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Old 12-23-2017, 10:26 AM   #1
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Solar beginnings

Since end of camping season I have been doing research on going solar. Have been gathering wires and controller as I have seen them on local CL. Have all the wire, Renogy PWM Wanderer controller, fuses and today I couldn't pass up the deal of the day on panels. I grabbed 4 Renogy Mono panels for $400. 2 will go to the in law for his shop or camper and I will put 1 on top of my Z-1 and the other will be tied in to move around on trips I camp in shade. Can't wait for warm spring to get here and start the install.

This site has been helpful looking over all the ways you fellow campers have installed yours. When I get going on install I will post pics and progress to hopefully help others out as well.
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Old 12-23-2017, 06:59 PM   #2
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Looking forward to hearing about your progress!
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:59 PM   #3
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Well, I am also going to go the better battery route. The cheap exide hybrid battery that came with our unit in 2015 combined with a much older battery I put in just don't cut it anymore. That and if I am going solar to maintain, why not be happy with my investment? I reached out to a local golf car dealer and discussed the T-105. Like most of you who already switched over, I will as well. Will pick up 2 and install at the same time as the solar install this spring. I bet April will be the soonest I can start, but Colorado has wonky weather at times.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:47 PM   #4
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When I did my solar system I put the T-105 6V in. I wish I would have went to the T-125 or T-145. Either one is way heavier then the T-105, but has a lot more juice.
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Old 12-26-2017, 06:55 PM   #5
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How many batteries are you running Lloyd? I thought about the t-125 as well, only couple pounds heavier but same dimensions. By using solar I don't anticipate them ever going through a deep cycle of charging. I still have time to make my mind numb dissecting the pros and cons of each. Either route I travel will be better than the one I am on.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:04 PM   #6
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Two 6V
I only have one 135 watt panel. On a long stay in the fall with out electric, I have to start running the genny to keep the batteries up. As it gets later into the fall, the arc of the sun starts to drift south. I even made brackets so I could raise one side of the panel to get a better angle on the sun. That and it starts getting colder and the furnace, lights and everything else has to run more. I guess I just need another panel.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:47 PM   #7
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Our coach probably has a lot more draw, but I went with 4 t-105's and now wish I had gone with the 145's or L-16's as the one solar panel and the batteries just can't keep up...

Do have a nice 3 stage controller that can handle more panels, just waiting until spring to add to it.
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Old 12-27-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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Well considering one 12 volt battery is marked as a 2011 model and the other is an exide from buying the camper in 2015 with a total of best case of 160 amp hours, whatever batteries I do get will be a significant improvement.

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Old 12-27-2017, 06:48 PM   #9
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I can understand where you are coming from. Money doesn't grow on trees, and when you have a family to take of it's sometimes pretty hard to justify spending the extra money. All I can say is, I wish when I did it, I would have went with the bigger Trojans.

The furnace is the biggest amp hog you have.
I even went to one of these to help preserve my batteries.

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Old 12-29-2017, 04:40 PM   #10
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I have been talking to a few local solar installers around here. They can get me the 105's for $120 a piece, the 145's for $230 a piece. They also mention the $$ per amp is not worth going the 145 route without more panels. Both stated (2) 100 watt panels and (2) T-105's are the sweet spot. We don't camp but maybe once in the spring and once in the fall using the heater and we do have a generator.

Lloyd, I greatly appreciate your input but like you said it's costly. Will get a battery disconnect switch as well. I assume I need more wire for that? Tie it into the ground? Can someone post a good pic please?
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