Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
RV 5th Wheel Solar/Battery/Inverter Upgrade

I just wanted to share my 5th Wheel RV Solar plans. This is a work in progress. With the upcoming Renogy Cyber Monday Promotion, the 400 Watt Solar kit in this design would only be $718. The install is partially complete just need to add the Solar, charge controller and Battery monitor. More info or to follow the progress check out. RV POWER UPGRADE | Live, Breathe, Move
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	RV SOLAR SHT 1.jpg
Views:	152
Size:	285.1 KB
ID:	94488   Click image for larger version

Name:	RV SOLAR SHT 2.jpg
Views:	550
Size:	236.3 KB
ID:	94489   Click image for larger version

Name:	RV SOLAR SHT 3.jpg
Views:	203
Size:	135.9 KB
ID:	94490   Click image for larger version

Name:	RV SOLAR SHT 4.jpg
Views:	172
Size:	107.1 KB
ID:	94491   Click image for larger version

Name:	RV SOLAR SHT 5.jpg
Views:	177
Size:	158.7 KB
ID:	94492  

Attached Files
File Type: pdf CRUSADER_WIRING_MOD.pdf (245.1 KB, 24 views)
__________________

__________________
jwhitacre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 04:10 PM   #2
Member
 
Appalachian Ed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Northern SC
Posts: 98
Please post lots of pictures. I am not even close to your league in understanding the layout. I do plan on better batteries and an inverter at a minimum to my 5er.

Does this setup have a manual switch on for the inverter? When on does the system auto detect shore power and switch to inverter power only when shore power is not connected?

What about recharging the batteries? Are batteries only recharged from the solar panels?

I would love to see a picture where you connected into the existing RV converter. Regarding the battery recharge when using shore power, is that still coming from the RV OEM original Converter/Charger?

Sorry if these are dumb questions. I am a newbie trying to educate myself and get pleasure out of designing and installing things myself. Also saves a lot of $$$.

Thanks for posting this!
__________________

__________________
Ed

----------------------------
2015 Rockwood 8289WS
2009 Ford F-250
Appalachian Ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 08:52 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appalachian Ed View Post
Please post lots of pictures. I am not even close to your league in understanding the layout. I do plan on better batteries and an inverter at a minimum to my 5er.

Does this setup have a manual switch on for the inverter? When on does the system auto detect shore power and switch to inverter power only when shore power is not connected?

What about recharging the batteries? Are batteries only recharged from the solar panels?

I would love to see a picture where you connected into the existing RV converter. Regarding the battery recharge when using shore power, is that still coming from the RV OEM original Converter/Charger?

Sorry if these are dumb questions. I am a newbie trying to educate myself and get pleasure out of designing and installing things myself. Also saves a lot of $$$.

Thanks for posting this!
I did not interrupt the existing shore power converter systems that was delivered with the 5th wheel and that will still charge the batteries when plugged in with the existing wire feed to/from the removed battery.

As far as the inverter. I turn that on manually via the on/off switch that came with the inverter and that I am mounting near the interior circuit breaker panel. The connection of the inverter to the AC outlets is also "manual" not automatic. On the schematic you will see two "3-way light switch" type switches also near the interior circuit breaker panel. I use these two switches to manually switch my trailer's two AC outlet circuits over from the Circuit Breaker Panel (shore power) to the inverter when shore power is not available. The AC, microwave, and fireplace circuits will not be available to be powered by the inverter and the Fridge, and hot water heater will only be available for use in propane mode when disconnected from shore power.

I will try to post more pictures once I get this complete. Hope that helps.
__________________
jwhitacre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 10:31 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,204
It looks like you are not using the inverter, even for the microwave, which you WILL want to use sooner or later. Also, IMHO, you might want to give thought to an automatic transfer switch. I made the mistake of installing a manual switch and fried it on our first outing.
Are you installing a MPPT solar controller or the PWM unit. From my personal experience, there is a Big difference in the two. BTW, Renogy makes a great MPPT controller and their customer service is excellent!
Also consider the MT-5 remote controller head. A huge help in managing your solar controller.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2009.jpg
Views:	101
Size:	304.5 KB
ID:	94918   Click image for larger version

Name:	Finished Product 6 x 100 watts.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	377.7 KB
ID:	94919  
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2015, 11:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
SKnight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,428
I hate that the exact kit I want is going on sale when I can't spring for it! Ugh, off to count pennies.
__________________
Now-2014 Sierra 346RETS 5er BUB
Then-2002 Keystone Springdale 286RLDS TT

