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Old 04-12-2024, 10:16 PM   #1
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Cost of solar

I just went through my system diagram and put current prices on all the kit. $6550 plus tax. Add another $450 for mounting hardwire, wires and misc. and I'm at $7k for a 1200W solar, 400Ah, 3000VA system. Then I look at my little 2500W Champion inverter generator and wonder why I just didn't get it a friend and a couple of jugs of gas. Waaaaaayyyyyyyy cheaper. C'est la vie.
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Old 04-12-2024, 11:32 PM   #2
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That’s pretty deluxe. Nothing wrong with that if you like driving a Caddy. But a Ford will get you there just as quick for much less.
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Old 04-13-2024, 03:55 AM   #3
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Source your panels /equipment from any place that does not have the term “RV” or Victon
50cents a watt for panels

Do your due diligence and simplify your blue whale
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Old 04-13-2024, 04:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
Source your panels /equipment from any place that does not have the term “RV” or Victon
50cents a watt for panels

Do your due diligence and simplify your blue whale
I like my blue. I love my Cerbo display.
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Old 04-13-2024, 06:04 AM   #5
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In another thread, I checked out the price of a 600 watt solar system using a small shop in Ocala FL and the price was 13,000 installed. It isn't cheap especially if you live in the northeast where the trees flourish and it is cloudy half the time.

However, it is priceless not having to listen to a generator while enjoying the great outdoors.
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Old 04-13-2024, 06:13 AM   #6
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I watch the solar posts about solar power with interest. I have never had solar and at those prices probably never will. I do not think I would ever have a need...... But who knows.

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Old 04-13-2024, 06:31 AM   #7
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That’s pretty deluxe. Nothing wrong with that if you like driving a Caddy. But a Ford will get you there just as quick for much less.
My favorite bit o' kit is the MultiPlus II 3000 2x120. So perfect for a 50A RV install.

My favorite part about going blue is the Cerbo display. All info and control in one spot.

My least favorite part are the solar panels. $1/W is way expensive compared to what can be had nowadays.
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Old 04-13-2024, 07:13 AM   #8
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Posts like this is bad for newcomers to solar

Panels can be sourced for far less than $1 per watt
All the expensive blue stuff is not part of the solar, which is really only panels and controller plus wiring

I installed 740w of solar plus a 50 amp controller for less than $500

And then OP complains Solar is too expensive

I have been off grid over a week on just a battery + solar upgrade total cost $950
Can use my phone to look at outputs and adjust settings
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Old 04-13-2024, 07:23 AM   #9
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That's a pretty stiff price for only a 400ah of storage. Before you give that generator away you should double or triple it if you stand a prayer of running the a/c for any period. Nice component build though.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
Posts like this is bad for newcomers to solar

Panels can be sourced for far less than $1 per watt
All the expensive blue stuff is not part of the solar, which is really only panels and controller plus wiring

I installed 740w of solar plus a 50 amp controller for less than $500

And then OP complains Solar is too expensive

I have been off grid over a week on just a battery + solar upgrade total cost $950
Can use my phone to look at outputs and adjust settings

I agree. I added an additional 400w to my 2023 SunSeeker 3010DS for a total of 600w. Cost around $300. Upgraded to 200amp LifePro with Bluetooth for around $500. On sunny days my batteries are back to full by midday even with my 12v fridge. If you add wiring and controller for units without I would think you could get a nice basic system for around $1000 assuming you did the installation yourself. You’d still need a generator for cloudy days which I dislike running with the noise.

And yes I upgraded the rigs BIM to handle the LifePro batteries but this a MH item a bit off topic.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
Posts like this is bad for newcomers to solar

Panels can be sourced for far less than $1 per watt
All the expensive blue stuff is not part of the solar, which is really only panels and controller plus wiring

I installed 740w of solar plus a 50 amp controller for less than $500

And then OP complains Solar is too expensive

I have been off grid over a week on just a battery + solar upgrade total cost $950
Can use my phone to look at outputs and adjust settings
Well, I can retitle it to cost of boondocking.

My 5er came from the factory with a single G27 FLA battery and a 1200W inverter that ran just the residential fridge. I could have just added a second G27 FLA battery and 400W of solar and probably been ok with just that setup. Maybe cost me $400 total for non blue stuff. I actually started with just that. Rich Solar 2x200W panels and MPPT controller.

But I wanted to be able to run the microwave and/or coffee maker and TV's on battery power. And run my CPAP (but I could get a 12V adapter for that). Aircon was not a requirement.

So I upgraded the inverter to a Xantrex 2000W with a subpanel for the stuff I wanted to run. That's also when I put in the 400Ah of LiFePO4. That's when things got complicated. Was never happy with that setup. I just wanted something really simple for my 50A RV. The only Victron I had in my system at that point was the smart shunt.

That lead me to the Victron MPII 3000 2x120. Now we're talking. It was so simple to install. Just cut the shore power 6/3 line where the MPII was installed and splice it in. A quick rewire of the fridge circuit breaker, remove the factory converter/charger and hook up the batteries and oila! my whole camper now works off the inverter.

