Heartland Big Country 3155RLK
Basic Parts List
This installation was completed in March of 2022. The owner of this 5th wheel contacted me after I was referred to him by Battle Born Batteries. The customer purchased three Battle Born 100 amp hour batteries from Battle Born, but did not have any other equipment. We discussed what he wanted and I presented a plan, to which he agreed. The plan included a Multiplus II inverter/charger with VE.Bus Smart Dongle, a BMV-712 battery monitor, Lynx distributor and MPPT 150/70 SmartSolar controller. The solar controller was paired with three REC 365 watt solar panels.
We set an installation appointment and got all the parts ordered. I had never seen the 5th wheel until the owner showed up for the installation. I took some time at the beginning of the installation to plan mounting locations for all the equipment. This particular floorplan had drain pipes coming through the basement storage area. These pipes made some of the storage area somewhat useless for storage. I was able to take advantage of this “useless” space as a mounting location for the system equipment. As I was coming up with the mounting locations, the customer and I discussed the possibility of adding a fourth Battle Born battery to the system. Ultimately the customer decided he wanted the fourth battery.
All the equipment went in without any issues. The customer gained additional storage space in the front (generator) compartment because the OEM batteries were removed from that location. The 5th wheel had no pre-run solar wire from the roof. There was, however, a floor to ceiling cabinet in the center of the 5th wheel which allowed a good path to run the solar wire. This cabinet had all the OEM system controls mounted into the side of the cabinet and there was an existing wire chase leading down to the basement for all the wiring for these controls. I mad a roof penetration at the top of the cabinet and then fed the solar wire down the corner of the cabinet to the existing wire chase. This worked very well and made the process pretty easy to get the solar wire from the roof to the solar controller. The REC solar panels were run in parallel because of the odd number of panels. The battery bank was down to 65% (from some normal usage) when I connected the solar panels to the system. The panels were connected at 12:30 pm. By 3:30 pm, the battery state of charge was back up to 93%. This gain occurred with me working on the roof around the panels and several trees partially shading the panels during the time. The only load on the system at the time was a residential refrigerator running inside the rig and other general phantom loads. I didn’t let the solar finish the charge cycle because I had to plug the 5th wheel in to shore power to program the Micro Air Easy Starts I installed on the air conditioners. That was an almost 10% state of charge gain per hour from the 1095 watts of solar in less than ideal conditions.