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Old 01-21-2021, 05:04 PM   #1
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Solar

I have a 2019 21ss roo and would like to put in solar and inverter. Im thinking about a portable unit of about 200 watts and would use the solar plug in that came with the Roo. We have 2 deep cycle batteries. Any suggestions
Would it be better to install on roof
By the way just purchased a inverter generator A-iPower 1800/2300 with Yamaha engine at Costco for 399.00 seems to run quietly and easy to start but a little big
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:17 PM   #2
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There are lots of good threads here & youtube if you search on "Roo solar", but if I recall, the pre-wired setup on the Roo typically is just wiring. For your solar to work you would need a charge controller or a portable kit that has one.
You can find individual pieces or a kit from other places for less $$.

If you want to use the pre-wired plug on the trailer you can find the special connectors on eBay or Amazon.

Installing them on the roof is best some campgrounds now frown upon portable panels (Not all but is seems to be a trend)

Your 2 Panels & Generator seems very adequate! Good luck
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by robo44 View Post
There are lots of good threads here & youtube if you search on "Roo solar", but if I recall, the pre-wired setup on the Roo typically is just wiring. For your solar to work you would need a charge controller or a portable kit that has one.
You can find individual pieces or a kit from other places for less $$.

If you want to use the pre-wired plug on the trailer you can find the special connectors on eBay or Amazon.

Installing them on the roof is best some campgrounds now frown upon portable panels (Not all but is seems to be a trend)

Your 2 Panels & Generator seems very adequate! Good luck



I'd think that if one is in a campground without electricity they'd be much happier with portable solar panels than portable generators


Not an issue with me as I prefer to avoid campgrounds that have these restrictions. Very few of them in the "Wide Open Spaces".
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:37 PM   #4
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I am completely with you, Ive experienced it , a campground not only discouraging portable solar they also did not like to rent spaces to anyone with a rig 10 years . I also avoid them.
I would not let that discourage adding solar to your rig.. it was just a point that it seem to be trending in some (dumb) private campgrounds... ..
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:43 AM   #5
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AS MENTIONED youtube search is good way to hone your solar knowledge

HOBOTECH is a good channel to learn about differences between solar panels with great reviews and discount coupons

a portable panel allows you to chase the sun and get better charging with fewer panels

I bit on the jackery line with 2 of the 100 watt panels and the 1000 watt solar generator www.jackery.com early last summer during a promotion. Very happy so far although I only have had them out once camping so far.
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:01 PM   #6
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....
I bit on the jackery line with 2 of the 100 watt panels and the 1000 watt solar generator www.jackery.com early last summer during a promotion. Very happy so far although I only have had them out once camping so far.

So, I've looked at these but am puzzled. Can you plug your camper in to the battery pack and run your interior lights and such or is it only for plugging individual items directly into it?
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Old 01-22-2021, 01:11 PM   #7
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So, I've looked at these but am puzzled. Can you plug your camper in to the battery pack and run your interior lights and such or is it only for plugging individual items directly into it?
These "Solar Generators" are merely a solar controller, battery, and inverter packaged in a portable "box" that you can connect a suitcase like solar panel array to.

They provide 120 Vac for devices that require it. What you can run depends on the size of the "Solar Generator" and how long will depend on the internal battery.

I see them more for the Car/Van/Tent camping people and "Tailgaters" who want to run their TV to watch a game while waiting to get in to watch their local team.

For just running interior lights I'd just use the onboard battery(s) and recharge with a "Solar Suitcase Kit" that has enough wattage to replace what you use in a day (sun cooperating). They come complete with controller and are often a LOT less expensive. You already have the battery(s).

You can also add a Inverter to run the small 120vac loads like TV, DVD player, C-Pap, etc for a lot less $$ in total than one of the "Solar Generators " can cost.

(for the money save a LiFePo4 battery could be purchased which would double the useful energy stored over a single 12 V battery, half the weight, and super fast recharge time)
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Old 01-22-2021, 02:41 PM   #8
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These "Solar Generators" are merely a solar controller, battery, and inverter packaged in a portable "box" that you can connect a suitcase like solar panel array to.

