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  • Transfer Switch or Seperate A/C Outlets

    OK, well I'm new here and have a quick question.

    I'm installing a Renogy RV low end system into my 30 foot toyhauler. My intention is to use it to keep the batteries topped off in the daytime, and run a coffeemaker and maybe a blender or such small kitchen appliances in the morning for the wife. I'm not trying to power the television or Airconditioner or Fridge. We are not fulltime RV people and use the trailer about 10X a year. Or about 45 days total a year. We boondock in a shadeless desert, 90 percent of the time. I'm just trying to save from running the generator and the associated noise. And keep the batteries topped off while the trailer is in storage.

    So, that being said, here's my setup:

    30 foot trailer with a built in Onan 4000 generator. 2x 110 Amp 6 V Golf Cart flooded batteries, in Series.
    Single Airconditioner unit. Fridge is A/C and/or Propane. Furnace is 12V.

    Solar is a Renogy 200 W RV kit. Which includes 2x 100 watt RV compact panels which I'll run in parallel, and Renogy PWM Adventure Controller with bluetooth cell phone monitor. And associated wire and brackets.

    The Renogy kit is P/N: RNG-KIT-RV200D-ADV30-BC

    The controller specs are;
    12v/24v
    30 Amp
    Max Volts 50 VDC

    Panels are: (x2)
    Renogy 100 W, 12 . (Old style)

    1100 w Krieger inverter.

    So, instead of going thru a transfer switch through the trailer's 110 fuse box and dealing with that; My plan is to run a seperate 110 power off of the inverter to a single 'seperate system' 110 outlet in the kitchen. To power the coffee maker, small appliances, etc. Install a red or yellow outlet to differentiate. Wired with outdoor romex thru a fuse and thru flex 1/2" conduit.

    Is this a good plan?

    Or should I just buy a transfer switch and go that route?

    I have no interest in powering the whole trailer on solar. The amount of time we use it, and the cost associated would be a waste.

    I'm a fix it type, but avoid electrical fix it jobs. I save that for the pros. So i hope you rocket scientists out there take it easy on me. Give it to me straight and simple if you can. I appreciate your time. Thank you.




  • #2
    Are you sure about the Ah. capacity of the golf cart batteries? Typical GC2 batteries are 210 to 240 amp hours.
    The coffee maker will be challenging to run with your set up. If you can get it to run and brew coffee I strongly recommend you get an insulated carafe and turn off the coffee maker the second it finishes brewing. The other thing I would recommend is to keep the inverter turned off except when actually using it. Inverters can suck up a lot of power just sitting there, doing nothing.
    BTW, personally I would nix the transfer switch and keep this inverter power separate from the trailers ac system. One thing that happens if not isolated is the 110ac to 12 vdc converter will be trying to charge the batteries from.....the batteries! Eventually you end up with dead batteries.
    Last edited by littleharbor; 06-21-2019, 08:44 AM.
    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

    Comment


    • #3
      In concept, I'd say the dedicated and color-coded outlet is a good one and one I've seen described in use a lot on RV.net forums. But reality is that the electric coffee maker is probably a large electricity hog, like little harbor says. I make french press coffee and use camper propane stove to boil the water. Delicious and electricity-free.

      On rv.net forums this type of question gets raised a lot about how to use an inverter to run the electric coffee pot, and it always devolves into suggestions on how to make coffee. I see I went and totally did that here, sorry to have gone there!
      Last edited by ewarnerusa; 06-21-2019, 01:59 PM. Reason: well...I make coffee by...
      I'm an RV camper, mine has 280 watts of solar

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      • #4
        The specs on my GC batteries:

        Costco's Interstate 20190621_104957.jpg
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ewarnerusa View Post
          In concept, I'd say the dedicated and color-coded outlet is a good one and one I've seen described in use a lot on RV.net forums. But reality is that the electric coffee maker is probably a large electricity hog, like little harbor says. I make french press coffee and use camper propane stove to boil the water. Delicious and electricity-free.

          On rv.net forums this type of question gets raised a lot about how to use an inverter to run the electric coffee pot, and it always devolves into suggestions on how to make coffee. I see I went and totally did that here, sorry to have gone there!
          Thank you. I was on a RV.net forum but forgot password and can't get back in.

          I click reset password and it says I don't have an account.
          So I go to open a new account and it says I already have an account. Sheesh.

          So I came here with my questions. The guys on here are more knowledgeable regarding solar anyway.

          And we do use a coffee press if it's just the wife and I. With friends we use the electric coffee pot.
          Last edited by OldJeepGuy; 06-21-2019, 02:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Thank you little harbor and ewarnerusa. I appreciate the quick response.

            Looks like I'll keep it seperate and color coded.

