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Old 06-07-2011, 06:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 28
Solar Panel to charge 12v Battery

I have a few dates booked this year where there is no electricity available. I have a 2010 1207 and don't run anything too crazy. Toaster oven in the mornings for about 15mins, Lights for reading at night, water pump, Mobile cool Cooler. little mini DVD player. That's about it. I have seen people that use the solar panels to charge the battery. Would it be worth looking at or do you think I'd have enough juice for Friday night to Sunday Morning. Just not so sure if I would need it or not. Won't be using the furnace or heater at night. Does anybody have experience with Dry camping with the 1207 or similar pup?
Thanks for all the info.

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:21 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Michigan
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Keep in mind that without shore power the battery alone will only supply power to the 12V DC system, unless you have an inverter. If you plan to use only 12V items conservatively, IMO a fully charged 12V Marine/RV battery should last you through the weekend. If you are using an inverter to power some 120V appliances (toaster oven, etc.), then you may find the battery discharging rapidly.

The low watt (15W-30W) solar panels are good for maintaining a battery (or bank) charge while in storage, but they are not designed to keep up under daily camping battery use. A 100W to 300W solar system would be required to be of any real value for camping off the grid, then of course you need at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight every day (1K-3K investment).

One option would be to consider upgrading to two batteries, or carry a fully charged spare. As a last resort, carry a pair of jumper cables so you can recharge the battery. Avoid letting the battery go completely dead, this will impact battery life and performance.

Hope this helps.



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Old 06-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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something else we do when boondocking is bring along solar lights that we charge up and then use inside or outside the camper at night so we save some of the tt battery power
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