How To Install An RV Solar Power Kit Yourself


Hi. I’m Curtis with The Fun Times Guide
blog community. Today I’m going to talk to you about a medium-sized
middle-of-the-road solar system. This is what i have installed on my van and it
has provided me with very good service for the past 4 years. I have two 100-watt panels mounted towards the rear of the van on the roof. Instead of using the
factory supplied brackets, I chose to use aluminum angle — so that I could make use of the existing mounting tabs that are located on top of Nissan vans. That way, I
did not have to drill any holes into the roof — except for the one hole where the
cables come in. Beyond that, there is nothing puncturing the roof. My Charge
Controller is a straightforward 12-volt Charge Controller. It is not digital
readout. It just has little green lights indicating that all is good with the
world. So it is very simple and straightforward. My battery bank is composed of two deep-cycle 120-amp power lead-acid batteries that are located
underneath the bed in my van. This is the most inexpensive battery setup — but yet it has proven to be very reliable. I also have a 1500-watt inverter wired to my battery bank. This allows me to watch a little
television. Or, when necessary, operate a few 110-volt appliances such as
an electric drill or a jigsaw — if I find a project I need to take care of. I have a
small digital voltmeter mounted right alongside the head of the bed — which
gives me instant readout as to what the status is of my battery bank. As you can
see, it is currently at 13.6 volts — which is basically a full charge. And it
is morning, and the sun is just now beginning to hit the panel solidly. I
consider this 200-watt system with two large deep-cycle lead-acid batteries to
be sufficient for moderate needs. In this application, I am using it to operate a 65-quart 12-volt compressor driven refrigerator that can also be used as a
freezer. That is the primary purpose because food storage is a big issue when
you are living the mobile lifestyle. My personal feelings are that there is no
real reason to look for the most expensive components. I use simple
lead-acid batteries that are readily available at Walmart for $100
approximately, once you put them in a box. You can buy lithium batteries for $1,000
and get 10 years plus service out of them, but I have found that lead-acid
batteries will reliably give you between 4 and 5 years of service. So the cost
factor just doesn’t register as being appropriate in my mind. Lead-acid does the job just as well. You can upgrade to an MPPT Charge Controller for a few more dollars — which can maybe up your efficiency by 5%. But here again, I believe middle-of-the-road works just fine.
My $20 Charge Controller has been reliable for 5 years. And at some
point, if it should fail, I will upgrade it to a digital readout. It is a simple
12-volt controller. My whole system is 12 volts. The two solar panels are hooked
together in parallel. The two batteries are hooked together in parallel. That means hooking positive to positive and negative to negative — so that both
the solar panel side and the battery side of the system is 12 volts. It is not
very complicated to hook up. There are only 4 connections on the Charge
Controller. And if you have minimal electrical understanding, it should be a
project that you can manage without any real problem. If there becomes a problem,
there are plenty of resources on YouTube that can guide you through the process.
Thank you for watching!

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1 thought on “How To Install An RV Solar Power Kit Yourself”

  1. Trev S says:

    I think I would be tempted to look at the EpEver Tracker AN MPPT – I got mine direct from China for £62 that's about $85 – it really is a big improvement – i have one REC 280w panel and get up to 20a charge from it into my battery (100ah Lifepo4) – i regular see a14a charge – I even get a few amps in the rain

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