Visit our BAC Favorite Places Web Page

Author Topic: Solar Panel Controller  (Read 140 times)

Fred Brooks

  • BAC Member
  • *
  • Posts: 448
  • Thanked: 238 times
  • RVIA Certified Luxury Technician 49 years, Retired
Solar Panel Controller
« on: May 17, 2019, 02:51:26 PM »
   Greetings fellow owners,
I am getting ready to add some more solar panels to my existing panels on my 2000 Marquis. The issue I am concerned about is the capacity of the controller (which I cannot find)and the rating on the 2 panels that Beaver installed when manufactured. The controller is NOT in the battery bay like on other models, I even removed the monitor panel above the dinette table looking for it because the monitor does give you Solar charge voltage and amperage. I am pretty sure someone out there in FORUM land has gone down this road and could advise me before I leave with my bride on a month long adventure that will include dry camping with my Samsung RF18 refer.
  Thanks for your considerations and have a wonderful Summer.
  Blessings & Joy, Fred Brooks
Fred & Cindy Brooks
2000 Marquis, Jasper
C-12 Wild Cat (U of A)
2014 Honda CRV
Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Bill Lampkin

  • BAC Member
  • *
  • Posts: 273
  • Thanked: 65 times
Re: Solar Panel Controller
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 03:04:38 PM »
Fred, My solar controller is mounted on the ceiling of the compartment just ahead of the drive axle, the large pass thru bay.  AM Solar of Eugene Or, I think, did most of Beaver solar installs.  My panel is a 100w panel, can't recall the size of the controller, but it won't handle additional panels. By the way, the rule of thumb for solar is 100 w of solar per battery in your battery bank. SO, 4xgc2 batteries = 400w solar. Solar is just an expensive battery charger, not a primary power source. For each 100w solar panel,You should expect about 5 amps of charge current for 5 hrs/day or 25 amp hours of charge to replace what you draw from your battery bank. More panels, more amp hours. 
2005 Patriot Thunder Lexington, 3 slides
40' tag axle (short wheelbase)
525 hp C13
The following users thanked this post: Fred Brooks

Gerald Farris

  • Past President
  • Board Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 2004
  • Thanked: 717 times
    • Farris Journey Across The USA
Re: Solar Panel Controller
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 04:27:10 PM »
I owned a 2000 Marquis for 13 years and I never found the solar charge controller, but I did not spend a lot of time looking for it because it always worked (I was told it was on the back basement wall). Your coach came with two 75 watt panels, and I doubt very seriously if the controller will handle any additional panels. However, the biggest issue for you is the wiring from your current panels to the controller is not large enough to handle extra panels, so with the need to run extra wiring (usually down through the refrigerator vent), Therefore, you might as well just run a complete new system with wiring and a new MPPT controller. The MPPT controller will allow you to use 36 volt residential panels (usually 250 to 350 watts each) to charge your 12 volt batteries, The 36 volt residential panels are about half the price pre watt when compared to 12 volt panels. The only downside to using a MPPT controller is the added expense, but that will be offset by the cheaper panels and smaller wire necessary with the higher voltage. The wire from the controller to the batteries will need to be sized for the higher amperage and lower voltage from the controller.

2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
2000 Marquis, C12 (2004 - 2017)
1993 Patriot  (2000-2004)
The following users thanked this post: Fred Brooks

Mark Bryant

  • BAC Member
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Thanked: 14 times
  • 06 Monterey Huntington IV
Re: Solar Panel Controller
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 06:28:05 PM »
When I added 400W's solar panels I made it a stand alone system and kept the old system in place. I later modified old system to be disconnected when in garage with leads to roof going to a panel on roof of garage to keep batteries charged as the garage does not electric.
Mark Bryant
06 Monterey
Cat C9
The following users thanked this post: Fred Brooks

Joel Ashley

  • BAC Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1635
  • Thanked: 472 times
  • OSU Class of '73, Oregon Native. RVing 34 years
Re: Solar Panel Controller
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 10:38:11 PM »
Like Bill’s, ours is on the ceiling of the waste tank access bay, a “hidden” door panel latched underneath, and immediately in front of the curbside rear wheels.  The bay also has most of the Aladdin modules.

Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Go Blazers!
The following users thanked this post: Fred Brooks