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Old 07-28-2018, 10:35 PM   #1
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Default Solar system to Pleasure way Chevy (2008 Lexor TS)

Hello everyone! We are starting our RV adventure and hope to gain some experiences from this forum. Does anyone (especially Pleasure Way owner or Chevy based class-B) have pictures to share about your Solar Configuration on the roof? We found our roof have very limited space and still planning out what is the best way to do it. In addition to this, we have a few other questions
1. Do you prefer a permanent configuration, Or adjustable to move match the right angle to the sun?
2. What would be your recommendation for controller/inverter?
3. Or if you have anything else to recommend us or resources especially to pleasure way electrical system, we would be very happy to hear.

Thank you again!!!
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Old 07-29-2018, 05:03 AM   #2
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First, welcome to the forum bestc!

My vote is to consider battery conservation and upgraded capacity over solar. But you may not need either if your current batteries are working at their peak. Our rig came with fairly new batteries, but they weren't working well so we replaced them with a pair of cheap lead-acid Duracells from Sam's Club which fixed the problem.

My Chevy 3500-based Airstream Avenue came with only a dinky solar panel (see pic). It does keep the battery from discharging as soon when stored, but I still have to plug in or drive it every 3 weeks or so to give the battery the full charge they need periodically. Still, while it's nice to have, it really adds nothing while traveling/camping.

I no longer consider adding solar as the cost is about what a lithium battery would cost (both options would most likely require a new converter/inverter). If costs were comparable, I think increased battery capacity more desirable than solar.

That being said, I personally don't have the need for either right now because when we travel, we are driving every day enough to keep the two lead-acid batteries charged. Combined with our efforts to eliminate parasitic drain, and practically eliminating our need to use the inverter, we've managed to use little of our battery capacity.

For example, we spent 9 of 13 nights dry-camping on our recent trip. We usually didn't stop for the night until 6:00pm on average. Overnight (without running engine or generator) we were able to use lights, watch DVD's on TV, and run either the maxxfan (if hot) or furnace (if cold) overnight and the batteries always had 70-75% charge in the morning. We even have the compressor fridge that runs off 12v, so we were very pleased.

You might be surprised what you can do without solar.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:10 AM   #3
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Dear rowiebowie, thank you so much for taking the time to explain your thought! This is super helpful and add another angle we haven't thought of before. Hope your day is going well!
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:52 AM   #4
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If you're new to rvs (or just this rig), there is a learning curve to discover what works, what doesn't, and what needs your personal tweeking to get it working right.

You might find the post below helpful. It lists some problems a new forum member had with a new Carado, but it just as well could be problems with a used rv like mine and yours.

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f1...ions-7989.html

Don't get discourged. Practice makes perfect. Try all the systems at home and make a short shake-down cruise before you leave on a long trip. And know there is help on this forum, Youtube, and facebook.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:28 PM   #5
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I have the 2017 Pleasureway Ascent, with 190 watts of solar power (2-95 watt panels on the roof, 1 is up front, drivers side positioned front-to-back, the other is across the back just before the back-up camera). Here is a link to the Pleasureway Ascent video, you can see where the two solar panels are by looking closely at the video from approximately 7min 35 sec to 7 min 45 sec. Hope this helps...

Here is the link, sorry for the first post, 2d time is a charm:

https://pleasureway.com/pleasure-way-ascent/
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
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Ralph, the Pleasure Way Ascent is a nice, compact rig. I follow the videos of Ultramobility on youtube .

I don't see your link in your post, but I'm not sure your model is applicable to the original poster since yours in on the Sprinter chassis, and theirs is an older model on the Chevy 3500 chassis.

Happy travels.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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The only way to really tell if solar will do you any good or not is to do a complete look at your camping/driving/power use style. You may need to keep track of how much power you use, how often you drive, how long you drive for a while to know what it going on.



