17' Series Solar Panel

KWOZ

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
18
11
3
Melbourne
#1
hi, I’m presuming the 2019 Jayco Expanda 17.56 series 2 is manufactured with an inbuilt capability for Solar Panels. I’m looking at purchasing panels tomorrow with a regulator and I’m not sure how to check to see if the wiring and capability is already there or do I have to start from scratch . The next question I’ve got is what size /power solar panel should I purchase? . Appreciate any input you guys may have.
KWOZ
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
958
1,607
93
66
Mount Waverley, VIC
#2
Hi,
First off you need to find out what version of BmPro J35 power supply / charger is going to be installed.
If its a J35B it has a solar regulator built in that is capable of handling 300W of solar panels.
The J35A does not have this feature. In which case you will need to supply solar panels AND a solar regulator.
If you need to buy a solar regulator, it would be well worth avoiding a PWM regulator and considering spending a few more dollars on a good quality and more efficient MPPT controller. However, there are quite a few so-called MPPT controllers that are just the cheaper PWM controller with MPPT stamped on them. It would be worth asking the experts here for their guidance.

It might be worth delaying your purchase until you have a well-understood plan.

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
8,613
14,650
113
Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#3
First off read the manual and the Model number on your BMPro then you will know where you are, having played with the odd BMPro I would actually go with Mikes suggestion for a MPPT controller for your solar and wire it directly to your battery by passing the BMPro entirely, if you wnat to do off grid camping then at least 200ah of AGM battery power with at least 200w of panel.
Retro fitting the panel to your roof will be a pain of a job as I doubt it would have been per wired, might want to start the set up as a portable.

Just reread your initial van post and if you want to run a CPAP the more storage and panel the better so you don't run the batteries down too much, so maybe 2 x 120ah and 2 x 150w panels sort of thing, because depending on machine some can chew power and bypassing the bM Pro and using a decent MPPT controller you will get max sun turning to zap.
 

KWOZ

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
18
11
3
Melbourne
#4
First off read the manual and the Model number on your BMPro then you will know where you are, having played with the odd BMPro I would actually go with Mikes suggestion for a MPPT controller for your solar and wire it directly to your battery by passing the BMPro entirely, if you wnat to do off grid camping then at least 200ah of AGM battery power with at least 200w of panel.
Retro fitting the panel to your roof will be a pain of a job as I doubt it would have been per wired, might want to start the set up as a portable.

Just reread your initial van post and if you want to run a CPAP the more storage and panel the better so you don't run the batteries down too much, so maybe 2 x 120ah and 2 x 150w panels sort of thing, because depending on machine some can chew power and bypassing the bM Pro and using a decent MPPT controller you will get max sun turning to zap.
Hi,
First off you need to find out what version of BmPro J35 power supply / charger is going to be installed.
If its a J35B it has a solar regulator built in that is capable of handling 300W of solar panels.
The J35A does not have this feature. In which case you will need to supply solar panels AND a solar regulator.
If you need to buy a solar regulator, it would be well worth avoiding a PWM regulator and considering spending a few more dollars on a good quality and more efficient MPPT controller. However, there are quite a few so-called MPPT controllers that are just the cheaper PWM controller with MPPT stamped on them. It would be worth asking the experts here for their guidance.

It might be worth delaying your purchase until you have a well-understood plan.

cheers
Mike
hi Mike , I read your reply last night , thanks very much , and decided to take your advice . I have a mate that has an Expanda which is a 2018 model and he installed a solar panel and he’s happy with the results however I think you’re right I think I need to do some more work on the subject before I go and install solar without knowing exactly what to do , and what my requirements are .
KWOZ
 

KWOZ

New Member
Jul 4, 2019
18
11
3
Melbourne
#5
First off read the manual and the Model number on your BMPro then you will know where you are, having played with the odd BMPro I would actually go with Mikes suggestion for a MPPT controller for your solar and wire it directly to your battery by passing the BMPro entirely, if you wnat to do off grid camping then at least 200ah of AGM battery power with at least 200w of panel.
Retro fitting the panel to your roof will be a pain of a job as I doubt it would have been per wired, might want to start the set up as a portable.

Just reread your initial van post and if you want to run a CPAP the more storage and panel the better so you don't run the batteries down too much, so maybe 2 x 120ah and 2 x 150w panels sort of thing, because depending on machine some can chew power and bypassing the bM Pro and using a decent MPPT controller you will get max sun turning to zap.
Hi Drover , I appreciate your reply . As I said to Mike , I think I need to do some more work on the subject . Certainly the CPAP is one of my major considerations but my ultimate aim is to camp off the grid and be self sufficient . I’m in my 60s and this is all new stuff to me and it’s like a bloody foreign language . I’m not in the best of health so want to enjoy and travel as much as possible . Back to the drawing board I guess. Thanks for your help .
KWOZ
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
958
1,607
93
66
Mount Waverley, VIC
#6
I don't know anything about CPAP machines. But I suspect there are a number of different types. If so, it might be worth investigating finding one that runs off 12V AND is efficient and therefore uses less power.
Solar panels and batteries are expensive AND heavy. So any research into this may be worthwhile.

In any case, the starting point for any off grid installation is to determine your daily power usage. If you are intending to get a three-way fridge and run it of gas when off-grid, then your CPAP machine may be a significant part of your power usage.

Terminology in any field is always daunting at the start. But after a while the mist clears and it becomes clearer. The more you understand the more chance you will have of going away and not having many problems and being able to fix or workaround many of those that do occur. That will make camping trips less frustrating and more enjoyable.

In my opinion, you will need is a multimeter if you haven't already got one. Reasonable ones can be bought at Altronics or Jaycar for around $20. Get one that can measure at least 10A DC. If you want to splash out, a DC clamp meter is a better alternative and can be bought on eBay for around $50.

If you have any further questions or help in understanding the terminology, don't hesitate to ask. There are a few people on this forum who have gained a lot of knowledge in this subject both practical and theoretical.

cheers
Mike
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
8,613
14,650
113
Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#7
What do they say "Age and Cunning overcomes Youth and Skill" @KWOZ , always works for me and i'm getting too far on the wrong side of 60......
My mate actually has to have 2 x CPAP's running they both need one and by not using the humidifier they don't have power problems but each unit does have a battery pack if they do and a lot of study went into the units.

Some reading on batteries which shouldn't make your eyes bleed with links to other bits of solar set up and stuff,
https://caravanchronicles.com/guides/how-to-connect-two-batteries-in-parallel/

and this one is a good simple read on the myths, which I found quite good.....https://www.gorv.com.au/10-rv-solar-myths/

Having a good idea on HOW is the important bit, the why not so much and some descriptions get really deep and just confuse, one doesn't need to know why the car goes just how to make it happen.