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Old 09-12-2023, 06:32 PM   #1
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2022 Rockwood Roo 235S

First season in our new Roo! (our 2nd, previous one was used and we loved it)

The slide out is a game changer, spent more time inside, than I ever did in old one. of course it been a rainy season in New England. Never thought I’d have a fireplace (electric) in my camper, or TV. ( I don’t plan on watching it)

The out side kitchen area is great. We never cooked inside.

Looking for input and help with solar, batteries and refrigerators.

Have 2 factory/ dealer installed panels on roof, 2 12V RV deep cell batteries.
We do a lot of dry camping, and have had mixed results meeting our power needs.
Keeping the food cold! Also have generator available.

The inside Magic Chef refrigerator/freezer does its job, till sun didn’t. I know Lithium batteries are the way to go. Will install next year. And portable panel.

Our biggest issue is The outside GE refrigerator, seems to only work on shore power.

We always pre cool fridges before trips.

I’ve read many threads on forum about fridge issues

Dealer says bring it in, but not confident, and I think we know how that may go.

Miss the reliability of propane fridge, but extra room in fridge is nice.

Appreciate all your help.
Greg
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Old 09-12-2023, 07:12 PM   #2
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Moved thread from the Welcome Mat section to the Roo/Shamrock sub-forum since the OP's post is strictly about a Roo product and not an introduction post.
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Old 09-12-2023, 08:21 PM   #3
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Outside fridge is 120v, OR for when you are on shore power ONLY… (Or if you have a substantial enough battery bank AND inverter to support it). The 12 V fridge INSIDE runs SOLELY off of your battery bank natively, meaning it doesn’t need an inverter to help at run at all. Downside to this is that it needs a lot of 12 V power. You can get this from a lot of solar and a lot of battery, or simply being plugged in to shore power all the time.

If you are the second owner, and there are two solar panels on the roof, you MOST likely have the factory package, which includes two 195 W panels on the roof. In my estimation, this is not enough to be entirely off grid. Adding lithium batteries can/will increase your storage capacity (and your overnight capability). Adding additional solar panels on the roof will add your ability to generate electricity into the battery banks. I suspect you will need an absolute minimum of 600 W on the roof and 400 amp hours of battery (lithium) in order to boondock to your heart’d content. However, If it were me, I would add more.

I have a n entire kilowatt of solar on the roof and 600 amp hours of battery bank (lithium ion) running things. This pretty much gives me complete energy independence. You should also look to make sure you can accurately record what your power generation and power use is for any given period of time. This will let you know how to run your particular set up.

The long and the short of it is, you have to decide how you will primarily camp, and then design a system that will work best for you. Do you want to be ENTIRELY offgrid? Do you want to simply move from Campground to campground, shore power to shore power?

Propane fridge does indeed free you from one aspect of power generation, but there are more to consider. I suggest that you need to take into consideration where and how you will camp, and the nature of your camping. That will help set your needs, and then you can address those with a setup.

A purely offgrid setup will require a much more robust (and expensive) solution, especially if you are moving to a 12 V fridge (instead of a propane/two-way fridge).

But it’s doable, and people have done it. It just depends on what works for you.
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Old 09-14-2023, 09:17 AM   #4
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2022 Roo solar/ refrigerator

Thanks for you help and information.

We purchased 2022 new, off the dealers lot. One solar panel was factory installed, 2nd dealer installed.

Disappointed that dealer didnít know or explain Solar capabilities. Also that outside fridge only worked on shore power. Kinda defeats convenience of outside fridge . For 2/3 of ours camping.

We do more dry camping than campgrounds with hookups.
Semi Retirement now, hope to hit the road soon

Probably a better setup, would have been 12V fridge outside and propane inside?

If I understand your thread correctly, we could install two more panels on roof of camper? Up grade to Lithium.

Only so so tech savvy, As is said I know enough to get my self in trouble.

Thank again
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Old 09-14-2023, 05:48 PM   #5
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You bet, pal... Us 235 owners have to stick together!

Solar is a little bit of a mystery to new purchasers, even somewhat to sales staff, as well. They have the idea that –*so long as you have a free tap to the sun – an owner will be okay under all conditions. The ugly truth is a lot harder to swallow: that solar doesn't magically make all the power an owner needs. In fact, you need an awful lot of it to collect energy and store it so you can use it. Obviously, low light (clouds/rain) less light (winter, lower sun angles) and shade will all conspire to make your power generation time less efficient.

