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Old 10-12-2019, 08:30 AM   #1
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Can Geo Pro solar wiring handle upgraded panels/inverter?

I am trying to decide on a travel trailer (looking at the Geo Pro - G19BH in particular, love the idea of extra storage space possibilities in the bunk area with an access door, hate the lack of a sink in the bathroom).

Here is my question: if additional solar panels are added (three to four additional panels on the roof) and the 1000 watt inverter is switched out for a 3000 watt inverter will the wiring between the panels and inverter be able to handle the increased flow from the panels?

Side question: are shore power and the inverter the only power supplies in the Geo Pro, i.e., are there any other batteries I can directly charge? (tried to look at the online manuals, but sorely lacking any detail for most topics). I am trying to figure out how to run the A/C without shore power.

Thank you for all your help!
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Old 10-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #2
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We have a E-Pro 19FD. The trailer came with a 100 watt flexible solar panel and a 20 watt PWM charge controller. I added a 85 watt panel. The panels charge two 6 volt deep cycle batteries. We do not have a inverter. We can run everything in our trailer except for air conditioning and if it is not cloudy for an extended period of time we can boondock for a as long as we have water. That is the limiting factor for us. The fresh water tank is quite small. I do not know what solar you would need to cpoer batteries that would be capable of running your AC. It would take a lot of solar power. Our factory solar is a 'Go power' kit. I have found them to be helpful, perhaps send them a email with your question. They should know.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanNes View Post
I am trying to figure out how to run the A/C without shore power.

Thank you for all your help!
There's no way to run the a/c on batteries, unless you pull a separate trailer full of batteries or a truck bed full of batteries.
Running the a/c will require shore power or a generator.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:42 PM   #4
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There's no way to run the a/c on batteries, unless you pull a separate trailer full of batteries or a truck bed full of batteries.
Running the a/c will require shore power or a generator.
That is what I thought, but just wanted to double check in case I missed a generator reference in the standard package list. Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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Better off getting one additional suitcase panel you can plug into side and therefore make sure it is in sun at 90 degree angle to rays, you can turn it, adjust it throughout day. Upgrade battery to two golf cart batts (I got credit for battery and box on my purchase, since I got my own golf cart batts and box). Get inverter generator if you need A/C off grid or for additional charging power when the sun doesn't shine. At least that's what I did.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:21 AM   #6
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Better off getting one additional suitcase panel you can plug into side and therefore make sure it is in sun at 90 degree angle to rays, you can turn it, adjust it throughout day. Upgrade battery to two golf cart batts (I got credit for battery and box on my purchase, since I got my own golf cart batts and box). Get inverter generator if you need A/C off grid or for additional charging power when the sun doesn't shine. At least that's what I did.
I have looked at the inverter generators as a backup. How much does yours weigh and wattage (if you don't mind my asking)?
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:19 PM   #7
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Better off getting one additional suitcase panel you can plug into side and therefore make sure it is in sun at 90 degree angle to rays, you can turn it, adjust it throughout day. Upgrade battery to two golf cart batts (I got credit for battery and box on my purchase, since I got my own golf cart batts and box). Get inverter generator if you need A/C off grid or for additional charging power when the sun doesn't shine. At least that's what I did.

This is what I chose for my solar setup. Morning is set before I go to bed (once I know where the sun will show up in the AM), adjust at mid-day, and again in later afternoon.

My 160 watt panel "kit" was generating a continuous 150+ watts last Wednesday and Thursday with clear skies. Kept my 200 ah LiFePo battery bank charged fully. With daily use up rather high for me due to cold weather I was still able to replace 70 ah of use with some to spare.

As for the "two golf cart batteries" certainly better than just two "marine 12 volt batteries but only because they're more durable and will take more deep cycles.

I considered that route as an upgrade but decided to make only one more battery purchase for the rest of my camping days. Thus I went with two Battleborn LiFePo batteries. Yes, more money. A lot more money. But twice the usable power, quicker charging, 1/4th the weight for the equivalent Lead/Acid batteries providing equal USABLE power.

FWIW, I've met numerous people this last Summer that have had the Dealer include the LiFePo batteries along with the Lithium battery conversion to the Converter so it all gets included in the price of the TT. Something to consider.

Lastly, my last camping trip was in the cold. If I'd been stuck with Lead Acid batteries out on the trailer tongue I would have lost a significant amount of available power and charging would have taken a lot longer. Much of the charging energy would have first gone to just heating the batteries until they were warm enough to even accept a charge. My Battleborns are installed inside a compartment in my TT and according to the battery temp sensor on my Victron battery monitor the temp never dropped lower than 51 degrees while the interior of my TT was at 60 degrees overnight.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:34 PM   #8
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Awesome - thank you for the info. I had been looking at getting two lithium ion batteries if I added the solar panels.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:35 PM   #9
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LanNes, my Champions are 50 lbs each and have a 2000 watt surge rating. They make a parallel connector that couples them to give you a 4000w surge rating that would start your A/C unit if you needed to. I believe they are rated to 1700W each running.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #10
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Thanks! More browsing on the Internet (I am building up quite a shopping list). Too bad my big ol' FEMA generator from 2004 Hurricane Charlie won't fit =D
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:45 PM   #11
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My trailer was 17.5k. I ended up spending 6k on accessories.....went a little wild, lol.

btw, you would never want to run an open frame non-inverter generator due to noise mostly, but also because they are hard on electronics.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:50 PM   #12
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The way that thing vibrates, it would take out the entire TT
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:54 PM   #13
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I have a mid-size one for my house during outages, and they are noisy SOB's. I try to aim the exhaust side over the lawn away from my neighbor to cut noise a hair. The inverter gennies are not much louder than a dishwasher running.
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #14
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I have a mid-size one for my house during outages, and they are noisy SOB's. I try to aim the exhaust side over the lawn away from my neighbor to cut noise a hair. The inverter gennies are not much louder than a dishwasher running.
I was running my Champion 3500w inverter on the back of my trailer yesterday while my landscaper was finishing a project on the other side of my back yard (about 120' away) and he didn't even notice it running. He thought it was a neighbor a couple houses away mowing his lawn.


My old (2005 vintage) Champion 3500/4000 watt open frame is noisier but when I run it to power the house during power outages I just run it inside my Garden Shed with the doors open. That corrals the engine noise enough that it's not offensive to my neighbors. If anyone were to complain I'd just offer them a fresh cup of coffee
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:50 AM   #15
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I camp mostly in the cool mountains. We've only used our AC twice. Paired Honda 2200 generators are what we have on our houseboat. A 100 watt panel on the roof will usually do all we need. I have one for the ground that I aim at the sun if we are low on power.

To answer the original question, go to a voltage drop calculator to see how big your wires need to be.https://www.supercircuits.com/voltage-drop-calculator

If your panels aren't too far from your batteries, your loss is less. You want the inverter to connect to the batteries. Otherwise, a cloud will disrupt your power.

The Marine batteries that came with our trailer worked, but only lasted two years. I replaced them with 6v Golf Cart Batteries wired in series. Much better. We don't run our heater all night (sleeping bags) and it doesn't take much sun to recharge us each day.
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