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solar install in bobcat live in NC


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#1 Icutitup

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:45 AM

Hi,

Does anyone know of someone who can install solar on our Bobcat? We live in Chapel Hill, NC. We want to power a dometic fridge. We have the standard battery and isolator system that came with our Bobcat.

 

From all the reading I've done, I'm pretty sure we will need to get a larger battery and possibly different battery. We haven't pick out a fridge yet but are not looking at a large one. 

 

Any help would be really appreciated.

 

Thanks,

April


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- 69" bobcat 2016  on a 2003 tacoma V6 4x4 extra cab


#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 07:57 AM

You will want a 2 way fridge, without propane.  The propane versions (3 way) are super inefficient on 12v, which is what you will be using with your solar system.

 

Truckfridge/ARB/Indel/Wabasto use a similar compressor and are good.  We have a 130L Truckfridge in our camper.  It uses about 10 -15 AH a day.


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#3 Icutitup

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 12:45 PM

thanks do you know anyone in our area that could install the system for us? Also, could we get away with 1 watt panel and are current 85 amp hour battery?


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April 

 

- 69" bobcat 2016  on a 2003 tacoma V6 4x4 extra cab


#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 01:12 PM

Any decent RV repair shop can do that for you. I believe that Marty and Jeff prewire the campers, so you’ll want to have a discussion with them to confirm that, and learn where the wires are terminated if they are there.

Your existing battery should be sufficient if it’s charged frequently, like every day. Personally, I would look for more capacity, like a pair of new batteries. Either 12VDC in parallel, or 6VDC in series. My Bobcat had a 150 watt solar panel.
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#5 Vic Harder

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 06:52 PM

 Also, could we get away with 1 watt panel and are current 85 amp hour battery?

 

Depends on a lot of things.  My average usage when camping for us is 40 AH a day.  That's 100% of what an 85AH battery can safely put out in a day.  If I can't charge the next day, the battery will not keep up.  

 

Also, to recharge all that usage, a rough estimate is that you will want 2x the battery AH in solar panel watts.  Thus 2x 85 = 170 watts.  They make 160w flex panels now that could work.  I have 265W on the roof of my camper.


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2005 Hawk Shell built the way I like it - for sale!

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#6 Icutitup

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:15 PM

thanks, the only rv companies are camping world or a local guy. Camping world totally over charged us to add the support strut lifts we purchased from Marty and they didn't do a great job.  So we really don't want to go back to them. 

Our local RV shop is also a rip off.

I am hoping I can find a van/bus camping out fitter, or a local tiny house person who has done their own solar. 

 

I was looking at the flexable panels and was hoping to use them for an easy install - you would recommend them? 

I am not sure if there will be enough room to add another battery. Our battery is a 12 volt and 75 amp hours not 85.

Do the charge controller and inverter have to go next to the battery?

 

What do you guys think about putting the fridge battery set up in the jump seat (extand cab of our Toyoata running off of its own battery? We like the interior space in our Bobcat and thought putting the fridge in the truck would maintain the space.

 

Thanks so much,

April


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- 69" bobcat 2016  on a 2003 tacoma V6 4x4 extra cab


#7 Casa Escarlata Robles Too

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 10:21 PM

There are WTW members in NC.

Maybe one will read your request and give you some help.

It's not hard but to install solar but some knowledge is good to have.

There are solar install threads on the site.

Check under "Truck Campers".

it might take some looking but the info is here on site somewhere.

Frank


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#8 Vic Harder

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 06:24 AM

thanks, the only rv companies are camping world or a local guy. Camping world totally over charged us to add the support strut lifts we purchased from Marty and they didn't do a great job.  So we really don't want to go back to them. 

Our local RV shop is also a rip off.

I am hoping I can find a van/bus camping out fitter, or a local tiny house person who has done their own solar. 

 

I was looking at the flexable panels and was hoping to use them for an easy install - you would recommend them? 

I am not sure if there will be enough room to add another battery. Our battery is a 12 volt and 75 amp hours not 85.

Do the charge controller and inverter have to go next to the battery?

 

What do you guys think about putting the fridge battery set up in the jump seat (extand cab of our Toyoata running off of its own battery? We like the interior space in our Bobcat and thought putting the fridge in the truck would maintain the space.

 

Thanks so much,

April

Solar and electrical can be intimidating.... it was a steep learning curve for me, and I was an electronics tech for some time!

http://www.wanderthe...e-power-scotty/

 

I bet there is room for a replacement battery that has more AH.  You want to get a solar battery, not just a car starting or marine deep cycle.  Biggest that will physically fit.

 

You could run the fridge off of a battery in the truck.  You will want to isolate the batteries so that the one doesn't accidentally drain the other.  AND you want to connect them when the truck is running to charge up both.

 

Flexible panels... i don't recommend them unless weight is your primary consideration.  They are much more expensive per watt than the heavier glass/alum ones.  You can also get many more watts per panel with the glass types... Like 400W in one panel!


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2002 GMC Sierra 2500HD 8.1 Alison - SOLD

2006 Chev Silverado 3500 ext cab long bed LBZ

2005 Hawk Shell built the way I like it - for sale!

https://www.kijiji.c...adId=1430269757

2012 ATC Puma (Grandby) shell - patiently awaiting a full build in my garage


#9 Icutitup

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Posted 16 June 2019 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for the help, We found an van comversion company that can do the install for us and guy us on what size system will will need.

I will look at the different fridges and see what size will need.

 I am hoping to use the 75 am batter we have installed. We only need to power the fridge, fans, and lights. We are never out without driving somewhere more than a day. We love our Bobcat and are looking forward to not having to deal with ice.

 

April


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April 

 

- 69" bobcat 2016  on a 2003 tacoma V6 4x4 extra cab


#10 larryqp

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 12:14 PM

I have a Dometic 65 Refrig/Freezr combo. According to the specs it averages 1.9 amps per hour, so 45 amps in 24 hours at an ambient temp of 90 degrees. Assuming you don't want to go below 50% draw of 37 aHr, my refrigerator would hit that after about 19 hours. There are more effienct refrigerators available.

 

I am running 2 x 100 Ahr 12 v AGM batteries and total of 175 watts ( 11 amps ) of solar on roof.I also use a CPap at night which draws another 13 amps for 8 hours. So 45 + 13 = 58 Ahrs in 24 hours. So I use a little more than 25% of my battery capacity in 24 hrs assuming no sun. I thought that was a good place to be to promote long battery life. 

 

Since you already have the 75 aHr battery, you could use it until you kill it and then replace with a larger battery, but if its a brand new battery, you might consider by a match now if you can find space. Pay now or pay later.

Good luck


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