ottor - It's so good to see you asking all these questions because you're trying to do the same things I'd like to do, so I am especially interested in your solutions once you've arrived at them.
I'll tell you what I had
planned (yes, this is past tense, because I've got new ideas now!) to do regarding my solar install... I'd just have to wait for next year to implement it (our $$$ has already been spent for this season lol). We've got a topper for our truck (Ford F-150) that has a luggage rack built into it. I planned on storing my main battery bank/battery charger/inverter built into the truck bed (using just simple carpentry skills) and place the solar panels on top of the topper on the luggage rack. This way I can park the truck in the sun and camper in the shade if possible. I would just plug the camper's current shore power cord into the inverter thats in the back of the truck. I was looking at 500AH bank and a 2000w-3000w inverter. I'll wouldn't have to drill any holes into my 19rd that way. Someday if we ever take off full time and want to be 100% off grid I may implement that. I was planing on using an induction cook plate and toaster oven with this system, but since I have gas to cook with (stove top & oven) I'm wondering if I really need to do that?
so now... I been thinking! what do I REALLY need power for? I found a A/C idea that I'm going to play around with.
I will make an insert for the top of rigid insulation or plywood so I don't cut up my cooler top (I still want to use my cooler elsewhere when not using it as an A/C). I don't need to use the microwave for cooking. I have an All American Sun solar oven, Webber Q, and other ways of cooking/reheating. Well those are the 2 biggest power hogs, the rest we want to do is relatively small wattage and we can do it all with a MUCH smaller inverter.
I've just experimented with a really old (they don't even sell them anymore) 300 watt inverter that has the cigarette lighter style plug, plugged it in to the outlet up near the T.V. and found that I can watch T.V. (the antenna booster still works on battery power), and I was also able to watch a DVD (the radio, cd player, dvd player all work without shore power) just using the standard 19rd's battery (I have not upgraded that yet). That little inverter will probably charge our cell phones and laptops too, but I think I might just upgrade that to a pure sine wave one for the sake of my electronics. I will need to upgrade my battery bank but I might not need to go too crazy using just these few items. I think I read earlier that you are looking into the portable solar panels/charger? I am really impressed with this
too. If I just get one of those portable chargers and maybe a 2nd 12v battery this might just work! Someday I will upgrade to 6v battery pairs but for now I already have the 12v batteries, might as well use them up.
Going that route will be tons cheaper than me trying to size a battery bank large enough for the 2000w-3000w inverters. I really don't "need" to take my NuWave cooktop/convection toaster oven with me camping anyway haha
Just a note about these little inverters... I've learned that my "300 watt" inverter is really a set of duel 150 watt inverters. They mean it's 300 watts total, using both plugs. So the max you will produce from one of your outlets is 150 watts, and that would be pushing it continuously. I just tried using my little 200watt "My Heat" heater and it caused the warning tone to sound and it shut off the little heater because it was trying to suck up too much power (I saw 168 watts reading on my kill-o-watt meter). But truth be told, my T.V. only used 20-25 watts. My laptop uses 35-40 watts. Charging cell phones use even less.