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Old 07-24-2015, 02:29 PM   #41
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Took about 20 feet of wiring in my roof mounted to battery configuration. My camping buddy and his wife run their's on the ground and have 25 feet of wire from the controller and about 5 ft from the controller to the battery. That give him about 25 feet to set it out of the shade. His is way more efficient as he can move it to keep it directly pointed at the sun while mine lays flat on the roof. His 100 gets him nearly what my 200 on the roof gets, if he is attentive to moving it to follow the sun, but mine is a no brainer, mounted it and set it up and all I do is check my battery voltage after sunset most evenings to be sure I am fully charged.
Thank you but that doesn't tell me what I need to know. I need to now how much wire comes with this unit so I know if I have to buy more.

Jim
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #42
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We installed 2 180 watt solar panels run through a regulator which keeps the battery's up nicely. We also put in a 2000 watt inverter ( harbor freight, 135 dollars) to which we run the shore line to and the to the 5th wheels 30 amp twist lock. No generated needed unless we want to use the microwave or the AC other than that we dry camp for weeks without issues.
Get a good, but light duty PURE SINE wave 2000 watt (try DonRowe.com out of Oregon) and you can run the Micro too as long as you are not going to try to cook for a long time.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:23 PM   #43
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OLD TOOL 2

So sorry. WindyNation.com gave me a roll of uv safe 12ga stranded about 40 feet long. so 20 feet of run. I think that is what he ships too, although I picked mine up in person. That got me over the roof a few feet to the Frig vent, then down the frig vent on the cool side of the frig- in my case left side as we look in the inspection cover outside. Then to the undercarriage and barely to the compartment where I mounted the controller. DW refused to let me put it on the wall just inside the door and now I appreciate that as it is out of sight and out of mind. Took about another eight foot run that I made with 10ga automotive wire to the batteries I fused it on both sides of the charge controller. I bought what was WN's upgraded PWM controller at the time and is more routinely with the packages now but if I ever do it over I think I may go to another source for a higher end MPPT what I call a four stage controller. Bulk to 80% Absorption to 100% and then float, with an automatic cycle that blasts the batteries to "equalize them" (desulflate the plates) from time to time Mine does a great charge and holds a fine float rate, but I thought it did the rest but now not sure. It seems that it is caring well for the batteries as they are just two Autozone Grp 24 Marine Batts and they are about four years old with still great load tests soo I am happy. Documentation is lacking as with most China Stuff, but I know with all day every day solar, they never go dead and with lulls in usage they were suffering between usage before where I generally did not keep them on float charger.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:47 PM   #44
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For an inverter my camping partner went the commercial duty 2000 watt for about $700. I went the Samlex SSW-2000-12A, 2000W Pure Sine Inverter FRom DonRowe.com for under $400 when I bought mine but I see now he is over $400 but still a fine buy. No sales tax in Oregon and he shipped free when I got mine. Tech support from them and from Samlex Amercia was great when I had a million idiotic questions.

It came with a remote on/off and voltage/load meter and of course from where it is mounted no way to get it on my wall (AND DW's objection) So I installed it in the compartment right behind the batteries fused if for about 200 amps cabled it 2ga and when we use it we plug the 30 amp cord in to it with the 20 amp pigtail. Strapped in a third battery and fused it in at 100 amp with 4 ga and put a switch. So if the DW or I get crazy with the Micro and hair dryer and pull things below cut off voltage, whamo I can pull us back up with the third battery. Oddly has not happened yet. Turns out she is a careful as I am. Oh ran the remote switch/meter to the inside of a drawer and we open the drawer and check it any time we want a really accurate read on battery status and turn if off unless and until we need it. Runs 1 - 2 amps static no load draw so the remote is priceless. Pulls the soft start 1200 watt micro without whimper. WE got a 800 watt hair dryer from target online that works almost as well as the 1800w from home, with less drain. If the big inverter is off I run the Direct TV on a small 200 watt inverter from HF. The TV/DVD is 12 volt anyway.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:55 PM   #45
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How long is the wire from the controller to the batteries?

