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Old 09-17-2017, 12:23 PM   #1
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Solar?

hey I'm new to the Solar systems? Does anyone have a recommendation or thoughts as to how about going this route? What are you using the solar setup to do?
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #2
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A place to start might be the RVing with SOLAR group in this site. You'll find it under 'community' and then click on 'social groups' and then 'view all groups'.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:47 PM   #3
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Solar

We started out with a portable system from Harbor Freight in 2009. Went to a permanent system on our 16 Eagle and love it.We piece mealed the system together.The package systems were double what we spent.Attached is Jayco's load chart for campers.That's the first question most retailers will want to know.How much power do you use! Thanks
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Power usage chart Jayco.PDF (51.1 KB, 26 views)
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:51 PM   #4
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I built my own solar panels from parts I found on ebay. (2, 60 watt panels) I have done tests out camping and at home in our yard. Shadows from trees ruin your solar power production, even a shadow the size of your hand will drop the production by a huge margin. I camp in the trees and have bought the Honda generator pair to run the A/C and charge batteries. Do you know how much solar power it takes to run the A/C? My wife has health issues (not life threatening) and needs to stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technicalspectical View Post
hey I'm new to the Solar systems? Does anyone have a recommendation or thoughts as to how about going this route? What are you using the solar setup to do?
As we normally ask as our firs question is "What do you plan on doing with your SOLAR? (Will not include AC as that will stretch anyone's budget, but it can be done$$$$)

- Budget?

- Do you always camp in the shade (SOLAR panels are anemic in the shade)

- Just want to keep your battery charged between outings?

- How much dry-camping do you plan on doing?
Only overnight stops between CG's?
Max 2-3 days?
Week or more?

What are your electrical needs?
- Use of an inverter?
Fridge?
Microwave?
Electric coffee pot?
Tv? Satellite Tv receivers?
CPAP machine, or other medical devices?
Fans?
Charging your devices (Laptops, cell phones, tablets, Gameboy...)

Do you plan on camping in the Fall, Winter or Spring, other than in the summer?

How much real estate is available for SOLAR panels on your roof?

Portable units (need to put up and take down each outing)?

If you mount the panels on your roof, they will keep charging your batteries while you travel.

Can you learn to live the RVing with SOLAR lifestyle? Using large drain items between 12 and 2PM when the panels are providing the most power? (Microwave....)

Let us know about the above items and we can make some good suggestions for you. Join the "RVing with SOLAR" social group and keep up with those that use or want to go with SOLAR.
Don

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RVing with SOLAR
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EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by technicalspectical View Post
hey I'm new to the Solar systems? Does anyone have a recommendation or thoughts as to how about going this route? What are you using the solar setup to do?
I have one 130W panel mounted on the roof. I camp every July for two weeks at a time, probably about 20 percent shade at my favorite site. I have LED lights, two showers per day (pump and fan), conservative hand and dish washing, fridge on propane but the board does draw some power. Music is usually playing 2 to 3 hours per day. We both charge our phones at night. I have a small LED night light that I have installed in the bathroom; this stays on all night. Occasionally I'll run the furnace for ten minutes or so while getting ready for bed--the furnace fan is a big draw, gotta be careful.

I've never had any problems. By around 2 PM the charger is showing fully charged unless it's cloudy, then it will take longer--sometimes into the next day. I've made provisions to add a portable 100W panel to the system for when I know I'm going to be in solid shade.

Parts: 130W 12V mono panel from www.solarblvd.com (don't buy poly-they're inefficient, usually found at places like Harbor Freight.); cheap 60W charge controller from ebay, mounting hardware and any extra wire connectors from ebay, 2 mismatched marine 12V batteries which I plan to replace with decent 6V golf cart batteries; wire is #12 landscaping wire from Lowes--cheaper and easier to run than the single conductor wire normally used in solar arrays.

I'm very happy with this setup. It was around $200 plus batteries. I don't even bother to plug the camper in anymore for the winter when sits in my driveway.

More money will get you a better system, the guys over on the solar forum will be glad to help you spend it!
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:20 PM   #7
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Amazon has a Renogy starter kit complete with 2- 100 watt solar panels with a PWM controller that is large enough to expand into 400 watts if needed. All connectors and cables are included. I installed it a month or two ago and am very happy with the performance so far. Although we haven't had any occasion to use it dry camping yet, I have driveway camped for couple days using our inverter and simulating all other conditions. The price is $340 at present.
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