with a Victron 100V 30A MPPT.

    I also plan on adding my 2000W inverter to the battery and plug in the 50 amp service cord to it for when I want to run the microwave or TV while boondocking. (disconnect the converter first!). I have a 3000W generator for bigger loads.

    What are your thoughts on this plan?
    Mitchell & Kitty
    2022 Imagine 2670MK

  • #2
    Mitchell & Kitty Welcome to the forum! Next week we the moderators are headed to Grand Design for some factory training and high on our list are some meetings about the various solar options from the factory and the upgrade options available. That said your plan looks sound. I would go the route of adding a new 400W system and either running it along with the factory system or pulling the factory controller and incorporating the existing panel into your new 400W system. I am unsure if the factory controller can be set to work with lithium batteries (I think it can...) but if not you would need to replace that controller anyway.

    Several members here do what you describe with the shore cord plugged into the inverter, its a great easy way to run without the cost of a transfer switch or more expensive inverter. I did a setup like this for my in laws and its been great. We put an outlet connected to the inverter on the side of their rig and they just plug the shore cord right into the outlet. We also setup a switch in the inverter bay that kills power to the converter and fridge (to force it into propane) to make the switchover that much easier.

    Neil Citro
    2018 Reflection 28bh
    2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab


    • #3
      Two items to consider, adding an additional 160w solar panel to the current Furrion would reduce the Furrion panel down to 160w giving you 320w of solar. Your 25amp furrion controller is rated at 300w maximum.
      The Victron controller would allow you to install 24v PV's. The increased voltage reduced amperage of the 24v panels would allow you to install more wattage on the roof while utilizing your factory installed wiring.

      Good luck happy camping,
      Bill and Shannon
      2022 Reflection 303RLS
      2021 F250, 6.7


      • #4
        So it's been a couple of months and thought I'd update this post. I ended up installing a 200AH Lithium bluetooth battery, my 2000 watt inverter for plugging the 50 amp cord into when boondocking, and also added 420 additional watts of solar on the roof with its own separate MPPT and wires to the battery. After a couple of boondocking trips under my belt, I don't think I would do anything different. It works great. I can run the 12V fridge and the 120V "dorm" fridge in the outside kitchen 24/7 (as well as incidental lights, etc.). My battery only goes down to about 70% at night. I did notice that my 165 watts factory solar went to error mode all the time and started digging into that system. Two questions came up on that. #1. The voltage measured on the battery side of the factory controller wires was 23.1 volts. How can that happen? I rewired directly to the battery and the error mode stopped, but... #2 The solar side of the controller is at 13.1V and the battery side is 13.3V. Can the controller up the voltage enough to push into the battery or do I need to add another solar panel in series in order to get a higher voltage feed? Here's a picture of my setup installed in the underbed passthrough.
        Mitchell & Kitty
        2022 Imagine 2670MK


        • #5
          Make sure the wiring on the factory solar controller is correct, one owner posted recently that theirs was wired backwards.

          Very nice looking set up , glad it is working for you.

          Brian & Michelle
          2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
          2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K
          630 ah battery, Victron Multiplus 2, 800 watts solar


          • #6
            That's it! The battery and solar wires were switched at the factory so the solar charger was never working correctly. Luckily my first couple of trips were all with shore power. I now have another 165 watts of solar. Thanks Brian for the tip.
            Mitchell & Kitty
            2022 Imagine 2670MK


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mitchell & Kitty View Post
              That's it! The battery and solar wires were switched at the factory so the solar charger was never working correctly. Luckily my first couple of trips were all with shore power. I now have another 165 watts of solar. Thanks Brian for the tip.
              GD has requested that owners with this issue report it to Customer Service. In your case an email is appropriate (so you don't have to wait on the phone forever). Please include your VIN in the report. Email URL is on the "business card", right side of the home page of this forum.

              Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

              2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus