Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-23-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Safari
FORT COLLINS , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 19
what size solar or gen. ?

My wife and I (plus 3 year old and dog) are getting ready to hit the road. We will use hook-ups about 50% and boondock the other 50% of the time. We are concerned about power needs while boondocking. The questions we have are..
1-solar or generator?
2-how big or either one?
3- estimated price of each?

we have a 30' bunkhouse with the 15,000 ac unit.
any advice?
__________________

__________________
FORTSTANLEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 10:18 AM   #2
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Hello Fortstanley. The smallest genset that will run your A/C will weigh over 100#. There are propane conversions for Hondas but you can order a Yamaha already set up for propane. This is a fair way of dealing with avoiding spilled gasoline in your tow vehicle. The air conditioner compressor needs in the neighorhood of 22-23 amps to start up without strain (damage).

I've got a single Honda eu2000i (46 pounds without fluids) which does not have the output for the A/C. I haven't missed the A/C yet in wooded campgrounds -- I'll have to come up with a different answer when I travel to the southwest. A propane powered Yamaha with adequate capacity is interesting -- but I don't have Popeye arms. I still like the lightweight Honda for general battery topping off.

Your batteries will not power the A/C at all, so solar is not an answer for that. An inverter to convert DC to AC current is a common question -- there just aren't enough amp hours in a whole bank of batteries to run either an A/C or microwave.
__________________

__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 11:57 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,809
Images: 12
I saw an interesting idea a month ago. An individual getting ready for a trip to Alaska had installed a 3000 watt generater in the back of his capped pickup. Now before you say nuts let me discribe the rest of the story.

He had also install 2 Fantastic fans in the truck cap to cool and exhaust the generater, I assume he will run one fan was exhausting and one drawing air into the cap. He did have a remote start system on the generater. The only thing I did not agree on was he was using gas as his fuel. With the generater mounted all the way forward he will be crawling in and out a bit more than I would want to. I would have run a propane line from the trailer forward as the fuel source. This is a very simple solution and the use of a fuel selinoid, run off the truck ignition, at the tanks give you safty

The whole thing provides security for the generater, sound control while camping, and the ability to precool the trailer before camping.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
vinstream's Avatar
 
1962 19' Globetrotter
1963 19' Globetrotter
1961 19' Globetrotter
Wheat Ridge , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 624
Images: 2
I would also look at getting a new ac that runs with less draw (there are newer ac on the market that work very nice)... then get the two stage yamaha gen that run on propane 2800 ci or 3000 ci ... it kicks up power for start up of ac... then kicks down (way quieter) for run mode... Something the honda does not have! I would (unlike many on this forum) forget the solar thing... to realy do it right you need to spend 7-10 thousand!!!! And it only realy works in the southwest...and it needs to be directed and redrected during the day for your needs... Think of solar this way... the entire roof of your own house still will not power the ac to cool it... I find and i have messed with both the gen will top off your battery way faster at half the cost and have the work...

One last note... get the sub panel to run the gen... it also come with a remote start.... (watch a movie at night turn off gen from bed) very cool!
__________________
www.VINSTREAM.com
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
WBCCI # 1962
Instagram #Vinstream
vinstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #5
Naysayer
 
Boondocker's Avatar

 
1968 24' Tradewind
Louisville , earth
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,635
Images: 7
Send a message via Yahoo to Boondocker
Its really difficult to know what to suggest without knowing what your energy needs are. For example, are you just maintaining the battery bank, or are you going to be running coffee pots, toasters, AC ect? Knowing that information would make giving reasonable advice possible.
__________________
Rodney

Visit my photography page
and the
Favorite camp grounds project map
My Blog

(The artist formerly known as General Disarray)

Boondocker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
_
 
. , .
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 8,812
Quote:
Originally Posted by FORTSTANLEY
...any advice?...
you've asked no small question.... which, how big and how much?

about the only issues left out of your question are lp conversion, adding a windmill, which converter/controller and 6v vs 12v babble...

all 2gether, this sort of encompasses the full spectrum of the power issues.

