RV Mods – Solar

When we purchased our trailer, our intentions where to purchase a 5th wheel that we could head south where we could bask in the sun for the winter months. Staying in campgrounds or rv parks every-night was not on our priority list. We love to travel and see new places, some would say we get itchy feet!  So dry camping only made sense to us. In order to drycamp/boondock for extended period of time, we would need to invest in Solar.  We wanted to be self-sufficient and not rely on rv parks, campgrounds or a generator, so we invested in ourselves.

We did  a lot of research and called everyone we knew with any knowledge on the subject, and Myron and I came up with our present system of: 690 watts of solar and 440 amp hours of battery.

This allows us to use our Instant Pot, Induction cook top, bread maker, coffee pot, basically everything with the exception of our A/C and Microwave (we do not use the microwave, it’s become our bread storage compartment)

Solar Panels

12v 38.14 Amps 690 Watts wired in parallel.

2- 12v 9.37 Amp 170 Watts each

2- 12v 9.7 Amps 175 Watts each

Each panel is wired in parallel with #8 PV- Solar Wire (Sunlight and weather resistant), ran to a junction box.

(Prices have dropped lots since we purchased our first set of panels. You can now purchase high quality 200 watt panels, made in the USA, for $185.00 USD/ $240.00 CAD. So if you open your local weekly flyer and see solar panels from Canadian Tire or Harbour Freight don’t waste your money, they are a ripoff, more than 3x the price per watt and they do not compare.)

Installing roof junction box and drilling hole in our roof for the wire drop. This required precise measuring as we needed to make the drop directly into the wall between the kitchen and bathroom.

Myron had perfect alignment from the roof, directly in the wall, straight down to the electrical panel compartment.

# 4 Pv-Solar Wire was used to run from Junction box to Charge Controller. (Over kill? Maybe, but we didn’t want any voltage loss, and room for expansion)

This required team work, as this #4 PV (Solar) wire was heavy and very tricky to pull. Thanks for the help Tom!

Front storage compartment houses our 40 Amp Blue Sky MPPT charge controller with a 500 Amp Shunt that send a signal back to our Blue Sky IPN Pro-Remote.

Our battery bank is 440 AH, wired in series & parallel with 1/0 cable

4- 6v Golf Cart Batteries

2- Costco Interstate- 210 AH ea

2 – NAPA -230 AH ea

We installed a 1000 Watt pure Sine inverter with a remote and dedicated solar plugs.

I must say, I have one talented husband! Having solar has worked out great for us, as we invested in ourselves instead of the Rv parks and campgrounds!

We will have an update coming this winter, as we will are making a few changes to our system to make it more efficient.

Note:

This is not a how to, this is just how we did it!

Rv Mods – Drawer Covers

It’s not a matter of if, but when!

This past summer we had an unexpected visitor move into our Rv! We got the surprise one morning when we open up our cutlery drawer and surprise, something left us a turd!!

Yes, you guessed it, a fricken mouse!!

Grrr, now everything has to be completely cleaned and sanitized. These things creep me right out! Ok truth be told, I am scared shitless of them. Yes I know they are smaller than me, but nope not happening. I will scream like a little school girl, and I am not afraid to admit it.

Any plans Myron had that day were now put on the hold, as he now was on a search and destroy mission!

Aha, a section of our underbelly had come lose and allowed for a perfect entry point for the mouse to get in.

With traps set, it didn’t take long and snap…….. we caught the bugger!!!

We always knew it wasn’t a matter of if we would get a mouse, but a matter of when! We thought we had mouse proof our rig, but sometimes they just get in!

Not wanting them to ever get near our cutlery again. Myron came up with these sweet drawer covers.

He already had this clear heavy plastic material similiar to Lexan in his mobile shop, so he figured it would work perfect for the job.

Strong enough to hold my glass of wine!!

He used Velcro to temporarily hold them securely in place until we find the right fasteners.

They work awesome, another fabulous idea!

RV Mods – Drinking Water

We thought we would show you what we do for drinking water.

This idea is just super cool! We can’t take any credit for it, as our friends Roger and Collene installed this in their Cougar trailer. We loved the idea so much that Myron got busy!

He installed a separate water tap next to my kitchen tap for our dedicated drinking water.

Then install a 12v pump and switch.

Finally he ran a water line that feeds to our refillable water jugs.

It fits neatly tucked away under our sink so we don’t have to trip on the jug.

Genius I tell ya!!

RV Upgrade – Progressive Dynamics Inteli-Power 9260C RV Converter/Charger with built in Charge Wizard Remote

This past winter we did a few upgrades to our 5th wheel. Once the Shackles were complete it was time to upgrade from the factory installed WFCO converter to the new Inteli-Power 9260 Series by Progressive Dynamics .

The Charge Wizard constantly monitors battery voltage and battery usage then selects one of the following four operating modes to properly charge and maintain the batteries. Since we mostly boondock (Dry Camping), we are able to charge our batteries up faster with the generator on those cloudy days.

to access the converter we had to removed the electrical panel,

then remove the kitchen drawers on the other side of the cabinet.

Not the easiest spot to get to in the Cougar 337FLS, this took team work.

Out with the old, and in with the new!

It also comes with a remote pendant that we can manually control the charger.