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Old 03-07-2019, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default '97 Pleasure Way Solar?

With limited roof space I am looking for suggestions for 200w (+?) solar system.

Before I start experimenting, I'd appreciate any help/direction from anyone who has already made the mistakes
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:20 AM   #2
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I have a 97PW also!! Yes, given the way the roof is divided up into cab/main it does create problems along those lines. I have a 100w Renogy solar suitcase that I deploy at the campsite. It allows me to park the RV in the shade and put the solar out in the sun. That may not be what you want, however.

Roof options?

1. I've considered a roof rack. There are companies that will custom make them with the appropriate cutouts for the vent and you might even extend slightly over the cab to get more panel space. They could also sit above the AC and give you that space.

2. Solar cells are becoming more efficient. I believe there are panels which boast 100w that are smaller than several years ago. That's a possibility.

3. I could roof mount my suitcase. It's 100w but consists of 2 50w panels. Possible that 4 of these could be distributed to total 200w and work around the limitations of the roof.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:31 AM   #3
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BTW: Have you modified cabin battery capability? I only have 1 battery. It's a 100AH group 27 LifeLine. My 100w suitcase has always brought that battery to full charge during a day where I didn't travel and get charge from the alternator. Any other interesting mods from the original?
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I have been searching for panels small enough to provide 200watts; haven't seen any yet.

Regarding batteries, I haven't made any changes yet. Looking for the right answer on solar first.

My system has a great generator but I often only need the 12v system for house functions (lighting, roof fan etc.) and would like to be able to that and more without the generator.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:35 AM   #5
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If you don't have one, you might want to install an accurate battery monitor for your coach battery.
I looked but havent seen a 200w panel. All 200w systems I've seen are just 2 100w panels.
The roof rack company I was thinking about is Aluminess. If you had a rack that would go over your AC, you'd have a lot more territory for panels. They're not cheap but perhaps a fabricator could make you one.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:41 AM   #6
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I see that I didn't mention this. I don't have a generator so I use the house battery for everything. I'm in the SW where we get good sun. I frequently boondock along the Colorado river in AZ. Since we visit friends and they day drive, we never move the RV. The solar suitcase always tops our one 100ah battery off every day. We run the interior lights, water pump, and in the winter the heater (blower) all night. That's why I'm thinking a good battery monitor might allow to better assess your usage and how many watts you need in solar.
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