They provide 120 Vac for devices that require it. What you can run depends on the size of the "Solar Generator" and how long will depend on the internal battery.

I see them more for the Car/Van/Tent camping people and "Tailgaters" who want to run their TV to watch a game while waiting to get in to watch their local team.

For just running interior lights I'd just use the onboard battery(s) and recharge with a "Solar Suitcase Kit" that has enough wattage to replace what you use in a day (sun cooperating). They come complete with controller and are often a LOT less expensive. You already have the battery(s).

You can also add a Inverter to run the small 120vac loads like TV, DVD player, C-Pap, etc for a lot less $$ in total than one of the "Solar Generators " can cost.

(for the money save a LiFePo4 battery could be purchased which would double the useful energy stored over a single 12 V battery, half the weight, and super fast recharge time)
JMO

That pretty much confirms my suspicions. Thanks for the info, much appreciated!
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:24 PM   #9
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That pretty much confirms my suspicions.
NOt sure what your suspicions were... That setup I have, the 1000 watt Jackery and the 2 100 watt panels are very portable. The 1000 watt-hours will supply nearly 10 amps at 110 VAC. It is not going to power an AC unit, but most anything else in the trailer it will power including the microwave and fridge. It also provides 12 VDC power for anything you might need that for such as a C-PAP machine at a regulated 13.2 VDC. YOu can jump charge your car battery in a pinch, or power a fan next to your lawn chair to keep bugs off you. It recharges off of solar panels, AC plug-in or cigar lighter plug-in while driving to your next destination. It comes with a two year warranty and is considered the top of the line to befit it's price tag.

It is not real practical for a large travel trailer and the mostly indoor lifestyle with fireplaces and big screen TV's, but for a smaller hybrid or popup I find it to be real handy for portable renewable power. NO inverters or charge controllers necessary or that wiring bother... it is all built-in. THe panels and solar generator are a complete package. I made a 30 foot extension power cable and a 40 foot security cable to protect it from casual thievery.

Of course you could put in a $1,000 lithium battery with separate charge controller, inverter and all of the associated wiring with either portable or permanently install solar panels, or buy the package from Jackery.

Many youtube videos explain the pros and cons of different types of systems.
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Old 01-22-2021, 04:46 PM   #10
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NOt sure what your suspicions were... That setup I have, the 1000 watt Jackery and the 2 100 watt panels are very portable. The 1000 watt-hours will supply nearly 10 amps at 110 VAC. It is not going to power an AC unit, but most anything else in the trailer it will power including the microwave and fridge. It also provides 12 VDC power for anything you might need that for such as a C-PAP machine at a regulated 13.2 VDC. YOu can jump charge your car battery in a pinch, or power a fan next to your lawn chair to keep bugs off you. It recharges off of solar panels, AC plug-in or cigar lighter plug-in while driving to your next destination. It comes with a two year warranty and is considered the top of the line to befit it's price tag.

It is not real practical for a large travel trailer and the mostly indoor lifestyle with fireplaces and big screen TV's, but for a smaller hybrid or popup I find it to be real handy for portable renewable power. NO inverters or charge controllers necessary or that wiring bother... it is all built-in. THe panels and solar generator are a complete package. I made a 30 foot extension power cable and a 40 foot security cable to protect it from casual thievery.

Of course you could put in a $1,000 lithium battery with separate charge controller, inverter and all of the associated wiring with either portable or permanently install solar panels, or buy the package from Jackery.

Many youtube videos explain the pros and cons of different types of systems.

