2017 Fleetwood Storm 32A solar

  • 05/03/2019 12:50 PM
    Message # 7318682

    This model does not have solar, but it has a 1500 watt inverter to run the fridge while on the road and a battery charge controller. What would I need besides some solar panels to have solar for the fridge in case there's no other power? I know I can run the generator, but I would hate to use the gasoline if I could get free power.

  • 05/03/2019 1:21 PM
    Reply # 7318723 on 7318682
    Bill & Laura Johnson (Administrator)

    John,

    Without knowing what type of refrigerator this is hard to answer. But my thought would be that enough Solar to run the fridge would entail significant expenditure. Better solution might be enough solar to maintain the batteries so that the inverter could handle the startup current for the refrigerator compressor. Then enough solar to keep the batteries peaked.

    Regardless, you need a solar charge controller that will regulate the current being supplied to the battery bank to ensure you don't over charge them. 

  • 05/06/2019 11:07 AM
    Reply # 7324955 on 7318682

    The RV comes with a residential fridge that runs at 4 amps (6 amps during start up). For power when driving down the road it has a beefed up alternator on the engine that keeps 4 golf cart batteries charged (6 volts each hooked up in series/parallel to give out 12 volts). Those batteries are then converted to 110 volts using a 1500 watt inverter and a battery charge controller.  The batteries will keep the fridge running for a number of hours depending on ambient temperature and life of the batteries. It just powers the fridge and a TV only. When plugged up to shore power everything runs and at the same time keeps the batteries charged. 

    My question: can I trip the switch that connects the inverter and battery charge controller (BCC) to outside power sources such as the engine alternator or shore power and then hook up the solar panels to the existing inverter and BCC?  It seems to me that they must have built a 2017 Fleetwood Storm 32A RV with solar panels as an option. If so, how would I find out and purchase the solar panels and wiring that Fleetwood may have had on some models?

  • 05/09/2019 4:32 PM
    Reply # 7332242 on 7318682
    Bill & Laura Johnson (Administrator)

    John,

    Others may chime in, but I've looked at similar options for our 39F Discovery, and the cabling up to the existing solar panel is far too small a gauge to handle major panels. That said, the rear cap offers an easy way to get the heaver wiring down to the batteries. Rather than trying to rewire the existing items, a charge controller for the solar panels will regulate the charge into your 6v batteries keeping them always peaked when possible. Since the solar charge controller is such a minimal part of the cost to go solar, to me it is the easiest and most reliable path to take. When I do it, I also plan on upgrading the batteries to have greater storage capacity allowing for much longer run time. 

    Basically the solar panels are the battery charger for when you are boon docking. This allows the batteries to handle the heavy startup load without having to size your panels for that high draw. Most residential refrigerators have such good insulation that they hold their temp for long periods without running the compressor.

    A quick google will show you choices for controllers from $12 to $3000. A 60 amp can be purchased for under $200 while 100 amp units from folks like Magnum will run up about $900. 

     

  • 05/10/2019 5:00 PM
    Reply # 7334450 on 7318682

    I was also looking at the Inergy Apex Solar Generator. It's all in one 25 lbs. box includes an RV outlet. It will run the refrigerator for quite some time using its own internal battery pack. 5 Solar panels can be attached to it or it can be plugged up to the wall.

    John


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