Join us for an RV Solar Webinar! Live Q&A with Xantrex Tech Doctor Don Wilson

TheRVgeeks Solar 17 Comments

Want to know more about RV Solar? Join us for a special webinar this Thursday, 5/28/20 at 8PM Eastern / 5PM Pacific as we host a live Q&A with Don Wilson, the “Tech Doctor” from Xantrex. We’ll be taking your questions live on the air about RV solar systems and installation.

As announced in RV Business, and currently headlined on the Xantrex home page, we’ll be hosting this webinar to share our RV solar experience with our fellow RVers. To hear us tell you what to expect in our own words, watch the short teaser video, above.

We’ll provide details about how we planned & installed our 1,300-watt Xantrex solar array, but if questions get a little too technical for us, Don will be there to go as deep into the weeds as you’d like. He’s worked in technical capacities in the automotive, RV, truck, and marine fields (and for the military) since 1989, and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. He’s also an instructor at the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) technical clinic.

We’ll be simulcasting on both our YouTube Channel and Xantrex’s Facebook page, so you can watch on whichever one you prefer using the links below. You can also post questions live, as long as you’re logged into your YouTube or Facebook account, respectively.

JOIN THE FREE WEBINAR HERE:

If you’d like to submit a question in advance, please leave it in the comments section below, and we’ll do our best to get to as many questions as possible during the broadcast. If you’re unable to join us live, you can still watch afterward at any time using the same links, above.

If you’d like to know more about our panels, you can read more about Xantrex Solar.

SHOW NOTES: Season 2, Episode 5 of The RVers will feature the two of us hosting a related segment on RV Solar (such a popular topic!). That episode will premiere on Saturday, June 13, 2020 on The Discovery Channel in the U.S. at 8AM Eastern & Pacific, 7AM Central, and 9AM Mountain time. This coming Saturday’s episode (5/30) will feature the two of us in Italy, as we talk about International RVing, followed by a great segment on RV Etiquette featuring our friends and co-hosts Tom & Cait Morton, with us as special (annoying) guests! 😂

Episode 4 on June 6 will feature us with Tom & Cait discussing RVing With Friends, John & Tom talking about RV Electrical Systems, and me (Peter) with Roadmaster VP David Robinson in an RV Towing segment discussing the ways to tow a car behind a motorhome. So be sure to set your alarm, or your DVR (or both) for Saturday mornings on Discovery!

Hope to see you all on Thursday evening!
Peter & John


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.

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Comments 17

  1. Hello again,

    I’d like to know if there’s a solar product coming that will allow people to use their a/c’s? This seems to be the biggest disadvantage to solar as I see it. To date I’ve only seen a video from “Wheelingit” that was done a few years ago-where they were only able to use their a/c units for about 30 or 40 minutes before the system shut down.

    Thanks!

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      With a large enough solar & battery array (would need too be lithium), the A/C can be run, as shown in Nikki & Jason Wynn’s demonstration (which we had a a cameo role in): https://youtu.be/B0rZY5uotKI We don’t use our system for A/C though. If it gets hot enough to need A/C, we go one of three routes… Go to a campground with at least 30-amp hook-ups (or preferably 50-amp if it’s really hot), run the generator for a few hours during the hottest part of the day, or drive to a different part of the world where the weather is cooler. That’s often not as long a drive as it might seem. There have been times when we just drove a reasonable distance up into the mountains and cooled off considerably!

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      Hi CJ! Amorphous panels are relatively new, compared to crystalline solar cells (either mono- or poly-). They supposedly have some advantages in extreme lighting conditions (both low and high), but otherwise are significantly less efficient (per square inch). So to achieve the same output, you’d need need more of them. If you aren’t in a situation where you need their extreme lighting capabilities, you’re probably better off with more “traditional” solar options.

  2. We are interested in purchasing a newer fifth wheel with a residential style refrigerator but we do periodically boondock for 3-5 days at a time. I’m pretty sure that the batteries will not last that long (along with the other demands on the batteries) so solar appears to be a good option. Most newer fifth wheel RV’s seem to have a solar connector on the side, which I assume is for the purpose of charging the batteries. I would like to know what options I have without mounting solar panels on the roof. I think that I only need the solar charging capacity for the few times a year (5-6) that we boondock.

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  3. We have a 2005 Winnebago Vectra diesel with three house batteries (no real space for more either), the stock modified sine wave inverter, and no solar at this time. We installed a residential frig. a couple years ago and would like to upgrade to a true sine wave inverter, add some solar for mainly running of the frig. when dry camping and improve house battery capacity. We’re retired and I’d like to hire someone to engineer and do these improvements whatever is possible on our unit. Any suggestions for us with someone near Houston, TX., or on Texas Gulf Coast? We did have Winnebago install a BIM (Battery Isolation Manager) a couple years ago to keep all our batteries charged, but that does not help with dry camping nor running of frig. We’re also retired and on fixed income hence the older motor coach.

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      Thanks for the question, Vit! We’re not sure if any of us have information on local installers, but we’re going to submit this to Xantrex in advance, so maybe they do. We’ve added it to the list for this Thursday evening’s webinar, and will work to get to every question if we possibly can. Hope you can join us live, or archived, here: https://youtu.be/hj2Go__6o-c

  4. Hi, guys! We’re thinking about a large solar array – 2,000, 3,000w or more – on our 39 foot fifth wheel, but we’re on a fixed income. Can such an installation be done in stages? Controllers, wiring, batteries and only a couple of panels to start, then max out panels when the cash becomes available? It seems like it would be okay provided there was enough capacity built into the system to begin with – sufficient cable gauge, battery capacity, etc.

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      1. Your program was excellent – solid information without going off the deep end with jargon. Now I can get to work on a road map to plan our system.

    2. 2-3kW of solar? Where are you going to put all of those panels and what are you planning on powering? Not the A/C I hope. That much solar would service 2,000 ah of battery. Where is that going to go? Please hire a qualified engineer to help you with this.

      1. Joe, I knew I had misstated intent as soon as I hit “send”. (Never multitask) A/C is a non-starter for us, but extended boondocking is a major goal. We have a residential refrigerator, and need enough system to just keep up with that. And yes, I will completely rely on professionals to scale and design our system.

  5. Peter, John & Anthony. Watched your season two opener last night. It was a good production. The sound (background music) was spot on, thank you. Good camera blocking angles, lighting, and location. Great job.

    There is so much more dry camping material you could do additional segments on. Such as location sources, hauling away gray water, pest control, pet safety, etc. There are some good day camping location sources. Yeah, I know they charge a small fee for their reviews and maps, etc. But, that expense is insignificant. You may also want to think about a military based episode. Recently the on-base camp sites were opened to vets with minor service connected disabilities. Whereas in the past, there use was limited to retirees, active duty and I think full-disability vets.

    I am looking forward to your May 28 webinar. Talk to you then.

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  6. Hello,

    Some day I might want to build my system. I’ve heard lots about both pwm and mppt charge controllers. For a medium-sized system of say….600 to 700w made up from 4 or 5 panels which would you suggest? I know that wire size and the ability to handle higher voltages are factors,but what else? Also, I’m not interested in adding/changing components after I’m done. For many that has almost become a way of life- they’re never done.

    Thanks in advance!

    Drew

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