All-in-one inverter/charger vs. separate components

memilanuk

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
86
I decided to go 24V, 280AH bank, with a Growatt, then a 24V to 12V buck converter for the step down.
That came up in discussion with another TC owner recently, comparing upgrade ideas. Is 24v really worth it for the short distances involved inside a TC, particularly if you don't have to hang it all the way out on the back? Honest question, as I'm (obviously) fairly new to the inverter/charger world.

Part of the planned upgrade includes replacing the two 12 vdc ~85 ah FLA batteries (completely un-marked other than brand name 'Alliance', so that's my best guess on ratings) with (at least) 200 ah of LFP batteries, which in addition to giving me quite a bit more storage capacity... should allow me to get rid of the plastic 'tub' that is the externally accessible battery compartment, and put a regular baggage compartment door on it. That *should* open up some space in that area, and make what there is a whole heck of a lot easier to get to.

Between that, and the under-sink cabinet in the (dry) bathroom that I've earmarked for controllers / switches / bus bars... I *should* be okay. If the inverter/charger fits where I think it will, all the major DC sources / loads should be within a couple feet of each other, and the rest not a whole lot further. Definitely 'snug', though.
 

Zwy

Solar Addict
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
878
That came up in discussion with another TC owner recently, comparing upgrade ideas. Is 24v really worth it for the short distances involved inside a TC, particularly if you don't have to hang it all the way out on the back? Honest question, as I'm (obviously) fairly new to the inverter/charger world.

Part of the planned upgrade includes replacing the two 12 vdc ~85 ah FLA batteries (completely un-marked other than brand name 'Alliance', so that's my best guess on ratings) with (at least) 200 ah of LFP batteries, which in addition to giving me quite a bit more storage capacity... should allow me to get rid of the plastic 'tub' that is the externally accessible battery compartment, and put a regular baggage compartment door on it. That *should* open up some space in that area, and make what there is a whole heck of a lot easier to get to.

Between that, and the under-sink cabinet in the (dry) bathroom that I've earmarked for controllers / switches / bus bars... I *should* be okay. If the inverter/charger fits where I think it will, all the major DC sources / loads should be within a couple feet of each other, and the rest not a whole lot further. Definitely 'snug', though.
I wanted a little extra on the inverter size as most likely I'll move to a mini split at some date. It will have to hang opposite the door and most likely the factory installed ladder will go and a custom installed one in it's place.

It took more cable length than I thought at the onset after snaking 2 cables over to the old 12V converter to power the 24V to 12V converter. If that was a 12V circuit, the voltage drop would have been over 4%. I had to snake it down, then underneath under the floor, bring it back up under the shower, then on to the old converter. I think it took 20 feet. Even going from the battery thru the switches and breakers to the inverter took about 10 feet.

I used the old power cord and fished it the same way from the inverter to the 120V AC fuse panel. I think I cut off less than 8 feet and that was a 25 foot cord. I installed a port on the bottom side of the box for a detachable cord like the new RV's and campers use.

I could get 1200w of solar on the roof fairly easy if I removed the roof air and made a rack for over the rear vents and skylights. I did make the center pair of panels (one on each side of roof air) tilt forward as the roof air could shade them. Right now I have 600w installed and have 2 additional 100w panels in case I move forward with removing the roof air and install the mini split.

I have no intentions of trading campers down the road, I have a shed to store it and it was always shedded before I purchased it used. So my plan may be different than yours, my idea was always expansion down the road. After all the work I put in to this one, I wouldn't sell it anyway.
 

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memilanuk

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
86
Just a thought... if you really want to maximize your roof top solar on a truck camper, you could do a combo of this build (raised the panels *over* the A/C and built an air dam in front) and the one from the Everlanders (a second layer of panels that slide out pneumatically from under the top).

Still early days for me... I'm looking at something more like 400-600 watts - I know another guy with the same brand/model that has three 190 watt panels upstairs, so I know that much should be doable 👍

Lots of trees around here (WA state) in the areas we want to camp in (mountains)... if I go for more panels, they may be portable so I can park the camper in the shade. At least that's the theory at this point 😉
 
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