1988 itasca phasar

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1988 itasca phasar

Unread postby bruss777 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:32 pm

No word from my mechanic if they have fixed the slow windshield wipers. I wrote down what you emailed me, Scott, and gave it to him.

On another topic, I am considering installing two 100-watt solar panels and controller on my RV to hook into the two deep cycle SRM-24 interstate batteries. There isn't much to power inside: the small battery-operated fridge, water pump, and overhead courtesy lights. Will two 100-watt panels suffice for my needs?

Another thing: those two coach batteries are in the box where the generator no doubt sat or was supposed to sit. A guy at Interstate Battery was perplexed as to how they got them in that space. When I checked I wondered the same. Anybody had this problem?

Thanks as always..............

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Re: 1988 itasca phasar

Unread postby scott.edwards » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:22 pm

Hi Barbera,

All the new van type rv's are installing 2 x 100w panels, with an option for 1 or 2 more I believe.

You will need to know how much power you are going to consume during the day, then work backwards to decide if it is enough.

The first thing you should consider is replacing all the incandescent interior bulbs with LED...... they use a lot less power, which will mean less solar requirements.

The water pump uses little if it is working right and shuts off right away.

Your 2 largest draws are the fan on the furnace and the dc compressor fridge.

How you go about calculating your usage is to itemize all DV appliances, estimate how many hours each will be run in a 24 hour period, then look at each part and see how many amps or watts they draw, then add this all up. Once you know this, you can figure out the watts of panels you need, and how long the batteries will stay charged to the point of not hurting them. Most use a rule of thumb of no more than 40% discharge, but less is better.

Some buy a SOC (State of charge) meter. This is the right way to see how your system is doing, easily. About 200$...a good investment in my opinion.

This is only a small glimpse into what you need to know about solar for your rv...... be careful who you hire, make sure you get references who you can call, being specific that the installs must be on 12v campers! Home solar is another world again.

As for the batteries, the Previous owner probably opened the bottom of the compartment, or, opened the top... lift the rear seat and see if there is an opening...a plate with screws on top of the holding box.

A good place to look is Bogart Engineering for both your solar charge controller, and your SOC monitor. Nothing fancy, but everyone that uses their stuff likes it.

It sounds like you are thinking about keeping your rv now?

Take care, Scott

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Re: 1988 itasca phasar

Unread postby Barbara Russell » Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:51 pm

Thanks for the info. I thought the batteries were probably installed the way you said but haven't checked. You would think that Interstate Battery guy would have known that.
I'm keeping the RV for now. I've had a lot of inquiries and a few lookers and continue to get a lot of interest. I discouraged one young couple from buying it because they were clueless and idealistic and these RV's take some upkeep and knowledge. I doubt they even knew how to check the oil. I thought, OMG. No no no. They may not know it but I did them a favor.
I've been looking on Ebay and I can get two 100-watt solar panels and controller for less than $300 including shipping. Not a big investment. One mfr. I've contacted and questioned is Windy Nation. These are for RV's and boats. I have a neighbor, very smart guy and retired contractor, who could install the panels and controller with my help. Doesn't look like rocket science to install them.

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Re: 1988 itasca phasar

Unread postby IdahoBob » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:18 pm

Sounds like a good start on a solid house 12V system there.

With the solar, depending on how you camp, I think you should look into doing a lot more.

Start out with the "200W" worth of panels, see how that works, but leave room for more if you decide you need more.

For Example, 100W panel, mounted flat will give you around 50W when the sun is high, or about 2A to 3A into your 12V batteries. If it was tracking with the sun, you could get the full 100W, but it's not, so it's closer to 50W (depending the sun angle, which changes from your latitude, and the time of year.)

Using a rule of thumb of ~4 hours of "average sun hours" will give you about 8Ah to 12Ah a day. this is more than enough keep the lights on, and run the pump from time to time..
But the Fridge is something else. Mine is seeing the end of it's days, and pulls 4A while the pump is running, and run about 1/3 of the time in nice weather (Much more often in the Hot.) So it's pulling an average of about 2A, all the time, which in 24hr is close to 40-50Ah. Well short of the 12Ah that the panels are collecting per day.

So is it hopeless? Not in the least!

The Two 100W panels you are talking about would partially power the fridge, power everything else, and nearly double your boon-docking time from without the panels. If you only stayed at one site for a day or two, then moved on (charging from the Alternator along the way,) You would have a sweet setup that "never went flat" during your stays.

If you went all out and put three or four 100W panels up, you could just break even on sunny days, and not worry that much on even longer stays.

Also, remember between trips when your RV is parked, the solar will maintain your batteries, even shade, as trickle chargers. So the next trip you'll always have a full charge and not have to worry as much about them (other than the water maintenance if they are flooded LA cells.)

I have gone nuts myself. I started with 400W and now have two more for "600W" worth of solar on top of Margot, my '84 TD LeSharo. I'll admit that it's overboard, but remember "overkill is underated."
It was tricking to get the Six 100W panels up there, and they aren't all in the sun, all the time, but I've seen ~25A of charge coming off them in the noon day sun.

I've also kept up with the fridge draw in winter, when parked under leafless trees in my front yard (for a test) if the days were sunny.

Mark (IdahoBob)

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