so my suggestion is READ the dozens of threads here that already contain every answer to every aspect,

along with plenty of useless info

here are some to start with but really just spend 2 hours in that section, taking notes...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ing-11634.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...tors-3978.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ing-29523.html


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...kage-7066.html

there isn't much that hasn't been posted already, and very little new stuff or changes in the energy equation.

many of the solar vendors have catalogs and 'how to' booklets that offer guidance and the full timers books cover these issues as well.

the primary unknown is HOW u will use whatever approach is taken, since many folks don't know till they are out there basking in it.

cheers
2air'
__________________
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
2airishuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
You have two factors to consider. One is peak load and the other is average energy consumption. These are both lifestyle factors and can be adjusted to compromise with energy resources.

If you plan to run an A/C you are talking about peak loads that require a 4kw genset or 2kW inverter. This is possible with batteries but not practical for most RV situations. A microwave can have similar peak load requirements but it is only for a few minutes and that can be practical with a battery system.

For average consumption, figure about how many watt hours you'd need for 3 days and two nights. Divide that by 10 to determine how many pounds of batteries you'll need in your battery bank. (a typical 2 group 27 bank weighs about 120#, has 240 AH @ 12 v or 2880 wH, 1440 usable or 12 wtH/lb)

Some inverters have load sharing capabilities that would allow you to use a smaller genset. They handle peak loads with battery power.

Keep in mind that batteries need to be cycled down at least 10% but no more than 50% (12.4 to 12.0v after resting for a half hour with no load or charging) The live longer that way. They also need a good maintenance charger. Something like the WFCO or PD+Chargewizard go a long way to keeping your batteries fit.

Also, gensets will need exercise on at least a monthly basis. The more stuff you have the more you need to invest in managing it to maintain its value and effectiveness.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 01:39 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Dwight's Avatar
 
1999 34' Excella
Joshua , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 548
Images: 2
I believe your budget will dictate the outcome.

I have a Honda 3000 that we carry with us. Our trailer also has 8~batteries, a 3000 watt inverter, 4~120 watt solar panels and 2~40# LP bottles. The solar setup is great in National Parks and the like.
__________________
History doesn't repeat itself, people do!
Dwight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 01:49 PM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
2006 30' Safari
FORT COLLINS , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 19
thanks for all the info

i knew the decision would not be an easy one. you all have given us even more to think about.
Hey dwight, what did your set up cost?

thanks,
Frank
__________________
FORTSTANLEY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 02:25 PM   #10
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintsream
then kicks down (way quieter) for run mode... Something the honda does not have!
Ahh,
yeah they do.It is called eco throttle.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
More than one rivet loose
 
thecatsandi's Avatar

 
Currently Looking...
Keymar , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by FORTSTANLEY
1-solar or generator?
2-how big or either one?
3- estimated price of each?

we have a 30' bunkhouse with the 15,000 ac unit.
any advice?
Forget the AC unless you want to spend $2250 for a pair of Honda EU2000is's and a paralleling kit. I carry one Honda EU2000 that will run the Water heater if the propane fails for some reason. It would also run the microwave if I turned off the eco throttle. But not both at the same time.

I also had solar installed at the factory. that was around $1500. Upgraded batteries, panels, wiring and control panel. The wiring should be there. The solar is good for keeping the batteries topped off. Labor for installing non factory solar is high.

Get one generator propane fueled prefered and call it good.
__________________
Michelle TAC MT-0
Sarah, Snowball

Looking for a 1962 Flying Cloud

thecatsandi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
davidz71's Avatar
 
1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,148
Images: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FORTSTANLEY
My wife and I (plus 3 year old and dog) are getting ready to hit the road. We will use hook-ups about 50% and boondock the other 50% of the time. We are concerned about power needs while boondocking. The questions we have are..
1-solar or generator?
2-how big or either one?
3- estimated price of each?

we have a 30' bunkhouse with the 15,000 ac unit.
any advice?
I'd go both in order to cover all bases. You can start with one now and add on later. My comments below are considering that I boondock from 2-5 days at a time and my trailer may sit without power for a month at a time without shore power.

