Friday, May 18, 2018

Solar Power Switched On.

The last of the unused slide-out trays was used for the batteries. It was too narrow so needed a shelf fixed on top but plenty capable of holding the weight.

I went for four 6 volt, deep-cell wet acid batteries rated at 235 amp-hours each. The slide-out will make it easy to top them up with distilled water. 

A lot of care was needed in wiring the four 6 volt batteries to give a 12 volt output. First, a pair in series and then the two pairs in parallel. The inverter  is 2000 watt pure sine wave with wired remote control switch. Inverters work best when installed close to their batteries; you can't get closer than that.
The batteries power everything that is 12 volt inside the living quarters and are independent from the 12 volt truck system. I fitted a 12 volt outlet on the bottom edge of the shelf for the external shower.

There is already plenty of wiring in the vehicle with 12 volt, 115 volt and 240 volt circuits. I have used some of the old 240 volt wires to connect up the interior lights, the fridge, the water pump and extractor fan. I am leaving the fridge switched-on 24/7 at the moment to give the system a test. So far the batteries have been full all the time after taking two days to get maximum charge.

All the solar panel and  house battery stuff came from " The Battery Man " in Winnipeg. They had it all in stock and worked out what cables and connectors that I would need to do the job. I might have got it a bit cheaper on the Internet but I was happy to purchase it locally and couldn't fault their service.

The charge controller is an important bit of kit as it saves the batteries from being over-charged and stops them discharging into the panels during the night. Overall the whole system was very easy to install, most difficult thing was running the cables down from the roof and keeping them out of sight.

The roof-rack adds about 12 inches to the height of the truck, taking it up to 12 foot 6 inches. The solar panels are not really noticeable when laying flat on the roof. 


  1. Looking good Chris. Dont you get all sorts of brake problems standing so long?

  2. The truck came through this last Winter OK but it did have new brake shoes fitted during the Safety Inspection in September. They were the original shoes and had plenty of wear left in them but all of them had cracked due to old-age and/or inactivity. Hopefully, now that everything is up and running, I will be using the Mack at every opportunity.

  3. Ah yes, the Mack is drums I guess? We live on a more northerly latitude than you and have many problems with discs when the rv stands. Good luck with the travels and happy camping. Thanks for the blog, always interesting. I wonder if we ever met or passed, Londra camp maybe, the mirrors perhaps? Drive safe