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Old 06-17-2016, 12:06 AM   #1
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Solar questions

I plan on a DYI solar system with a 2000 pure sine wave inverter to run some/most/all (except air conditioner) AC equipment. I'm early into education so please pardon my ignorance. As I understand my basic compenents will be panels, charge controller, inverter. If my TT already has a transfer switch do I need another dedicated to the solar system if I plan to possibly route directly into the circuit breaker panel?

What's the most common install - one or two dedicated outlets or splitting the breaker box into an AC side and a DC side?

My 2015 28RKX was pre-wired for solar with Zamp. Is that system plug and play or should I plan on routing my own wires?
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:00 AM   #2
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I would say for your purposes the Zamp is way underwired and not useful. Is the RV marked solar ready? I would think so with the Zamp - that could save alot of hassle with routing.

How close are the batteries to the panel? That is going to be a big determining factor when it comes to the inverter and outlets.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:07 AM   #3
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It is solar ready but that appears to be just a wire from the roof into the hallway behind the wall that of course is not marked. Sounds like I should only use the Zamp wires only as guides for running larger gauge once I find the terminus. The panel, of course, is at the rear of the unit while the batteries are on the tongue.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:16 AM   #4
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It is solar ready but that appears to be just a wire from the roof into the hallway behind the wall that of course is not marked. Sounds like I should only use the Zamp wires only as guides for running larger gauge once I find the terminus. The panel, of course, is at the rear of the unit while the batteries are on the tongue.
Of course it is located there~

The wire will be a tremendous help with the roof penetration for the down wire. How many watts are you planning? Do you have a battery monitor like the tri metric to get a feel for what you need? Check out Products — AM Solar they have begun putting full kits together that actually work - you can upgrade them as well and they are very knowledgeable. I put 200 up to start and plan on adding 200 more with my inverter - the kits actually do have everything you need. Once you find that out of course.
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Old 06-17-2016, 01:19 AM   #5
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Oh - and one more fantastic resource - Handy Bob - https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/2016-the-good-guys/
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GuppyWN View Post
I plan on a DYI solar system with a 2000 pure sine wave inverter to run some/most/all (except air conditioner) AC equipment. I'm early into education so please pardon my ignorance. As I understand my basic compenents will be panels, charge controller, inverter. If my TT already has a transfer switch do I need another dedicated to the solar system if I plan to possibly route directly into the circuit breaker panel?

What's the most common install - one or two dedicated outlets or splitting the breaker box into an AC side and a DC side?

My 2015 28RKX was pre-wired for solar with Zamp. Is that system plug and play or should I plan on routing my own wires?
If you want it work the best bag the zamp idea. A. It is WAY over priced for what you get. As an example you can pick up 160 watt panels for a buck a watt (I just picked up 4) shop Zamp and you will get the idea .
Handy Bob is a great resource. But you need to let the "rant" parts pass. If you heed what he says you will have a great system
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:54 PM   #7
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I hard wired my inverter into a automatic transfer switch that fed into the main power panel. I also ensured at the auto-transfer switch that the fridge and power converter would only be powered by generator/shore power. This requires running a romex wire to back of the camper. I ued outdoor romex in conduit run under the camper. While you are peeling back the coroplast liner, it is a good time to reinforce the bracketry for the water tanks so they don't fall out.

I also upgraded the converter to a Progressive Dynamics one and installed it within 3 feet of the battery banks. This required me to run a Romex line from the power panel to the front of the camper. Having the converter (charger) so close to the battery bank allows for faster charge to supplement solar when sun isn't shining.

A trimetric 2025 or 2030 monitor is a must if you are serious about knowing how well your system performs.

A REMOTE inverter switch is also a good idea. I recommend Samlex PST 1500 or 2000 full sine wave inverter. Commercial grade quality and remote switch shows amperage draw, ac and dc voltage, and other metrics. This inverter allows it to be hard wired.

A PWM or MPPT controller is a decision you will have to make. If you are using a plain 12 volt system with panels wired in parallel than a PWM is cheaper and should work equally or better in most conditions.

If you plan on wiring your solar panels in series for increased voltage which allows smaller diameter wiring from combining box to solar controller, than an MPPT is mandatory.

The risk of series wired solar panels is that shade on one panel wipes out power contribution from all the remaining non-shaded panels. However, a series panel system has advantages that are realized with MPPT controller.

Wire should be sized for less than 1.5% voltage drop. My goal is less than 0.5% voltage drop and I achieved it in my system.

Renogy has good beginner system that are complete with panels, mounts, solar controller, and most of what you need.

Each battery (bank) is switched, power to solar controller is fused and switched, auto transfer switch takes care of ac inverter power.

If you need help, just holler.
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