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Old 02-26-2016, 01:16 PM   #31
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Location: Northeast CT
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Originally Posted by JustB_Rad View Post
My Group 24 goes dead in the driveway in 2 days from just the Propane Detector and Radio when turned off.....
Yeah I don't think I'm far behind you there. Mine was better when the battery was new though. I think I drained the original battery too low too many times though.

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Old 02-26-2016, 02:12 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by GearHd6 View Post
Thanks for the solar info!

What is considered a good size wire? My battery is on the tongue and the converter is all the way at the rear. That's probably not an ideal setup to begin with.
I would bet that you currently have #8 or #6 cables from your rear converter to the batteries. All of your normal 12 v loads go through those cables and I am sure that there are things in your unit that can draw at least 20 amps of DC. If you are installing a reasonable solar solution, say 2 100 watt panels, you will never supply more than 11 amps (two 100 to 150 watt panels in parallel) from a solar controller at 12 to 15 volts. Might not sound like much but it goes on for hours and long as the sun is out. If you locate your solar controller next to your converter and use the existing wiring, you should have plenty of capacity since a #6 wire set would lose you less than 1% from the solar system.

Now, if you use a Trimetric meter and its companion SC-2030 solar controller, the controller will be monitoring the voltage at the batteries since it gets its information from the Trimetric over a data cable. So if it wants to do a boost charge to 14.5 volts and there is a .3 volt drop in the cables, it will get the battery voltage data as if it measured it right at the battery terminals, since that is where the Trimetric is connected and the controller will boost the voltage until the batteries see 14.5 volts, overcoming any losses in the cables! You should also get the accessory temperature probe and mount it near the batteries since the controller adjusts it charging parameters to allow for the battery temperature.

The only time that you would be supplying 11 amps (two panels) is in full sun, with the panels well aligned to the south, the ambient temperature below 50 to 70 degrees and the batteries at a low state of charge. As the temperature rises, the panels put out less current. There is plenty of voltage available to overcome your 1 to 3% loss from the cables and the controller will adjust accordingly. Other times the current will be lower since the batteries are coming up to full charge or the sun is lower in the sky or an at poor angle to the panels.

Bottom line, I am sure that if your cables can supply the RV or TT with sufficient DC power, they are fine as is for adding a solar solution.

You should, however, use 10 GA PV cables from the panels to the controller.


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Old 02-26-2016, 04:09 PM   #33
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Location: West Hills, CA
Posts: 120
I'm slowly working towards a system like Scott has, but that's a lot of coin to drop all at once. My unit came with one group 27 battery so the first thing I did was install a second battery and one 150watt solar panel. Once I started looking at the install I discovered I needed to re-wire the batteries and install a better disconnect switch AND get a better solar controller. I say this so the OP can develop a plan to upgrade his system in stages. If I were to do it over again it would be like this:

1. (2) Trojan 6 volt
2. Trimetric Meter
3. Solar panel + Trimetric SC-2030 solar controller
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:26 PM   #34
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Location: New York
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Not even close please do some searching for solar systems or generators as they have great power charts to give you a good start to your needs as to the number of and types of battery's you are going to need.
Hope this helps and Happy Camping
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:34 AM   #35
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Location: Va
Posts: 26
2 deep cycle 6V batteries and everything Herk7769 or ScottB said. You definitely need more than one battery just to have enough amp hours. Also, consider a simple 200W portable solar panel (I love my Zamp system) that you can set up each day without having to use the gas generator, weather and cloud conditions permitting. We drycamp regularly and have easily managed all our power needs with our solar panels. I don't even own a gas least, not yet.

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