My suspicions were that this is more of a device to plug various individual gadgets into as opposed to plugging your RV into like one would an actual (gas powered) generator. My suspicions were that for me, it makes more sense to invest in some solar panels and a second, or different battery. The idea of this is intriguing but I just don't think it's for me. I'll keep researching, though and reserve the right to change my mind!
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:33 AM   #11
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I used a portable solar panel to maintain the battery when the trailer sat in the storage yard between trips. Aimed at the sun. A little uber quiet Honda 1000w generator (or a knockoff) will do it several times faster and also produce enough 110vAC to run a small coffee pot or microwave.

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Old 01-26-2021, 07:38 PM   #12
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I am far from an expert on solar, but have been learning and improving my system for the last 10 years. After having my battery die with a week of food in a no longer operational fridge, I picked things up a bit. IMHO, there are a couple of things to consider; Budget, length of time you’ll be running on just batteries, and how much you’ll be drawing on the battery.
I had 2 100 w renogy panels with a 20 A PWM controller that I used on my old roo, mainly at the beach. I made some simple pvc pipe stands for them so I could adjust the panels to chase the sun. With the right battery, this set up was more than adequate for 6 adults for a week, using the fridge, water pump, lights, stereo and small fans at night. I liked having them as portable panels so I could move them at less sunny places, like national parks. I never had an issue with neighbors or the campground complaining, but all of my dry camping is at state and national parks.
Changing to a group 32 deep cycle battery was key to getting through a week without panicking.
For my new rig, I’m planning to put 2 100W panels on the roof, as well as have another 100 W portable panel so I can chase the sun if I’m parked somewhere that the roof panels won’t get enough sun. Since my new roo came prewired, all I need to do is mount the panels, and figure out where to put the charge controller.
For my usage needs, the entire system ran me about $350, not including the upsized battery.
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:25 PM   #13
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...
I had 2 100 w renogy panels with a 20 A PWM controller that I used on my old roo, mainly at the beach. I made some simple pvc pipe stands for them so I could adjust the panels to chase the sun. With the right battery, this set up was more than adequate for 6 adults for a week, using the fridge, water pump, lights, stereo and small fans at night.
This has got me looking into solar systems again. Found this on Amazon and for the price, I think it looks pretty good:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01GKB6E...jaz10cnVl&th=1

What else would I need to complete this system, or is this all?
Also, I would want these to remain portable as we often camp in shaded sites. How do you store your panels when travelling?


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...Since my new roo came prewired, all I need to do is mount the panels, and figure out where to put the charge controller.
For my usage needs, the entire system ran me about $350, not including the upsized battery.
My Roo came prewired as well but I have read on here somewhere that the port on our Roo's is wired backwards somehow. Have you experienced this? I noticed the charge controller on the unit I linked to above says it is "a common positive ground controller." Is this unusual?

Sorry, VERY new to all of this! Don't mean to hijack this thread so if need be, I can start a new thread.


.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:45 PM   #14
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This has got me looking into solar systems again. Found this on Amazon and for the price, I think it looks pretty good:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01GKB6E...jaz10cnVl&th=1

What else would I need to complete this system, or is this all?
Also, I would want these to remain portable as we often camp in shaded sites. How do you store your panels when travelling?




My Roo came prewired as well but I have read on here somewhere that the port on our Roo's is wired backwards somehow. Have you experienced this? I noticed the charge controller on the unit I linked to above says it is "a common positive ground controller." Is this unusual?

Sorry, VERY new to all of this! Don't mean to hijack this thread so if need be, I can start a new thread.


.
I’m new to the forum too, so if we’re hijacking the thread, I won’t be offended if someone corrects me. ��
Love hearing someone looking at solar. I wish some of my neighbors along the way would have gone that direction. I enjoy the quiet of it.��

The package seems like it has almost everything you need, although I don’t know anything about that brand.
Knowing what “prewired” really means is key. For several years, some Roos were equipped with a ZAMP port. I believe it was proprietary, and may have had the backward wiring issue you mentioned. Using it means you need a special plug to connect through it to reverse the polarity if you aren’t using their panels.
There was also a “prewired” version that has an SAE plug on the side of the camper. My roo came with that AND the roof mounted mc4 box.
The SAE plug on my roo goes right to the battery, and seems to have been designed to come from a suitcase type panel that already has a charge controller.
IMO, the plug is pretty useless unless you’re buying from that particular manufacturer. With the kit you’re looking at, I don’t see a benefit.
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Old 01-27-2021, 08:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Daebado View Post
This has got me looking into solar systems again. Found this on Amazon and for the price, I think it looks pretty good:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01GKB6E...jaz10cnVl&th=1

What else would I need to complete this system, or is this all?
Also, I would want these to remain portable as we often camp in shaded sites. How do you store your panels when travelling?




