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https://www.microair.net/collections/easystart-soft-starters

Look into this for your air conditioner.

If it's a newer trailer some have plug ins for solar panels if you didn't want to mount them. I have all LEDs in my 24' trailer and two six volts. I've never worried about running out of batteries but I don't camp for a week at a time in the winter with the heater going all night long. Even with that going on I might run out of propane before I run out of electricity.
 

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Hitech solar in Indiana is made in the USA from cells that are made in the USA or Germany iirc. In any case they are very well made and have the best $/w ratio for a 36-cell panel. Renogy is all old tech and Amazon is flooded with other brand names on the same old tech. That's all I'm saying here.
yours is not on the list
Here is a list of companies manufacturing American made solar panels in 2019:

Heliene – Mountain Iron, MN (U.S. manufacturing facility)
Mission Solar – San Antonio, TX
Seraphim – Jackson, MS (U.S. headquarters)
Silfab Solar – Bellingham, WA (U.S. manufacturing facility)
Solaria – Fremont, CA (U.S. headquarters)
SolarTech Universal – Riviera Beach, FL
SolarWorld Americas – Hillsboro, OR
SunSpark – Riverside, CA
Tesla/Panasonic – Buffalo, NY (U.S. manufacturing facility)
 

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I had a very small setup ,160w, I put on my old slide in pop-up camper. Two group 24 batteries, a cheap pwm controller and a 1kw inverter made camping a lot more fun. No generator, just ran the lights, water pump, fan for the heater and the 12v fridge. Worked well.

I put 400w on our 5th wheel recently. 4-100w panels, I used an EPEVER mppt controller and I put in a 2kw inverter (on a remote switch so it doesn't draw all the time) that is hard wired to currently one quad box in the bunk and will be wired to another dedicated unit in the kitchen. I'm only running on two group 31's currently. I put a Victron battery monitor in, just inside the door so I can glance at it, either % capacity, amps out or in. Highly recommend a monitor, either the Victron or a Trimetric, they're expensive but without them you're just guessing on status.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MJ9TAN8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't live in it for more than a week at a time, so I couldn't justify spending bigger money than I did on higher end parts or more wattage. It runs phones/speakers/tv's/furnace fan/lights/etc. I don't pretend to want to or need to run the AC off of it, I have a generator for emergency charging or ac/microwave duties. The fridge runs off propane (if we use it...often don't), like the water heater and furnace which is perfect for my situation. I may end up adding more batteries, but I don't have the need currently.

I didn't want to drill holes in the roof either, so I built a light frame that used existing bolt holes on the roof cap sides and just used a layer of butyl tape between the stainless and aluminum then re-landed the bolts through the rails.




I wired all my panels in parallel as the batteries are just 6' down from the panels and at 100w each and a short run, 8awg shouldn't burn an appreciable amount of power. Parallel means if any one of my panels are partially shaded, they're not killing my array, just that one panel is dead.
 

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yours is not on the list
Here is a list of companies manufacturing American made solar panels in 2019:

Heliene – Mountain Iron, MN (U.S. manufacturing facility)
Mission Solar – San Antonio, TX
Seraphim – Jackson, MS (U.S. headquarters)
Silfab Solar – Bellingham, WA (U.S. manufacturing facility)
Solaria – Fremont, CA (U.S. headquarters)
SolarTech Universal – Riviera Beach, FL
SolarWorld Americas – Hillsboro, OR
SunSpark – Riverside, CA
Tesla/Panasonic – Buffalo, NY (U.S. manufacturing facility)
"Mission Solar Energy products are Designed, Engineered, & Assembled in San Antonio". I only checked one.

It's not an important point but Manufactured is missing. I am sure there are manufactured panels somewhere here, but this is the game they play. Same with LED lights. All China. Just saying.
 

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I had a very small setup ,160w, I put on my old slide in pop-up camper. Two group 24 batteries, a cheap pwm controller and a 1kw inverter made camping a lot more fun. No generator, just ran the lights, water pump, fan for the heater and the 12v fridge. Worked well.

I put 400w on our 5th wheel recently. 4-100w panels, I used an EPEVER mppt controller and I put in a 2kw inverter (on a remote switch so it doesn't draw all the time) that is hard wired to currently one quad box in the bunk and will be wired to another dedicated unit in the kitchen. I'm only running on two group 31's currently. I put a Victron battery monitor in, just inside the door so I can glance at it, either % capacity, amps out or in. Highly recommend a monitor, either the Victron or a Trimetric, they're expensive but without them you're just guessing on status.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MJ9TAN8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't live in it for more than a week at a time, so I couldn't justify spending bigger money than I did on higher end parts or more wattage. It runs phones/speakers/tv's/furnace fan/lights/etc. I don't pretend to want to or need to run the AC off of it, I have a generator for emergency charging or ac/microwave duties. The fridge runs off propane (if we use it...often don't), like the water heater and furnace which is perfect for my situation. I may end up adding more batteries, but I don't have the need currently.

I didn't want to drill holes in the roof either, so I built a light frame that used existing bolt holes on the roof cap sides and just used a layer of butyl tape between the stainless and aluminum then re-landed the bolts through the rails.




I wired all my panels in parallel as the batteries are just 6' down from the panels and at 100w each and a short run, 8awg shouldn't burn an appreciable amount of power. Parallel means if any one of my panels are partially shaded, they're not killing my array, just that one panel is dead.
Do the panels make a lot of noise going down the road? Nice setup btw.
 

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Dude. That's a 40 foot trailer he is talking about. To run his AC he needs 1500W just for the ac. And an inverter capable to hold 8000x starting.

