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  • Hello from an itinerant

    Hello,

    I've been lurking/ reading for a long time. Enjoying and trying to absorb and learn more from the knowledgeable folks here.

    A little background...I fulltime in a 5th wheel mainly boondocking chasing the seasons. 1,280w solar (CTI 160w panels...2s4p), GBS Lifepo4 batteries (12v 500ah), Magnum 3000w hybrid inverter, Magnum PT100 controller, EU2000i generator for backup when needed. I had it installed 26 months ago no issues to speak of.

    There are a couple images of the system in my profile/ album.

    Thanks for all the info.
    Last edited by Sojourner1; 06-06-2018, 12:03 PM.

  • #2
    Hi Sojourner1, welcome to Solar Panel Talk. Sounds like a full time vacation, looking forward to hearing more about your solar experiences and traveling adventures.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks sdold,

      I guess compared to some of the systems on the site it's pretty small but it has gotten the job done nicely, keeps us out of overcrowded rv parks and off hook-ups. We're going on 531 days of consecutive boondock living. We'll average 1,800 Wh daily use, the system produces 2,400-5,000 Wh. 3 days of little/ poor solar before needing the generator for a couple hour charge on the lfp batteries. Roughly 3 MWh todate produced.
      Last edited by Sojourner1; 06-07-2018, 08:45 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sojourner1 View Post
        Hello,

        I've been lurking/ reading for a long time. Enjoying and trying to absorb and learn more from the knowledgeable folks here.

        A little background...I fulltime in a 5th wheel mainly boondocking chasing the seasons. 1,280w solar (CTI 160w panels...2s4p), GBS Lifepo4 batteries (12v 500ah), Magnum 3000w hybrid inverter, Magnum PT100 controller, EU2000i generator for backup when needed. I had it installed 26 months ago no issues to speak of.

        There are a couple images of the system in my profile/ album.

        Thanks for all the info.
        Hi Sojourner1,

        Where did you buy and how much did you pay for these batteries? How many do you have and how do you have them configured?
        I hear great things about this 100 Ah Lifepo4 12 volt batteries in Amazon even though they are very expensive about $1,000 each.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had the entire solar/ battery system installed in Yuma, AZ. These batteries are not "drop in" replacements. They are 5 100ah (4 cell each) 4S5P. Couple years ago it was $4,600 now $4,200.

          Comment


          • #6
            It seems like Lifepo4 12 volt are the ones to go for an RV since they are not that heavy, do not require maintenance, discharge very slow and charge very fast.

            I got 8x 6 volt 225 Ah Interstate FLA 24 Volt bank 450 Ah 10.8 kWh for like $1,200, 18 months warranty. The problem that I get is that they discharge very quickly and of course they require maintenance, even though I was told as long as they get fully charged next day there is no much maintenance to do.

            Now the Lifepo4 12 do not require maintenance, they are not that heavy, charge very quickly, discharge very slow and can be discharged almost to 0% with no problems, they have 5 yr. warranty.

            I was thinking on getting the Testa PowerWall 2 but it is about $7,000 for 10 kWh 10 yr warranty.

            What has been your personal experience with your batteries? Did you have a professional install them for you? Thanks.

            Comment


            • #7
              Welcome Sojourner,

              Are you on Skoolie.net as Sojourner?

              S.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by john95 View Post
                .....Now the Lifepo4 12 do not require maintenance, they are not that heavy, charge very quickly, discharge very slow and can be [COLOR=#FF0000]discharged almost to 0% with no problems,[/COLOR] .....
                I hope you have a good insurance policy that covers fire. taking any Lithium base battery below 20% becomes increasingly dangerous because it can cause internal shorts. If the battery has a great BMS internally, it may be reporting to you 0%, but has 20% reserve inside (much like EV BMS reports)

                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 PNW_Steve View Post
                  Welcome Sojourner,

                  Are you on Skoolie.net as Sojourner?

                  S.
                  No that's not me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by john95 View Post
                    It seems like Lifepo4 12 volt are the ones to go for an RV since they are not that heavy, do not require maintenance, discharge very slow and charge very fast.
                    The enitre system (batteries, panels, wire, inverter, controller, inside displays) added 500# to the weight of the 5th wheel.

                    Dispersed camping
                    2016 (4/16 - 12/31) 200 days
                    2017 (1/1 - 12/31) 365 days
                    2018 (1/1 - 6/10) 160 days

                    Cost analysis. Using previous 2 years of rving (fulltiming) prior to solar install (4/13/16), Staying in RV parks averaged $25.00 a day.
                    443 days of dispersed camping needed for return on solar instead of paying a campground/ rv park. Accomplished August of last year.

                    Last year states traveled AZ, UT, WY, ID, MT, ND, SD, NV
                    6,105 miles with 5th wheel seeing some beautiful remote locations.


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sojourner1 View Post

                      The enitre system (batteries, panels, wire, inverter, controller, inside displays) added 500# to the weight of the 5th wheel.

                      Dispersed camping
                      2016 (4/16 - 12/31) 200 days
                      2017 (1/1 - 12/31) 365 days
                      2018 (1/1 - 6/10) 160 days

                      Cost analysis. Using previous 2 years of rving (fulltiming) prior to solar install (4/13/16), Staying in RV parks averaged $25.00 a day.
                      443 days of dispersed camping needed for return on solar instead of paying a campground/ rv park. Accomplished August of last year.

                      Last year states traveled AZ, UT, WY, ID, MT, ND, SD, NV
                      6,105 miles with 5th wheel seeing some beautiful remote locations.
                      I'm glad you were able to make it work. Many others are trying to do the same, so please share what you did to make it successful
                      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


                      • #12
                        What helped making it successful is having a wife that wanted to do boondocking from day 1 of rving. After doing a couple years in rv parks that are either overcrowded, over priced or cheap dumps we decided to go solar, battery and use our public lands away from others. Even with a 35' 5th wheel some research and scouting the remote quiet places that are out there that haven't been spoiled with blogs and vlogs yet. We knew our cost over the years and figured that would offset the installation & components of the system (plus 30% tax credit). We also figured when we get tired of traveling some of the components could be used at a cabin/ remote place.

                        Learning more now for that next move as the time nears thanks to knowledgeable/ educated folk on this forum.
                        Last edited by Sojourner1; 06-11-2018, 12:50 PM.

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