Long Term Power Solution
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
After living in our fifth wheel for a couple of months, it became apparent to me that any long term dispersed camping (boon docking) would be problematic. Our 12 volt system of two 6v lead acid 225 Ah (amp hour) batteries was under performing so we need our gasoline generator every day. So I began my research into a feasible solution to meet our power usage for the future. Where did I go to get my information you ask? YouTube of course! I decided I would make my modification in three phases:
Phase 1 - Replace the original lead acid batteries with LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries which would provide us with sufficient amp hours in the power bank. The best choice was 4 - 100 Ah 12v Battle Born batteries. These batteries are equipped with with a battery management system (BMS) that makes them safe for RV and marine applications. The 10 year warranty and 3000-5000 depth of charge cycle features made it a little easier to pull the trigger on the purchase...a little easier.
Phase 2 - Installation of a Victron MultiPlus II 3000w Inverter to power our 120v AC system from the 12v DC battery array when off shore power.
Phase 3 - Install 4- 180w Newpowa solar panels on the roof of the rig to recharge the batteries during daylight hours.
After hours on YouTube, I viewed a number of very well produced videos and found some extremely helpful sites. I came up with a design, consulted and made my equipment purchases with Dragonfly Energy out of Reno, NV. They are the distributer of Battle Born batteries and Victron components for the project. I ordered the batteries on January 24th and got started in earnest. After getting the new battery system installed we had all the power we needed!
In March we ordered the inverter, solar panels and remaining components. The project was completed on April 6th and we now have the ability to stay out as long as we have sunshine and fresh water!