Factory solar for your '22 is likely the 190 watt Overlander kit from GoPower, with two GP-PV-190M's as your panels - and it's likely the dealer added another factory specced panel (but no guarantees, so you should get up on the roof and check.) You likely need more solar if you're going to offgrid. You'll need LiFePo4, too.

I like my solar and my batteries to be as identical as possible, so - were you to add/and you can - I'd put (at least) two more 190-195 watt panels up there. You can pair the two sets (think, two Y-connections for each pair, and then a final Y-connection linking the two paired connections together to go into your roof point) and use the existing roof connections without running new wires. Right around 22/23, Rockwood made a change to the controller that they were using (or, rather, GoPower made the change to the overlander kit), so you'll want to make sure your new solar controller will handle the combined output of all four panels.

ALT: you can leave the roof alone, and get a side-deployable array with its own controller that plugs into your Solar On The Side port and goes straight to your batteries. This lets you get your panels away from shady spots and tilt/move them to follow the sun, but I'm lazy and prefer the overkill of just extra panels on the roof.

Upgrades from here would be a an 80amp MPPT charge controller (if you go for ONE. Big. solar bank), a big 3500 watt inverter to replace that silly 1000w one (so you can run pretty much anything with impunity), a 30amp automatic transfer switch (hands free, no worries, auto switching between 12v/inverter and shorepower), and - if course - LiFePo battery bank.

The battery bank is a no brainer - lighter than Lead Acid, more capacity than lead acid, CHEAPER than lead acid over time., $/amp hour, LiFePo is much better return than LeadAcid, but there's a steep entry cost. I bought chinesium CHINS from The Amazon, also sold as AMPERE TIME, on advice of Will Prowse (big battery Youtuber), and have been VERY pleased. If you're going to be offgridding in VERY cold weather, you'll want the smart (more expensive) version of batteries, with advanced BMS and heaters. My camping is not SO cold that I have to worry about it, I moved the batteries off the tongue and into the front storage compartment/into conditioned space. I also have a solar panel bank cutoff, so that I can turn the panels off and not charge the LiFePo when the weather is TOO cold (like winter storage).

WERE I TO DO IT AGAIN, I would likely re-locate my battery bank and inverter to be under the settee, in the hard-to-access space behind the drawers. This would put that weight closer over the axles, where all weight /should/ go in a properly loaded trailer), and would keep my front bay open. As it is, I use the front bay for my power bank and exterior gear storage.

For boondocking, a propane fridge would be a solid factory setup. There are some downsides to propane, though, and - so long as you can power the 12v, I think it's a superior performing setup. With solar+battery, I have enough excess power to be able to operate completely offgrid, and even run my AC if I need to. (oh, good point, if you're going to try to run an AC offgrid - and even if you won't - the Microaire Softstart is a great addition to your AC, reducing startup load requirements). This will let your AC spin up with less power demands, and will even let you power it with a little 2200w generator, should you so desire (I bought a honda EU2200i and added a propane fuel kit from Hutch Mountain)

Lastly, the outdoor fridge is a silly stupid dorm fridge, that's simply plugged into an inverter-powered outlet. Most folks go from power pole to power pole, and can leave the 120v fridge off (and keeps the internals cool), but I feel you on setup. You could have gotten a propane fridge, but the 120v dorm fridge outside is standard/no choices.

That being said, you could REMOVE it, Ebay or Facebook it away (or use it at your office, or even give it to a kid going to college), and add a 12v fridge that fits in place, and power it the same way you're powering your internal 12v fridge. Shoot for 300-400w of battery, and - with the solar upgrade and NO generator - you should be fine for a week. I leave my 120v fridge OFF if I'm boondocking, and use it for smelly food storage (a big, metal shaped bear box).

My 1kw of solar on the roof, and 600ah of LiFePo has let me be completely offgrid in Colorado (even in a shady spot) never going below a charge of 13.3v and using every convenience (save for running the AC 24/7).

Just my .02 hope this helps.
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15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 09-16-2023, 09:19 AM   #6
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Great information, Thanks
Iíll probably be following up, as I figure out what I want to do before next season.

But one question, if I install panels on roof myself, where to drill?!

Iím also using a Weight Safe hitch, on 2022 F350.
How long before the jack burns out lifting truck to hook up bars?

