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Old 02-12-2015, 10:46 AM   #11
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Thanks, very interesting

I do have a generator and use it. I am just thinking that when I go away on that long afternoon hike, I have something to add a bit more juice to the batteries.

I realize that a 100W solar panel won't give me that many amps, but I guess every little bit helps, particularly when the furnace has to go on in the evening.

Ensign
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
Way over priced... You can get much better for less money...
That is not what I paid. And the go power frames are better than most on the market. And then use German or Japan panels
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:46 AM   #13
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The trick for me was to always get my batteries up to their 90% charge state before I start using them big time. If I just trickle charge them after they have dropped to 50% charge or lower than I DO NOT get the full performance out them. They will not produce the specified DC CURRENT to run my furnace fan all night for instance.

Since we camp alot off the grid if I continue to drop my batteries below 50% charge and not get back to their 90% charge state then I may start doing harm to my batteries. I also have to do a full 100% charge state about every 12-14 charge cycles of 50% to 90%. This takes around 12 hours to do using smart mode charging techniques. My problem is here I am usually not allowed to run my generator that long of a time due to generator run time restrictions. There is always catches if you follow the rules hehe...

If you never get you batteries down below 70% lets say then your solar panels will act like tricle chargers and keep the batteries at least at 90% and eventually 100%. I just use too much from my batteries to be able to do that... We like to light up our camping area at night and end the day watching some HDTV. ALways interested in the live WX Broadcasts for the area we are in.. I am also a ham radio nut and get to alot of that as well camping off the power grid.

Everyone has their own plan to make it for several days based on how they like to camp off the batteries...

ALot of their methods would definitely not work for me and the way we use our battery power in a one day/night battery run...

This is why you make some dry runs at home and see what you all really want to do running off the power grid...

When we are camping off the power grid we monitor our battery banks like a hawk and can read out the 12VDC levels and also input/out DC charging current. This is my three meter setup


This meter reading would tell me my battery banks are down to around 50% Charge state and the trailer is drawing 18AMPs DC Current.

If this happens before I can run my 2KW Generator I would stop using power from the batteries and get re-charged to 90% charge state right away.

This is not absolute but close enough for me to know what status my battery banks is in...

I'm sure others do this in different ways but this has worked pretty good for us since 2009 doing it this way.. Same batteries are still working some 7 years later (Installed in 2008 when I purchased the OFF-ROAD POPUP camper)...

Roy Ken
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:55 AM   #14
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The problem with solar is the amount of time you get direct sunlight on your panels. I have been thinking if there is a way to utilize the tv antenna.

The tv antenna mechanism is actually perfect. It would allow you to angle your panel(s) to 30 degrees or so as well as turn your array so it faces the sun.

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Old 02-12-2015, 02:55 PM   #15
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I tried to attach my Wi-Fi extender on the antenna of our previous TT, but as light as the unit was it still was too much weight (1 lb) on the end of the antenna arm. Almost snapped the hand crank. That lasted 1 day before I took it off. You would have to have someone on the roof to assist in raising the antenna assembly with the panel on it. I would also think that the flat area of the panel would cause some issues in the wind.

Just my thoughts

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Old 02-12-2015, 03:02 PM   #16
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I would never drive down the road with the solar panels anything but laying flat and locked down.

I am just trying to come up with a way to "aim" the panels once I set up camp. Not every camping sight will be facing south.

Good to know about how "weak" the TV antenna apparatus is.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caryl View Post
I am just trying to come up with a way to "aim" the panels once I set up camp. Not every camping sight will be facing south.
I thought about that prior to mounting mine flat on the roof. Then after calculating things out and thinking about past sites we camped at, I just mounted it on the roof. Since I opted to go for the high voltage panels (like those mounted on the roofs of houses) and an MPPT SOLAR charge controller it makes up for the lack of direct sunshine. My batteries are always charged by about 2PM and 3 or 4PM if it is cloudy. The extra voltage and the MPPT help a lot. Buy an extra panel or two and MPPT controller and mount the panels on the roof. More secure and you do not have to worry about trying to track the sun. More POWER!!!

Just my thoughts,

Don
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