Nights camped in 2014-28, 2015-127, 2016-10
SKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 12:15 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Blackhat6mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St Simons Island, GA
Posts: 1,204
Also, to answer your question about charging the batteries, they charge from both and or the solar system and onboard converter. My inverter [5,000 watt] powers everything in the unit through an Paralax auto transfer switch. It's over kill on the size of the inverter, but it's there if I need it and I have 500 amp hrs of batteries to power it. Again, overkill, but it's what I wanted AVAILABLE if I needed it. The inverter has an on/off switch.
__________________
Aviator Wright Flyer #1919
Army Pathfinder Vietnam, 3 tours
DAV, MOPH, VFW, NRA, 1stCav. ABN
Blackhat6mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 09:39 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
It looks like you are not using the inverter, even for the microwave, which you WILL want to use sooner or later. Also, IMHO, you might want to give thought to an automatic transfer switch. I made the mistake of installing a manual switch and fried it on our first outing.
Are you installing a MPPT solar controller or the PWM unit. From my personal experience, there is a Big difference in the two. BTW, Renogy makes a great MPPT controller and their customer service is excellent!
Also consider the MT-5 remote controller head. A huge help in managing your solar controller.
I DO NOT want the microwave connected to the 2000 watt inverter and it is actually not possible to "fry" anything with the manual switching system that I have designed because the inverter and converter outputs can not be tied together with the 3-way switches.

I am installing the MPPT charge controller and I have also installed an Ethernet cable up to the interior beside the battery monitor so that I can add the MT-5 if I decide I need or want it. Sounds like I will. Thanks.
__________________
jwhitacre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 09:51 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhat6mike View Post
It looks like you are not using the inverter, even for the microwave, which you WILL want to use sooner or later. Also, IMHO, you might want to give thought to an automatic transfer switch. I made the mistake of installing a manual switch and fried it on our first outing.
Are you installing a MPPT solar controller or the PWM unit. From my personal experience, there is a Big difference in the two. BTW, Renogy makes a great MPPT controller and their customer service is excellent!
Also consider the MT-5 remote controller head. A huge help in managing your solar controller.
How many Watts of PVs do you have? Looks like 6 panels. Are they all connected to the MPPT charge control? Is that the 40 amp charge control?
__________________
jwhitacre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 09:51 AM   #9
Member
 
Appalachian Ed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Northern SC
Posts: 98
Is it easier to install an inverter system that is simply connected to the entire 5er electrical system or to selected regions as you are doing. I am learning but my logic says connect it to the existing system and I have the option when running on the DC batteries to not use items (such as AC or Microwave) if I fear they will overload the size inverter I install?

I would really appreciate more details regarding tapping into the existing system. Sorry if I am slow here but don't have a clear picture in my mind on wiring into the existing breaker panel to choose selected devices (or all devices)? Do you simply connect into the breakers you want to power from the inverter so that both existing system and your inverter are able to feed power into the system?
__________________
Ed

----------------------------
2015 Rockwood 8289WS
2009 Ford F-250
Appalachian Ed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2015, 11:59 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appalachian Ed View Post
Is it easier to install an inverter system that is simply connected to the entire 5er electrical system or to selected regions as you are doing. I am learning but my logic says connect it to the existing system and I have the option when running on the DC batteries to not use items (such as AC or Microwave) if I fear they will overload the size inverter I install?

I would really appreciate more details regarding tapping into the existing system. Sorry if I am slow here but don't have a clear picture in my mind on wiring into the existing breaker panel to choose selected devices (or all devices)? Do you simply connect into the breakers you want to power from the inverter so that both existing system and your inverter are able to feed power into the system?
If you want to be able to power everything (microwaves etc) from the inverter you likely need larger than 2000 watt inverter and you also need some sort of auto transfer switch as suggested. My design was cheaper and easier for what I want.

To use the switches you just need a standard 3-way light switch from a hardware store or a dual three way switch if you want to wire two separate circuits to the inverter like I am.

1. Run a single Romex (2-wire plus ground) from the inverter output to the 3-way switch mounted near interior circuit breaker panel and connect the black wire of this inverter wire to the "Normally Open" stud on the 3-way switch. (should be the terminal on the right side looking at the 3-way switch from the front.)

3. Disconnect the wire from the existing outlet circuit breaker you want to be able to power with the inverter, pull it over to the 3-way switch and connect that black wire to the "common" stud on the 3-way switch (lower left side) and splice the white wire to the white inverter wire.

4. You then just run a short wire jumper from the 3-way switch and connect the black wire to the "Normally Closed" stud (upper left) and splice the white wire to the two other white wires in the switch box. The other side of this wire black goes to the vacated breaker and the white wire goes to the common terminal in the panel.

My 5th wheel has two 15 amp breakers that cover all AC outlets so I used a Dual 3-way switch and did the above procedure for each switch and jumpered the black inverter wire to both "normally open" switch contacts. Here is a before an after schematic that may help.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	3-way detail.jpg
Views:	117
Size:	152.4 KB
ID:	94932  
__________________

__________________
jwhitacre is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
5th wheel, battery, inverter, solar, upgrade, wheel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




ForestRiverForums.com is not in any way associated with Forest River, Inc. or its associated RV manufacturing divisions.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 AM.