Maybe you have another trick?
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Old 09-17-2023, 06:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gwdoe View Post
Great information, Thanks
Iíll probably be following up, as I figure out what I want to do before next season.

But one question, if I install panels on roof myself, where to drill?!

Iím also using a Weight Safe hitch, on 2022 F350.
How long before the jack burns out lifting truck to hook up bars?

Maybe you have another trick?
Short of a crosspiece for the AC, the roof is a fairly robust monolithic composite - two arches of plywood over an expanded polystyrene core (read: styrofoam), so it doesnít matter a lot where you drill, just make sure youíve got six anchors per panel, and plan your layout such that you can still get up there and access your antenna and AC (you ARE going to add a soft start to your ac, right?).

Youíre on your own for lifting up the truck, the jack is fairly robust. A cheater bar for leverage was all I ever used for getting the bars settled.

Stick close to the forum, and you are never far from help. Enjoy!
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2022 Rockwood Roo 235S
15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:01 AM   #8
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I haven't had an electric jack fail but I have had regular hand crank jacks break. Always seems to happen up in the mountains and not in the driveway where it would be easier to deal with.

You can use the lever to put the bars on but I think you have to lift it with the jack to get them off. Not sure of another way to do that one.
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Old 04-17-2024, 04:06 PM   #9
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Solar upgrade for 235S Rockwood Roo

Rhumblefish

We communicated in forum last year and you had some great recommendations for upgrading solar on my new 235S Roo

Too review

The camper came factory installed with one 200 W solar panel, the dealer, added a second panel. We believe they are go power but no labels
The solar controller is a Go power GP-PWM Ė 30 ĖU L
The inverter is a WFCO 1000 W models WF 5110 RS
2 RV Deep cell lead acid batteries
Has a 12v fridge drawing 14.5 A, will be adding second fridge drawing 9A
Of course this didnít work out to well, mostly dry camping and we are very conservative of usage. No AC usage, but will install soft start
But need cold food and hot water!

The plan, add one or two more 200 W roof mounted panel, 130 W portable solar kit (for those shady sites, camper has existing plug)
and of course LIthium battery, either 2-100 0r single 230.

My questions, besides if above plan works, with existing wiring, Do I need to replace controller and inverter, at this time and expense.

Appreciate your input!
Greg
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Old 04-17-2024, 04:33 PM   #10
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Hey, Greg.

Glad to hear you love the 235S - we do, too. Like SO MANY trailers nowadays, it is definitely NOT setup for offgrid/boondocking. One of the biggest culprits is - you guessed it - the 12v Fridge. THEY PERFORM FANTASTIC, if you have power, but they limit you to a power pole. When I ordered mine, you could still special order a 2-way fridge, the 12v versions came with one 195w solar panel (a second one was an option) and the 1000w inverter.

You're ahead of the game with the two existing 200w panels, but are lacking in the (1) battery and (2) charge controller game. You also (wisely) need to up your solar game (four total 200w panels will be plenty). Side/ground deploy would be smart if you're a shady camper, but 130w isn't a lot (make sure your side panel has a controller, as it goes directly to the battery and doesn't go through the stock charge controller). I suggest you maximize the solar onroof, and only add side/ground deploy if necessary. Current Inverter will definitely let you limp along, as long as you don't tax it. 1,000w goes quickly though (like 750 for a coffepot).

A softstart is great on the AC, but you'll need a ton of battery and inverter with enough power to run it. I'd suggest you decide if you need AC or not, and settle on "not much" while boondocking. IF YOU DO WANT AC, you'll need (1) even more battery and (2) definitely more inverter (I would go 3500w, you can get by with less, but I like the comfort of extra/flexible capacity and not taxing it to the limit).

I'd suggest:
TWO 200w panels, four total (I have 5 total right now, and could squeeze on a sixth if I give up what little remains of my roof space). Mount them up on feet so they are not right on the surface of the trailer and have a little airgap underneath. Some folks are looking into the latest generation flexible panels - I am not convinced they won't get super hot and not be able to cool themselves. You can use the Y connections to collect them together in pairs. CHECK your trailer wiring - it should be very capable of handling the 800w max (which your array will pretty much never produce), but just make sure. As such, I think you're good to use the existing wiring.

