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Old 06-19-2017, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default Confirming ordered solar wattage for a RoadTrek at the dealer?

We ordered a new RT Adventurous XL with Warp Core (600W of solar). We were told today that our unit would come with a top mounted A/C. We were under the impression that 600W of solar up top required the undermount A/C to have enough room on the roof, but we have heard of one person who said they had a special order made with 600W and a top A/C -- they had a small solar panel on top of the A/C. But that person said they had not confirmed that they actually had 600W of solar.

We want to confirm that we got the solar we purchased (RT might be using smaller more efficient panels now to make this a non-issue) but we want to verify. Any advice on how to do that at the dealer?

If not we could take it to a solar testing facility but that would take more work. Would be better if there was a simple way we could do it at the dealer before we accept the rig.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:59 PM   #2
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We ordered a new RT Adventurous XL with Warp Core (600W of solar). We were told today that our unit would come with a top mounted A/C. We were under the impression that 600W of solar up top required the undermount A/C to have enough room on the roof, but we have heard of one person who said they had a special order made with 600W and a top A/C -- they had a small solar panel on top of the A/C. But that person said they had not confirmed that they actually had 600W of solar.

We want to confirm that we got the solar we purchased (RT might be using smaller more efficient panels now to make this a non-issue) but we want to verify. Any advice on how to do that at the dealer?

If not we could take it to a solar testing facility but that would take more work. Would be better if there was a simple way we could do it at the dealer before we accept the rig.

Thoughts?
richard-have you actually gotten someone from roadtrek to guarantee 600 watts? A solar panel on top of the AC plus the AC is going to shade some of the solar panels. you'll never truly get 600 watts
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:42 PM   #3
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.

AFAIK RT have canceled the undermount AC. (ICBW)
The undermount AC was an option; it cost extra money.
I don't think many people were willing to pay extra for it.

RT have only installed a handful of units.
The first few units did not go well.
They were still in the prototype stage when RT sold them.
They were quickly recalled,
and were subsequently upgraded to v2.0.

I have not heard much about them since.

If you do not have it specifically on your order form, you don't have it.
And if they need to, they will mount the solar panels on top and around of the AC unit (just like the RT SS Agile).
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:06 PM   #4
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If you call up RT, I am sure they can install the undermount AC for you.
IMHO the undermount makes the RV look better.
But I am not sure if I want an AC unit humming under my pillow while I sleep.

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Old 06-19-2017, 09:42 PM   #5
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Advanced RV had installed a split system with no rooftop air conditioner and after their test they did a video telling why they don't recommend it. Mike Wendland traded in his experimental Roadtrek with much the same and is now back to the conventional rooftop unit. Wendland's Roadtrek had over 900 watts solar without the rooftop unit. He is back to an 800ah battery as well. Maybe Roadtrek came to the same conclusions.

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Old 06-20-2017, 12:19 AM   #6
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We ordered a new RT Adventurous XL with Warp Core (600W of solar). We were told today that our unit would come with a top mounted A/C. We were under the impression that 600W of solar up top required the undermount A/C to have enough room on the roof, but we have heard of one person who said they had a special order made with 600W and a top A/C -- they had a small solar panel on top of the A/C. But that person said they had not confirmed that they actually had 600W of solar.

We want to confirm that we got the solar we purchased (RT might be using smaller more efficient panels now to make this a non-issue) but we want to verify. Any advice on how to do that at the dealer?

If not we could take it to a solar testing facility but that would take more work. Would be better if there was a simple way we could do it at the dealer before we accept the rig.

Thoughts?
Congratulations, more written contract details less frustration later.

I would request a PV panels layout and panel specifications. Monochromatic back contacts panels tend to have highest efficiency like these SP100 Solar Panel. They are also very efficient in low level harvesting. The lack of visible metal traces on top of PV cells is a good inicator of back contact technology. If there are questions about RT technical capability to connect panels I would recommend staying with all panels the same size.

When I was making my decision, I had a few options as seeing on the attached drawing, ultimately picked the 300W with the Maxxum in the back of the van option on my 144” WB Sprinter van. You could play with your roof size and see if 6 panels would fit, I think it will be difficult with roof AC to reach 600W.

If you work with RT to induce there some innovation you could have 8 panels but some engineering would be required. Imagine a stock of 2 layers of 4 panels each on the right and left slide outs. The upper panel would always provide 400W, when parked the upper would slide to the right of width and the lower to the left, total 800W.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:38 AM   #7
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Advanced RV had installed a split system with no rooftop air conditioner and after their test they did a video telling why they don't recommend it. Mike Wendland traded in his experimental Roadtrek with much the same and is now back to the conventional rooftop unit. Wendland's Roadtrek had over 900 watts solar without the rooftop unit. He is back to an 800ah battery as well. Maybe Roadtrek came to the same conclusions.

Very informative, thanks!
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:43 AM   #8
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I wonder if you could just put covers over the undermount A/C components to keep the road dust from gumming it up, and just remember to remove them before using the A/C?
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:44 AM   #9
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Congratulations, more written contract details less frustration later.

I would request a PV panels layout and panel specifications. Monochromatic back contacts panels tend to have highest efficiency like these SP100 Solar Panel. They are also very efficient in low level harvesting. The lack of visible metal traces on top of PV cells is a good inicator of back contact technology. If there are questions about RT technical capability to connect panels I would recommend staying with all panels the same size.

When I was making my decision, I had a few options as seeing on the attached drawing, ultimately picked the 300W with the Maxxum in the back of the van option on my 144 WB Sprinter van. You could play with your roof size and see if 6 panels would fit, I think it will be difficult with roof AC to reach 600W.

If you work with RT to induce there some innovation you could have 8 panels but some engineering would be required. Imagine a stock of 2 layers of 4 panels each on the right and left slide outs. The upper panel would always provide 400W, when parked the upper would slide to the right of width and the lower to the left, total 800W.
That rack system seems like a great idea. Much better than my idea of a hinged panel on the side.
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:09 AM   #10
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I am familiar with this Truma AC from EU, but don’t know if they are made to US specs yet. With Hymer involved you could persuade them to use it on your van. The AC is a fully integrated unit mounted inside on the vans floor with forced cooling air via floor penetrations. It is extremely quiet. This would give you full roof for PV panels and house like quiet night AC.

https://www.truma.com/uk/en/air-cond...ng-systems.php

I believe that RT is already using Truma for water and space heating so they should be familiar with the brand.

Goof luck.
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Old 06-20-2017, 02:23 PM   #11
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.

AFAIK RT have canceled the undermount AC. (ICBW)
...
And if they need to, they will mount the solar panels on top and around of the AC unit (just like the RT SS Agile).

This is the tricky part.
This is where most people stumbled, including RT.

People want lots of solar panels on the roof.
but the surface is not flat due to the air conditioner.
What to do?
So they get panels of various sizes and squeeze them into every possible square inch of the roof -- the side of the AC, behind the AC, on top of the AC...

But wait... the different size panels produce different wattages.


Using panels of various sizes is NOT a sin.

You can do it.
Many professionals do it.
And it can be done successfully, if you know how to wire them properly.
It's all in the mathematics (think algebra).

There are 2 concerns when wiring up those panels on uneven surfaces:
1. How is the shadow of the AC affecting the panels? (a little shadow can have a big impact)
2. How to wire the panels in a series-parallel configuration? The panels have to be balanced, so that they can produce optimal power under various conditions.
This is not rocket science. The information are available on the internet. But sadly many people still do it wrong.


You can google for series-parallel wiring, lots of competent websites on the internet.


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