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Old 05-24-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Solar charging in Washington st.

Hi all,
Any body out there using solar power for battery charging in Washington st. while boondocking? Might be fine in eastern Wa. but what about western Wa.? Considering it for long weekend boondocking, 3 to 5 days. Any insight would be great.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
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I have two 80 watt panels on my eagle trailer, I live and camp in western Washington and they make a big difference I never plug my trailer in and batteries are always charged
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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You can use a number of solar calculators out there... To really "calculate" we'd need to know how big your batteries are - how much power you're using during the day... Then the panel size can be estimated... :-)

Western/Eastern WA doesn't look like there is much of a difference.. See this chart for "worst" case - on average. In WA you're probably looking at 1-2 hours of solar energy on average during the worst times of the year. That doesn't mean that you wouldn't be out of luck on a cloudy weekend.

You could always start with a 10-20A charge controller and a single panel, ground mounted... And if that wasn't enough, upgrade to additional panels as necessary. Or carry a small backup generator.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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I just did 7 weeks in constant cloud and rain. My solar panels were still able to charge up the battery bank.. BUT I was not watching any TV as there was none there.. the mountains blocked the sat signal..
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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Hi; I'm new Jayco owner. Does anyone have any input on the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar charger. It's pretty spendy and not sure it would be worth it. Looks interesting though. REI and Cabela's sell them.
Any thoughts, input?
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:56 PM   #6
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Check out some of the articles that handy bob has written on solar power. He is socially opinionated, but through the narratives are the facts.... It's a must read if your are considering solar.


http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/t...ging-puzzle-2/


Then you can research panels and controllers that fit your needs.

Also check out some of the treads from JOF member Mustang65 on battery configurations

You can also look at one of my active treads on "power system draft" where guys are helping me configure power system for my 5 ER, including solar and inverter.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my500ride View Post
Hi all,
Any body out there using solar power for battery charging in Washington st. while boondocking? Might be fine in eastern Wa. but what about western Wa.? Considering it for long weekend boondocking, 3 to 5 days. Any insight would be great.
we are ok in the summertime with cloud cover and no furnace useage and sitting for 3-9 days with solar. it is during the colder months with clouds all day and low temperatures and shorter daytime hours that we have to watch our batteries. we do have all led lights and a small catalytic heater that helps.
we always sit under trees so that always cuts the solar down also. but we still charge up and can charge all of our devices and run the fan to cool things down. hope that helps.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shamrock View Post
Hi; I'm new Jayco owner. Does anyone have any input on the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 solar charger. It's pretty spendy and not sure it would be worth it. Looks interesting though. REI and Cabela's sell them.
Any thoughts, input?
Shamrock
The first thing to remember is you only get out of the 1250 what you put into it (Solar Panels). Then you only get out of it what the system can hold. From what I read, I believe that you would do a LOT better building your own system. This would be good for a football tailgater and that is about it.

Here is what I found about the system:
(No mention of solar panels included)
Lead-acid (AGM)
12V, 100Ah battery
(no mention if it is a true deep cycle battery or marine battery)
AC Wall Charger (80W) Included - 16-20 hours
Goal Zero Boulder 30 x 2, included - 20-24 hours
Car Charger (30W), not included - 40+ hours

With 100Ah battery your not going to run a fridge long, or a heating system fan long, or things off of the included inverter, and the other things. The system does not have enough battery capacity to do much.

I would look at building you own system. You will get more capacity for your $$$. You already have the battery(s). That is one thing off the list. Click on the link below and you can see my system. Not a big one but it gives us what we need. I would really think about it.
Just my thoughts!
Don
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