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Old 02-24-2015, 06:54 PM   #1
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Putting Solar Power in my Palomino Toy Hauler

My solar project has been fun and interesting also. Come on weather I need a break so I can complete my green power. I looked at different solar kits but they are just to cheep of components in them so I pieced all my quality components together seperately and built a lot better system for a lot less cash even though there isn't much cheep about it. Total investment in my solar project so far $1650 with 2/160watt monocrystillin panels, MC4 connectors and wiring, 40amp LCD charge controller, 1additional 125AH battery I already had 2 I just added a third one to make 375ah total, 2000 watt True Sine Wave inverter with built in transfer switch, breakers, 2/0 welding cable, panel anchors and roof sealant.

I'm in the process of putting 2 12V 160 watt each monocrystillin panels on the roof and a 40 MPPT charge control to 375AH battery bank. I have the wiring ran from roof to the controller and battery bank so all is left is mounting the panels once the weather clears up. Next going to be installing a Cotek ST2000 True Sine Wave inverter, it has a built in transfer switch. All that tied to my shore power, 5500 watt Onan, and 50amp Progressive surge protector and 50amp transfer switch. I should't need the Onan generator anymore except to run the 2 A/C's if there's no shore power. I'm excited about getting this project done once this icey weather is gone. We camp a lot where there isn't any shore power available. It's been a fun project for me and I'm excited about not needing shore power or the generator and can run everything free so to speak. LOL I didn't take pics but I will when I'm done with the install. I also did this project so when power is out at home we can still watch tv make coffee or what ever til it's back on. Power goes out here sometimes and when it does it's off a long time.
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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Sounds like fun! Don't forget your in-line disconnects (input and output on the controller), switch breakers and controller to battery line fuse.

With a 375ah bank, one more 160w panel would really help keep your SOC's up on a daily basis. With 480 watts up top you're just about breaking even with that size of a bank and controller. 2 more 160w'rs and you'll be just a bit ahead of the curve.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:34 PM   #3
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thanks for the reminder on the inline fusing but I already have them in place on the panels and battery bank along with disconnects to both I just forgot to list them. I used the 40 amp MPPT charge controller so I could upgrade my panel array if needed later. I can add another 160w panel for $213, I thought I'd see how this worked first but like you said I probably need another panel because she watches TV a lot. LOL
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're golden! It's not that big of a deal if you're only dry 4-5 days at a time between a good shore power charge (assuming you're not running a residential fridge). Your end of day SOC might droop a little day by day, but it sure beats the heck out of havin to gen up.

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Old 02-24-2015, 07:58 PM   #5
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I think your dead on with the droop I can see that 3rd 160w panel in my near future already. LOL
we onlycamp a couple days at a time so we can get back home and back to work to pay for toys. LOL I want it all fixed up for retirement though so we can camp for free as long as we want. A new 1 Ton dually is next on my toy list this year. LOL
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:40 AM   #6
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Here are a few pics of my solar set up I put in my 2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH. This was a fun project. 435AH 12 volt battery bank now using AGM VMaxTank Batteries, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 charge controller, 320 watt Mono Crystillin panels, Cotek True Sine Wave inverter with built in transfer switch. I tested the ability of the battery bank this last weekend and it was awsome but on Saturday with full sun there wasn't quit enough solar panel to totally top off the battery bank so going to add 2 more panels to the system to make it a total of 560 watts of solar. I found a deal on 2-120 watt mono panels so going to order them today. The system and inverter set up works excellent. We watched our 42" TV and DVD player for at least 8 hours on Friday having a movie marathon, made 2 pots of coffee 12 cup coffee pot, ran the microwave and convection oven, had all the LED's running outside all night, had the fridg. running on propane, and really just went about our merry way all weekend running water pump, tv, radio, lights and what ever else just like we were hooked to the shore power and all went without a hitch. So it turned out to be a awsome solar system setup for sure just need a little more solar to make sure the batteries get fully topped off. This is the 1st solar set up I've ever done and I only made a few tweeks to it with a better battery bank than I had rigged up at first and added a better charge controlled than the first MPPT one I used. All and all I'm really pleased with it. Here's some pics of the set up. There are a couple items missing from the battery bank pic which are the battery temperature sensor and voltage monitor wiring feeding to the Morningstar charge controller. And Yes all work was done by myself as always and had alot of fun doing it. LOL

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2-160 watt mono crystillin panels = 320 watt the panels each measure 57" X 26"s

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Cotek True Sine Wave inverter with built in transfer switch

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2-12volt 155AH and 1-12volt 125AH VMAX Charge Tank batteries

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Cotek True Sine Wave inverter Remote and Morningstar Remote Meter

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Morningstar MPPT TS-60 charge controller
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:05 PM   #7
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Just wondering if I wanted to put that set up together what kind of money am I looking at spending
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:28 PM   #8
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Cotek ST2000-12 True Sine Wave inverter $800, Morningstar MPPT TS60 charge Controller $650, 2 Renogy Mono 100watt-12 panels $250, 2 Eco 160watt -12 panels $430, 2 AGM12v SLR155ah VMax Charge tank batteries $640, 1 AGM 12v SLR125 VMax Charge Tank battery $260, Morningstar Remote $130, Cotek Remote $100, disconnects switches, 2/0 battery cables and 8 awg wiring, flex conduit, tie wraps, roof adhesive, and miscellaneous about $250. Your own knowledge and labor free for a total of $3510 give or take a bit case I forgot something like beer. LOL
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:49 PM   #9
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These are the final updated items from my original solar set up. After putting $900 bucks worth of battery bank in I wanted a better charge controller then I also wanted to make sure my batteries were topped off after heavy use so I added the 200 more watts of solar. On a good sunny day I seen 17.3 amps from the 320 watt solar string and 10.1 from the 200 watt Renogy string for a total of 27.4 amps. I feel more comfortable that my battery bank will get topped off before dusk. The system has been working flawlessly and the Cotek inverter works great running everything. What a awesome solar system it is but I will probably never see a payback of the cost but the convence is priceless. Makes the 5er toy hauler truely self contained. If to cloudy to charge the batteries then we can always fire up the 5500 watt Onan and charge from the 60 amp converter. While raining the other day the panels where still making 4.6 amps also. A very nice system it is. This system will get moved to another RV if that day comes. Also I still have room for a lot more solar on the roof if I feel the need to add more cause there is plenty of capacity left in the Morningstar charge controller.
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2014 Palomino Columbus 3650TH
435AH 12V VMax Charge Tanks, 520 watt Monocrystilline Solar Array, Morningstar MPPT TS-60 CC,Morningstar Remote,Cotek True Sine Wave Inverter,Cotek Remote Controller,50amp Progressive Hardwire Surge Protector
2015 Dodge 3500 6.7L 4X4
2011 CanAm Commander XT 1000
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Old 04-11-2015, 07:26 PM   #10
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Nice setup and looks like a job well done
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