Last spring we had the great pleasure to meet with some fine folks from Wyoming, Eddie, his wife Aileen and daughter Laura. We spent about a week or so boondocked with them including the spectacular Valley of the Gods BLM area of Southern Utah.
They have a 40-foot wheel which they live in full time. Eddie has done a bang up job of outfitting it for their off the grid power needs. I was so impressed with the solar and power systems I asked him to give me a rundown of it while I video recorded it.
It’s been widely viewed and inspired fellow RVers Lola and Rush to ask Eddie if he would help them install a solar power system on their 2014 Keystone Cougar fifth wheel. He agreed and told them to come by the family ranch in Wyoming where they spend the summer. They were invited to hang out there while he did the work.
While Eddie was working on the various installations that would make up the fifth wheels solar power system Rush was kind enough to video record things as they went. They sent me all the raw footage and I have put it together into several videos that I’m sure will be of interest to you DIY RV solar installers or just folks that are curious and wish to learn a bit about it.
Eddie is terrific at explaining the operation and inner workings of the solar and power systems plus hands out some great little tips and tricks he has learned over the years. The narration and banter are informative and funny, even the chickens get in on the act, haha. Looks like they had a lot of fun with the project!
Parts List for Rush and Lola’s Solar Power System
(4)- Kyocera KD140SX-UFBS 140 watt solar panels
(1)- TriStar TS-45 Amp 12/24/48 Volt Solar Charge Controller
(1)- MorningStar remote battery temp sensor for TS-45
(1)- 300 amp Catastrophic Fuse and Holder
(1)- 250 amp Catastrophic Fuse and Holder
(2)- 60 amp 12-volt marine type DC breaker
(1)- 80 amp 12-volt marine type DC breaker
(1)- Trimetric TM-2025-A Battery Monitor System
(1)- 500 amp./50mv shunt for TM 20-25-A
(1)- Blue Sea 9001e 350 Amp Battery Switch
(1)- Magnum Energy Pure Sine Wave MS2012 Inverter/Charger, 2000 Watts, 12 VDC
(1)- Magnum Energy ME-RC Remote Control
#2/0 AWG welding wire for battery and main supply to inverter and ground
#4 AWG welding wire for solar charge controller to battery banks and to house supply.
#6 AWG THHN from combiner box on roof down to solar charge controller
#10/3 AWG stranded, UV shielded wire from each solar panel to combiner box on roof
4- 6-volt T-105 type batteries which were already installed
Misc. Connection Items
Fluid Film Lubricant/Corrosion Inhibitor, 8 Oz. can
Ideal ”Noalox” Anti-Oxidant joint compound
Shrink tube with the volatilizing glue inside
Like all projects, there are bound to be hiccups along the way. They had originally gone with a Nature Power 2000W inverter like Eddie has in his rig, but it actually showed up damaged from shipping. They ended up spending some extra dough and went with Magnum MS2012 Inverter/Charger instead. Looks like a real sweet unit!
I hope you find these videos helpful, I sure do. I look forward to meeting up with Lola and Rush down the road sometime and video the final results, including a real good look at the Magnum’s installation. It will be interesting to find out how they are using the system and it’s performance in real world off the grid scenarios.
If you’d like to ask Rush or Eddie any questions they both hang out over on Love Your RV Forum. I’m sure they would be happy to answer them. Eddie has also recently started up his own business – Mobile Homestead Solar Services.