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Old 04-08-2021, 10:26 AM   #1
Herboy33
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Default Inverter

Hi y’all
Have a 2021 GS Vintage Cruiser 19csk. Planning on upgrading 12 v battery to 2 -6 volts and an inverter and battery cutoff switch. Inverter will be for mostly coffee pot and tv.
Any ideas? Has anyone done any of this type of upgrades?
Also have a solar panel for batteries charging. Am I adding too much ?
Thanks
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:05 AM   #2
Pete&Brenda
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Nothing I've done but please keep us posted on your upgrade.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:11 AM   #3
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Default Lets BoonDock

There are a lot of variables when you get into this sort of thing. I've done many of these type installs, and un-goofed many done by others.

Most RV type inverters have "pass-through" for the 120VAC. Meaning shore power will pass-through the inverter when available, and the inverter will provide when not (internal transfer switch type function). In absence of this, you will have to either install an automatic transfer switch or establish a manual method of switching. Most off-the-shelf inverters do not have this feature. You can establish a separate circuit (single AC circuit breaker) for your inverter and size it for your TV and coffee maker. Constant output (not peak) of 1KW should be enough for that . . . (Watts = Amps needed times 120).

Two 6v batteries give more amp-hour capacity typically, but still keep in mind the 50% rule for any lead acid type battery. Battery disconnect is always a great idea when not using your coach, but it does not eliminate need for occasional top off charge of your battery to keep it (them) healthy. I replace a lot of batteries for customers that neglect them.

Solar panels with a simple PWM charge controller helps keep batteries up. No need to waste money on a MPPT charge controller unless you are installing higher voltage (and multiple) solar panels. You'll reap no benefit. You can install panels permanently on the roof (Renogy makes good bang for buck), or plug some on a stand (like from Harbor Freight) into the jack on the side of your RV.

All said, maybe find a good Tech that knows what he's doing. I just fixed a $16,000.00 off grid solar install on a customer unit that was not working, poorly installed and way over priced. At least the customer is happy now.

Take care.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:50 PM   #4
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these are the things that us 'campers' get into after we've purchased an rv, especially the ones WITHOUT those things already included.

Inverters don't have to be elaborate, there are very simple and easy to use 'power inverter' right on the shelf in the tire and battery section of your big box store.

solar is not going to be the 'magic pill' to solve any power needs, as it only serves to simply recharge the batteries - if you don't have enough to make any real impact, it's not worth the effort, no matter 'what' the rv companies may lead you to believe, not to mention that it's also expensive for the little power it 'may' provide - remember: you need CONSTANT sun, and no SHADE - two things that most campers are not looking to enjoy.
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UAHaerospace View Post
these are the things that us 'campers' get into after we've purchased an rv, especially the ones WITHOUT those things already included.

Inverters don't have to be elaborate, there are very simple and easy to use 'power inverter' right on the shelf in the tire and battery section of your big box store.

solar is not going to be the 'magic pill' to solve any power needs, as it only serves to simply recharge the batteries - if you don't have enough to make any real impact, it's not worth the effort, no matter 'what' the rv companies may lead you to believe, not to mention that it's also expensive for the little power it 'may' provide - remember: you need CONSTANT sun, and no SHADE - two things that most campers are not looking to enjoy.
An 100W solar panel, even in marginal sun, can easily "give back" 20-30 Amp hour in an average day. Significant if boondocking . . . My two cents
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:04 PM   #6
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I installed 300 watts of solar on the roof with a PWM controller, a 2000 watt inverter and 2 x 6 volt 230ah batteries on my 19ERD. I’m thinking it is a little overkill for weekend trips. Have been out just once boondocking for 2 days. Used the microwave for a couple of minutes. TV for an hour or so each day. Straighting iron for the wife and never dropping below 210ah! Fully recharged by noon the next day.
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:50 PM   #7
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Where did you install the inverter? Did you keep the batteries on the tounge? Did you change out the stock battery cables back?

I'm lookin to do the same but didn't see a solution that would not be changing out the battery cable to the rear of the coach.

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Old 06-17-2021, 04:22 PM   #8
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One of the considerations for an inverter is for a modified sine wave or pure sine wave. Some electronics do not work with modified sine wave I am told. Just a bit more expensive.
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:34 PM   #9
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I installed a pure sine wave inverter in the front pass through. The inverter came with 3 ft of cable that just made it to the batteries located on the front tongue.
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Old 06-17-2021, 09:40 PM   #10
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My solar controller is also in the front pass through. I did not need to touch any of the coach wiring.
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Old 06-21-2021, 01:14 PM   #11
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Did you Run the AC wires from inverter to panel at the rear of the trailer?
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Old 06-23-2021, 10:48 PM   #12
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I plug the house electrical cable into the inverter and turn off the breaker for the converter (battery charger). So far works great.
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Old 07-12-2023, 08:09 AM   #13
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Two year old thread, but what I am working with right now. Thanks for the posts above.

My little class C has two batteries, that mostly power the 12v Frig. Couple weeks ago, I added a 150 watt, little smart TV and a BlueRay player, coming off of a 400 watt inverter in the bedroom, so we could watch a show or movie as we go to sleep.