I should have just stopped there but my blood turned blue and I had to have the full meal deal.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:53 AM   #12
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Here's a less blue setup. $2625 + tax not including the MPII. This is what I would consider a good setup with proper wiring and fusing.

The MPII is a requirement for my 50A RV. If you have a 30A RV, any old inverter would do for an equally simple install to power the whole panel.

And I would still want the Lynx because it is so nice having everything organized with all the fuses right there. $200 vs $100. And I would still want the Victron MPPTs. $185 each vs $130.
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Old 04-13-2024, 09:32 AM   #13
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Here's a less blue setup. $2625 + tax not including the MPII. This is what I would consider a good setup with proper wiring and fusing.

The MPII is a requirement for my 50A RV. If you have a 30A RV, any old inverter would do for an equally simple install to power the whole panel.

And I would still want the Lynx because it is so nice having everything organized with all the fuses right there. $200 vs $100. And I would still want the Victron MPPTs. $185 each vs $130.
I like your graphics! I guess you need a big system if you are operating residential fridge and the like. My system is a joke compared to yours! A 100w panel on the roof and 1000w inverter came with it, OEM. I added a couple Renogy 100w suitcases for about 500 more with all the cables/breakers, etc. Now I just need to add a LiFePO4 battery to the system, I currently only have a pair of GC FLA batts.
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Old 04-13-2024, 10:50 AM   #14
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Ya'all got me thinkin', dangerous thing to do.
So I went back through my Amazon orders and wrote down all the costs of me adding solar to my TT. $2606.17 plus locally source wire. That includes lugs and tools.
Primary components were $ $2257.12. 4 100AH batteries $1061.02, $862.78 for 4 100watt CIGS panels, SCC 110/30 $92.63, 3000watt inverter $239.69.
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Old 04-13-2024, 12:35 PM   #15
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I just love these solar threads! Amazing to see what lengths folks will go to for solar

My RV group mainly boondocks in the backwoods of the Gila National Forest. 2 of my buddies have gone 'whole hog' into solar. Guess you can say it is their new hobby. They both have similar systems as far as capacity. 600+ watts in solar panels and the battery AHs seem to change with every trip

Myself, while I helped both of them at different times during their solar build, decided to stick to my tried-and-true methods. Still have flooded batteries and run at least one of my 2 Honda EU2000is daily for about 5 hours. A few hours in the morning and a few hours at night. I do have a 200w portable solar suitcase, but don't usually bring it out as it is a PITA. I do position and shield my generators to limit noise. Most times, folks aren't aware when I am running them what with other background noise, like campfires and music.

One of my buddies has spent $10k+ doing some DIY and the rest was hired out. The other is a fan of DIY, swap meets, and pawn shops, and has spent less than $1000.

Last season (and this one so far) they became a little solar snooty and refused to bring their portable generators. Guess what, on several occasions they had to borrow or plug into my little generators to get by during bad weather or some kind of malfunction. Of course, I didn't rub it in... yeah right!

Point is, you can spend as much as want on solar, or nothing at all, and still have a fantastic boondocking experience. Just ensure you have backup systems
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Old 04-13-2024, 01:04 PM   #16
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So you're comparing a Victron solar system to a "Champion" generator?? You couldn't be more far apart on build quality. Remember, you get what you pay for.
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Old 04-13-2024, 01:42 PM   #17
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So you're comparing a Victron solar system to a "Champion" generator?? You couldn't be more far apart on build quality. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Champion generators are of good build quality.
I paid for my champion generators 12 years ago and have no regrets. They still purr like they did 12 years ago.
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Old 04-13-2024, 02:37 PM   #18
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Nothing wrong with Champions. Bought mine 6 years ago and they still work fine. They are not used heavily though. And they were 350 bucks each.
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Old 04-13-2024, 02:53 PM   #19
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Every time I see these "solar" posts it make me think of a guy here in East Anchorage who invested close to $20k in whole house solar panels. He saves on the average of $35/month 4 months out of the year. He also has to replace multiple panels every year from snow and ice damage.
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Old 04-13-2024, 03:36 PM   #20
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I love my solar on the trailer. So nice when I pick it up from storage to just turn on an a/c and get the trailer cooled down. Don't have to drag the 75 ft 50A extension cord out when I get it home (I have to park it in the street while I am loading/unloading). Also nice when I am working on the camper in storage. I can cool off and don't need to bring the genset.

The last time I went camping I didn't even hook up to shore power. Didn't need the a/c so just ran off the battery power system. The system can power anything with proper load management. The solar keeps up just fine. And 400Ah is plenty unless I want to run the a/c more than just the initial cooling. I love the Cerbo display. No app(s) required. Everything just works. Every time.

I avoided doing this math for 3 years. I knew it wasn't cheap, but never added it all up. It isn't cheap.
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