solar power

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by arch14799, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. arch14799

    arch14799 New Member

    Hi. Have 40' DP and thinking about putting on 4 or 6 solar panals. Anybody have real world experiance with these?
     
  2. WildWillyToo

    WildWillyToo New Member

    Re: solar power

    YEP!
    Whattaya wanna know?
     
  3. kb0ogt

    kb0ogt New Member

    Re: solar power

    i am also listening... :)
     
  4. arch14799

    arch14799 New Member

    Re: solar power

    How many panals do you have? Is it enough? Do they work "as advertised"? Would you do it again? Thanks, Jeff
     
  5. WildWillyToo

    WildWillyToo New Member

    Re: solar power

    Jeff and KB0OGT (from an N1***)

    I have 3 panels....one 80 watt and two 20 watt. I keep 3 batteries charged (deep cycle 60ah) with them. They run radio equipment at my camp. (before that, they kept my fifth wheel batteries charged and allowed me to be "off the grid") Charge rate is about 7.5 amps at full sun and I use a 10 amp charge controler. That translates to an average of 45 amp hours per day - higher in summer, lower in winter.
    I also have 3 small panels...a 5 watt and two 2 watt panels on my boat. They keep the batteries maintained and do some minor charging. It's enough to replace what the fish/depth finder, stereo, and 2-way radio, draw while sitting idle.

    Would I do it again? Yes, without any hesitation! I would probably only change one thing. To be truly independent of outside power I need a little more carging capacity during winters here in the northeast. I would choose two 100 watt panels for my fifth wheel and probably 3 or 4 for my camp. (Of course that's if the Mrs let me spend the money..lol) With a single 100 watter, you need to be vigilante about your power use to keep from outrunning the panels ability to recharge. Depending on your location, and if you want to take the time to aim your panels, your charge rate can vary. Up here, in the summer, a stationary 100 watter would produce about 40 to 50 amp hours per day. If you choose to re-aim your panels several times each day you will get a little more out of them.

    For most camping/rv'ing needs, I think a single 100 watt panel would do the trick. If you're a die-hard boondocker, you may want to shoot for a little more, but I really think 100 would handle most needs.

    I hope that helps? If you have any other specific questions, I'd be happy to answer what I can.
     
  6. arch14799

    arch14799 New Member

    Re: solar power

    Thanks, you have been very helpfull. Jeff
     
  7. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    Re: solar power

    Hello CamperTech! Thank you so much for your info. DH and I fulltime in our 40' Diesel motorhome, and we are looking to get 'off the grid', too. DH wants to cover the coach in Solar panels, and that's ok....but, I don't think we have any more space for extra batteries without giving up more bays/storage space.
    Am I correct in understanding that the only way to access the solar energy at NIGHT is to 'save/store' that energy in the extra batteries? What I am asking is: if we are in warm or cold climates, and we need to use the AC or electric Heat at night, we need to have the power/energy saved and stored in extra onboard batteries?
    I really appreciate your help!!!
     
  8. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: solar power

    Lynn solar will not heat water(other than the coffee pot) or do AC or Elec heater. Unless you have BIG BIG BIG Solar panels(more than on top of the RV). Use propane for the hot water and heat and the gen for AC. But with the right batteries and the right panels TV, stereo, computer, are doable as well as the coffee pot in the morning and maybe the mirco for a meal here and there.

    LEN
     
  9. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: solar power

    good advice to remember for later
     

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