How do I connect the solar system to the rig and other questions

martin.rivest

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Mar 14, 2022
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Hi everyone,

I did have few questions for you, if I may:

My solar setup is for minimal use, I am not a full timer and wish to have 12V power for lights, the fridge and water pump and maybe run the coffee maker for 2 coffees.

I have bought from Renogy:

1 × 400 WATT 12 VOLT SOLAR STARTER KIT W/ MPPT CHARGE CONTROLLER

1 X 200AH 12 VOLT LITHIUM IRON PHOSPHATE BATTERY W/ BLUETOOTH

1 × 2000W 12V PURE SINE WAVE INVERTER (for the coffee machine – 2 coffees per day)

My initial plan was to connect all that on the existing battery terminal on the travel trailer.

So my plan is to install the solar panel on the roof, and connect them on the charge controller that will be connected to the battery and the battery will be connected to the rig wires (12V connectors). However, there is a missing link for me:

I am not too sure on how I can connect all this to the rig, I mean could I just plug on the battery (lithium) the solar set up and the two wires (positive and negative) from the rig ? If so, will the rig setup be able to charge the battery (Lithium) while I am on shore power or while the rig is connected to the truck?

Is it better, to buy a converter/charger to charge the battery while shore power is available? And not using the charger from the rig, if yes, how could I "deactivate" the charger in the rig?

I guess the converter/charger already installed in my rig is not built to charge lithium battery? Would it be simpler to change it ?

The attached diagram is a simplified one, fuses and switches will be added.

Your help will be very appreciated,

Thanks in advance

PS I have a
Grand Design Imagine XLS 18RBE 2019
 

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SteveOOO

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Mar 13, 2022
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HRTKD

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Apr 24, 2020
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Check the AC panel in your main distribution panel. The converter may be on a dedicated circuit breaker. If so, flip the breaker off and leave it that way unless you're on shore power. It's not ideal, because eventually you'll forget to turn the breaker off when the inverter is active.

The built-in converter may not be capable of providing a LiFePO4 charge profile. If you're on shore power for long, that could cause the LiFePO4 to be charged too high if the converter has an equalization phase.

My previous setup had an inverter that was not tied into the rest of the RV. That allowed me to run the inverter without worrying about the converter.
 

MisterSandals

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Nov 5, 2019
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Silicon Valley
1 × 400 WATT 12 VOLT SOLAR STARTER KIT W/ MPPT CHARGE CONTROLLER
Your sketch looks like 2x 200W solar panels connected on parallel. Is this the recommended setup for your solar charge controller?
What SCC do you have?
Is it better, to buy a converter/charger to charge the battery while shore power is available?
It sounds like you will probably have enough solar panels to keep your lithium battery charged. I would hold off on shore power until you find you need shore charging. If you can get by with just solar, i'd say that is "better".
 

SteveOOO

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Mar 13, 2022
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GOOD POINT HRTKD, I have discounted my factory one and I would suggest the same. This way no one flips it by accident. If down the road you get a onboard charger for them batteries then run 12/3 from the breaker to the battery compartment if possible on a dedicated 20amp breaker.
 

Zil

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May 27, 2020
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Most if not all RV charger/inverters, called Converters, will not safely charge a LiFePo battery. Some commercial "drop in" LiFePo claim to be ok with an existing RV charger, but I don't trust that. I'm curious if the 200ah LFP will power the inverter under load. My 2000w draws 150 dc amperes. Please let us know as I plan the same using my custom battery management system.
 

SteveOOO

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Mar 13, 2022
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Zil, most RV charger/inverters are junk they kill batteries. yes you can run that 2000 watt inverter with them batteries. I would suggest not tying the inverter into the main breaker box with out a transfer switch or do as I did and ran 4 new outlets that connect to the inverter on a switch. (1-next to the couch(I'm lazy), 1 in the kit. cabinet(coffee, Air fryer & Microwave), 1 by the Liv. TV and the final one in the bedroom (Viking's Game and moma's hair dryer.)

NOTE: if you run new outlets use 12/3 with a 20amp GFIC outlet to start the chain.......
 
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