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Rv Solar Systems

Claude Said:

Do I have to be licensed and bonded to install solar on rv's?

We Answered:

That's a good question. I would do a search of other contractors who provide the service and see what licensing they have.

For your own liability purposes, I would get insured.

Evelyn Said:

Does this sound "crazy" to you..? and why..?

We Answered:

That's quite amazing, I've been thinking along the same lines myself. Nurse...... could you loosen my jacket a little? Ah, That's better!

Marc Said:

I plan to hook up a large inverter to an electrical circuit w/ an extension chord..will it work?

We Answered:

I have a system similar to that which I put together.It's really pretty simple,some people are overwhelmed and scared to try.
Keep the 12 volt leads to the inverter from the source as short as possible and don't expect miracles out of the inverter because they consume power even at idle.Here's a good website to glean some information from.

Vicki Said:

I have a small rv 17 feet by 8.5 feet, some nights I will need to run my electric heater for a few hours.?

We Answered:

OK, you will have to do a little bit of math.

a) How big is the heater - how many watts does it take? The typical plug-in electric heater draws 1500 watts on high and 750 watts on low.
b) What is the capacity of those batteries? The typical small marine battery has about a 115AH capacity - it will make 115 amps at 12 volts for one hour. That is 1380 watts.
c) Assuming no inverter losses, 100% battery efficiency and a full charge, you have the capacity to produce 8280 watts for one hour.

Divide 8280 by 1500 and you can run your heater for 5.5 hours at full output and nearly 10 hours at low output.

In reality, your system will run at about 80% efficiency as there are inverter losses and the batteries are never quite fully charged. You also have other appliances being run from them. So, 4 hours will leave them nearly flat at that rate. Now, if the batteries are heavier than 115AH units, you will get more time out of them. Smaller gets you less.

I suggest that you get a discharge limiter if you do not already have it. Our VW camper has a two-battery system that cuts off at 50% discharge and requires an override to switch to the single marine-battery which will then run flat if required. The idea is that the vehicle will start in the morning. A link to such a unit is below - whether it is suitable for your application only you can determine.

You can get an adaptor and connect your heater to a large tank - something equivalent to a gas grille tank or larger which greatly reduces the cost of operation. But no propane heater not designed for an enclosed space should be used inside your RV because of carbon monoxide. At the very least invest in a CO detector *and* a propane detector if you are using a camping-type heater inside. Propane is heavier than air and will fill up your camper if there is a leak - with the potential for a very large KA-BOOM.

Good luck with it, and be careful. Around here, propane runs about $3.25/gallon in small lots - comes to a bit over four pounds per US gallon. If you use a limiter and set your central heater thermostat at say, 50F, you should be fine for sleeping. Our camper has a condensing propane furnace that takes less half-a-pound per hour to operate at full output, but then it is relatively small inside and does very well for us.

Gail Said:

Can someone convert an RV for me?

We Answered:

The conversion to vegetable oil isn't the hard the only thing that need to do is have an extra tank for the oil so you can start the engine on regular diesel fuel and when the extra tank of oil is heated with the engine coolant and when the engine is hot you switch over to the oil tank and then back to regular fuel before you shut the engine off so there's no vegetable oil in the fuel lines.

Misty Said:

Do you need a C46 license to install solar systems on Rv's Or Boats in California?

We Answered:

No the state contractors board has no control over RVs or Boats.

Discuss It!

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I have been wishing to get solar panels planted in my home. I've already contacted a local supplier and he's come up with roughly 25K for a 5KWh's hourly usage. I wanted to know if that's feasible with 9 hours of sun daily.

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