            Comment


            • #7
              yes, just keep the 'inverter outlets' either plugged into the inverter itself, if it has any, or run separate outlets solely for the inverter, since it is a small wattage anyway.... BUT...

              having coffee in the morning is the real 'hump' to deal with, as you don't have a lot of 6v battery storage with only two batteries, but you can try and see if the voltage is still high enough in the morning to run the heater in the coffee maker long enough to run the full cycle of coffee, while not dropping the batteries too low. Since most folks make coffee WELL before the sun rises and is anywhere NEAR high enough to be helping produce sun power thru the solar panels, the issue is that most of the voltage drops overnight might mean not enough left in the morning for your 'coffee'... making you need the generator anyway.

              A generator is not a bad usage of power, or power maker from fuel...but most don't like the noise associated with it, though it is a very powerful tool for the actual little fuel it needs - use it and enjoy... you may find that in your situation it is WAY more economical to use what you already have, than making big investments in solar panels, controllers, inverters, and more batteries.

              Comment


              • #8
                Get a real vacuum bottle, heat the water the day before, and you will have near boiling water the next AM. No generator.
                Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | 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

                solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NCmountainsOffgrid View Post
                  yes, just keep the 'inverter outlets' either plugged into the inverter itself, if it has any, or run separate outlets solely for the inverter, since it is a small wattage anyway.... BUT...

                  having coffee in the morning is the real 'hump' to deal with, as you don't have a lot of 6v battery storage with only two batteries, but you can try and see if the voltage is still high enough in the morning to run the heater in the coffee maker long enough to run the full cycle of coffee, while not dropping the batteries too low. Since most folks make coffee WELL before the sun rises and is anywhere NEAR high enough to be helping produce sun power thru the solar panels, the issue is that most of the voltage drops overnight might mean not enough left in the morning for your 'coffee'... making you need the generator anyway.

                  A generator is not a bad usage of power, or power maker from fuel...but most don't like the noise associated with it, though it is a very powerful tool for the actual little fuel it needs - use it and enjoy... you may find that in your situation it is WAY more economical to use what you already have, than making big investments in solar panels, controllers, inverters, and more batteries.
                  Yeah, we've had this trailer for 9 years. The Onan genny is great, not too loud either, but... it sits directly under and to the left of the bed my wife sleeps in.
                  I'm an early riser. Her, not so much. So coffee is usually done by me with the coffee press. But I'd rather coffee maker it because I, well, own a trailer. And the trailer is a constant maintenance hobby for me. And I like to tinker. Earlier the better. So I'm usually too busy, but havin fun btw, to go press some more coffee. I'll drink a whole pot each morning while I'm tinkering with this trailer mod or that one. You get the idea. Currently its install solar panels, moving the batteries inside and venting them, resealing the roof.. Etc. Etc.

                  I do enjoy a great cup of fresh ground and pressed coffee. I'll sit with the wife and do that. But that's usually about 10am!

                  My solar plans may not provide what I need to make coffee with the coffee maker. So next year it'll be a few more panels, and batteries, larger guage wire and a MPPT. Lol.

                  It only ends when I'm too old to care, too old to work on it, or don't have the funds.
                  Last edited by OldJeepGuy; 06-22-2019, 06:40 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    Get a real vacuum bottle, heat the water the day before, and you will have near boiling water the next AM. No generator.
                    I'll look into that!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Out of curiosity What old jeep(s) do you have?
                      This 73' CJ-5 was my daily driver on Catalina Island for over 20 years before retiring it to the beaches and deserts of Baja. Salta Verde 108_edited.JPG
                      2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by littleharbor View Post
                        Out of curiosity What old jeep(s) do you have?
                        This 73' CJ-5 was my daily driver on Catalina Island for over 20 years before retiring it to the beaches and deserts of Baja. Salta Verde 108_edited.JPG
                        Way off topic and only FWIW: When I was single in the early '70's, 2 buddies I lived with and I bought a surplus army jeep (for as I recall ~ 50 bucks) and used it for bar crawling in the summer. When going to Canada (~ 20 miles away) we had to leave the ammo can that came with it home but the customs officials on both sides and the OPP loved it, particularly those who were veterans. Great vehicle. Easy to service/keep running, easy to clean (just hose the whole thing out), almost indestructible, and strangely, a chick magnet. The required 1X/yr. NYS motor vehicle inspections done by officials we met and knew socially and drove home after consultations in local watering holes, etc. We kept it off limited access/high speed roads as it topped out @ ~ 40-50 MPH. Beyond that, the only other limitation was winter - it just wasn't a winter car for Buffalo.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by littleharbor View Post
                          .......
                          This 73' CJ-5 was my daily driver on Catalina Island for over 20 years before retiring it to the beaches and deserts of Baja. Salta Verde 108_edited.JPG
                          Nice picture. Is that on Catalina Island? I spent many weekends there in the 70's an 80's. Also saw lots of the interior riding a horse.

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                          • #14
                            Salta Verde beach on the backside of Catalina.
                            2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have done a couple of RV installs with a sub panel and transfer switch.

                              When on shore power or generator all branch circuits are energized. When shore/genny power goes away the inverter lights up only the branch circuits fed from the sub panel.

                              This makes for completely automatic switching.

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