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Old 01-21-2021, 11:24 AM   #11
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If you have a SMB fiberglass pop top, you can mount with 3M VHB Tape Type 5952. I used sika sealant around the edges where the tape meets both the pop top and the renogy brackets. 4 years up there and no issues!
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:10 PM   #12
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Location: Ouray, CO
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Suitcase solar cons and CPAP draw

We used to have a suitcase solar setup. We chose that option because it sounded logical to park in the shade and set the panels out in the sun. But we rarely used the portable panels. Turns out that most of the time that we are parked for several days in the boondocks we’ll be away from the van biking, hiking or kayaking during the day. Here in Colorado there are just too many others in the backcountry to leave expensive things like solar panels unattended. Heck, our local radio station has had their solar panels stolen several times! I wish we had gone with roof-mounted solar so at least we’d get some charging done when our van is parked unattended in the sun.
As for CPAP’s, mine is a surprisingly thirsty device! The output of the manufacturers’ 12volt power supply that came with the device is 6.67 amps. My fridge only draws about half that, and only runs for a fraction of each hour — not continuously like the CPAP. Bottom line is that our SMB’s dual AGMs can power our fridge, water pump and LED lights for up to three days without recharging. But when I plug the CPAP into one of the van’s12v power ports, or worse, run the inverter all night to power the machines’ power supply (i.e. 12v AGM batteries to 120v AC and then back to 12v dc) I can only use the house batteries for about a day before they need recharging.
I need to install some solar cells on our roof top!
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:51 PM   #13
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I mounted the Renogy 300 watt kit on my SMB. I don't plan on anything else on the roof and the 300 watts to my 200Ah house battery give me a little extra charge capacity -- useful for when I want to park in the shade or the day is slightly cloudy. Had to adjust the lift springs for the penthouse for the extra weight.

I don't have the room, nor the inclination to deal with the suitcase solar. Now I can be lazy ;-)

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Old 01-22-2021, 12:45 PM   #14
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Garage
I understand that the humidifier and hose heater use most of the power. My CPAP only draws about 1 amp at 12v, without the humidifier and heater.
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanguy View Post
I just bought a Renogy 200W starter kit (2- 100W panels, charger and mounting hardware) for my 2000 E150. I'm hoping to get everyones opinion on their products and advice on how to mount them, including thoughts on orientation and location. Prob should have asked before buying but seemed like it has good reviews and the price seemed right.

Also looking for advice on future upgrade possibilities such as additional or different panels, different charging controllers, etc... Would also be nice to add a shore power plug at some point.

The van allready has an aux battery mounted under the vehicle. I'm not sure what type other than it looks like a regular car battery. I also have an RV/Marine deep cycle/starting battery that I could add to the system. The goal is to just be able to power a mini fridge/cooler, my CPAP, charge phones and run some lights if needed. The van also has a small diesel heater that is tied to the aux battery.

This is a daily driver and will prob see limited use as a camper/travel rig.
From several things you mentioned here I would recommend going with a good inverter/charger, also sometimes called a Powerverter by some. It's an inverter that will allow you to plug AC items in to your battery bank when on the road but it also contains a battery charger so you can add an AC exterior power plug and then be able to just plug in at home or a campground to both charge your batteries and also power your AC items by 'passing through' the inverter rather than making it work when AC power is already available.

With your Renogy setup you are very close to having all your electrical needs covered for any scenario and this would complete it. If I relied on a CPAP I would definitely do this.

You also need to get under your van and check out exactly what house battery is there. That is info lots of us here can use to recommend how to get the most out of the system. If you haven't been under there for awhile it's probably a good time to check that battery anyway and clean terminals, check water is it's a flooded lead acid, etc.

Take some pics of your setup and several of us here can help with how to upgrade it for the long haul.
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Old 01-30-2021, 10:59 AM   #16
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Thanks for the info on the inverter/charger. Been hard to find time to get at the van but will take some pics soon. I believe it is a flooded battery under there but will take a closer look. Kind of a rainy day today of course since I had hoped to work outside...
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Old 02-19-2021, 10:06 AM   #17
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Hi...I have a Renogy 40A Rover with the bluetooth installed now and it functions admirably. I traded out an EPSolar 40A that likewise had no issues. I needed the bluetooth. The Renogy is a rebadged EPSolar and they are a decent item. The Renogy tech discussions board is very acceptable in the event that you have questions and they have their own kin on there also.
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