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Old 10-16-2002, 10:08 PM   #21
1 Rivet Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 9
Solar charging

If your Voyager batteries are 12volt you have about 2500watt hours of power. For a 10 day trip you could use 250 watt hours per day before running completely out of power. A 5 watt solar panal running a full capacity 10 hours per day would supply 50 watt hours of power, enough to offset 20% of your maximum potential use. But a more realistic figure would probably be about half of that, or 25 watt hours, given the changing position of the sun and overcast days. It could take as long as 50 days to fully recharge those batteries. I wonder if your system has a significant effect on keeping the batteries charged on your outings, or if you are just using the capacity of the batteries
I know from experience, though, that you can get by on these outing using a minimum of power. In my cabin I just use the solar sytem for lights, a radio, and a very small bathroom fan. I typically run a couple of 6 watt halogen lights for just 2-3 hours. That only amounts to about 36 watt hour at best. The radio and fan may bring tht up to a total of 50 watt hours per day. At that rate the batteries alone should last approximately 7 weeks.
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Old 10-16-2002, 10:36 PM   #22
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
Join Date: Mar 2002
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I start with fully charged batteries and am frugal with my light use. I run one but no more than 2 lights at a time and don't run them for long. I have run 2 fans for 3 hours in one day and then one fan from 9 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. when I got up to go deer hunting. I then had a couple lights on for 45 minutes then turned everything off until I got back around 11:30 a.m. The fans went back on for a couple hours while I snoozed before going back into the woods. I am not using my water pump at all. I get back around 6:30-7 p.m. and a light will go on to fix an evening meal. If I leave the trailer to sit by the fire while I eat then I will turn the light out otherwize I will have the gang eat in the trailer with me (with front overhead light on of course). I may be saving power by the fact that the light over the sink is a single bulb and another a couple feet away has 2 bulbs. The light over the dresser has one bulb but I sometimes opt out for the multiple bulb reading light on the wall over my pillow. I've never experienced any power problem, dimming of lights or whatever.

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
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Old 10-17-2002, 09:48 AM   #23
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1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,523
Thanks for the comments as I thought the little panel was too inexpensive and underpowered to do much.

My house batteries stay charged, as they remain much of the time plugged into a/c in my driveway. It's the auto battery I am concerned about.. I have used a trickle charger on my old car, and thought maybe a solar version would keep it juiced up in the motorhome when its not been driven as often.
I will routinely drive it once a week, but that isn't long enough to give a good charge to the auto battery.

I also run my generator once a week, so I may be concerned for no real reason. The last battery lasted 4 years.
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Old 10-17-2002, 11:22 AM   #24
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LOST , Hawaii
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As long as you are normally plugged in you are in much the same situation as me. I have a float charger mounted in the battery box that I plug into the external outlet on the MH. Keeps them charged and only the extension cord to unplug.

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