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Old 10-04-2021, 11:49 AM   #1
PJWMSON
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Vernon BC
Posts: 8
Palomini 186 RBS Solar System

Hello, I posted yesterday under general comments after my first summer with a 2021 Palomini 186RBS.
My wife and I sold our 2005 17’ Trail Lite trailer after about 12 years of great camping mostly in BC.
We purchased from a local reputable dealer who was very good to deal with, however as with any business there is always room for improvement.
We are now retired after a great career in Plumbing and Heating. I also have had strong background with electronic controls related to heating and boilers.
My only regret is the 12Vdc fridge. We grilled the salesman and as he said most units built now are going this way, and you should have no problems with power.
If you plan to dry camp, (my unit is sold as an ‘Off Road’) the bottom line is you need to carry a generator. I carry a Honda 1000 and it is more than adequate for charging my system, but not running any appliances.
12 volt fridges ‘eat batteries’ as was stated by a local battery rep. The dealer stated that the manufacturer put a single 200 watt solar panel on the unit to power the fridge. They also provide the unit with a single 12 volt (100ah?) battery. This would only give you about 24 hours worth of power if you got some sun on your panel! We added twin 6 volt batteries wired in series (to get 12Vdc) for about 220 Ah’s. The fridge is rated at 4 Ah’s so you do the math. Plus the fact that if you run a ‘wet’ lead acid battery below 50% you are heading for trouble. The manufacturer is giving you the very basics of a solar electrical system, while touting the fact that it has ‘solar’ and it is ‘off Road’
I ordered a second 200 watt panel, now installed after many emails and discussions with the dealer. I requested they cover this cost for all my troubles and the salesman’s lack of knowledge from the outset. As they did not bill me it appears they came thru so kudos to them.
I am happy to try and answer questions, but I am not an electrician nor an expert on solar charging systems. On the other hand I have learned a lot over the past 6 months.
PJW
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 4
Hi, I like your setup. I'm about to buy a used Palomini 188bhs and do a few mods to it including the Lithium battery swap and adding another battery. Still trying to figure out where I want the other battery since I don't want any more tounge weight.

I noticed you drive with a similar year 2nd gen chey colorado. I have a 2018 chey colorado and a similar tounge weight as yours. I also have a camper shell/ cap.
How does this camper drive with your Colorado? I have the v6 gas motor and was a little nervous about it's power driving in the mountains.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:12 PM   #3
PJWMSON
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Vernon BC
Posts: 8
CO-camping reply

Hello, my Colorado is a Duramax Diesel with great mileage 14-16L/100km. It handles and tows very well even with a little over 1000 lbs tongue weight.
It powers up the hills very well at 2500 to 3,000 rpm at 80- 90 km/hr

I now have two LiFiPo 280 Ah batteries mounted on my tongue.

PJW
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Old 06-14-2024, 01:16 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 4
Thanks for the info. I'm thinking about going with lithium batteries as well as you mentioned the lead acid doesn't do much for boondocking. Did you have to change out your battery charger?

I'm trying to figure out how to connect my solar also as well. I noticed mine is solar prepped and has wires already ready on the roof. I have a black box and some wires under my storage compartment is that where the wires go to?
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Old 06-14-2024, 02:58 PM   #5
PJWMSON
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Vernon BC
Posts: 8
Solar control required

Hello, you need a solar controller I replace the existing PWM and installed an EPever MPPT 40 amp as I have 2 200 watt solar panels.
I also replaced my converter/panel as it was not lithium ready.
I hope manufacturers are putting more planning to make it cheaper and easier for conversion, even offer units with lithium batteries (imagine they might even make for profit) sized for 4-5days of camping with no hook ups and minimal solar. (Most site are at least partially shaded)
I can’t speak to you roughed in wiring, you can get lots of information on line.
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Old 06-14-2024, 04:59 PM   #6
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Many thanks.
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Old 06-16-2024, 09:16 AM   #7
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Location: Hills of Northwestern PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CO-Camping View Post
Hi, I like your setup. I'm about to buy a used Palomini 188bhs and do a few mods to it including the Lithium battery swap and adding another battery. Still trying to figure out where I want the other battery since I don't want any more tounge weight.
One of the many advantages of LiFePO4 is that they weight less than half a SLA battery with similar ratings. With MY first battery I went from 65# to 23# for a 105 amp rated SLA to a 100AH rated LiFePO4. Plus, of course, I could only use half of the SLA capacity to prevent damage.
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2019 Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS flipped axle, 5K springs, 400AH LiFePO4, 3K inverter, 400 watts CIGS solar
2019 Ford F-150 S-Crew 5.5 bed V8 w/tow package, ITBC, Tow Mirrors, SumoSprings, 1990#CC
Husky Centerline TS WDH 400-600# spring bars
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