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Old 11-13-2018, 06:19 PM   #1
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Furrion Solar

Has anyone used the pre wired furrion solar jack? How big of a panel would I need to keep the battery juiced enough for lights, tv etc. thanks,
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:27 PM   #2
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You might want to check other areas of these forums - there are multiple discussons on this subject.

Without knowing exactly what you have, the typical Forest River "solar prep" is a plug on the exterior and some wires (not very heavy) that run in the direction of the battery. There is no solar power controller (needed for panel of any size), and the wiring that comes with your solar panel may/may not match up with the installed plug. Finally, the wire Forest River typically runs is too small a gauge to support more than one panel - the voltage drop in the wiring will lose some of your solar charging.

To answer your panel question - it depends. It depends on how much power you use from the batteries on a daily basis, whether your solar panels are shaded or not, the time of year (early summer has much more available solar energy than early winter), and whether or not the panels are tilted to better receive solar energy.

First, you need enough battery capacity to carry your daily load for at least 2 days using less than 50% of your battery capacity - and preferably more. The sun doesn't shine every day, even in Colorado or Florida or Arizona. For most RVs, this means more than one battery in the battery bank.

Second, in the summer sunshine you normally have about 6 hours of energy production from a panel. In the winter, it's probably down to 4 at most latitudes. Ideally, your panels would produce enough power to replenish 2 days worth of consumption in those 4-6 hours. Typically, it takes at least 2 80 watt panels to produce enough power to fully recharge the batteries in a day.

Third, you will need a controller to regulate the solar power and battery charger, and will probably want some form of battery monitor (not a voltmeter) to know how your batteries and solar panel are doing.

There is a lot more to know about solar power, and a lot of good info (and some not so good) in other forums on this web site. I have installed solar to mostly power remote communications sites in Alaska, so am well aware of the calcs and costs of solar.

We don't use solar panels or a generator on our A-frame in order to keep camping very simple. I installed dual GC-2 batteries which will carry us for 4+ nights with 50% heater run time (at night only) - but we really minimize any other battery usage. I don't have to worry about setting up solar panels or the gas for a generator. By the time 4 nights of dry camping have passed, we are low on water and food as well as battery in the A-frame. Time to move on to another campground.

KISS (keep it simple and stupid) camping
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:51 PM   #3
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I think you will have some homework to figure out exactly which size to get.

Went to Furrion's site, and didn't see size calculators.

Zamp provides a sizing chart based on RV size, number of batteries, and weekend getaways or longer. https://www.zampsolar.com/solar-101

Renogy has a pretty comprehensive sizing calculator, which also takes into account amount of sunlight. https://www.renogy.com/products/solar-kits/rv-van/

Good luck and let us know your final decision. I'm thinking of adding portable solar next year.

Safe and happy travels.
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