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Old 05-01-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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1959 24' Tradewind
Excelsior , Minnesota
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Solar what batteries

Hi,

I'm having someone wire the inside and soon I hope we will be getting to the solar aspects. I belong to Costco and wanted to get some of batteries they have in stock. I believe I want Deep Cycle Cell does anyone know anything about these and which ones I should get and how many I should have I am thinking two or three. Costco also has a Solar system under rv and camping I think its about 160 watt unit, any feedback on this from anyone?

Thanks!

Betsy
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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Do you plan on doing any boondocking?
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betsy View Post
Hi,

I'm having someone wire the inside and soon I hope we will be getting to the solar aspects. I belong to Costco and wanted to get some of batteries they have in stock. I believe I want Deep Cycle Cell does anyone know anything about these and which ones I should get and how many I should have I am thinking two or three. Costco also has a Solar system under rv and camping I think its about 160 watt unit, any feedback on this from anyone?

Thanks!

Betsy
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Buy cheap........get a cheap system. Proper solar design and installation is quite a bit more involved than just getting a few panels, new batteries and wire and putting the thing together. Sure, some cheap systems cobbled together will work, but how well and for how long!

A proper system should be designed to meet your electrical needs and uses. The wiring should be large enough to accommodate the amount of electrical flow to the charge controller, and then on to the batteries with a minimum of voltage drop. What, no charge controller? THIS IS A MUST!!!

Also, AGM batteries, having the lowest internal resistance of any battery commercially available and used in RVs, have the quickest re-charge times when powered by a solar charging system and generally, the longest life when used and re-charged properly.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Hi

Thanks,

Do you have a system or resource you could recommend to me. I have had someone wire it up for basic electricity and he is really doing a lot of research as this is new to him. I would love to pass on all of your recommendations for charge controller, solar system panels vs peel on etc... and batthery type and brand. I'm parked in Hayward WI but home is the Twin Cities of Mpls so I have some access to stuff.

Thanks again for your time and opinion and believe me I want to do it right this time so its the only time.

Betsy
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:22 PM   #5
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Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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....try this web site...HandyBob's Blog
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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Ditto on the AM Solar site. My signature line should tell you why! They are the oldest RV-specific solar manufacturer in the US and make and sell systems, not just components, althought you can buy them there also.

They DO provide more than adequate wiring and properly design all of their systems, as the 'Handy Bob' blog in the previous post complains that many in the solar business neglect.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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What initially starts out as a simple query can develop into a more involved issue. I thought I had an adequate solar/electric system unitl I spent 3 weeks boondocking in Quartzsite. Then I realized what becomes desirable. Battery storage is a big issue. I currently have 2 6-volt deep cycle RV batteries for the coach, but I found that I was really constrained by what I could do. For example, not enough to watch TV and then run my CPAP machine all night. Not to mention running out of battery storage because it was cold at night and I ran the furnace a bit (it does get cold in the desert at night). The added insult was that the batteries were drawn down to the point that I was unable to start the motorhome engine and/or generator. I do have a 123-watt solar panel roof mounted with a 30-amp digital controller.

So the solution I am following is as follows:

1 - I am having a rack built to hold 8 batteries (this is in addition to the 2 for the chassis). This will provide adequate storage.

2 - I purchased a blue-flame propane heater so that I don't draw my batteries down on a cold night.

3 - I plan on buying a 400-watt portable wind turbine generator - these are currently being sold in the $600 range on Amazon.

4 - I bought a cheap 800 watt generator to use with a battery charger just in case I ever run out of battery power - the 6.5Kw generator in my Land Yacht can be difficult to start (and there is no way to manually start it) and since it runs on liquid propane, it can go through my tank of propane fuel in one day.

5 - finally, to minimize electrical consumption, I have changed all my incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs. For this I recommend led4rv.com - Dan had been an Airstream tech and he knows Airstreams - he has developed replacements for all Airstream lights (interior and exterior). As well, I found his prices reasonable as compared to what was being asked by the vendors at Quartzsite.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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1959 24' Tradewind
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Hi

Thanks for all the great info!

I will be boondocking, I guess thats what its called I'm going to BC and living up there for as long as the weather allows. We have some property. The longer I can stay in one place off grid the better. I spent a lot of time last night on the AM Solar sight, very helpful and I'll be going to Bobs blog today.

Just think, without this forum and the internet there is no way I would have gotten this far now I just need to pull it together!

Betsy
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