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Old 03-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #11
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I have the same problem, we camp a lot in state forest camp grounds with no electric hook up. In South Dakota early season camping requires running the furnace. This runs the battery down in one night. This year I'm going to add another 12v deep cycle battery and a small 1000w honda generator to run a few hours to charge the batteries and run a coffee pot without having to run the large built-in oman generator just to charge the batteries. I have not thought about LED Bulbs but sounds like a great idea, also LED bulbs are getting better and cheaper everyday. Meyer123

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:31 PM   #12
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Good plan meyer123 - just remember that when deep cycle batteries are at less than full charge, it is very hard on them. Not so much when camping, but when done over a long period of time like storage. Especially in cold weather - batteries without a full charge are much more likely to freeze. Living in NM, for me I'd use solar when in storage. My batteries would always be fully charged as I hit the road.

Generators are great for extended stays and when you don't have a lot of battery capacity. They let you charge up your batteries to 90% or so in a few hours (if your trailer is setup right), and then it can take many hours to reach 100%. Meaning they aren't very good for right before you store the trailer as they won't likely be fully charged when leave it.

So if I was storing where I didn't have power, I'd either have solar, or take the batteries home and put them on a charger there. The latter being a pain in the rear....


- 2005 Dodge 2500 CTD 6spd manual
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- 2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe (sold)

My Write-up on managing 12V and batteries
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
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Location: Saskatoon Sask Canada
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Since many have talked about the furnace running down the batteries ... may I suggest getting a "big buddy" heater.. it uses way less battery power and way way less propane and heats real well ... I have been using one for the last 2 years now..
2004 Chev Silverado Duramax optioned past the max. 2009 Jayco Eagle 308 RLS 765 watts of solar, 6-6 volt batteries (696 amp hour), 2000 watt (4000 surge) whole house inverter.
175 days boondocking in 2017
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #14
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Been thinking of adding solar panels to my roof. I really don't want to drill unnecessary holes in my roof. I found this method of mounting at:


under `Vehicle solar panel mounts'. And Sikaflex-252 adhesive. Has anyone heard of this method of mounting - pros & cons. If it works it will eliminate alot of holes in the roof.
2014 Golden Burgundy Seneca 37FS
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
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Location: Clearwater, FL area
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I am not a fan of adhesive for something like a solar panel. Would not want to be following the TT should the adhesive decide to let loose because it has deteriorated from the sun and or dry conditions. I used 8 - 1.5" Screws and a lot of sealant, in the holes, under the brackets, and on top of the brackets/screw heads. I check the panel mounts before leaving for a trip, once I get to the destination and when I return home. So far no issues and the panel does a GREAT job. Will be adding 1 more panel and 2 more batteries in 2014.

These are just my thoughts

2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:47 PM   #16
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Location: British Columbia
Posts: 549
Hi, MisterUG

I have boondocked a number of times this years with two 6V batteries from Costco and a 40W solar panel. The panel served me well especially when I was lucky enough to be where it could be in the sun most of the day. Having said that. We ( family of 3 ) are very conservative with our power. I replaced all my interior bulbs with LEDs from Ebay for $1 each. Even with LEDs we only use them when needed and usually only have 4 on at any one time. On the sunny days there were times when I ended the day showing more in the battery then at the start of the day ending the trip with full power. I also spent 4 days in the fog and thick woods where the sun only poke through in the afternoon. I still used my solar panel which barely put out any power, but it was the two 6V batteries and our efforts to use little power that kept us going. Still ended 4 days with 85% power. I do agree with the other posters that more solar power is better, and I'm waiting for another 40W panel to come on sale to get it. It just depends on how much power you use or can conserve. I would love to have the money to really outfit a trailer with lots of solar energy, but as it stands, I'm only willing to purchase another 40w panel when on sale. And I'm sure that will be more than enough to suit my needs considering I'm doing ok with only one right now.

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2005 Dodge Durango V8
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