Using an Inverter to Provide AC Power When Boondocking

I was pretty excited when I finally installed the last two components of my off-grid solar charging system on my RV. After a bit of trial and error I have my RV setup just the way I had wanted.

We enjoy boondocking in the Southwest and do not want to rely on RV parks or generator power. This setup allows us to now generate the majority of the power we need from the sun, and this is pretty exciting.

Here's a full list of solar panels and charging equipment installed on our RV

Components

Samlex 2000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter

My two 6V golf cart batteries will supply the power to this inverter. I also have wired the output to a 30 Amp receptacle that I can simply plug my shore power cord into. This eliminates the need for additional wiring inside the RV. All I have to do is turn off (or disconnect) my charger while running off of the inverter. Finally, this inverter comes with a remote control and status panel that I have mounted inside the RV for easy powering on/off of the inverter.

Samlex 2000 Watt Pure Sine Inverter
This Samlex 2000 Watt Pure Sine inverter also comes with a nice remote control monitor panel that we installed the coach. There are many ways to hook up an invter in your RV. We wired ours directly into our shore power connection so that we could provide power to all of our AC receptacles.

MorningStar TriStar MPPT Charge Controller

This is an upgrade to my PWM charge controller that I installed last year. The reason why I went with the MPPT charge controller is because my solar panels output around 44 - 48 volts. The PWM charge controller works great, but will only accept up to 15 volts. Therefore the remaining voltage (up to 48 volts) was not being used. I went with the PWM controller initially as a cheaper option (approx. $150) until I could afford the $400+ MPPT controller. I found a great deal on the MPPT controller on Ebay and made the bid.

The MPPT controller now takes full advantage of the 40+ volts from my panels converting the extra voltage into additional amps. For example, an 8 amp/44 volt input to the controller may produce 20 - 22 amps at 12 volts to my batteries. This is more than double the output of the PWM controller.

Putting my inverter to the test

Be sure watch this video when I put the inverter to the test to power my microwave oven and electric coffee maker.  

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