My Roo came prewired as well but I have read on here somewhere that the port on our Roo's is wired backwards somehow. Have you experienced this? I noticed the charge controller on the unit I linked to above says it is "a common positive ground controller." Is this unusual?

Sorry, VERY new to all of this! Don't mean to hijack this thread so if need be, I can start a new thread.


.
For storing the panels while traveling, I laid them face down on the table seat cushions. We normally throw sleeping bags and pillows there, so it helps keep them protected.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:58 PM   #16
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This has got me looking into solar systems again. Found this on Amazon and for the price, I think it looks pretty good:
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01GKB6E...jaz10cnVl&th=1

What else would I need to complete this system, or is this all?
Also, I would want these to remain portable as we often camp in shaded sites. How do you store your panels when travelling?




My Roo came prewired as well but I have read on here somewhere that the port on our Roo's is wired backwards somehow. Have you experienced this? I noticed the charge controller on the unit I linked to above says it is "a common positive ground controller." Is this unusual?

Sorry, VERY new to all of this! Don't mean to hijack this thread so if need be, I can start a new thread.


.
There is every reason to believe the HQST panels you linked are made in the same factory as the Renogy panels. Same electrical specs, only difference being physical dimensions caused by different cell arrangement. Definitely a savings on essentially same product.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:24 AM   #17
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I used to make solar panels back in the late 2000's. Before the big solar bust. When the industry collapsed cell and panel manufacturers consolidated to China.

Basically, there are a handful of cell and panel manufacturers and most brands just slap thier sticker on panels. Since solar is a commodity panels need to be cheap to be profitable.

There are many hazardous chemicals and processes involved in making solar cells. In countries with environmental and safety standards this translates to additional cost. In places like China where the environment and human life are not valued as they are in 1st world countries they do not need to worry about those additional costs.

Sorry about the rant. I really miss manufacturing solar. It was a tightknit industry and, at the time, efficiency advancements were happening quickly.
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:36 AM   #18
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So, from what I've been able to read up on to this point, it looks like I would still need an inverter if I want my electrical outlets to work. Not 100% sure what I would use these for, though as I have charging ports built in to the RV and most other things I would plug in (coffee maker, primarily! My only vise but I could easily get a stove-top percolator) would use too much power for this system (1 normal RV deep cycle battery. Don't know the actual specs on it.).

You guys who are using solar, are you using an inverter as well or are you just sticking to DC power?
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Old 01-28-2021, 11:49 AM   #19
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All depends on your camping experience or lifestyle.
I use both, 2000W inverter for my AC needs you may (or may not) find yourself needed AC for something its good to have & fairly inexpensive item. CPAP, Computer Chargers, TV (non 12V) are items that need an inverter.
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:27 PM   #20
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My biggest worry is actually air conditioning! I know you can't run it off of batteries but here's the deal (and thus my biggest hesitation in going solar):

My camping depends on the comfort of the DW. We are in the Midwest and do most of our camping in the late spring through mid fall. It gets hot here in the summer! IF we limited our boondocking to spring and fall, we might be able to make it work but even then, we are trying to camp in shady spots to keep temps down inside the camper. That means we are going to need portable solar panels so that we can chase the sunlight.

Probably the craziest part of using solar is the fact that you've eliminated your air conditioner (unless you use a generator) while at the same time created a situation where you need to camp in the direct sun! Seems like an oxymoron to me!
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