Class A Motorhomes

Class A Motorhome power systems are unique in several ways:

  • Plenty of roof space capable of accommodating a large solar array.
  • The potential for high current alternator charging.
  • Heavy loads like air conditioners and residential refrigerators requiring large battery systems and inverter/chargers.
  • Spacious bays allow for a wide variety of battery options.

The step-by-step guide below takes you through the myriad of options and design considerations for developing a custom power system.

Battery Bank

1.  Select a battery bank: The battery bank is the heart of the system. We recommend LifeBlue lithium batteries because of their built-in Bluetooth monitor, high quality, and ability to expand over time. If you have a Can.Bus central monitor system like SilverLeaf, Spider, or FireFly, a lithium or inverter upgrade will likely cause those systems to lose some functionality.  Those systems are designed to work the factory batteries, a factor battery combiner, and a factory inverter.  Upgraded systems will operate at slightly different voltages which can confuse the central monitors.  We do our best to integrate into these systems, but they don’t handle change very well.

We sell LifeBlue batteries as a base kit, which includes one battery, a Victron BMV-712 battery monitor, cable, lugs, and heat shrink, plus expansion kits, which include one battery and parallel cables. For two batteries, select one base kit and one expansion kit. If you want three batteries, get one base kit and two expansion kits.

LifeBlue batteries come in three size configurations, choose what will fit best for your application.

100Ah: H 9.4″ x W 12.5″ x D 6.5″ 28lbs

200Ah: H 10.8″ x W 20″ x D 6.9″ 57lbs

300Ah: H 9.5″ x W 20.25″ x D 11″ 83lbs

 

If your plan is to run an air conditioner, you will get about 1 hour of runtime on a 15,000BTU A/C running at full per every 200Ah of lithium battery capacity. You will also need at least a 3000VA Inverter and an Easy Start Kit.

Do not let your lithium batteries get below -10° F. Lithium batteries will not charge below 32° F.

Estimated Installation Labor

400Ah LifeBlue Lithium System with BMV-712
11 hours / $1,595

  • LiFeBlue Lithium Battery Bank with BMV-712 Monitor

    This is a complete LiFeBlue lithium RV battery base kit with a Victron BMV-712 Bluetooth battery monitor. The monitor is included to provide cumulative battery bank data, compatible with Victron VRM monitoring. LiFeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage,...

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  • LiFeBlue Lithium Battery Expansion Kit

    This kit is designed to be an add-on to an existing LiFeBlue battery system. LiFeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage, current, cycle life, battery health, faults and state of charge. These batteries can only be parallel connected due...

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For larger systems, Victron lithium batteries are recommended because of their extremely compact footprint. Or, if you only need one battery, a monitor is not required for single LifeBlue battery.

  • Victron Lithium Battery System with Monitor (Single Battery)

    This kit is designed to work with one or two Victron lithium batteries. It does not use a Lynx Distributor to combine batteries. When adding alternator charging or DC distribution, be sure to use kits specifically recommended for Victron lithium batteries. This kit...

    Please do not use a residential address, if you do not have a commercial address to ship to, please contact the front office. 541-726-1091 or info@amsolar.com. We can potentially ship to a dealer near you.
    Qualifying addresses:
    1. Are commercial addresses able to accept a pallet of goods under all weather conditions on normal business days with no notice or special delivery needs (no delivery appointment needed).
    2. Will have access to a forklift on site.
    I verify the address provided meets the requirements set by AM Solar. If it does not, I understand my order may be rejected and refunded with transaction fees subtracted.
    Product total
    Options total
    Grand total
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  • Victron Lithium Battery System with Monitor (Multiple Battery)

    This kit is designed to work with 1-4 Victron lithium batteries in 12V, or 2-8 Victron lithium batteries in 24V. It uses a Lynx Distributor to combine and fuse batteries. When adding alternator charging or DC distribution, be sure to use kits specifically...

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  • Victron Lithium Expansion Kit

    Add a Victron Lithium battery to an existing Victron lithium system. Do not mix battery ratings in the same system. Parallel Expansion kits are for 12V battery systems. 24V battery systems can be built from an equal number of Parallel and Series Expansion...

    Please do not use a residential address, if you do not have a commercial address to ship to, please contact the front office. 541-726-1091 or info@amsolar.com. We can potentially ship to a dealer near you.
    Qualifying addresses:
    1. Are commercial addresses able to accept a pallet of goods under all weather conditions on normal business days with no notice or special delivery needs (no delivery appointment needed).
    2. Will have access to a forklift on site.
    I verify the address provided meets the requirements set by AM Solar. If it does not, I understand my order may be rejected and refunded with transaction fees subtracted.
    Product total
    Options total
    Grand total
    Quantity:
  • LiFeBlue LiFePO4 12V Drop-In Battery

    LiFeBlue lithium batteries have integrated controls to automatically protect against overcharging, overly discharging, and frozen charging. This integration makes installation much easier for DIY projects. LifeBlue offers the most comprehensive Bluetooth monitoring showing status, temperature, voltage, current, cycle life, battery health, Faults and...

