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Old 04-12-2016, 09:27 AM   #1
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Solar purchase cost

Hey all,

Am I in the ballpark on solar costs? I'll do the install myself and this will be mounted on the roof (not tilt-able).

I've only shopped around a little bit but I'm looking to see if this is close.

Battery Monitor = $200
Charge Controller = $515
Charge Controller (remote display) = $120
100(ish) watt solar cells ($120 x 4) = $500
Wiring and battery cables = $200
6v batteries ($100 x 4) = ($400)
Misc (connectors, boxes, sealant, etc) = $150

For a appox. grand total of: ~$2100

I was told by a home solar installer (who doesn't do RV's) that combined NYS and Federal rebates (??) work out to about a 55% savings on the whole job which would cut my cost by roughly 1/2 ... which I wouldn't cry over.

So, again, is ~$2k in the ballpark to start solar from scratch for an RV?

Thanks,
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:32 AM   #2
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Think your Charge Controller is a little high and your battery cost is a little low. I did not see an inverter listed so assuming you do not plan to use any AC appliances. You might want to check on the solar rebate as I believe it may not apply to a camping trailer. Have you confirmed that this system will meet your power demands?
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:38 AM   #3
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I did a lot of research last year and ended up at Renogy | The Future of Clean Energy. They have packages that make the solar end of your equation much more reasonable. Different range of kits from entry level to premium. You may want to check them out.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
Think your Charge Controller is a little high and your battery cost is a little low. I did not see an inverter listed so assuming you do not plan to use any AC appliances. You might want to check on the solar rebate as I believe it may not apply to a camping trailer. Have you confirmed that this system will meet your power demands?
Flybob,

- We can do all we want on 12vdc so I don't need the inverter. Besides, I have a couple of cheapy's if needed - yes, it'll drain the batt's faster but that's ok ... for the short term.

- Like I said, I didn't shop around much but for the TriStar MPPT TS-MPPT-60, it looked about right??? I'm looking at the MPPT because we camp in shaded areas (not complete shade) so think I need more panels than "normal" and need to harvest as much from them as possible. At least this is what I understand as one of the benefits of the MPPT controller. Is this incorrect thinking?

- I will most definitely check the rebates before spending the $$. I do know I read that by IRS rules, a camper is the "same" as a motor home and in NYS our camper is considered a 2nd home (it's tax deductible). So ... I'm hoping and I'll keep my fingers crossed but check before spending $.

- Batteries - I thought I've read that people can get the T105's for around $100 each (maybe a pipe dream?). I know I can get the 6V Everready's from Batteries Plus for ~$100 each (before tax)

- I have not confirmed the draw on our new RV. It would be overkill in our last one assuming we had the sunlight for it. One of the biggest hurdles to me is figuring out how much power I can harvest in dappled and shaded campsites (we camp in the Adirondack Mountains a lot and there are a LOT of trees.

Thanks for the help - I need it.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:05 AM   #5
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I actually just purchased my solar setup. Starting off I went with 2x100 watt panels from Renogy. Got them pretty cheap from Amazon about $250. I then got an MPPT charge controller kit which included battery temp sensor, air temp sensor and remote display from Windy Nation for about $260 from amazon. I threw in a few other odds n ends. All in all about $600ish..
Now for the inverter side...I went with an inverter/charger with remote display and auto transfer switch and 2 - 6 volt batteries.
The kit I put together ran me in the range of about $1300. Plus a few bucks for some parts. So I think you should be in the ball park for 2k depending on what you buy and when. Remember it is not all about the money it is a good education and you should have some fun with it. good luck!
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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2 votes for Renology - Guess I need to look into what they have. For the battery monitor I've got spec'd out a Victron 702 with temp and Bluetooth.

Wholly cwap, I just looked at Amazon and the TS-60 is $200 ... not $515!! I like that much better.

This is why I posted this question to y'all!

Thanks and keep it coming ... please.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:33 PM   #7
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Here is a reasonable 400 watt kit. You can add a remote display for $40.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice12t View Post
I actually just purchased my solar setup. Starting off I went with 2x100 watt panels from Renogy. Got them pretty cheap from Amazon about $250. I then got an MPPT charge controller kit which included battery temp sensor, air temp sensor and remote display from Windy Nation for about $260 from amazon. I threw in a few other odds n ends. All in all about $600ish..
Now for the inverter side...I went with an inverter/charger with remote display and auto transfer switch and 2 - 6 volt batteries.
The kit I put together ran me in the range of about $1300. Plus a few bucks for some parts. So I think you should be in the ball park for 2k depending on what you buy and when. Remember it is not all about the money it is a good education and you should have some fun with it. good luck!
IMHO, 2 x 6vdc batteries isn't enough storage. You might want to consider more elec storage.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
Here is a reasonable 400 watt kit. You can add a remote display for $40.
X2 with boondocking. The Renogy 400 watt kit is a really good buy with great customer service. Make sure you don't skimp on the wire gauge. Go big!
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:27 PM   #10
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I'm looking at the portable system from zamp much less cost and should do what I need when dry camping. late night cocktails with a movie will require the generator.
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