This has been a lot of information to impart about all of our solar system pieces. I have done this in an attempt to share vital knowledge about a complicated and sometimes mystical subject. If anyone sees something in this series of posts that isn’t 100% accurate please let me know.
Quick Links for this Truck Camper Solar System Series
- Solar System Introduction
- Solar Panels & Charge Controller
- Solar System Pieces
Our Solar System Pieces Warning
If you are intending to undertake a solar system project please understand what your power needs are. Don’t blindly order the solar system pieces below or follow my wiring diagram. Understand what your needs are and design a system to meet those needs. I put this list of our solar system pieces here as a resource, not a guide.
If you choose to buy any of these solar system pieces please do so by using the links on this webpage. We will receive a small percentage from the sale at no additional cost to you. We would greatly appreciate it! It will help to keep us traveling and creating content here at NomadicMoments.com. Thanks!
Crown 6CRV330 AGM Batteries
I bought these from Backwoods Solar as Amazon hasn’t gotten with the program and made these available. I really like these batteries and can’t recommend anything else at this time.
HQST 100W Flex Solar Panels
I love these panels. They are super lightweight and have some ability to conform to curved surfaces. I now own five of these panels and I haven’t had any trouble with them.
Bogart 2030 Solar Controller & Monitor
I really can’t express how crucial these two devices have been for regulating and monitoring my small solar system.
Morningstar 300W Inverter
This 300Watt inverter is built solid. It is heavy and doesn’t generate a ton of heat. It needs to be mounted so it has some air flow. The wiring is a bit confusing. You can see my diagram at the top, but wiring the ground wire into the neutral wire on the 110V side is very odd. This is, however, the recommended way of wiring the device and we have had no issues with it.
I like this LED fixture, but I might recommend one with a switch on the light. It would be nice to control this from the light rather than a remote switch. I used one of my rocker switches which means I can only turn it on and off from within the camper.
LED replacement bulbs
I replaced all my interior bulbs with these efficient LED bulbs. These are fixture specific so make sure you get the right bulb for your rig. No solar system is complete without upgrading all the lightbulbs to LED. I like and recommend the warm style LEDs.
USB Marine Outlet
These outlets are great for areas that are going to be near water or cooking surfaces. They have the built-in covers. The only negative is that one of the two USB outlets is a low 1A outlet.
USB 4 port Outlet
This was a last-minute add for us and I am so glad we put this in. The high speed charging ports are great. With so many devices now charging off of USB, you can’t have too many ports. The only downside is that the cable leads are a small gauge. I used an 18AWG cable to make the run as that was the largest gauge that would easily attach to these leads. Luckily my run was only about 5′ long. Know that it also doesn’t come with a cover plate.
Solar System Pieces – Fuses & Breakers
I used 50Amp, 60Amp, 100Amp. These are great breaker/fuses. They are built rock solid.
6 Circuit Fuse Box
Nothing overly special about this small fuse box, but it works as advertised.
Rocker Switch Panel
I really like the way this panel looks and functions. The only exception is that if you wire it the way the manufacturer would like you to it has 6 LED lights that are constantly on. One light for the off position and a different one for the on position. I wired it so that these aren’t used at all as I don’t like bright blue lights while I am trying to sleep.
Large Lug Barrel Connector for 10AWG
I found this large 10AWG lug at Home Depot. See image above.
6 AWG Cable
I really like this cable. The thinner stranded copper core makes it very easy to work with.
6 AWG terminal lugs
Nothing fancy here just good connectors.
Assortment of Standard Gauge Electrical Connectors
I needed a lot of these as there were a lot of new connections to be made and old connections that needed to be redone.
Wiring Terminals & Ports
Waterproof Roof Port
I used a waterproof outlet box from Lowes for my system. While this works I am constantly checking for leaks. I think for peace of mind I would use this product. I didn’t find it until after I had finished this part of my renovation.
My intent was to use two of these to tie in the solar panels on the roof with the portable panel connection under my sink. I am using them but since my plan changed and I don’t have portable panels these weren’t really necessary.
I used two of these near the battery to split the positive and negative lines out to the various sources as needed.
I used this Y-cable to combine the two closest solar panels to my 6AWG trunk line.
MC4 Branch Connector
I used this 3-way T-connector to combine the power provided by my furthest 3 solar panels.
These are only 10AWG cables, so don’t use them as the main trunk line. I used them to lengthen the runs for the individual panel runs back to the connection point at the 6AWG cable.
1″ Diameter – Used at the connection point for sealing the lug for the 10AWG solar runs and 6AWG trunk cable. See the lug connector image earlier in the post.
130 Piece Assortment – Heat shrink is great for making strong, water-resistant connections. This assortment pack is a great buy.
If you don’t already have one this pocket meter is a great price. It is small, lightweight and accurate. It and my Trimetric 2030 meter line up perfectly.
Hammer Lug Crimper
This is a great cheap way of crimping large gauge cables. You will need a hammer, but this is far cheaper than a large handle crimper.
A good set of wire strippers will save you a lot of frustration on a project like this. These will work on the smaller gauge cables, but on the bigger one I used a razor blade to strip back the jacket.
These are great to have as they are much easier to use on the more standard gauge cables than the handle based combo stripper/crimpers.
ProFlex our Dicor
Both ProFelx and Dicor are great RV sealants. Each is designed for affixing to different construction materials. Make sure the sealant you choose is designed for your roof. I probably used about 10 tubes of sealant during all of my renovation projects.