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Old 12-22-2014, 10:59 AM   #41
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I would assume the solar ready means the connections are on the roof for future solar panels there. This may not be the preferred location for plug in movable panels. Check with ETI what your choices are. Roof or side or both?
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:26 AM   #42
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One difference that may be worth pointing out - most 12V batteries are not true deep cycle; they are either designed for starting automobiles, or mixed use for boats. Even the dual purpose marine 12V batteries will not preform as well as a true deep cycle battery under typical RV usage.

There are true deep cycle 12V batteries such as Trojan's T-1275 12V. It is a 150 amp hour, 85 pound battery. 2 would give you 300 amp hours; more than a pair of typical 6V deep cycle batteries at a bit more weight, but they list for $499.99 each. I've seen them for as little as $220, but that is still going to be more than a pair of Interstate GC2-XHD Flooded Lead Acid 6V batteries weighing 67 lbs, listed at $176.95 & typically sold for around $150.00. (the ones supplied by Escape). You would have a bit more capacity (300 amp hours vs 232 amp hours) with the pair of 12V batteries, but at a much higher cost, and more weight.

You can even purchase a 12V deep cycle battery that matches a pair of 6V in one case - a T8D-AGM 12V Group 8D provides 230 amp hours, however at $829.95 list price and 158 pounds. It is also much larger than most battery boxes. The price comparisons are not quite fair since the 2 12V batteries I described are AGM technology which is more expensive that the flooded cell technology used in the Interstate 6V, but the reality is a pair of 6V batteries is the least expensive way to get true deep cycle large capacity storage.

One very basic method of comparing batteries is by weight. Heavier lead acid batteries will almost always provide more storage than lighter ones. A pair of 6V batteries may weigh a bit more than a single 12V with the same amp hour capacity, but most of the difference will be the case, terminals, etc that is doubled with the 6V batteries. If you use the amp hours at 12V of either a pair of 6V or a single 12V (or even 6 2V batteries), you will find the weight for the same number of amp hours is about the same.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
... I used 3M™ Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 for 2 of my panels and it is very strong.
I can second 5200! Used it for a number of years on my boat. Even for one application where I needed to attach two pieces of stainless steel, in place of welding. Better than epoxy in some cases because it stays somewhat flexible and can absorb stress from motion or heat expansion. But - if you go that route, remember two things. It is permanent and it takes a minimum of 7 days to harden.

Regarding possible advantages of two 12v batteries, vs two 6v batteries: With proper switching it should be possible to charge one battery while using the other. In that arrangement the 14.7 charging volts (after the "bulk" phase) will not be imposed on the electrical system. I worry about delicate 12v electronics that may only be rated up to 13.8v (common for auto charging). Also, if it became necessary to run a big inverter for the microwave, switching the batteries to the "both" position will split the current drain 50/50, reducing voltage drop. (Rather extreme example admittedly.)

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Old 12-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I would assume the solar ready means the connections are on the roof for future solar panels there. This may not be the preferred location for plug in movable panels. Check with ETI what your choices are. Roof or side or both?
They'll terminate them on the side if you want Jim -- I asked, before we eventually decided to just get the solar and be done with it.

Actually, if you think about it, it's easier to build that way. Puts the wiring closer to where it connects to the electrical system.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:50 PM   #45
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Invalid, if you lived in the south like me. Here in Florida, the "Sunshine State," solar is not appropriate. Most of the time you need A/C....
Here's something to think about: before RVs had air conditioning, is it true that no one used an RV (travel trailer or otherwise) in Florida? Now that there is A/C, is every RV in use in Florida plugged in at a serviced site or running a generator?


If you have no use for power in an unserviced location, then I can certainly see skipping the solar option.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:12 PM   #46
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Here's something to think about: before RVs had air conditioning, is it true that no one used an RV (travel trailer or otherwise) in Florida? Now that there is A/C, is every RV in use in Florida plugged in at a serviced site or running a generator?


If you have no use for power in an unserviced location, then I can certainly see skipping the solar option.
Yeah, I was going to say something about that, but Carl obviously knows his camping style, and it's largely personal preference. The weather in His part of Florida (temperature wise) is kind of like San Antonio -- there's about a 4 month period where AC is probably a must. The rest of the year I think would be just fine without AC, and solar would be a great thing to have.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:21 PM   #47
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... Carl obviously knows his camping style, and it's largely personal preference.
Absolutely! Others may have different preferences, even in the same climate.
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Old 12-22-2014, 05:31 PM   #48
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I can second 5200! Used it for a number of years on my boat. Even for one application where I needed to attach two pieces of stainless steel, in place of welding. Better than epoxy in some cases because it stays somewhat flexible and can absorb stress from motion or heat expansion. But - if you go that route, remember two things. It is permanent and it takes a minimum of 7 days to harden.

Regarding possible advantages of two 12v batteries, vs two 6v batteries: With proper switching it should be possible to charge one battery while using the other. In that arrangement the 14.7 charging volts (after the "bulk" phase) will not be imposed on the electrical system. I worry about delicate 12v electronics that may only be rated up to 13.8v (common for auto charging). Also, if it became necessary to run a big inverter for the microwave, switching the batteries to the "both" position will split the current drain 50/50, reducing voltage drop. (Rather extreme example admittedly.)

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Old 12-22-2014, 05:52 PM   #49
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I picked up a tube of the 5200 but chickened out when I went to attach the aluminum tubing, went with thickened epoxy as I'm familiar with it from boat building.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:18 PM   #50
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Also, if it became necessary to run a big inverter for the microwave, switching the batteries to the "both" position will split the current drain 50/50, reducing voltage drop. (Rather extreme example admittedly.)
It can't be all that wild an idea, since there are switches made to allow this sort of thing:
BLUE SEA SYSTEMS 350A Compact Battery Switches | West Marine
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