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Old 08-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #11
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I would agree with ktbarrentine. I think you could save yourself a ton of dough by upgrading your battery and/or adding a second one. Make sure they are fully charged before going to the game and then just enjoy the show. There should be plenty of power reserves from a good set of charged batteries for hours of enjoyment.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #12
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Full week boondocking on solar system

Very interesting post!
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Old 08-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #13
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Am not negative to the idea of solar and can see the advantage in certain situations. I would suggest though that there may be more locations and climates that offer limited sun exposure than there are that "totally" ban the use of a generator. With the same battery setup described by the OP, I can handle the same usage demand and recharge my batteries to full charge in 3 hours or less with my Honda 2000. Considering the extreme quiet operation of the Honda, I have often been allowed to operate on gen power beyond normal gen hours. Given the size and cost of a complete solar system [panels, charge controller, and mounts as well as the added weight, and the ability to choose the heavily wooded campsites that we prefer I am completely satisfied going the Gen route. In the right environment [like Arizona] solar might be a good alternative.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Always good to hear an alternate opinion, but I would guess all genny owners believe their units are pretty quiet. As a tent camper for many years, I can tell you that even the whisper quiet generators are not a welcome addition to the soughing of the wind through the trees. Not wanting to start a debate as I'm sure this issue has many a rabid keyboard ready to pound out a reply. Just letting you know what us "tent campers" think about it. We vowed not to own one and simply will not. Just my humble viewpoint. No offense intended in any way. I like to let us all respect each other.
John
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #15
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John -=- First welcome to RV'n. No need to get defensive, I have been camping in something with wheels for more than 25 years. The last 6 in a TT and the early years in pop-ups. We bought our first gen just 2 1/2 years ago and use it on our houseboat [no plugs any where] as well as the Jayco. I'm not wanting to rain on your parade with the solar thing but simply wanted to express my opinion when it comes to solar. I have done considerable research on the subject made my investment in my Honda when I considered all the #'s. A workable solar system in my opinion would have required a significant investment in both $$'s and operating equipment. I carry a 50 lb gen with a couple gallons of extra gas and I can boondock for 2 or 3 weeks if I want. We just spent 14 days on our houseboat and burned roughtly 6 gallons of gas because we weren't just charging batteries. I ran the gen from 12 to 18 hours a day. I have a 120V frige, lights, TV/Sat, and even ran an electric heater a couple of days. I can go into the deep woods [we love the National Forest] and we can head out at times when sunshine will be at a minimum. To be fair, a gen [even my Honda] is louder than a bird or the rustle of the wind. If you're not familiar with them, the next time you're out and a fellow camper is using one, sit down at a picnic table at a site next to them and give it a listen. If you walk by my camp I promise you wouldn't be offended or disturbed.

Good luck with your system and the weather.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:10 PM   #16
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Hey Bassdog. I looked for your name in your profile but didn't see it. Viva la diversity, right? It is what makes the world go around. I completely agree with you regarding the cost and even more, the level of labor required to get a good solar system installed and functioning. It does take a lot of thought. I think I have about$1,500.00 in mine, but when I do it in our next travel trailer, I will be able to shave about $500 off just in not making the same mistakes. Like I said, the bigger investment was in the actual installation. My time is definitely worth something and because I did the install myself, it took the form of an education. I'm pretty proud of the quality of the install, but believe me when I say it was painful a couple of times. The way I look at it is... if we all did things exactly the same way, there would be no need for super-stores and how boring would that be. Thanks for your input and happy camping. Hope to meet you out there somewhere.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:02 AM   #17
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5 years ago I spent $5000.00 on a whole house solar system for the RV.. I have already saved more than that in campground fees. PLUS when your boondocking you are no where near a gas station to keep filling up your gen. Cloudy days are not a problem in most storms I have been putting some charge into my batteries..
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #18
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I think John & I have come to respect our different approaches to powering our RV's. You have simply added to my point that solar is not an inexpensive nor a simple solution to keeping your batteries charged in the old RV. There are different approaches to addressing this issue. You have chosen solar at great expense and effort. I chose a small generator at the cost of $1000 and 47 lb's added weight. Sure I might pack another 50 lbs of fuel [1 red can] but the package takes up about the same space as a small cooler and I can set up the rig in about 5 minutes and run it maybe 3 hours daily to keep my 2 6V batteries fully charged for the next day. Since I doubt that you drag your rig with horses, an occasional refuel for the TV would be a good time to refill the red can since it will power my TT for several weeks at just 3 hours per day use. Don't forget that since you said your system was built 5 years ago, you will be coming up on a battery change out in the coming years. What do all those batteries cost?

Please enjoy your solar system. I think its great that you have gone to the time and expense to outfit your rig as you did. I chose to own a TT that takes me as close as I want to the max tow weight of my TV without stepping up to a duramax. Rather than adding hundreds of additional pounds of solar panels and extra batteries, I went with 100 lbs of honda and 6 gal of gas that will take me when ever and where ever I want to go, any location and any season the more remote the better.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #19
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Hi there!!!! Hope you and yours are enjoying the Rim. We hope to get up there eventually!!

Kathie
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:49 AM   #20
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Hi Kathie. Thank you and yes, we really do enjoy it. While we were there last, we spent a fair amount of time exploring and GPS marking quite a few great spots for dry camping. It amazes us both how many great camping spots there are in Arizona. Who knew this state was so diverse... and we haven't even begun to explore around Strawberry and Pine yet, or to go further East on 260 than Heber. Let me know what type of site you like and I may be able to recommend a couple.

John & Jodie
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