Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-25-2018, 03:15 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 604
Flexible solar

Just wondering if the flexible solar panels are as good as the hard encased panels.
__________________

colourful64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2018, 10:09 AM   #2
Summer2Go
 
Summer2Go's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: NW New Jersey
Posts: 652
Quote:
Originally Posted by colourful64 View Post
Just wondering if the flexible solar panels are as good as the hard encased panels.

I put them on my Roo. They may turn out to be a little less efficient than the framed ones, I just don’t know yet. The installation was a lot easier for me, and the ‘footprint’ left behind on my roof isn’t that much of a big deal. I hopefully have extra wattage on my roof by getting larger and more panels to compensate.
__________________

Summer2Go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2018, 10:14 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,502
No, they aren't for three reasons.

First is that the flexible design,by itself, makes them less efficient.

The second reason is that they are typically mounted directly on the roof and with no air gap between the panel and roof as in a traditional non-flexible panel, the panel heats up more which reduces efficiency even more.

The third reason is that you can't tilt them in winter months to maximize reduced sun exposure. Although I have tilt panels on my solar non-flexible panels, I no longer tilt them because it is too much of a hassle.

With that said, flexible panels are a good option and you can easily overcome the power loss with their drawbacks simply by throwing on an extra panel.
Skyliner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2018, 04:09 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 68
I'm installing (4) 100 watt flexible panels on the roof of my Mini Lite. The roof construction of the Mini Lite just doesn't allow for rigid panel installation. Well, not without building some monstrosity of a frame system.

I've had rigid panels on my previous travel trailers, so we'll see how these perform, but I'm feeling pretty optimistic about them and really like the idea of them being flush on the roof and how light they are. The wind profile of them is so small its not even worth mentioning.

I live and camp in Colorado, so our ambient temps when camping rarely get up to 80 degrees, usually in the 60s and 70s, so I'm hoping that helps the temperature efficiency side of things. May not though as we're also closer to the sun.

We'll see, but I'm sure they'll work good enough for our purposes.
Abendage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2018, 03:33 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 604
Question specific to fr3s with solar

So if you have an FR3 with solar.... I'd like to pick your brain...

Whays your set up? Converter? Gage of wires? Where did you pull the wires from the roof to the batteries? Wheres you controller?

Please ... I'm interested in FR3 info only... Trying to do some homework
colourful64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2018, 08:01 PM   #6
Member
 
Desert Kicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 34
I have a 2015 FR3 30-DS.

I put 200 Watts on the roof using a 200-Watt kit utilizing two 100-watt flex panels from Go Power. The 10-gauge wires were routed through the roof using a roof fixture made for the purpose to the ceiling of the entry door closet such that I was able to install a disconnect and then the Go Power PWM-30 control panel in the space above the radio. I then routed the 10-gauge wires to the batteries through the floor of the entry door closet.

From the batteries I used the Go Power DC Install Kit with 4-gauge wires to install a Go Power 1000-watt pure sine inverter inside the entry door closet and then ran 110V to two 15A outlets above the kitchen sink.

I did the installation this way primarily to keep my batteries charged and to be able run an ice maker or Instapot without having to run the generator. I primarily boon dock and don't use the televisions or microwave very often. My setup works for my purposes; however, running anything off of the inverter for more than 4-hours will start discharging the batteries too much, even in direct sunlight.

My installation did require two of us for the wire routing and roof preparation, but it was pretty straight forward using the instructions in the Go Power kits.
__________________
Desert Kicker
2015 FR3 30DS
Desert Kicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2018, 10:54 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Kicker View Post
I have a 2015 FR3 30-DS.

I put 200 Watts on the roof using a 200-Watt kit utilizing two 100-watt flex panels from Go Power. The 10-gauge wires were routed through the roof using a roof fixture made for the purpose to the ceiling of the entry door closet such that I was able to install a disconnect and then the Go Power PWM-30 control panel in the space above the radio. I then routed the 10-gauge wires to the batteries through the floor of the entry door closet.

From the batteries I used the Go Power DC Install Kit with 4-gauge wires to install a Go Power 1000-watt pure sine inverter inside the entry door closet and then ran 110V to two 15A outlets above the kitchen sink.

I did the installation this way primarily to keep my batteries charged and to be able run an ice maker or Instapot without having to run the generator. I primarily boon dock and don't use the televisions or microwave very often. My setup works for my purposes; however, running anything off of the inverter for more than 4-hours will start discharging the batteries too much, even in direct sunlight.

My installation did require two of us for the wire routing and roof preparation, but it was pretty straight forward using the instructions in the Go Power kits.


Beautiful. Thank you so much for all the info
colourful64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2018, 12:17 PM   #8
Member
 
Desert Kicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 34
After talking with my son, who helped with the installation, I re-checked the wiring to my Inverter. The cables are 6-gauge, not 4-gauge as stated in my original response. I was going to use 4-gauge, but decided against it because my Inverter is located less than 10-ft from the batteries.
__________________
Desert Kicker
2015 FR3 30DS
Desert Kicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2018, 11:59 AM   #9
Site Team
 
wmtire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northeast Louisiana
Posts: 21,054
2 similar threads merged by site team.
__________________
2011 Flagstaff 831 RLBSS

Just imagine, for a moment, if there were no hypothetical situations.
wmtire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2018, 12:51 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 519
We installed 720w (4x180w Grape Solar rigid panels) on our 2015 30DS. We used the closet corner by the door to route the 48v from the roof to the storage bin next to the batteries. In there, I mounted a sub-panel with our Midnite solar controller along with the Magnum charger/inverter. I had to replace the factory 30 amp cord with a larger gauge (8ga I think). This way the 30 amp comes in the back, routes up to the inverter, then back to the power distribution panel in the aft closet. Its close to 100ft, hence upgrading that wiring. We installed 2 panels in series on each side of the RV, just forward of the AC unit. Works out perfect. We had to build a frame that attaches to 3 of the aluminum frames under the roof (4ft centers). I have some pictures floating around in the forum somewhere.
__________________

__________________
Mike
2015 FR3 30DS
KansasFR3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fr3, solar

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



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.