Re: Solar for 08 View 24J
I appreciate the info -- but we already have all the panels we can fit on our roof -- 2 each 100W Grape Solar.
When we bought our 2009 View used in 2012 it came with a satellite TV antenna on it -- it's just behind the cab-over. Had it not been there I might have installed another panel.
We used the sat antenna at first but haven't for the last couple
years. We used to have DirecTV here at home, so it was a simple
matter to bring a receiver with us in the View. We switched back
to cable a couple years ago though. Of course, the sat TV
companies will allow you to use their service monthly -- we just
haven't done that since going back to cable. We don't watch much
TV when traveling/camping.
Another issue with maximizing solar is walking around on the
roof. Even the two panels I installed are in the way somewhat,
but I can still get around them. If I had a panel where the sat
antenna is, it would make cleaning the cab-over and skylight more
difficult. I like to have access to the A/C unit, the antenna,
bathroom fan, skylight, cab-over, etc, for cleaning and
So removing the sat antenna is an option but from our experience, we could have 800W of solar and much of the time it would not matter because we camp in the woods, and/or we are in areas that are often cloudy.
In addition, we tend to drive daily. That will not always be
enough to recharge the lithium batteries, but it usually will. 2
hours driving = 100Ah. So as a practical matter, even if we had
400-800W of solar -- and we had sunshine every day -- we usually
wouldn't need it. We do dry camp and boondock but usually just
overnight. If we do stay put for more than a day we are usually
at a campground or friend/family member's house where we have
That's just us. As you said, "There seem too many factors to lay
out the best process as a general rule." That's exactly right!
Those who boondock and stay in one (sunny) location for awhile
will obviously really enjoy having a decent solar power system.
That's just not us -- not currently anyway.
I suppose by definition many people who own RVs -- especially nice ones like the V/N -- have money and often like to brag about how much stuff cost, mention name brands, etc. There seems to be a competition among those people. I'm a blue-collar guy, a retired 'automatic train control' (ATC) technician. No doubt my income was/is at the low end of all V/N owners. My wife and I chose not to have kids, and we made a decent profit on a couple rental properties. We live in an old log cabin (no starter castle here) and our cars are between 20 and 27 years old, so I was able to save some money and have enough left over to buy the View. I think it's stupid to spend a bunch of money on overpriced stuff just to have bragging rights.
I thought it was common knowledge that more than one charging source is OK. One potential issue though is that since chargers use voltage to determine which stage to use, one charger can "fool" another. After we've driven for a while, the GC batteries have a pretty good charge, but not 100% -- because the voltage is too low. Still, if I start the generator, the MS2000 sees the GC batteries at (say) 13.6V and goes directly to float. I need to run a load like the water heater for a couple minutes to knock the voltage down so the MS2000 will go into bulk -- or at least absorption.
I'm surprised people thought 2 charge controllers = bad.
I agree that if a person intends to rely on solar they should just max out the panels.
I used 84 sq.in. of VHB 4950 for each panel. 2 each 21" long
pieces of 2x2x1/8" aluminum angle with the side in contact with
the roof covered with 2" wide VHB tape. One thing that was not
mentioned at the time was covering the edges of the tape with roof
sealant. I need to do that. Luckily, the View fits in our garage
-- so it stays in pretty good shape.
We have a Morningstar PWM controller. What I read at the time suggested that for low power, low voltage arrays, PWM was fine, and maybe even better than MPPT.
Right now though, I'm focused on the UT1300 batteries and finding a good B2B charger and battery monitor. I got the mil-spec battery lugs today. I think they will work.
On 8/7/2020 6:40 PM, old_b4_my_time wrote: