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Old 11-10-2011, 06:32 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, 08:14 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, 08:21 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, 07:11 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, 07:48 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.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:48 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, 08:06 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, 08:13 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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Old 11-11-2011, 08:23 AM   #29
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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
Jay,

When I was researching solar these folks were very helpful.
Bob
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:43 AM   #30
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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
Try Oasis RV in Tucson. They are a big Airstream dealership.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:29 AM   #31
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Thanks Bob and Lumatic I will look into them after Xmas.
Jay
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:39 AM   #32
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Steve, we all have different preferences or needs. I intend no offense to anyone who needs A/C. The point of sharing experience here is to inform those who are undecided about power sources.

I'll certainly admit that TX is hot and we don't head there for camping in the summer. I enjoyed it quite enough during our 12 years in Dallas. With most of our lives spent in LA, MS and TX, and active in scouting, we camped many a summer night in tents. That was then - now the bones really like a queen bed in a comfortably equipped aluminum cocoon. Still, we prefer the natural night sounds to that of a generator & A/C unit and will seek such. That's our style, others have their own.

We did travel OK, AR, LA and MS in June/July this year (not the best timing, but we had family to visit in MS) and did seek A/C refuge during one night stopovers in R/V parks. It's great to have that option. We also camped quietly unplugged in some very nice state parks. It's great to have that option.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:47 AM   #33
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Jay,
I've had really good advice and prices from RV Solar Electric in AZ RV Solar Electric Store
I purchased the kit from them and did my own installation on our Casita, and had them ship my panel and controller to my Airstream dealer for installation when we bought our new unit.
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Old 11-12-2011, 06:50 AM   #34
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JamuJoe,

You are absolutely correct, everyone has their own needs. When we go camping in Colorado, we don't use airconditioning either, which I might add is not anywhere near as often as we'd like.

If I lived where you do, I wouldn't even own a generator. Actually, I bought mine for dual purpose. Camping in hot weather, which we have a lot of, and power outages here at home, which we seem to have too many of.

Relative to camping here in hot weather, and the most likely need of airconditioning, I just see it that if you must have the generator anyway, why spend the additional money for solar also. Seems redundant to me.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:11 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH
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.
Well in Kansas I have the solar option but also have a Yamaha EF2400 that can run the AC. In early spring and late fall the batteries charge up just fine on solar but in the summer we stay at state parks with electric or bring the generator along. We only stay in private campgrounds when we're attending a rally. I like having both the solar and the generator.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:59 AM   #36
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Jamujoe,
RV solar electric seems to be just what I am looking for. I will call them latert to see if they do instalations.
Thanks,
Jay
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:44 PM   #37
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Well in Kansas I have the solar option but also have a Yamaha EF2400 that can run the AC. In early spring and late fall the batteries charge up just fine on solar but in the summer we stay at state parks with electric or bring the generator along. We only stay in private campgrounds when we're attending a rally. I like having both the solar and the generator.
Brad... I'm with you. Our solar set up (as minimal as it is) serves us very well, unless it's hot as blazes out...and then we are best off heading to cooler climates. But I do like having the generator option as well. I feel prepared for anything that comes along, especially if we are traveling in unknown areas with unknown facilities.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:24 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Brad... I'm with you. Our solar set up (as minimal as it is) serves us very well, unless it's hot as blazes out...and then we are best off heading to cooler climates. But I do like having the generator option as well. I feel prepared for anything that comes along, especially if we are traveling in unknown areas with unknown facilities.
Likewise, we prefer the quiet and seamlessness of our solar but have a gen for hot summer days as a fallback.

BTW, having AZBambi Decor made blockout drapes has proven to be really nice for blocking out the summer sun and keeping the interior cool! Thanks again!
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:27 PM   #39
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Fire Up the Solar Panel

Our 2006 Safari came equipped with a 110w, minimum I assume, solar panel and with the converter and wiring installed at the factory. Since we spend almost no time at camp sites that provide electricity, we do not use the AC and have no TV(s). Once you are above 3500 feet elevation the air is thinner and warms us faster and has less humidity. I find Amarillo, Texas as the beginning of dry air. Hays, Kansas as the transition. Central Nebraska. etc....

The small trickle panel keeps our batteries topped off to 100% most of the time. The furnace running can put a dent into the power available, but you have to do everything in moderation. Minimal use of lights. Keep the water pump off unless needed. Minimal use of outdoor lights at night. Just common sense ways to conserve battery power, so... I can listen to the radio.

Once you are in summer humid conditions, I am packing a generator. I can handle 90 degrees with 8 per cent humidity, but you push the humidity to 80 per cent and you may as well prepare my cemetery plot. The solar panel becomes an overpriced accessory. Oklahoma... southeast Texas... just bury me alive to show mercy. When you see fur coats in winter Tucson and I am wearing short pants and a tee shirt... you get the idea.

If you have a solar panel and want to make it useful? Move to the mountains. Otherwise, Honda exhaust is like smelling a fresh pie before dinner! Just let me at it and save my life.
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Old 11-14-2011, 05:03 AM   #40
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Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I think we will have the factory install the system. We have a generator from our first Airstream and will most likely travel with it, although the new ones are so much quieter....so maybe we will get a new one! I don't want to be "those noisy people"!
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