OFF-GRID COMPLETE SOLAR SYSTEM INSTALLATION: Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter/Charger Kit

Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Full Pass-through Kit

99-VT3000KITFP.png

Cost: $2,325.00

The Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Kit can pass shore power through the inverter to AC loads, while also charging the battery bank. If the loads draw more current than the shore power connection can provide, the inverter can meet the demand up to the rating of the inverter by simultaneously drawing from the battery bank. When not plugged into shore power, the inverter will draw from the battery bank to power the AC loads. When not in use, save energy by turning off the inverter via Digital Multicontrol included in the kit.

What you get:

99-VT3000KITFPbom.png

OFF-GRID COMPLETE SOLAR SYSTEM INSTALLATION: Victron 150/85 MPPT Charge Controller Kit

Victron Complete Charger (85A)

99-VT085.png

Cost: $2,615.00

Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 1150W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted.

This kit offers everything needed to put solar power onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, this kit forms the ideal foundation for a serious power system.  Adding panels, a lithium battery bank and an inverter system will make it possible to run larger loads like a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, TV, etc.  Without lithium batteries, no matter how much solar you have, running a heater or air conditioner is not likely feasible.

We opted for 4 170watt solar panels for a total of 680w. We think this a really great start that will get us by without much adjustment to our current usage. If we do need more we can lower our usage for the time being and in the future and more solar panels or even look into wind turbines!

What you get:

0-10x 11s-TLTZS90S ZS90S Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts
0-10x 11s-TLTZS090L ZS90L Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts
0-6x    11s-TLT-ZS170        ZS170 Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts

1x    30s-VT-MPP-85A        SunRunner Victron MPPT 85A
1x    21-ROOF        Roof Combiner Box
1-4x    SEAL-SLVL        Dicor Self Leveling Sealant

OFF-GRID COMPLETE SOLAR SYSTEM INSTALLATION: Battle Born Lithium Batteries and Victron BMV712 Monitor Kit

Battle Born 100Ah Lithium Bank Base Kit with Monitor

40-LIBBBMV100.png

Cost: $1,175.00

This is a complete Battle Born battery system using one battery with a Victron BMV-712 Bluetooth battery monitor.

What you get:

1x BATTLI-BB-100 BB10012 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah
or
1x BATTLI-BB-100GC2 BBGC2 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah-GC2
1x MONITOR-VTBMV-S BAM030712000 Victron Battery Monitor BMV-712 Smart
1x TEMP-VTBMV ASS000100000 Victron Temperature sensor for BMV-700 series
2x LUG-4/0-RING-3/8 5339 4/0 Lug-3/8″ Ring
2x 93H-B3/4 Heat Shrink Black 1.5″ x 3/4″
2′ CABLE-4/0-1-BLK 4727 Cable-4/0

COMPLETE OFF-GRID SOLAR SYSTEM KIT

I will be living off-grid where there is no electricity, no water and we’re not able to affordably drill a well. Even if we could afford to drill a well, the water may not be suitable for consumption. We won’t dive deeper into the water situation because right now I want focus on our complete solar system.

Researching all the components, pieces and wires that go into running a complete solar system on an RV was time consuming, overwhelming and often frustrating. Most install videos were not detailed enough for me to understand either! Lets not even get into the installation instructions with diagrams provided by the manufacturers.

Finally I found an amazing company based out of Oregon, AM Solar, that sells each “section” of the solar system in complete kits. If you have time and patience the material list is broken down below so you can save a few hundred dollars by buying the items individually.

Battle Born 100Ah Lithium Bank Base Kit with Monitor

40-LIBBBMV100.png

Cost: $1,175.00

This is a complete Battle Born battery system using one battery with a Victron BMV-712 Bluetooth battery monitor.