He could run one ac. Then half that load but then the batteries. The amp hours would need to be what? 400 at 73 an hour? And that's just the ac.

So yeah, you can do it. But no, you really can't. At least not well and it would never be worth it.
Yes, you really can. Run the number, it is easily doable. you can put a bunch of 300+ watt panels on a 40'. With the added bonus of the panels now shading the roof of the RV which will now require the AC to run even less. Unless you have some 1970s AC system that sucks power it is very easy to do. Or even install a new mini split in the RV if you really want something efficient.

As to if it is worth the cost? That is a personal choice and might very based on where you are going and what is available to you.
 

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Do the panels make a lot of noise going down the road? Nice setup btw.
They didn't add any noise than is audible in the truck. I don't have people in the trailer going down the road, so I can't truly answer that.

If a solar panel buffets in the wind on a trailer and nobody is around to hear to it, did it make a sound?:laughing:

Thanks. I love not worrying about running the generator most of the time. Too many people out there running a 4kw+ genset so their kid can watch a movie on a 20w television just because they're worried about drawing down batteries and don't have an inverter.
 

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Limey
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I love not worrying about running the generator most of the time.
Same here. I only need to run the generator in the winter now and adding more panels could make the generator redundant completely.

To avoid drilling, I made up some ally panel mounting brackets and glued them to the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
To avoid drilling, I made up some ally panel mounting brackets and glued them to the roof.
did you use the eternabond or the 3m adhesive?

This is big for me - I do *NOT* want to drill the roof, I don't care if the whole world says its not a big deal. The less holes/screws in the roof, the better.

Also if I do this, I will angle them from the back, so that when driving on the highway, the air flow doesn't try and lift them.
 

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https://www.facebook.com/hightecsolar/

The cells are Solarworld, which are made in USA or Germany iirc. The frames and everything else they use are made in the USA and assembled in the USA on their 5 bus bar assembly line in Indiana. It's possible the wiring and connectors are Chinese, I don't know.

They are top notch in every aspect. I just went and looked and the 200w 36-cell (small) panels are $165 shipped. You just can't beat that.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
https://www.facebook.com/hightecsolar/

The cells are Solarworld, which are made in USA or Germany iirc. The frames and everything else they use are made in the USA and assembled in the USA on their 5 bus bar assembly line in Indiana. It's possible the wiring and connectors are Chinese, I don't know.

They are top notch in every aspect. I just went and looked and the 200w 36-cell (small) panels are $165 shipped. You just can't beat that.
Thanks, thats cheap enough, goes into my watch list and wait for funds
 

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Limey
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How big were the brackets that you glued? How long have they been mounted?

Thanks..
Two years.

The brackets are made of three pieces. Two L shaped pieces with a flat piece sandwiched between to make an inverted T shape. The base of the L pieces are two inches each so giving four inches wide total. It's actually a bit more if you include the bend radius and thickness of the flat piece. Lengthwise, they are the full length of the short side of the panel plus two inches at each end. The L pieces were shaped to match the curve of the roof then riveted together sandwiching the flat piece in between. The flat piece is attached to the panel frame with stainless screws.

I only stood the panels off the roof by an inch which made it virtually impossible to get a tool up behind the panels when they are mounted so I fitted rivnuts into the panel frame to take the screws. That was fiddly because the panel frames are a hollow extrusion.

I think you need to maximise the surface area if you are going to rely on glue only. I used an inverted T shape rather than a simple L to reduce the possibility of the mount rocking and peeling the adhesive.

I'd post a pic but I'm nowhere near it at the moment.
 

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Its a 40 foot trailer. I have a 9000w genny that runs the AC if I need. The fridge is a baby 2 foot tall one, not full size, but I suppose thats not a deal breaker.


Does PBB OK mounting them with the eternabobd or 3m adhesive (with brackets, not direct to roof)? Would like to avoid screws of course
Use VHB Tape to secure to roof, then cover bracket with lap sealant
 

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did you use the eternabond or the 3m adhesive?

This is big for me - I do *NOT* want to drill the roof, I don't care if the whole world says its not a big deal. The less holes/screws in the roof, the better.

Also if I do this, I will angle them from the back, so that when driving on the highway, the air flow doesn't try and lift them.
It's not a big deal. :D:laughing:
 

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I have 4 - 200 Watt panels on my Travel Trailer and use a Victron Charge Controller to charge 4 Costco 6V Golf Cart BAtters and a Victron BMS to monitor them.. The panels I use are made in the USA and are $185.00 shipped. You can get them and everything else you need from Continuius Resources.

https://www.continuousresources.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I have 4 - 200 Watt panels on my Travel Trailer and use a Victron Charge Controller to charge 4 Costco 6V Golf Cart BAtters and a Victron BMS to monitor them.. The panels I use are made in the USA and are $185.00 shipped. You can get them and everything else you need from Continuius Resources.

https://www.continuousresources.com/
I think they are the same as "fred480v" on ebay (who is not Fred anymore, was informed by them he retired 2 years ago)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/283431535074

listing has the same pictures, wall logos and all.

But they look legit. Going to start putting away a little money and do this one panel at a time. Thanks
 

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I think they are the same as "fred480v" on ebay (who is not Fred anymore, was informed by them he retired 2 years ago)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/283431535074

listing has the same pictures, wall logos and all.

But they look legit. Going to start putting away a little money and do this one panel at a time. Thanks
They are totally legit. The 200w 36-cell panels have been on sale for $165 when I looked last week.
 
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