Back when we had our little single axle camper, I purchased the Harbor Freight 100 watt system and it seemed to keep the battery topped off from day to day when boon-docking, but it will not do the job on this this Class C and by day two, the batteries are about down.

So I am reading here and just about to pull the trigger on the Renogy starter kit with two, 100 watt panels. I am trying to decide between the PWM or the MPPT controller. If I get the MPPT, I understand I can add a third, or even a fourth panel if required, so I am considering the extra $100 for expansion down the road.

I wonder what the most recent thinking is on these systems. Couple of questions....

Do most of you like the panels permanently mounted on the roof? I try to camp where I can keep the RV under shade trees, so it seems to make better sense for me to be able to set the panels up in the Sun, maybe 20-40 feet away from the camper.

Do you think the 200 watt system will do the job on my two batteries, with the 12v Frig running all the time, using the TV/BR in the evenings? .... or do I need a third panel?


Thanks for any advice.
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Old 07-12-2023, 08:41 AM   #14
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I'd suggest you plan for minimum 200W of solar for every 100Ah of battery. Add up Amp usage (BTW: amps = watts / voltage) and divide into your battery capacity. Your refer is gonna be a power hog compared to everything else. Keep in mind only 50% usable capacity for lead acid batteries, 80% usable from lithium, AGM fall in between (close to 80%). So 100Ah lead acid (wet cells) using 10 Amp will last around five hours (100 / 10 X 50%), in theory. Many other factors come into play (like cable loss, age of batteries, etc) , but this is good for planning purposes. Adding extra cells has nothing to do with MPPT Vs PWM, it has to do with amperage handling capability of the controller. Typically PWM is good enough if you only have a cell or two, and benefit is better realized from MPPT the more solar panels you have . . . This is where number of cells comes into play. I recommend the little bit of extra expense to get MPPT, you will reap a little more power from your cells with it. I have fixed AND portable plug-in panels, comes in handy when under a shade tree. Hope this helps point you in the right direction.
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Old 07-13-2023, 06:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RY469 View Post
I'd suggest you plan for minimum 200W of solar for every 100Ah of battery. Add up Amp usage (BTW: amps = watts / voltage) and divide into your battery capacity. Your refer is gonna be a power hog compared to everything else. Keep in mind only 50% usable capacity for lead acid batteries, 80% usable from lithium, AGM fall in between (close to 80%). So 100Ah lead acid (wet cells) using 10 Amp will last around five hours (100 / 10 X 50%), in theory. Many other factors come into play (like cable loss, age of batteries, etc) , but this is good for planning purposes. Adding extra cells has nothing to do with MPPT Vs PWM, it has to do with amperage handling capability of the controller. Typically PWM is good enough if you only have a cell or two, and benefit is better realized from MPPT the more solar panels you have . . . This is where number of cells comes into play. I recommend the little bit of extra expense to get MPPT, you will reap a little more power from your cells with it. I have fixed AND portable plug-in panels, comes in handy when under a shade tree. Hope this helps point you in the right direction.

Thank you for the excellent information.
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Old 07-15-2023, 07:45 PM   #16
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I have another question... If my unit has lead/acid deep cells.... Can I simply switch to Lithium Iron Phosphate without any modifications?

.....
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Old 07-16-2023, 07:55 AM   #17
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You'll get more opinions on this one then an old coon hound has fleas . . . Simply put, yes you can. The issue you will run into is the converter you have now may not be able to maintain a proper charge on them. You will need to ensure the converter (and solar charge controller) have selection for lithium. Most all lithium batteries have internal battery management systems (BMS). The BMS requires a higher input voltage to charge then (most) converters designed to maintain lead acid can provide. It will work with your current converter using lithium, but will not maintain proper (full capacity) charge. Note: Some converters have switches / jumpers that will select lithium . . . Most ATC company units do for example, Gulf Stream, not so much.
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Old 07-21-2023, 11:45 AM   #18
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I ordered the Renogy MPPT, 400 watt system. Was excited it arrived by Brown Truck yesterday. The box was slightly damaged and upon opening the Styrofoam corner protectors were thrashed and one of the panels was damaged. So I just finished a Return Request to Amazon.

So I guess I will order again... and hope it is delivered without damage.




........
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Old 07-27-2023, 06:10 AM   #19
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Is Renogy MPPT worth buying?
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Old 07-31-2023, 06:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RY469 View Post
You'll get more opinions on this one then an old coon hound has fleas . . . Simply put, yes you can. The issue you will run into is the converter you have now may not be able to maintain a proper charge on them. .....
So this is the issue.... After some research and phone calls, the onboard system on my Conquest is NOT recommended for Lithium. I would have to invest in a whole new system. Ain't doing that.

So now I am thinking I will go the route of the Renogy AGM Gel battery. It seems to allow for a lot of discharge and it handles cold temps really good.

The question I have is... Can I keep the two lead-acid, deep cell batteries I have and then add two more AGM Gel batteries.

I think I can, but would like opinions.
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