    Quantity:

Alternative Charging

2.  Alternator Charging: When upgrading to lithium batteries you will need to upgrade your battery combiner for alternator charging. Without this modification, the higher resting voltage of a lithium battery will trick the existing battery combiner relay into thinking the alternator is running and the lithium battery bank will be paralleled to the starter battery, even when the ignition is turned off. The result is lithium batteries draining into the starter battery until they crash to a dangerously low voltage or the lithium batteries’ internal BMS engages, preventing further discharge.

If you have a lithium battery system that can handle a charging current of 150A or more (three or more LifeBlue lithium batteries), and you do not have a smart alternator (here’s the Smart Alternator Test) you use the Victron Cyrix-Li-Ct battery combiner, variant “Lithium / 230A”.

The Victron Cyrix-Li-Ct can quickly charge a lithium battery up to about 80% state of charge.

If you have a smaller battery bank (one or two LifeBlue batteries) and/or a smart alternator, you will need to use the Sterling Battery to Battery Charger. The Sterling is programmable for any battery chemistry and can bring a battery up to 100% state of charge.

Neither device is needed if you plan on using AGM batteries.

Estimated Installation Labor

High Current Alternator Charging
3 hours / $435

  • Victron Cyrix Battery Combiner

    Victron Cyrix battery combiners connect your house battery bank to your starter battery and alternator to allow alternator charging. Additionally, when a charge is applied to a house battery bank the Cyrix will close and allow current to flow to the starter battery....

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  • DC/DC Charging: Motorhome, Van, Skoolie

    Enable DC/DC charging from your alternator to a secondary Lithium, AGM or Flooded battery bank. This kit is ideal for van conversions and skoolies with older alternators or lithium batteries with input current limits under 100A. Ideal for: Vans, skoolies, motorhomes *Please note...

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Solar Charging

3.  Select solar charging system: Add a solar charging system that will fit on your roof.  As a rough rule of thumb, every 100W of solar will produce about 25Ah (or 300Wh) of charge per day.  If you have a solar pre-wire, check out section 3a of the Airstream page

For a complete explanation of everything you would want to know about how to design a solar charging system, check out our Solar Charger Design Guide

The Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controllers are compatible with any battery type, can work on 12V or 24V battery systems, and communicate status via Bluetooth.

We recommend a minimum of 500W for any system with a residential refrigerator.

If you want to use a portable panel, we recommend oversizing the central charge controller so it can handle both the roof array and the portable panel.

The Victron SmartSolar MPPT charge controllers are compatible with any battery type, can work on 12V or 24V battery systems, and communicate status via Bluetooth.

Estimated Installation Labor

4x 200W on 85A Controller
15 hours / $2,175

  • Complete Solar Charger (85A)

    These kits offer everything one may need in order to put up to 1200W onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, these kits form an ideal foundation for a large power system mounted to a rigid...

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  • Complete Solar Charger (100A)

    These kits offer everything one may need in order to put up to 1400W onto an existing battery bank.  With the advanced MPPT charge controller and Bluetooth communication, these kits form an ideal foundation for a large power system mounted to a rigid...

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Add panel kits ending in Cable to connect to the AM Solar combiner box. Use one tube of Dicor for everything three panels bury the mount feet.

  • Rich Solar 200W Solar Panel

    High wattage, using 6" cells, this panel is ideal for large systems where there is ample roof space. These modules come in a standard and higher-voltage version*. Please be sure to match your kit and/or module(s) to similar voltage profile modules. Please reach...

    • Wattage: 200W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Nominal Voltage: 12V / 24V
    • Operating Voltage (Vmpp): 20.4V / 37.6V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.3V / 45.4V
    • Operating Current (Impp): 9.80A / 5.32A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 10.2A / 5.83A
    • Size: 58.7" x 26.8" x 1.38" 26.5lbs
    • Frame: Silver Anodized Aluminum
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  • Zamp 190W Solar Panel

    These panels use cut 6" monocrystalline cells. Made in Bend, Oregon, United States. Dual Mode solar panels kits can be purchased in two different configurations. Parallel: Two separate, shade resilient, parallel-connected panels (ideal for installations next to air conditioners) Series: A single high-voltage...

    • Wattage: 190W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Operating Voltage (Vmpp): 20.4V / 40.9V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 24.2V / 48.4V
    • Operating Current (Impp): 9.3A / 4.65A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 10.02A / 5.01A
    • Size: 58.3" x 26.4" x 1.38" 26.0lbs
    • Frame: Silver Anodized Aluminum
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  • NOIR 100W Solar Panel

    Custom designed by Grape Solar for mobile applications, this 100W panel is ideal for Airstreams trailers, vans, truck campers, and any application where roof space is limited. The Grape Solar NOIR 100W panel comes in several kit variants.  Select the correct kit to...

    • Wattage: 100W
    • Type: Monocrystalline
    • Operating Voltage (Vmp): 19.1V
    • Open Circuit Voltage (Voc): 23.1V
    • Operating Current (Imp): 5.23A
    • Short Circuit Current (Isc): 5.59A
    • Size: 41" x 22" x 1.38" 15.4lbs
    • Frame: Black Anodized Aluminum
    Quantity: