Originally Posted by crazeevw
Maybe I haven't been reading enough about your Burning Man preparations, but am I seeing a solar panel set-up on trailer behind your Airstream? Was it able to keep your batteries topped off without having to use genset? At least until roof air was needed?
I've been using the solar panels for a couple years now when we go to BM and Yosemite. A couple years ago, Costco was selling this unit from Coleman. It is a 65 watt system.
If I had the money, I would have myself a 300 watt system and if I had just a little bit of money, I would have as a minimum system 150 watts. But this was inexpensive and it is still working!
This 65 watt system provides about 3 amps when panels are clean and in direct sun light. My MH with basically nothing running but the refrigerator electronics, propane leak detector and well I don't think anything else, requires about 1.5 amps. In that situation, the system will then only be charging the coach batts at 1.5 amps per hour. Not enough to charge batts from much of any a discharged state.
I'm guessing that throughout a day/night, I use about 30+ amps and that is with very little usage of MH lights, water pump and the fans ( up to three of them). If the panels got a good ten hours of sun light, that would only give me about 15 amps of charging over the basic amp requirements.
I bring with me a Yamaha 2000 portable generator and when I'm at Yosemite, I probably run it about three hours a day total to keep the coach batts charged. At BM, I'm running the Yamaha a lot! Everyone does, so no need for me to fret. I have 110v led string lights and a "small" boom box that I use a lot as well as run the interior fans when there is no dust clouds visible. I have another batt and an inverter on my flat trailer. I charge this batt with the generator too. But, I discovered this trip that that batt will no long charge, so I used the generator a bit more this year.
I used about 5 gallons of gas for the Yamaha 2000 over the week. No problem since I brought an extra 25 gallons of gas with me. I think the Yamaha burns about a gallon every 8 hours, where the Onan genset I believe burns about a gallon an hour.
I did use the Onan genset twice so that we could run the rood A/C to cool down the MH on two late afternoons. Hell why not, the super rich millionaires at BM have electricity 24 hours a day and run their A/Cs 24 hours a day! At the higher altitude, the genset runs pretty rough until it's warmed up and I finally adjusted the mixture screw so it wasn't pumping out so much black smoke!
Speaking of batteries, my iPad I'd about to die so I'll post this and maybe add more later.
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