Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

Truth MachineTruth Machine Registered Users Posts: 9
Hello Folks, I'm a novice at this solar stuff,

I've been following many discussions here and I am very impressed with the level of expert commentators on all subjects. I would greatly appreciate it if I could get some opinions on the below system, the components and pricing to get a good idea if its worthy of the price or if there are concerns or better items to use in general.

Any additional ideas about any aspect of the kit is welcomed.

I want to put this on my RV/Trailor and head for the boon-docks/off grid for extended periods of times and still have a high quality power source to run RV devices/things at night, with light use during daytime.

Thank you

340 Watt Kit for RV configuration

Price: $ 1,820.00
Batteries Not Included

-(4) 85 Watt Solar Panels (BP485J) Spec. Sheet
-30 Amp Charge Controller (Morningstar PS-30) Spec. Sheet
-(4) RV Flush Mounts Spec. Sheet
-20' #10AWG Output Cable (PANEL to CONTROLLER)


  • westbranchwestbranch ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 5,149 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

    TM, you will need to be more specific about the loads you want to draw and make a battery choice appropriate to the loads/ PV you (will) have.
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mike95490mike95490 ✭✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 8,416 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

    You should also plan on getting a 12V charger, and a small generator to power it from. You can't plan on every day being sunny, and running the vehicle engine to charge batteries is way inefficient.

    And determine your loads, and size your batteries for them, then size your solar to that.

    Your wire size looks a bit small, 340W = 26A @ 13V, and you will loose power in that size, for that distance. Try 8 ga. or consider wire panels in series and a MPPT controller, but that will be a big jump up in price....

    Also, consider adding a battery temperature sensor .
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • icarusicarus ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 5,304 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

    I second what Eric says,, but on it's face the price is in the ball park. The panel cost alone from our site host is ~ $1400 for Kyoceras.

    Just in round quick numbers, your 340 watts of Pv might generate this on an ideal day.

    340/2=170*4=680 watt/hours per day. The 340/2 represents all cumulative system loses , * 4 represents the hours of good sun one might reasonably expect on a per day basis averaged over a year. You might get more, but you might also get less depending on location, weather etc.

    Also remember, you will probably not get as good performance as this on an RV for two big reasons. The first is that flat panels on an RV will rarely if ever have ideal orientation to the sun. The second is that panels mounted on an RV roof will tend to run hotter than on a conventional roof because there is less air under them, resulting in poorer performance.

    Also consider that a big load for many RVs is the A/C, so parking in the sun to take advantage of the PV, makes the rig hotter, more than defeating the benefit.

    That said, as an FYI, we live with ~ 400 watts of PV, and we consistently use (and generate ~ 600-800 watt/hours/day day in and day out.

  • Truth MachineTruth Machine Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

    Guys I really appreciate all the responses. I'll try to get some hard wattage numbers to get a better idea.

    thank you
  • vcallawayvcallaway ✭✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 157 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Big RV with Potential PV Solar System

    That #10 wire from the combiner to controller is too small. You're going to loose at least 5%.

    #1 problem with RV solar is too small of wire.
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