What you get:

1x BATTLI-BB-100 BB10012 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah
or
1x BATTLI-BB-100GC2 BBGC2 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah-GC2
1x MONITOR-VTBMV-S BAM030712000 Victron Battery Monitor BMV-712 Smart
1x TEMP-VTBMV ASS000100000 Victron Temperature sensor for BMV-700 series
2x LUG-4/0-RING-3/8 5339 4/0 Lug-3/8″ Ring
2x 93H-B3/4 Heat Shrink Black 1.5″ x 3/4″
2′ CABLE-4/0-1-BLK 4727 Cable-4/0

I chose Battle Born Lithium battery for several reasons including the 10 year warranty, efficiency compared to lead acid batteries, weight, zero maintenance, and there’s no need to ventilate. To top it off Battle Born has phenomenal customer service!

After a long term cost and convenience comparison, lithium batteries from Battle Born was an east choice! Be sure to research and choose a battery system that is compatible and works for you and your budget.

100Ah Battle Born Lithium Battery Expansion Kit x2

94Vs-BB100.png

Cost:  $1,990.00

This kit is designed to be an add-on to existing Battle Born battery system.

What you get:

1x BATTLI-BB-100 BB10012 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah
or
1x BATTLI-BB-100GC2 BBGC2 Battle Born LiFePO4 12V100Ah-GC2
4x LUG-4/0-RING-3/8 5339 4/0 Lug-3/8″ Ring
2x FSTBLT-516114SS Bolt-Hex 5/16-18×1-1/4 SS
2x 93H-R3/4 Heat Shrink Red 1.5″ x 3/4″
2x 93H-B3/4 Heat Shrink Black 1.5″ x 3/4″
3′ CABLE-4/0-1-BLK 4727 Cable-4/0

I bought two battery expansion kits to give me a total of 3 lithium batteries = 300 amp hours. I will eventually expand to 500 or 600 amp hours, but for now that’s not in the budget.

Victron Complete Charger (85A) 4x 170W

99-VT085.png

Cost: $2,615.00

Communicates battery voltage and solar charge rate to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth, Expandable up to 1150W, Advanced MPPT charge controller delivers approximately 20% more energy than PWM, Combiner box covers roof penetration and allows for easy upgrades, Panel(s) can be tilted.

This kit offers everything needed to put solar power onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, this kit forms the ideal foundation for a serious power system.  Adding panels, a lithium battery bank and an inverter system will make it possible to run larger loads like a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, TV, etc.  Without lithium batteries, no matter how much solar you have, running a heater or air conditioner is not likely feasible.

We opted for 4 – 170W solar panels for a total of 680W. We think this a really great start that will get us by without much adjustment to our current usage. If we do happen to need more we can lower our usage for the time being and in the future add more solar panels or even look into wind turbines!

What you get:

0-10x 11s-TLTZS90S ZS90S Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts
0-10x 11s-TLTZS090L ZS90L Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts
0-6x    11s-TLT-ZS170        ZS170 Solar Panel Kit with Rocker Mounts

1x    30s-VT-MPP-85A        SunRunner Victron MPPT 85A
1x    21-ROOF        Roof Combiner Box
1-4x    SEAL-SLVL        Dicor Self Leveling Sealant

Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Full Pass-through Kit

99-VT3000KITFP.png

Cost: $2,325.00

The Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter Kit can pass shore power through the inverter to AC loads, while also charging the battery bank. If the loads draw more current than the shore power connection can provide, the inverter can meet the demand up to the rating of the inverter by simultaneously drawing from the battery bank. When not plugged into shore power, the inverter will draw from the battery bank to power the AC loads. When not in use, save energy by turning off the inverter via Digital Multicontrol included in the kit.

What you get:

99-VT3000KITFPbom.png

AM Solar has many different Inverter/Charger kits types:

Inverter Only (needs kit)$1284.35 This is just the MultiPlus. It does not include the Digital Multi Control, MK3-USB Interface, cables, disconnects, lugs, heat shrink or any of the components needed to incorporate it into a functioning system. You would only buy this if you already had all the other components.

