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Old 11-09-2011, 09:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
BUT - the panels won't run air conditioning, electric coffee pots, hair dryers, microwave, etc. And they do poorly in any sort of shadow situation ... even the shadow of a power line or a tree limb will significantly cut their output.
That's the bottom line...if you live or RV where you might need airconditioning, forget solar and buy a big generator.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:49 PM   #16
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IMO: Solar

Everyone has good points about solar.
In my opinion, solar is an auxillary power source, not primary. You can learn to tailor your lifestyle to the resources available and what you think you "need".
Solar can, and does, provide the minimal power charge for the most basic power requirements in the trailer. But, it's more expensive per KW than the other options. It's not any greener, taking into consideration manufacturing and disposal (product lifecycle). And the sun has to be shining.
Shore power's best, generator's next, and don't forget your good ol' V-8 generator in the tow vehicle. Propane's great for heat and light fridge duty, too.
I'm going hybrid, with shore power to charge the batteries, inverters for actual restaurant operation, propane for heat and hot water. Backup generator for unexpected situations, and truck engine w/ 120 amp alternator for final backup.
No solar panels.

Ed Glenn, LEED AP
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #17
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I had the 110 W system installed from the factory on mine, 2 years ago and it has earned its keep. They maintain my batteries at 100% and although i don't boondock, it has been nice to know that i can pull over at night at a rest stop and use the fans and lights, take a hot shower, eat and do dishes, charge my phone and plug in my computer to check my email...and know that at dawn my batteries will start being recharged before i turn on my tow vehicle and continue towards my destination.

Worth the added expense for me
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:15 AM   #18
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"Oh, and one other thing: unless you're boondocking, if you use a gennie, you'll get a lot of hard looks from more quiet folks, even if you use a quiet one. My smallish Yamaha is real quiet, but it still annoyed some folks. And some campgrounds ban gennies some of the time or all of the time. No such worry if boondocking, but then again, I go boondocking most of the time, and I'm trying to ESCAPE from noise. YMMV."



All points well taken...

POI,

MMDV


Have never been approached with complaints about our noisy generator, probably because we never run after the dinner hour. We have had questions about whats in the tent though, and even supplied power to fellow campers.
All about being a good neighbor.

Now complaints about rambunctious nieces and nephews, thats another story.


Bob
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:34 AM   #19
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I figger my fiddle practice is gonna drown out any noises some japanese power plant is going to make. Is it possible to get a surge rhythm going?
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo
I figger my fiddle practice is gonna drown out any noises some japanese power plant is going to make. Is it possible to get a surge rhythm going?
Thanks for triggering "Deliverance" flashbacks.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #21
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Yeah, Pluto really messed-up my solar
I always liked Goofy better.

I have a small wind turbine I got on ebay for $85.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:14 PM   #22
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This is a great conversation. Posting to follow along with the folks who have experience and/or (and/and?) firm opinions.
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Old 11-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #23
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1-Opinions MAKE conversation.
2-I like banjos.
3-I can't believe a 110 watt system can provide enough power to fully charge the batteries.
4-It's a full moon!
:-)
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:11 AM   #24
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My 110W panel, on a good sunny day will throw back in 35-40 dc Amps back in the batteries. Now typically i just camp with a girlfriend, and with LED lights and just coming back to the camper at night, my panels have always brought my batteries back to 100% by the next evening. I will admit, somedays, i also have the TV charging as well while in transit. But i know the panels do thier fair share.

I m going to add another panel soon, so i can charge faster....but i also want to install an additional battery somewhere, because that is how you can really make the most of the panels, the bigger the battery bank is, its like having a bigger gas tank...

Additional panels can be added really easy to a factory installed system, and my regulator can support up to 395W. The panels can just be plugged right in.


Both products i had installed were of Carmanah Industries
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #25
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dont know if mine has ever worked. previous owner(dont know which one) installed 2 smaller panels in back of the a/c, dropped the cord down the fridge vent, and thats where the controller is. a small orange module, that i hear click on and off all the time.
norby
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #26
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Good discussion. Different strokes for different folks. We travel/camp very well with solar as our charging source. 8800 miles, 84 nights in our new FC23FB this year and our 85 watt Kyocera with BlueSky MPPT controller kept us charged through many freezing nights and cloudy days. We easily do without A/C or microwave when camping, and prefer natural environments to R/V parks. Solar is not really about cost or carbon footprint for me, it's about simplicity, safety, and the peace and quiet of no generator. Ironically, the one time that we ran short of power was in Canyonlands NP. The only campsite available upon arrival had my panel completely shaded, and after three days of providing base camp for a large family group, we had to find another spot with sun. I'll now add a second panel, at the other end of the trailer (removing the unused TV antenna), for such situations.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:06 AM   #27
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Can't help but notice, and comment, virtually all of the posters on this thread that are proponents of solar live where airconditioning is not really needed, especially at night.

How strange is that?

If y'all spent some time down here, any time from 1 May thru late October, you'd either be toting a generator or staying in one of those awful RV parks.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:13 AM   #28
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My wife and I will be traveling to Arizona this winter. Can any one recomend a company to insall a solar system there?
Thanks,
Jay
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