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Old 01-22-2016, 08:49 AM   #21
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I'd also suggest a good inverter/shore charger...the solar controller is on its own and is banked with the inverter/charger. I have 2-135w panels. One thing I do like about my inverter/charger is the control panel shows me the charge rate in amperage. It doesn't replace my standalone DC monitor, but helps at times.

IMO having about 20% more battery reserves over your peak daily load is valuable especially in places that are frequently overcast. Factoring in that, how cold weather affects battery power, and typical lifespans of batteries is worth looking into. Toward the end of a batteries life they tend slowly hold what they did as new. It's nice not having to worry about dropping into the red zone in the early morning.
I'm using two 210ah batteries which is a bit on the high side but I like the fact I can run my MW for limited times w/o having to run the motor along with other nightly loads going on. Usually there is a PC, stereo and/or some kind of monitor on if I'm not reading. When cold I run the Espar D-4 all night & Hydronic for a couple hours prior to sun up.

Yes, you are right. A shore charger is not something I included in my overall list. I agree, that would be very helpful. Any suggestions on a brand for the inverter/shore charger? I've only heard of the Tripp Lite units, they seem to have a good reputation.

Also, does anyone have experience with the Espar units that burn gasoline, as opposed to Diesel?

Thanks for the input on the Engel, I did know about those but plan to look into them more.

Justin
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:32 AM   #22
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My experience the Blue Sea brand of electrical parts is that it's pretty good stuff. Certainly not inexpensive, maybe 3x the cost of automotive dime store parts (Autozone, Kragen, Pep Boys, etc) but worth the extra dough during a new build, in my book.

I like the fact that boat electrical parts are built to put up with salt spray/marine environment. I also get my spools of wire and crimp connectors from the boat supply house, which I've found to not corrode as quickly as much of the other stuff out there.

The West Marine stores have a good stock for those repeated trips for 'juuust one more thing' that always seem to come up.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:03 PM   #23
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Also, does anyone have experience with the Espar units that burn gasoline, as opposed to Diesel?
I have a gasoline Espar Airtronic 5 (the smaller 2 and 4 are not available in gasoline versions). Was installed by GTRV in Richmond, BC in summer 2009. Has worked great for us.

Cheers,
Brent
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Old 01-22-2016, 04:22 PM   #24
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I kinda like the Magnum brands. They have a nice control panel as well. My main want is good charging stages (control over the smart charging) but I also needed a pure sine wave output where most people don't need them. I have noticed that some of my PC power dongles get hot when using a modified wave inverter. Not that a smaller backup modified wave inverter is a bad idea because it does seem silly to use 4 amps of power to operate a large inverter when charging a phone. Both have a place.
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