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30 March 2017


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ER buddy

Great site, funny to read it as you've had many of the issues / experiences I've had as I have an ER myself, very similar to yours. I haven't upgraded solar/solar controller or xantrex inverter yet and read your post about new panels and controllers. One question, did you install new batteries and inverter, etc. as well or just panels and controller? I have been thinking about upgrading myself and considering pros/cons of keeping existing batteries vs replacing existing batteries vs replacing batteries and adding two additional in the rear lower hatch (exterior) which Spencer mentioned is a good mod for more stored juice when unplugged. Thanks for any info.


ER buddy, Thanks for your comments! We had replaced our batteries about a year before the panels, as they stopped holding a charge. We were 1/2 way through our trip East and realized that we could plug in all night, say at a campground, and 6 hours later be at 50%. So we bit the bullet and replaced both batteries. We already had the newer inverter, was had been installed just before we bought #80. So, last year, we replaced just the panels and charge controller. The two extra batteries would be nice, but they take up a bit of space. Our lockers are full, so I'd have to decide what "stuff" would have to get jettisoned. I have to say, with the new panels, storage is less of an issue, although I still wouldn't run the A/C all day, or cook a turkey in the microwave (while not plugged in). One note, the display and charge controller behavior is different with the new setup, compared to the old one. I drove Spencer crazy, as, they day after we took the truck back (after the panel install)it appeared we were not making any electricity, despite it being sunny. Turns out that, once the batteries are charged, the controller turns off input from the panels, so you see -0.01 amp as the input. Our old setup, you saw whatever the panels were generating. Once we realized the charge controller would keep the panels turned off until a threshold was reached (I think about 12.5v) then the monitor would show power going into the batteries. It was an adjustment. But it's nice to see 6-7amps on a rainy day (and up to 30 when its sunny!)

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