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Old 09-16-2023, 11:37 AM   #1
Keelz
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400i Solar package is it enogh to camp on

I just bought a 2023 Cougar 22 MLSWE with the 400i solar package with inverter and 2 Lithium Ion batteries. I was wondering if anyone else has this system and how they made out camping off grid for 3 days.
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Old 09-16-2023, 03:44 PM   #2
firestation12
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Perhaps if your system was twice as robust as it currently is, you’d a have a better boondocking experience. If you have a backup generator you’ll be ok with what you have. Don’t count on using any a/c without a 3500 watt or larger generator. My 2 cents subject to criticism/opinions by others.
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Old 09-16-2023, 04:23 PM   #3
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Our system is not nearly as robust as Keelz. With two 6 volt golf cart batteries and a 200 watt portable solar kit, we can camp for days at a time. Our limiting factor is fresh water use. We can usually make it 5 days before needing to hit the dump station.
If you have reasonable sun for the panels to keep the batteries topped off and are willing to forego A/C, microwave and other high wattage electric appliances, it really isn't a problem. We use the lights, stove, furnace and other 12 volt appliances normally and even watch an evening movie if we're in the mood. We also carry an inverter generator as a backup just in case we get 4 solid days of rain (like we did this summer), but other than that the genny stays in the truck. It also comes in handy if we find ourselves needing to run the A/C as we did at the Reno Air Races.
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Old 09-16-2023, 04:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keelz View Post
I just bought a 2023 Cougar 22 MLSWE with the 400i solar package with inverter and 2 Lithium Ion batteries. I was wondering if anyone else has this system and how they made out camping off grid for 3 days.
I have this same setup. Don't plan on running a/c or microwave as you can't. I wouldn't run any high draw items such as coffeemaker or such. Other than that, it'll run u fine. Make coffee on the stove top. We can run a fan, cpap, furnace lights, refrigerator and the batteries completely recharge by next afternoon if full sun. Have fun, it'll work.
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Old 09-17-2023, 05:24 AM   #5
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We have the same solar package and can go several days without shore power.
Just remember that you cannot run your AC or microwave. We carry a Wen 2000 watt generator if we need AC [with Soft Start ] or microwave.
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Old 09-17-2023, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keelz View Post
I just bought a 2023 Cougar 22 MLSWE with the 400i solar package with inverter and 2 Lithium Ion batteries. I was wondering if anyone else has this system and how they made out camping off grid for 3 days.
Looking at the makeup of the kit you should be ok.

now having said that, I do not have a 12V refrigerator and doing some reading on the one you have it seems it will consume about 80AH per day in the summer so without the solar package you would not have enough batteries to make it 3 days, but you should be able to with the solar you have.

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Old 09-17-2023, 11:15 AM   #7
Rock7
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Talking 400 i solar 23 cougar 24rds

Solar worked great for a trip in April for maiden voyage, Other than Bathroom leak and,No water in kitchen. Factory screw ups. REPAIRED BY OWNER. Turned it all off as not going to use it until Sept
Went to turn it all on. . NO power in Solar outlets. Batteries at 13.74 volts
After charging for a period. Outlets only powered up after I plugged it into garage 110.Everything was working, all outlets were going. Then I unplugged shore power. Solar outlets died. Am at loss, fridge is 12 volt and works. All lights work. Slides work and awning works. Leaving Monday, Camping World service is closed today Sunday.
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Old 09-17-2023, 11:31 AM   #8
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Solar worked great for a trip in April for maiden voyage, Other than Bathroom leak and,No water in kitchen. Factory screw ups. REPAIRED BY OWNER. Turned it all off as not going to use it until Sept
Went to turn it all on. . NO power in Solar outlets. Batteries at 13.74 volts
After charging for a period. Outlets only powered up after I plugged it into garage 110.Everything was working, all outlets were going. Then I unplugged shore power. Solar outlets died. Am at loss, fridge is 12 volt and works. All lights work. Slides work and awning works. Leaving Monday, Camping World service is closed today Sunday.
It sounds like either your inverter in the front passthrough is not turned on or your transfer switch is not working.

When on shore power the outlets are working: That proves the outlets and wiring from the transfer switch to the outlets is OK.

When on inverter power, nothing works: That indicates either there is no input power to the inverter (solar system not active), the inverter is turned off, or the transfer switch is not changing the contacts from "shore power" to "inverter power" to apply electricity to that side of the outlets and wiring.
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Old 09-18-2023, 05:08 AM   #9
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I'm not familiar with that system but I'm set up permanent off grid. I have 200w solar panels and (2)6v golf cart batteries. I've gone 5 days in a row with no issues. I use everything except AC and microwave. I also have a 1500w inverter for tv and dvd players.

I love being off grid and can still do (almost) everything. My solar panels top the batteries up each day. Maybe I would have issues if it was cloudy days in the fall with less daylight but so far no issues. I have a generator for back up or for the +30 days and need AC.
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by firestation12 View Post
Perhaps if your system was twice as robust as it currently is, youíd a have a better boondocking experience. If you have a backup generator youíll be ok with what you have. Donít count on using any a/c without a 3500 watt or larger generator. My 2 cents subject to criticism/opinions by others.
Fully agree, need to double or triple the Li's and solar to feed the Li's
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Old 09-21-2023, 07:44 AM   #11
SWillier
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We bought a 23 Cougar 27BHS late in the season this year with 400i and the 200Ah Lithium. We have only had it out 2 times so far. I also cary a Renogy 200W portable suitcase solar panel to catch the sun throughout the day. I was mostly conserned about the new 12v fridge as our old camper had 200Ah lithium, but less load with a propane evaporative fridge.

Our first trip was 3 nights parked in the trees, so the roof solar wasn't capturing all it could, but the portable grond solar did fine. With the 12v fridge CPAP, and some inverter use, we did fine.

Our 2nd trip was 5 nights. This time parked in the sun with much more exposure for the roof panels. Between them and the ground panel, we were able to be fully charged by the evening on bright sunny days, and still did well on the 1 rainy day and intermitent cloudy day we had.

Everyone's use is different, but we found that with the 12v fridge on the lower of the 2 dry camping settings, conservitive temp setting on furnace, CPAP overnight 12v power supply), and a little inverter use for coffee, we would be down in the 40-something % battery levels at the end of the morning. Then solar would bring us back up effectivel. If there was a lof of cloudy or rainy weather, you migh need some generator supliment.

For a extra buffer I am adding a little more solar to the roof, testing that, then might add one more 100Ah battery to the setup. Just to be sure we can last through some lousy weather if we encounter it.
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Old 09-23-2023, 01:42 PM   #12
JohnnyB1966
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Itís enough

That is the same as our solar setup. We do a lot of beach camping and our battery stays at 13 volts or more, even when we occasionally run the marg blender on the inverter!
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