RV Upgrade Kit Full Pass$2,325.00 This is a kit that includes all the components commonly needed to install the MultiPlus into an RV that already has a main panel and shore power connection.

RV Upgrade Kit$2,499.00 This is a kit that includes all the components commonly needed to install the MultiPlus with a sub-panel into an RV that already has a main panel and shore power connection.

RV Upgrade 50A Kit$2,595.00 This is a kit that includes all the components commonly needed to install the MultiPlus into an RV that already has a 50A main panel and shore power connection. This kit includes a Smart Phase Selector (SPS) Patent Pending that allows a single inverter to power both sides of a 50A main panel.

RV Upgrade 50A Kit CCGX$2,895.00 This is a kit that includes all the components commonly needed to install the MultiPlus into an RV that already has a 50A main panel and shore power connection. This kit includes a Victron CCGX monitor along with a Smart Phase Selector (SPS) Patent Pending that allows a single inverter to power both sides of a 50A main panel.

Empty Shell Kit$2,645.00 This is like the RV Upgrade Kit, but it is designed for vehicles like van conversions or skoolies that do not have any existing wiring. This kit includes the main panel and a shore power connection.

In order to make use of all that solar we definitely needed an inverter to covert AC to DC.

We also had to replace our current converter that charges lead acid batteries to a converter charger that is compatible with lithium batteries ($212).

Conclusion

Our grand totals for this 300 amp 680w solar system comes to $8,329.00 (including shipping). While this is a huge investment, I won’t down play that at all, we do not have any reasonable alternatives due to the remoteness of our land. Stay tuned for a detailed install of the this entire system!

Furrion Backup Camera & Shark Fin Review

Furrion Vision S 7 Inch, 4 camera Wireless RV Backup System with Infrared Night Vision and Wide Viewing Angles: 1 Rear Camera, 2 Side Cameras, and 1 Door Way Security Sharkfin Camera –  FOS07TAPT

Lets just be honest, I am not a very good driver. I rely heavily on my backup camera in both vehicles so the thought of towing a trailer behind me the first few months was a bit terrifying! Sometimes it still is when I hear about RV accidents. This is where the Furrion Backup Camera comes in handy!

David and I made it a priority to have AT LEAST a backup camera on the RV and decided ahead of the time to go with the company Furrion. Now all I was really concerned about was the camera in the back, but after towing for the first few times it became very apparent that side cameras would be very useful.

Ultimately we purchased the Furrion Backup & Shark Fin Camera Bundle. Definitely NOT cheap, but a well spent safety investment. We did not install and have not used the door way security camera so unfortunately we won’t be reviewing this feature yet!

COST

$839 before tax

INSTALLATION (easy)

Installation was “easy”. I say that with quotations, well, because the directions sucked and I can be a bit…..oblivious to the obvious at times…sometimes…okay geesh…Most times!

sharkfin camera

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to install this device and I suggest making sure that you completely comfortable getting on a ladder and playing with wires.

Thankfully my experience working on a house and the tricks that I learned from that experience allowed me to trouble shoot the issues which is not know which wires go together because they were NOT the same as the old lights (long sigh).

Who knew you had to connect the trailer to the vehicle and manually turn on the lights for the trailer lights, now camera lights, to work?! Pfff… Rookie mistake.

backup camera

I thought I didn’t install the camera lights correctly until a light bulb moment happened. So here is my advice. After connecting the wires and sealing up the edges around the lights, connect the trailer cord to the vehicle and turn on the vehicle lights. Don’t forget to plug in the display screen.

My only experience is with a travel trailer so if you have a moterhome be sure to check out the advice in the comments section on Amazon 🙂

Installation was easy, just don’t be a ditz like me lol

PROS

  • Easy installation on the RV
  • Easy pairing the device
  • Easy user interface on screen
  • Audio available

CONS

  • Pricey