Jim
If you are using a minimum panel configuration, Make the run from the panels to the controller the longest run, Keep the run from the controller to the battery short and heavy gauge. Parking in some shade and placing the panels in the sun on the ground is the most efficient way to go. A little more hassle but best efficiency. A simple 3/4 PVC frame ( unglued so it breaks down) is all you need to support.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:47 AM   #46
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Alrighty, we are here. Working off the aux battery. Not even using lights and none of the outlets have power in them. I thought we would be able to plug some stuff in??
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:59 AM   #47
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If all you have is 12v batteries and no inverter there will be no 120v..
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:01 PM   #48
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I am pretty sure we have an inverter but how would I know for sure. Our owners manual says there is an inverter.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:02 PM   #49
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Probably just a converter. Makes 12v out of 120 when hooked to shore power. Not the other way around. If you actually had an inverter (12 to 120) look for an on off switch to turn it on.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:16 PM   #50
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I am pretty sure we have an inverter but how would I know for sure. Our owners manual says there is an inverter.
Your manual is generic and has nothing specific to your trailer. You might be mixing up INverter, for CONverter.

And NO, your outlets in your trailer won't work on just 12v battery power.

Only Motorhomes might have an inverter from the factory.
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:30 PM   #51
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Ah well that sucks!! The manual talks about inverter and converter
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:48 PM   #52
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Ah well that sucks!! The manual talks about inverter and converter

I don't see a switch. I must have the lowest end model trailer that forest River sells. Lol...
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:50 PM   #53
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I am pretty sure we have an inverter but how would I know for sure. Our owners manual says there is an inverter.
I don't remember you saying what you are camping in, can you tell us? Popup, trailer, 5th wheel? None of these will have a factory installed inverter, so no your outlets would not work. Did you bring your generator with you?

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Old 07-25-2015, 01:09 PM   #54
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I don't see a switch. I must have the lowest end model trailer that forest River sells. Lol...
Not low end, even the 100,000 units may not have them. Unless they had a residential fridge I guess.

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Old 07-25-2015, 01:17 PM   #55
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We have a 20ft Forest River Salem Cruise Lite. It's a 2010. Travel trailer
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:18 PM   #56
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We brought the generator. Not a quiet one. It's a 2300 watt generator
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:19 PM   #57
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We did pretty good at not draining the battery. We still have 2/3 full
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:25 PM   #58
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Question....would this tiny generator work to charge our battery?

900 Peak/800 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) Generator EPA/CARB
Yes, actually.

Buy that and a dedicated battery charger like (Schumacher SpeedCharge 15-Amp Marine Battery Charger - Walmart.com)

Remove the negative terminal from your battery (or open your disconnect if you have one) and connect the charge leads of the battery charger to your battery

Plug the charger into the generator and start it.

You should replace about 1/2 the battery's capacity in a few hours of running it. DO NOT try to do this with the battery connected and using the onboard converter. It will take all day to charge a depleted battery while you are still using it to power the camper.
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:38 PM   #59
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We did pretty good at not draining the battery. We still have 2/3 full
Idiot Lights:

The "2/3" is only appropriate when reading the holding/fresh tank quantity. When using the "Battery" button that LED is actually "G" for "Good"

The Topmost light is "C" for "Charging" and will be lit as long as battery voltage is above 12.7 to 12.85 volts. It will go out when you start using the battery.

The "G" (3rd light from the bottom) will be on as long as the battery voltage falls between 12.1 and 12.15 volts (about 1/2 battery capacity used)

The "F" (2nd light from the bottom) is called "Fair" and it will stay lit as long as the voltage falls between 11.6 and 11.65 (about 80% battery used). The Fridge WILL NOT RUN below approximately 11.75 volts!

The "L" (bottom light) or "LOW" will stay on as long as the 12 volt battery is producing at least 6 volts (or VERRRRY DEAD).

You should always try to get the battery on the generator BEFORE the "G" light goes out. If the "F" light is on, you need to minimize battery use and get the battery on generator ASAP.

If the "F" Light is out you are permanently destroying battery capacity that you will never get back.

If ALL the lights are out; check your fuses and if they are good you may need to buy a new battery.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:11 PM   #60
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Question....would this tiny generator work to charge our battery?

900 Peak/800 Running Watts, 2 HP (63cc) Generator EPA/CARB



If you are going to Harbor Freight to get that generator look at this battery charger. I own it and it works well.

http://www.harborfreight.com/10250-amp-12v-manual-charger-with-engine-start-60653.html
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