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Old 01-03-2015, 02:10 AM   #1
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1975 25' Tradewind
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Tips for new solar/battery system

Hi, I was wondering if any one had some suggestions on my new solar/battery system. I have a 75 25 foot Tradewind with one battery. My wife and I are fairly stingy with our power use. We've gone five days boon docking without having to breakout the generator but we did not have to start the heater. and I've converted the lights to LED's. I've looking at the suggestions that others and have sort of settled on a two panel system from AM Solar with a combined out put of 200 Watts and a controller from Blue Sky (3000 i). However, when I started looking at an inverter, I about choked. Everyone suggested the Magnum which is more than the rest of the system combined (I'll have at least two 12 Volt AGM batteries installed under the mid gaucho). We really only need 110 to make coffee and charge our iPads,etc. , although we might put in a monitor later. Does anyone know of a decent inverter that won't break the bank or know a better solar system. P.S. I'm having the installer remove the old antenna and holding bracket.
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:15 AM   #2
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If you can do without the coffee you can get a tiny plug in inverter for the rest of the stuff. 300w or so should do it.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bearhere View Post
Hi, I was wondering if any one had some suggestions on my new solar/battery system. I have a 75 25 foot Tradewind with one battery. My wife and I are fairly stingy with our power use. We've gone five days boon docking without having to breakout the generator but we did not have to start the heater. and I've converted the lights to LED's. I've looking at the suggestions that others and have sort of settled on a two panel system from AM Solar with a combined out put of 200 Watts and a controller from Blue Sky (3000 i). However, when I started looking at an inverter, I about choked. Everyone suggested the Magnum which is more than the rest of the system combined (I'll have at least two 12 Volt AGM batteries installed under the mid gaucho). We really only need 110 to make coffee and charge our iPads,etc. , although we might put in a monitor later. Does anyone know of a decent inverter that won't break the bank or know a better solar system. P.S. I'm having the installer remove the old antenna and holding bracket.
Depends........on just how much power you need for 120VAC use. If you use the stove top for your coffee, you can get 12VDC direct USB ports to charge your devices. Morningstar makes a great little 300 watt inverter that will cover your TV or any other small loads. AM Solar carries them too.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:57 AM   #4
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Yes you do need two batteries.
Here is my system one 190 watt 18VDC panel does the job well.Made stand for it out of 1/2" PVC to hold it so I can change angle and rotate with the sun.Stand folds up with panel and I lay on bed when I move. It was about $335 with wiring and PVC.
Have gen.to do my coffee and run toaster in AM
Have 300 watt inverter to charge items like phone,camera,and run computer and printer.Make sure to put a switch in to turn inverter off when not in use.My printer draws lot of AMP even when off.Have thought about larger one but I would need 2000 watt one and can not balance $$$ to benefits to run two items.Starting gen.once aday is good now I know it will start and it keeps gas fresh.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:28 PM   #5
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I have a five year old, three panel system from AM, and I am happy with it. When you start charging today"s electronic devices you need more 110 than you think.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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Isn't there already a inverter in the trailer?
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:38 PM   #7
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The 110v coffee maker has to go,, sorry as it was a wake up call for me also.. After I mastered the art of boiling coffee on the propane cook stove,, I have grown a taste for it after all..

We have a 200 watt system, and with full LEDs ,, we can get along fine down to the high teens running the heater blower just fine. After that the battery is pulled down too hard by morning and needs a full recharge.. Without heat we have gone 3 days easy with stable battery voltage. Sodbust
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Thanks for all the advise

I'll just buy couple of decent plugin 300 Watt inverters. To the fellow that boils his coffee on the stove, get a Coleman camp stove coffee maker. They are a little slow to work on the A/S stove(which is why I wanted to use the electric one) but the coffee is as good as in any coffee maker.
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:01 PM   #9
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No, I 1975 I don't think that the general population even had dreamed of the systems that we have now. Maybe if you were a NASA scientist.
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:17 PM   #10
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Hi- I use one battery unless planning a long stay, in which case I set another on the ground and connect it directly to the other battery. Solar panel keeps everything charged during the day when parked. I use very little 110, and use a small cheap inverter plugged into a lighter plug when needed. Coffee and tea on the propane stove. Phones charge 12v, fridge is propane, hot water is propane, tv is a 12v flat screen. All lights are LED. Heat at night is propane with 12v blower. The only 110v big user is the A/C, which we only use when hooked to shore power. This is in a fairly stock 1967 Sovereign. Am only using a single 100watt panel, portable. How much power and what kind you use really depends on your habits. Seems everybody is different. Good luck! Rolland


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Old 01-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #11
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Remember the Melita drip systems that were so popular in the 80"s... they make great coffee and the water heats on the stove.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:01 AM   #12
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Remember the Melita drip systems that were so popular in the 80"s... they make great coffee and the water heats on the stove.
A bit of a hijack, but get the #6 filter cone with the long spout. It fits directly into a Stanley thermos. You can have hot coffee all day.

Coffee Filter Cone No. 6 - Creative Kitchen
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:35 PM   #13
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In my opinion, adding solar panels and a big inverter is not cost effective for making coffee. You can buy a lot of Starbucks VIA instant coffee (and boil the water on the stove) for the cost of an inverter. Alternately, a stainless steel Bodum French press makes great coffee; and it looks at home in an Airstream.

Don't want to hijack this thread with coffee makers. Here's a link to an old coffee brewing thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f160...ter-71767.html
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