PDA

View Full Version : Best solar panel to trickle charge batteries - big country



MGILLIA
10-31-2017, 11:13 AM
We recently bought a 2017 Big Country 3965DSS. It's our first 5th Wheel but our 4th camper. The rig is prewired for a solar panel. Would like to know best solar panel to buy/install to keep the batteries charged when parked in storage. Dixie RV said to make sure not to go over 10 amps. Any help will be much appreciated. My wife and I are new to this forum. This is our first posting.

Oregon_Camper
10-31-2017, 01:16 PM
Love solar....we have around $7500+ invested in our setup, but we use this for weeks and weeks of dry camping with no hookups! :)

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your dealer. While 10 amps will do the job, if you're going to spend time/money to install solar, I think you need to have at least 30 amps and a controller that can do multi-stage charging. Meaning the controller KNOWS what level your battery is and will adjust to keep it a peak charge. Most of the time in storage it will drop to a "trickle charge" and keep your battery maintained properly.

For your needs, I would recommend the Go Power solution below. Having your RV pre-wired for solar is HUGE!! That will save you sooooo much time/effort. Using this kit will also allow you to simply add additional panels for more power, if you ever decide you want to dry camp and have the sun provide all your power. :)

Link to Go Power Solar on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2iihjvn)

55373

CoveredWagon
10-31-2017, 02:15 PM
We recently bought a 2017 Big Country 3965DSS. It's our first 5th Wheel but our 4th camper. The rig is prewired for a solar panel. Would like to know best solar panel to buy/install to keep the batteries charged when parked in storage. Dixie RV said to make sure not to go over 10 amps. Any help will be much appreciated. My wife and I are new to this forum. This is our first posting.



A solar technician recommended to me,a Deltran 5 to 45 watt 12 volt controller and a Newpowar 45 watt 12 volt solar panel. $22 for the controller and $85 for the panel on Amazon. This will charge the batteries at just under 3 amps which is great for long term continuous use. This setup is only for keeping batteries charged. Deltran makes excellent chargers and controllers I personally have several of them, just not on the Rv, just yet

Aandaar
10-31-2017, 02:21 PM
Hello
If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.

The kit above is the basic beginnings for roof top solar and requires a lot of wire running from the roof to the generator bay.

If you are only looking to use that port Harbor Freight sell a small kit that is on sale for about $150.

https://m.harborfreight.com/100-Watt-Solar-Panel-Kit-63585.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiMTI0NzQ3ODUiLCJza3Ui OiI2MzU4NSIsImlzIjoiMTQ5Ljk5IiwicHJvZHVjdF9p%0D%0A ZCI6IjEyMTU4In0%3D%0D%0A&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4417a1&utm_source=1011&cid=mEmail_s1011_c4417a1&sfid=&utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

MGILLIA
10-31-2017, 02:29 PM
Appreciate the quick responses. The solar panel pre-wiring is located where the batteries are housed.

farside291
10-31-2017, 03:11 PM
We ordered this one from Amazon by Battery Tender. Mount it on roof and when in storage just run the wire down the side of camper and plug It in.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q86JJ8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But, I find that with the cut off switches off, the batteries last quite a while without charging.

LBR
10-31-2017, 03:17 PM
Hello
If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.

The kit above is the basic beginnings for roof top solar and requires a lot of wire running from the roof to the generator bay.

If you are only looking to use that port Harbor Freight sell a small kit that is on sale for about $150.

https://m.harborfreight.com/100-Watt-Solar-Panel-Kit-63585.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiMTI0NzQ3ODUiLCJza3Ui OiI2MzU4NSIsImlzIjoiMTQ5Ljk5IiwicHJvZHVjdF9p%0D%0A ZCI6IjEyMTU4In0%3D%0D%0A&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4417a1&utm_source=1011&cid=mEmail_s1011_c4417a1&sfid=&utm_referrer=direct%2Fnot%20provided



Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkWe just bought 2 of these $150 Harbor Freight kits to carry us for the next 20+ months until I put on permanent solar/inverter/battery bank. I've checked each set of panel to verify they work...all seems OK, but we yet to set camp with the entire array.

We have the resi frig which is the main reason for the kits and temporary battery bank, as we boondock alot also.