TWO 200w LiFePo batteries, minimum (also consider moving these into either EASIER: the front storage compartment or BETTER: above the axles in the storage under the dinette behind the drawers) If you bring them inside, they're more secure and in conditioned space, for better cold weather camping. Moving them away from the tongue and closer to the axles takes that weight off your tongue (mine are in the front storage compartment, I wish I had put them in the dinette free space). Old battery box is used for landing gear stuff. Side benefit: if you bring them inside, you can get away with less expensive batteries that do not necessarily have a cold temperature cutoff. Otherwise, you have to be able to disconnect them to NOT charge them in extreme low temps - look to your battery guide for specifics.

Upgrade the OEM charge controller (GP-PWMĖ30ĖUL) to a MPPT controller that can handle the 800w on the roof and charge your LiFePo effectively.

Give up using the outdoor fridge while boondocking, as it's 120v only and likewise an extra powersuck, as you'd have to invert 12v to get 120, and lose at least 10% in the process. The inside fridge is really great, when we boondock, the outside fridge becomes dry storage for bread and chips and stuff.

I think that'll get you very comfortable while boondocking, completely energy independent (so long as you don't need AC or the extra 120v fridge).

Just my .02, hope this helps.
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15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 04-22-2024, 03:40 PM   #11
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What 80 amp Mppt controler did you go with? So many choices and recommendations.
Installing two 200 w panels, this weekend, lithium battery on order. Getting ready for camping season

Thanks
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Old 04-23-2024, 09:10 AM   #12
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I'll get a spec and model number for you tonight. Collecting the camper ahead of camping this weekend!!!
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15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 04-24-2024, 04:59 PM   #13
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What 80 amp Mppt controler did you go with? So many choices and recommendations.
Greg,

I went with the EPEVER 80A MPPT Tracer (8415 an), which I bought bundled with a MT50 Remote Meter Temperature Sensor and some mounting and connecting cabling from the Amazon.

The MT50 isn’t anything special, and I would have liked something a little different (like, with bluetooth), but ran short of time for my install, so I pressed the easy button for maximum compatibility (and minimal configuration). System has been flawless, supporting a 10 day boondocking trip immediately after switching it on. I'm very happy, and would purchase again, OR would go for a complete Victron suite ($$$$).

If you aren’t going to add additional panels beyond 400watts, you can go with a smaller MPPT controller, but the 80A will provide room for growth.

Just my .02, hope this helps!
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2022 Rockwood Roo 235S
15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 04-26-2024, 06:45 PM   #14
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Roo solar upgrade

Rumblefish

Thanks for great info.

Iíve installed 2 200 panels, have room for 2 more, someday.
Have 230 Ah lithium battery, will add 2nd as needed

Still havenít bought 80A MPPT controller, but will as soon i can decide on brand.

Will P. Wrote that you could also use 2 40A MPPTís as a cost saving option.
( i downloaded his book)

Need to pick your brain on how you wired system, if you donít mind. Did you use most of factory installed systems/ wiring?. Besides your upgrading to MPPT and Biger inverter

Did you mount controller in storage area near batteries? If so, did you run new wires from panels to controller?

Thanks in advance
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Old 04-29-2024, 12:14 PM   #15
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(2) 200 panels (room for 2 more).
(1) 230 Ah lithium battery (will add 2nd as needed)

Haven’t bought 80A MPPT controller (yet)
Could also use 2 40A MPPT’s (cost saving option).

Need to pick your brain on how you wired system, if you don’t mind.

Did you use most of factory installed systems/ wiring?
This was my goal - make as robust a system as I could, use as much factory as possible (keeping cost and effort down), replace only what I needed to. Unfortunately, this isn't a lot. You're almost better off getting a trailer with NO sola and doing it from fresh.

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Besides your upgrading to MPPT and Bigger inverter
+ Automatic transfer switch. I wanted "set it and forget it" capability, so flipping on the inverter is all I need to do to get 120v going to power the entire trailer, incl A/C.

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Did you mount controller in storage area near batteries?
Yes - controller is on the front 'bulkhead' of the front passthrough storage area

from the driver's side, I've got:
1. solar panel cutoffs (2) - just inside the door, on front bulkhead
2. Inverter - screwed into flooring, about 14" in from door
3. Controller - on front bulkhead, overlaps with Inverter
4. (2) 300ah LiFePo battery bank (roughly centered) - screwed into flooring
5. MT50 and inverter controller are added next to front bunk power receptacle inside coach.

