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Recommended Flexible Solar Panels and Battery for Off-Grid/Boondocking With Travel Trailer  


Solar configuration. I have a 2021 20 ft Gulf Stream travel trailer that I would like to install flexible solar panels. Would like to have some power remaining in the morning before system starts charging again. Boondocking. Trailer has a WF8935PEC 30 amp controller with one 88 amp hrs deep cycle battery. Would like to change to lithium batteries. Was informed from manufacture that I would need to change controller to a WF8955 LIS-MBA 55 amp and make sure I have at least 8 gauge wire to battery. Usage: Watts: TV 66w, microwave 1350w, radio 60w, furnace fan 50w, cell ph chargers11w, Wattage on the following unknown: LED lights, stove hood fan, water pump, vent fan, hairdryer, Will only run microwave by itself and very conservative on power usage. Total usage for one day: TV 4hrs, lights 3 hrs, radio 3 hrs, microwave 30 mins, stove hood fan 30 mins, water pump 30 mins, vent fan 30 mins, hairdryer 10 mins, cell phs always on, router/modem for TV and internet always on. Lap top 2 hrs.


Expert Reply:

Changing to a lithium chemistry battery bank is definitely a good choice if wanting to arrange at truly off-grid system. From your list of estimated usage, you should plan on in excess of a 1,500 watts per 24 hour period or close to 140AH. I suggest nothing less than a 200AH battery bank and at least 300 watts of solar panel to provide charge. Having a 1.5 to 1 ratio of solar panel rating to battery AH is minimum. If you choose to increase over that, then all the better but at minimum have 1.5 watts of solar to each 1 AH in your battery banks potential.

For off-grid/boondocking I prefer redundancy of being able to provide charge to the battery bank so I suggest you consider adding a small inverter generator to your system too. This not only allows for ability to charge the battery bank if weather conditions prevented a full recovery but also supports in recovery if unexpected excess usage occurred. Or simply plan to start the generator at meal prep time to support microwave usage and saving the energy stored in the battery bank for evenings/overnight.

For a flexible solar panel kit, the 202of mounted panels, offset that by augmenting the system with the portable panel.

For your battery bank, I suggest at least two (three if budget allows) of the RV Lithium Battery, # GP99QR.

And finally, I recommend you consider a generator. Either the A-iPower 2,000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator, # 289-SUA2000i or the A-iPower 3,800-Watt Portable Inverter Generators, # 289-SUA2000i-2.

Please note the linked product review videos below and that I also attached a link to several help articles on RV solar panels that I hope you find of value.

expert reply by:
Michael R

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