Oregon_Camper
10-31-2017, 03:20 PM
Hello
If by pre-wired you are referring to the small port near near/above your front generator compartment door. That is not what Oregon-Camper is talking about above.

Good point. I was thinking he has this connection on the roof of his RV when he said he was "pre-wired".

55374




If he only has this connection, then using a portable solution would be better. If you click on my blog link (in signature below), you can see the review and YouTube video I did for a Go Power portable solution.

55375

travelin2
10-31-2017, 03:45 PM
http://www.offthegridrvs.com/portables-s/104.htm


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Silverado23
10-31-2017, 05:10 PM
Good point. I was thinking he has this connection on the roof of his RV when he said he was "pre-wired".

55374



I sort of wish I would have found that cable entry plate before I covered my roof in solar panels.

SLO
10-31-2017, 07:35 PM
I have renogy.com panels on my BH roof. I think good quality. Cost more than Harbor but less than Go Power. Go Power is top quality though. I started out with Renogy’s portable 100w suitcase setup to test there product. I was happy with it so installed 600w on roof. A portable unit won’t do you good in storage though. Someone will walk off with it. I,like you, wanted to keep batteries charged while in storage. Decided to go with the dry camping solution which takes care of storage charging as well.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

LBR
10-31-2017, 07:48 PM
My thoughts on the long term storage is an inexpensive panel on roof laying flat, affixed to, say the A/C unit, so if someone grabs the cord that is plugged into the side connectors, the worst that will happen is they may end up with a cord attached to an inexpensive controller.

If someone dare scales the ladder to grab the panel, one needs to find a better long term storage area.

Desertsky
10-31-2017, 09:39 PM
I, too, have a pair of Renogy 100w panels mounted on the roof of my North Trail 26 RKS. This unit is not prewired so I ran the wires inside the bedroom wall next to the power panel. I installed an Eco-Worthy 20a MPPT charger inside the wardrobe. This gives me up to 10a of charging on a good sunny day.

I have extensively tested these Renogy panels in my back yard for a couple of years. They have been blown around on my deck, had chairs blown over on them, etc and they are TOUGH. They are charging a pair of 6v, 232a Interstate deep cycle batteries.

carl.swoyer
11-02-2017, 06:12 AM
We recently bought a 2017 Big Country 3965DSS. It's our first 5th Wheel but our 4th camper. The rig is prewired for a solar panel. Would like to know best solar panel to buy/install to keep the batteries charged when parked in storage. Dixie RV said to make sure not to go over 10 amps. Any help will be much appreciated. My wife and I are new to this forum. This is our first posting.

I use one 225 Watt solar panel with a 25 amp morning star duo charge controller. The panel I purchased in Miami for $200.00 and the morning star duo purchased online for $130.00.
I dry camp in Key West for Five to seven weeks and it works great.
The place in Miami is sun electronics. Two locations the other in Phoenix.
Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

travsmit
02-04-2018, 03:36 PM
We ordered this one from Amazon by Battery Tender. Mount it on roof and when in storage just run the wire down the side of camper and plug It in.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004Q86JJ8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But, I find that with the cut off switches off, the batteries last quite a while without charging.


Did that kit come with the adapter to plug the solar panel directly into the Furrion plug that was installed/pre-wired on the camper?

CoveredWagon
02-04-2018, 04:23 PM
Here is the rig I came up with. I talked to a solar company tech and he recommend this arrangement. It is a 40 watt panel. I never see more that 20+ volts out of the panel and have not measured the current, but it charged the batteries and keeps them charged 13.6 volts. I too have the batteries disconnected from the Rv.
This set up actually cost less that the 15 watt panel. Bought the panel and the controller from Amazon and the plugs (you’ll need a couple of them) at Auto Zone. They are available at any auto parts store.

563935639456395

DavidWells21fbs
04-06-2018, 10:41 PM
I have the Harbor Freight 100w 4 solar panel kit that does a good job of keeping the batteries charged. Having had it less than a year and having only used it for a week, I can't speak for its reliability/durability.

LBR
04-06-2018, 11:01 PM
I have the Harbor Freight 100w 4 solar panel kit that does a good job of keeping the batteries charged. Having had it less than a year and having only used it for a week, I can't speak for its reliability/durability.We have 2 sets of those same 100 watt HF sets...seem to work great for less than $300 to get us by until the permanent system gets put on.