RV Solar

Interesting response to a post about using solar panels to decrease shore power usage.

The 100w will be not enough to charge the batteries from a 50% depletion on a less than perfect day (I have the same setup – 100w and 2 – 12v Group 27 batteries or you may have 31 or 24..in either case…) I usually don’t connect mine when at a pedestal, and are for emergency or boondocking applications…I also have a small generator for true emergencies…rain for several days and not power…

as far as saving $$ when plugged in – probably not much if anything….it depends on what the charging parameters are on the converter (shore power) and the Solar controller are. i.e. flat vs bulk vs absorption…etc.

they won’t fight each other, but supplement each other…if the solar is set a little higher – it will provide more to the battery, as it will read the output from the controller as a lower voltage…and provide from the solar in that case…when the sun goes down, the converter will take over.

for example…if the converter is set to 14.3…and the controller to 14.4…on a super sunny day, and the sun shining….and the solar/controller is pumpunig out 14.4….the converter is not “working” as hard as it sees the voltage of the battery at 14.4 and drops to a lower voltage maintenance “mode”….when the sun goes down and the solar is not putting out the high amount of power…or there is a rainy day, or cloudy…whatever… and the converter sees that the battery is “depleting” resoures…(meaning the voltage is below the threshold  and strts to charge at a certain rate) as the solar is not putting enough to “keep it there” … the converter will do its job based on the voltage detected at the battery.


Using the Furrion Solar Port – With links to where to buy the connector and uses.


From a reply at this post – I don’t know about the converter as mine is not wired that way (Actually I don’t use my converter for charging at all, as my 2000 watt inverter is also a charger) but my instructions clearly state that having solar power to the CC with batteries UNHOOKED will cause damage to the CC and void the warranty. This is my first solar ever, and as said above by another person, Solar is only good if it works. Well that poster obviously didn’t have his hooked up properly. I’ve been Boondocking for more then 25 years, and solar is the only way to go. I’m FAR from an expert, I learned more by joining the solar TECH forum on  www.renogy.com
One of your statements was “It will be charging all day” be careful with that thought. My system is only 400 watts, depending on what part of the country you are in charging conditions change, are you planning on having your panel flat mounted on the roof? or is it going to be portable? Well if mounted flat on the roof (Like mine are) your panels are not going to be catching sun at it’s peak ALL day long. In fact that’s why some people have adjustable panel mounts, then they go up on the RV roof and tilt the panels so they can capture more off that “Peak” sun. If your going to have a portable panel then someone has to be there to move it as the sun moves, (If you want to again get the most charging output from that panel) You said you have 2 6 volt golf cart batteries, that’s a great start, are you able to run a “Equalization mode? 4 hours of over 15volts feeding those 2 batteries? Very important part of proper battery maintenance. I think if I was you I would join the forum I mentioned and maybe ask, learn about Renogy’s “suitcase charging system” very simple not much $$ and it will give a daily boost to your battery’s. Some of the most important things is, keep your cables as short as possible, and make sure you use proper size cables. Also google Handy Bob’s solar. He has a lot of useful information. Oh and get a decent battery monitor, THAT’S A MUST. Sorry if I rambled on. But I get excited about solar, especially if you BOONDOCK a must. But that being said I still have a generator on hand. Wife and I boondock for over a month at a time. Once we made it 10 days of rain and clouds (no direct sun at all) we still managed our battery levels, but on the 10th day I had to run my generator about 4+ hours to bring the battery bank through a proper charge cycle.
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2004 Montana 2955RL, 400 watt solar, 2000 watt inverter/charger, 4-6volt golf cart batteries, All LED lights,Champion Remote start, 3- fuel option 3100/3400 inverter/gen.- 2000 F-350 7.3 4×4 long bed crew cab SRW.