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Old 02-07-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
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2010 19' Flying Cloud
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Solar generator for powering laptop?

I have a 19 foot Flying Cloud and don't use much electricity when dry camping beyond lights. However, I do a lot of work on the computer, and the batteries in the AS do not charge laptops or my Verizon mifi.

I was doing research and came across this: a portable solar charger for laptops. http://www.voltaicsystems.com/generator

Has anyone used something like this? Does it work?
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:15 PM   #2
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Wouldn't you be much better off with something like this 100W solar suitcase and then use the trailer to charge your laptop?
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:17 PM   #3
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I'm just starting to research, so maybe that would be better. Is it easy to hook it up to the trailer?
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:44 PM   #4
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Why don't you pick up an inexpensive 600 W inverter, so you have 110 V available inside your trailer for your computer and MIFI? Select an inverter that has a low quiescent current drain while on.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:55 PM   #5
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hi Alano, I don't know anything about inverters so pardon if this is a dumb question: what do I do with the inverter? I searched online and it says something about a 12 volt battery? Do I buy one of those and hook the inverter to it for power?
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:15 PM   #6
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An inverter converts 12 V DC into 120 V AC. You would typically connect the inverter directly to the batteries of your AS. Some folks install 120 V outlets that are wired to the inverter. However for a small inverter (600 W), many inverters come already wired with one or two 120 V outlets.

There are pure sine-wave inverters and modified sine-wave inverters. For most purposes a modified sine-wave inverter is perfectly adequate, and is cheaper and smaller than a pure sine-wave inverter.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:18 PM   #7
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Thanks, Alano. Is it difficult or dangerous to connect the inverter to the AS batteries?
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:22 PM   #8
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Only basic electrical knowledge is required to install an inverter. You'll be required to run heavy gauge wire from the inverter to the batteries depending on the distance required. I would download the installation manual for one of the better-known brands on-line (Samlex, Xantrex, GoPower, etc.) and see if you're comfortable. Otherwise, any RV shop will gladly install one.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:30 PM   #9
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I am also interested in a portable solar unit and the 100 watt Renolgy is something I like. But am I missing something...our 19' International seems to charge our iPhones and iPads just fine, or am I wrong?
I want to solar to enable more boo docking.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:33 PM   #10
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LBelle, when I plug my laptop or iPhone into my wall outlet in my AS when the trailer isn't hooked to electricity, the devices don't charge.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayt View Post
LBelle, when I plug my laptop or iPhone into my wall outlet in my AS when the trailer isn't hooked to electricity, the devices don't charge.
Do you have a 12v socket? If so use a car charger.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:02 PM   #12
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hi Scott, yes I do have a 12v socket I believe, in the cabinet by the stereo. I'll try hooking up a car charger first and see if that works.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:36 PM   #13
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The Verizon MiFi can operate on 12 volts directly via a 12 volt power adaptor which reduces the voltage to the 5 volts all USB powered equipment takes. I use mine all the time that way. It uses a very small amount of 12 volt power that way. Mine measures about 50 mA.

The computer would be best powered with a small inverter. Virtually all laptops take less than 200 watts max, and average about 40 to 70 watts.

Then how you keep the trailer batteries charged when out for a lengthy time period may become a solar issue.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:58 AM   #14
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hi Scott, yes I do have a 12v socket I believe, in the cabinet by the stereo. I'll try hooking up a car charger first and see if that works.
So you can power your cell phone/tablet directly from that. To power the laptop, buy a 200w inverter you can plug in as suggested in the post above.

Then the 100w suitcase charges your batteries.
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