The first thing to do is install a battery monitor so you can know how much power you use, and how long it takes to replace it in your batteries. From that point, learning what you need will be pretty easy. If you get recommendations from folks about their systems, make sure they really know the actual state of charge of their batteries with a good monitor, or you are just getting a very rough approximation. Most guess they have much higher state of charge than they do, especially after a drive or recharge.



Things to remember are that even if you drive ever day, you might not ever have full batteries from the alternator, as it takes many hours (up to 8 hours) to get wet or agm batteries full. When people tell you they drive 2-3 hours a day so they know their batteries are full, I think they are likely not correct. They may have replaced the amount of power they used overnight, but the batteries would cycling at less than full doing that, which can pretty severely shorten their life if you don't get them fully charged on a regular basis (but not all the time).


Solar is excellent for topping of batteries after a shorter drive. It is also very good for vans that get stored with no shore power.


If you are a low to moderate power user, solar can often let you be offgrid indefinitely if you have decent sun.


We have three 100 watt panels on our Chevy based Roadtrek 190P, all behind the ceiling fan, and use a Blue Sky controller with Pro Remote (which includes a battery monitor)
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:11 PM   #8
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I have the 2017 Pleasureway Ascent, with 190 watts of solar power (2-95 watt panels on the roof, 1 is up front, drivers side positioned front-to-back, the other is across the back just before the back-up camera). Here is a link to the Pleasureway Ascent video, you can see where the two solar panels are by looking closely at the video from approximately 7min 35 sec to 7 min 45 sec. Hope this helps...

Here is the link, sorry for the first post, 2d time is a charm:

https://pleasureway.com/pleasure-way-ascent/
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:29 PM   #9
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Yes, your link works this time.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:49 AM   #10
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New Ascent was under $120K
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bestc View Post
Hello everyone! We are starting our RV adventure and hope to gain some experiences from this forum. Does anyone (especially Pleasure Way owner or Chevy based class-B) have pictures to share about your Solar Configuration on the roof? We found our roof have very limited space and still planning out what is the best way to do it. In addition to this, we have a few other questions
1. Do you prefer a permanent configuration, Or adjustable to move match the right angle to the sun?
2. What would be your recommendation for controller/inverter?
3. Or if you have anything else to recommend us or resources especially to pleasure way electrical system, we would be very happy to hear.

Thank you again!!!

Check out this van. https://amsolar.com/solar-panels-for...leasure-way-21
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:55 AM   #12
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I installed 240 watts on the roof of a 2004 Chevy Roadtrek. I used flex panels and a Trimetric meter with imtegrated solar controller. I am very happy with it.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:32 AM   #13
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Default ZAMP solar panels system with 160 watt panel

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Originally Posted by snapperdude View Post
See my installation.....

My suggestion is go with a name brand... ZAMP is one , probably others??

Don't fool around getting a portable panel. They're easily stolen and you forget to set it up plus carrying it is a royal pain......

Having it on your roof permanently installed and integrated into the charging system is the best way....it's always charging......

I was going to get two 160 watt panels, but , not enough space....

I'm thinking of getting two additional 80 watt panels....
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by snapperdude View Post
They certainly went all out with solar and massive battery bank.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:22 PM   #15
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I agree that portable solar panels are a pain. When I did my first install on a travel trailer I bought portable panels that I knew I could install permanently. I did a permanent install after a pretty short trial with a portable configuration.

They are a pain to set up and knock down. More so with a B because you move a lot more. Quite often with a B Iíll spend the day parked in a day use beach lot or a pullout on a forest road. Nights Iíll be somewhere else.

Portables are dangerous as you have to leave the cables out where people (including you) can trip on them.

You can get a better angle on the sun with a portable. But my panels produce more power than I need sitting flat on my roof.

You can park the RV in the shade and put the panel in the sun but these setups are very rare. Normally a shady camping spot is shady everywhere.

Portables are easy to steal.

The only place where portables make sense is people that stay in one place for long periods, like months. Then the setup doesnít matter much.

Go with a permanent mount.
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