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Old 07-13-2014, 09:45 AM   #1
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Solar panels

We have been window shopping for ideas of things to add to our camper. We saw some solar panels, and thought they might be something we could use. Can I get some opinions on these, please? Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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Sure what are they?
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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The surest way to quickly re-charge batteries rain or shine is with a generator. Enough solar panels will trickle charge them on sunny days. Check the specs on output per panel from each manufacturer.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:30 AM   #4
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I keep my batteries up with a 100 watt panel but by far the best thing you can do is reduce the loads far more bang for the bucks LED lighting, accumulator for the water pump efficient exhaust fans anything you can do to reduce the 12 volt loads. My solar panel will win driving a fantastic fan on low on a sunny day there still is a bit of power left over to charge batteries. That being said my panel is also ground mount not only can I turn it I can also tilt it increasing it's efficient dramatically. The max solar gain is going to be at noon so if a panel is flat mounted it will only be efficient at noon. Solar is great and quiet but it is hard to relay on due to factors such as rain and night time. Many camp ground are also have lots of trees. One more thing solar panels are rated in full sun at the equator at noon (possible 1,000 watts of energy per square meter) so as you go north or south the output starts to fall. A good test would be an amm meter connected to your batteries to see just how much power you draw from them then decide how to progress on the solar project. All solar will have some merit but if it’s too small it will not be able to keep with demand.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:57 AM   #5
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I have the 18 foot saturn tt. Im conservative on power usage while boondocking, dry camping. I use the pump when needed, led lights all around. That said, my small, moveable 35 watt solar panel keeps my 12v battery trickle charged for a week at least. Sunny locations help but in the forest i move the panel location a few times a day. I love the quiet, free power.
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks, Kit! Lou was looking at a 35 watt panel the LST time we were in Camping World. This info was exactly what he was looking for.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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A 35 watt panel is less than 3 amp output in bright sun so you have got to make sure your power demands are very low. Granted I do not burn all my lights at the same time but all of my LED's draw a shade over 3 amps the water pump is in excess of 6 and twice that when it starts. Two old lights will draw 4 amps a tiny little fan draws 1.5 amps and a older big one closer to 8. Solar is a good thing but you will have to conserve if you take every thing with you and want to run a microwave and a coffee pot you roof is not big enough to house enough solar panels. If you decide to go with a solar set up shop around and go looking while informed knowing just what you will need to supply your power needs. Personally Camping World would not be on my shopping list it is a fairly completive market and the prices reflect that.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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Solar power, my $.02

We've had our 260 watt solar system for 2 Winters now, one spent in desert SW & other in FL & are very pleased. The only time we now use the generator is to power the microwave
Although 260W is way more than needed, I think 35W is too little. Most suppliers will provide a worksheet you can use to determine your needs but I think you'd want 100W+/- if you're serious about having the sun power your rv. A portable system has numerous advantages over a roof mount. Prices have come down & a good system can be had for very reasonable amount. As a gift I bought 2 60W panels only (no regulator nor wiring) for $60 each from Sun Electronics in Fl last Winter ($1/Watt !) & they had panels for $.83/Watt
I also heartily agree w/ recommendations to reduce your power usage by converting to LED lights & an accumulator tank. An upgraded battery system may also be warranted to store all that free power
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:16 PM   #9
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I'd love to see detailed pictures of your solar setup in terms of mounting on roof/wires going in etc...
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Old 01-25-2018, 02:34 PM   #10
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Prices have come down & a good system can be had for very reasonable amount.
Better act fast. The admin. just ordered a tariff on imported solar panels.

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Old 01-25-2018, 05:02 PM   #11
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Better act fast. The admin. just ordered a tariff on imported solar panels.

Teach
lol. I got'em already!
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:59 PM   #12
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My home made one. I can steer it,elevate it and fold it flat. I store it on the bed when not in use. The connection on the end is an 50 amp Anderson Power pole the cord is a #10 SJ cord way over kill but I had than laving around. It will plug into both ends of the camper and supplies all of my power needs the longest I have been on batteries was 15 days.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:00 PM   #13
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Better act fast. The admin. just ordered a tariff on imported solar panels.

Teach
Don't worry he'll get sued over that one too.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:04 PM   #14
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I am installing my four 100 watt panels FLAT. I am planning on putting them on the front of my 28 footer. By installing them in this manner it will hopefully mean that I won't have to think about it! I have two 100 watt panels on my Class B and they met our power needs.
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