I was originally going to mount these on the RIGHT side (to the right of the right storage door/to the left of the fireplace below the TV), so I could see/get at them without the slide being extended, but choose to gang them up at the last minute to (1) ease/centrally locate install, (2) keep them away from potential damage and (3) keep the passenger side of the storage area fairly free of encumbrances.

Step 5 gives me a small working storage area on the driver's side with access to most of my electronics, and a more robust storage area on the passenger/camp side, for my gear.

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If so, did you run new wires from panels to controller?
Yep. I wanted to NOT run new wires (if I didn't have to), but knew I was abandoning the OEM (GoPower Overlander) charge controller, so it didn't really make any sense to preserve this (other than to power down from the roof).

I sorta LIKE the WP idea of (2) controllers as a way to maximize your spend (and even helps break up any shadowing concerns between your panel banks), but the OEM 30amp PWM controller really isn't up to spec/doesn't work as well as MPPT controllers, so I abandoned it to go with the one big controller.

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Originally Posted by Gwdoe View Post
Thanks in advance
You bet! Good luck!
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15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 04-30-2024, 06:22 AM   #16
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Roo solar upgrade

How was the first camping trip for the season?

I decided that I’m doing new entry port for the solar panels, drop the wire down behind the TV and then into the front storage place that will short run. Put controllers in storage carrier and batteries.

Have to draw a hole in the roof, but I have new wire hub and seal it up

Hope I have it all figured out right
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Old 04-30-2024, 08:53 AM   #17
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How was the first camping trip for the season?
Lovely! All systems go, though I *forgot* to put the water filter back in (grrr). Admittedly, I was rushed and doing it out in front of the house, but it's probably time for me to augment my mental checklist with a REAL checklist, I think.

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I decided that Iím doing new entry port for the solar panels, drop the wire down behind the TV and then into the front storage place that will short run. Put controllers in storage carrier and batteries.
Good call, especially if you're going to grow the system - you can use wires properly sized to your END needs. However, if you're never going to add panels, you could preserve the roof wires, disconnect the stock controller and wire around it, and then tie into them to get charge to the battery (which isn't a hard extra step, esp as you're going to move your batteries inside).

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Have to draw a hole in the roof, but I have new wire hub and seal it up
You know, I don't know why people are afraid of holes in the roof. I mean, I GET it - no hole is better than a hole, but there are TONS of holes in these things already. Seal them properly (and occasionally check them) and you should be good to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwdoe View Post
Hope I have it all figured out right
I think you'll be okay - you're basically replacing components in a proven system, not designing and building a new system. Plus, we're always here to help out!

Just my .02. I could be (and probably am) wrong.
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2022 Rockwood Roo 235S
15kBTU AC; 12v fridge; 1kW roof-mounted solar panels; 80 amp MPPT charge controller; 3,500w pure sine wave inverter; 30a automatic transfer switch; MicroAir EasyStart, 600ah Chins LiFePo; Honda EU2200i (with Hutch Mountain propane conversion kit) gathering dust in the storage unit.
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Old 04-30-2024, 09:08 AM   #18
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ďIt dependsĒ

Plan ahead.

Get educated. p=I*V. Solar panels mounted flat on a good day put out 25 ah per day.

Rumble fish has the gold system. The rv places sometimes supply a similar set up but, the last prices I heard were in the 5 digit range. Or diy a ton of effort.

Set goals. A first purchase of a battery monitor is a good idea. It will educate you. I would get the first of several big lithium batteries. Mine has the battery monitor built in.

I suspect you will consume 100-200 ah per day. It depends! Do not turn that furnace on. Your batteries likely cannot supply that much. It depends.

I never thought we would boondock much. The DW discovered Harvest Hosts. Two 206 ah batteries saved me. The gas fridge helps a ton. We use under 100 ah per day. Cpap is a big user.
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Old 05-17-2024, 08:40 AM   #19
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Mounting panels to roof of Rockwood roo 235S

Was almost finished with my solar upgrade and ready to make final connection, but amazon didnít make delivery.
now, Iím layed up with knee replacement.

I used the Renolgy mounts and hardware on solar panels to my roof of 2022 235S Roo.
Didn't feel good about, so while finishing up wiring, i gave a panel a tug and lag lifted. Not good!

See lots of solutions on forum. Looking at drywall metal removable Anchor, 1-3/4. As good option.
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Old 05-17-2024, 09:00 AM   #20
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Another type in anchor

Will support 100 pounds hanging in the wall
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