I started with a generator first, a Yamaha 3000iSEB gas powered which weighs around 151 lbs. It has over 175 hours and I am happy with it except for the weight. I have to have someone help me lift it into and out of the bed of my truck. I now use folding aluminum ramps to easily load and unload it. If weight is a concern, go with two Honda 2000 generators and a parallel kit. The good thing about this combination is that they only weigh around 51 lbs. apiece and you can run one at a time when not using the A/C. While my Yamaha can boost up to 3500 watts on A/C startup, the Honda combination has close to 4000 watts available.

Weather temperature plays a part in this. If all you are running are vent fans on mild days, occasional use of one Honda 2000 would only be necessary. Hot weather entails running the A/C. Rainy weather may negate the use of vent fans and you may have to fire up the A/C for comfort. Cold weather may entail running the furnace who's blower is 12 v. electrical powered. A catalytic heater would eliminate the use of the 12 v. system.

Searching the forum on how long to run the generator should turn up some interesting info especially from RoadKingMoe as well as others. Another way to keep up with the necessary charging duties would be to install a Trimetrics 2020 meter which measures amperage into and out of you battery/batteries. Randy from Best Converters carries these. Also check out the manufacturer, Bogart Manufacturing.

You are looking at $1000 each for the Hondas and $249 for the parallel kit. I've seen all three advertised in a package deal for $2100-2200. The Yamaha 3000iSEB runs around $1900 and the Yamaha 3000iSEC without boost slightly lower. I carry a 2 gallon can of mid grade gas in the bed of my truck and start with a full tank of gas in the Yamaha tank. Since the bed of the truck is open, I am not concerned about fumes inside the vehicle. Propane conversion would be a waste of time for me. I'm usually camping 2-5 days at a time and usually have enough gas. One suggestion I picked up in the past is to carry a siphon to pull gas from my gas powered pickup should I even need additional gas.

Having said this, up until May 2007, I used a PulseTech 5 watt Solargizer solar panel and an additional 25 watt panel I picked up on ebay. I kept the two Delco Voyager 105 amp hr batteries in my previous 31' Airstream charged first with the PulseTech but was very conservative with light use, one light on at a time. I added the other panel later for more piece of mind. I sold that trailer after buying another Airstream, this time in 25' length. Setting these two panels up and directing them for optimum sun power was sometime a pain. I installed two 100 watt AMSolar panels May 2007 and added another 65 watt panel a month or so later. I'm pretty handy and did the install myself. They are high powered panels manufactured by BP for AMSolar. I also use their HPV22B boost charge controller to squeeze as much power out of the solar. I have only one 115 amp hr battery in this trailer but it stays fully charged without problems. I don't have to direct any of the panels because I have more than enough to keep things charged. Your electrical usage and the amount of sun expected per day would play a part on how many panels and size needed. There is only so much real estate on the top of your trailer also.

Do a search on the forum and you will see a number of threads with pictures posted on some of the solar panel installs done by members. Also go to Welcome to AM Solar - Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987 as well as Welcome to RV Solar Electric! for some good reading. While at it, go to RV Bookstore - Books, Videos, DVDs and Magazines for RVers and search for books on solar. I bought 3 of these before ordering my solar system and they helped me figure out what I needed.
__________________
Craig

AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
davidz71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Over59's Avatar
 
1959 26' Overlander
Putnam , Connecticut
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,064
Images: 37
I have two Honda 2000's with a kit to use them together. If buying today I would go with a multi fuel or propane. I have a slid out in the bed of the pickup. It's like a big shelf that pulls out. With it I could run the genset without having to get it out of the bed. A couple fantastic fans can really help to get the heat out of the trailer once the sun goes down they are easy on the battery.
__________________

__________________
Over59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gen. X, Y ..., What Do You Do For Fun? rseagle Our Community 16 09-18-2016 09:34 PM
honda gen. ? ticki2 Generators & Solar Power 0 09-15-2006 08:30 PM
# 2 Airconditioner-Gen Set Only? Chaplain Kent Classic Motorhomes 14 07-17-2005 01:26 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.