Off grid work to the New Camper
Now that we have the new camper, there is work to be done to get her boondock ready. Because we spend most of our summer in the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains, these sites do not have hook ups, so we have to be able to boondock, or self sustain. This means the Lead Acid battery is the first to go.
Changing these batteries in most campers mean that the Power Station installed in these campers and the tow vehicle will not charge lithium to 100% because the power station and tow vehicle cannot charge at the voltage level required. It will however easily charge above 80%. For us this means + 160 ah even with this charging method. To achieve this last 15-20%, we use solar.
Huge caveat here. The "Solar Ready" connector on campers are NOT actually ready to have a panel just plugged straight in. They require a solar controller between the "solar ready" connector and the solar panels and the camper. If the voltage and amperage of the panels is not regulated it will dry to Power Station and wiring in the camper.
So what did we do?
First, we removed the battery and storage box from the tongue of the camper. The new campers were installed int he under storage. We did this 1) to prevent theft as lithium isn't cheap, 2) so that we could install the controller at the batteries, and be able to regulate the temperature for the batteries. Batteries will not charge below certain temps.
Second, We re-routed the camper wiring to the under storage. We also added a solar ready connect to the outside front of the camper. This gives us greater ranger in where to put the panels.
Last but not least. Our panels are free-range, not installed on the camper. We did this because a lot of sites we camp at the camper is shaded, and as the sun moves, we wanted to be able to track the sun, and not be dependent on the campers positioning.
Configuration (Materials List at bottom of post)
2 - 100ah LifeP04 Lithium Batteries wired in parallel
2 - Renogy 100 watt Solar panels (wired in parallel) See our Post HINGED IT)
1 - Renogy Rover 40 amp MPPT Controller (With BlueTooth)
Battery Box Setup With MPPT Solar Controller
LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Battery 12V 100Ah with Built-in BMS
EPAuto 4 Gauge x 20 Ft 500A Heavy Duty Booster Jumper Cables
That's 40 total feet of 4 AWG cable for less than $20.00.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WGW485F Renogy 12V Monocrystalline Starter Rover Controllerr/Mounting Z Brackets/Tray Cable/Adaptor Kit for RV Solar Charging, Boats, Off-Grid System, 100W Panel+MPPT 20A Controller
This was our first kit, but we changed to 40a controller and added a panel