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Old 01-05-2020
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NoGas NoGas is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: DFW & PHX
Posts: 2,129

Originally Posted by Sandytoes View Post
... As someone mentioned to me today, the bus energy comes out with a shovel and solar puts it back with a teaspoon, when what should be used to replace it is another bigger shovel. I was placing too much reliance on sunny days of solar when I should have been running the generator. Plus I have never equalized...

I am going to Q so I hope to meet some of you there.
Yes when a stock BB coach is off-grid, energy does come out with a shovel. However, your friend is flat wrong when he suggests a bigger shovel should be used to replace that energy! That’s like shouting “We need more buckets to bail!” in a sinking boat instead of plugging the leaks that are causing it to sink in the first place . Your very first task should be to take that big shovel away from your bus and hand it a tablespoon! There are lots of things you can do to reduce consumption. But where to start? Perhaps the best starting point “guide” I’ve seen was written 5 years ago by a couple who were at the time busy setting up solar for their full-time bus conversion - Chris & Cherie @ Technomadia. I recommend you follow their steps and do an ‘Energy Consumption Audit’ for your bus - Click Here. When you know where your energy is going, then you can plug as many of those leaks as possible. The best part is this first step costs almost nothing compared a “bigger shovel”.

With that task accomplished, it should be easy to determine if you have enough stored battery energy to get through the night, AND whether your solar can replenish that amount when the sun comes up. If the solar you have installed cannot produce enough, you’ll also know when it’s time for a bigger shovel like running the generator (as a supplement to your solar) or if adding more solar is a cost effective alternative.

BTW - in the three years since my battery banks have been in place with many months spent totally off-grid, I have NEVER equalized them.

Most owners in RV Parks spend all their time hooked to a shore cord & have no clue about living off-grid in a coach like ours. Use a “trust but verify” attitude when taking their advice. I look forward to meeting you at Q.
Van & Toni in TX & AZ
2004 M380 DS & 2013 Fiat 500 Pop
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