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Old 07-11-2015, 04:39 AM   #21
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Bob, that's kind of what we have our eye on as well. Too expensive and probably much more than we would ever need, but I like the idea.

Meanwhile four years in with our factory system and it serves us well. Don't regret the original purchase at all, a battery storage capacity (need larger AGMs) is our weakness at this time. The original panels have them recharged by noon as long as we have sun (solar requirement).

We would regret not having any solar system.
Doug, if you have a front bedroom, adding more batteries is very easy, just put them under the bed. Our $10,000+ project began with the idea of simply adding two new batteries under the bed.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:29 AM   #22
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Overcast sky is the limitation we see of the factory solar system. If sunny, the two AGM's are recharged well before noon. Some overcast sky, maybe 3 pm. Lots of overcast, full recharge may not happen. Time for the generator, or seeing we don't carry one any more, conserve the battery power you have.

So that's why I would first choose to increase battery capacity before solar if pinching pennies, to carry us through those intermittent overcast days. Then when we win the lottery (have never bought a ticket) we could get the total system we really want.

Have to admit, I really dislike generators. (Maybe I should buy a ticket.)
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:32 PM   #23
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Have to admit, I really dislike generators. (Maybe I should buy a ticket.)
It's my understanding that buying a lottery ticket does not materially increase your odds of winning.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:02 PM   #24
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When installing panels on the roof, I assume one must select one side or the other. So, do you need to park with the chosen side facing south, so you can tilt the panels to the south? Is curbside or roadside generally a preferred side for installation?

I ask because I'm beginning planning for installing two large panels (for perhaps 500w?) and the Winegard Trav'ler dish antenna.

Coach is a 2016 30' Serenity.
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Old 07-11-2015, 01:58 PM   #25
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The sun moves east to west, highest in summer (northern hemisphere). I wouldn't want to be limited by solar panel orientation when choosing parking. Perhaps just follow the top of the roof? I would think moveable tilt would have you chasing the sun all day. The idea of solar to me is just let it quietly do what it can, and manage the juice it gives you each day.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:41 PM   #26
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When installing panels on the roof, I assume one must select one side or the other. So, do you need to park with the chosen side facing south, so you can tilt the panels to the south? Is curbside or roadside generally a preferred side for installation?

I ask because I'm beginning planning for installing two large panels (for perhaps 500w?) and the Winegard Trav'ler dish antenna.

Coach is a 2016 30' Serenity.

You'll find that using more panels of a narrow profile ( our 100 watt panels measure 21 X 47) will allow for placement on both sides of your roof. We also use proprietary mounting feet that allow the panels to be tilted 45 degrees for better solar radiance in low solar azimuth situations.


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Old 07-11-2015, 04:26 PM   #27
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I wouldn't want to be limited by solar panel orientation when choosing parking. Perhaps just follow the top of the roof? I would think moveable tilt would have you chasing the sun all day. The idea of solar to me is just let it quietly do what it can, and manage the juice it gives you each day.
That makes good sense.

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You'll find that using more panels of a narrow profile ( our 100 watt panels measure 21 X 47) will allow for placement on both sides of your roof. We also use proprietary mounting feet that allow the panels to be tilted 45 degrees for better solar radiance in low solar azimuth situations.
Hadn't thought of that. Sounds good.

Lew... can a 2016 30' Serenity with two AC units accommodate a Winegard Trav'ler and four of your 100w panels on the roof?
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:44 PM   #28
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I haven't seen the new 30 yet, but I put 4 of the now discontinued 135 watt panels on a '15 30 Bunk (these panels are 57" long) and I believe that a sat. receiver would still have space available in the center of the roof between the A/C units.


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Old 07-11-2015, 07:33 PM   #29
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I haven't seen the new 30 yet, but I put 4 of the now discontinued 135 watt panels on a '15 30 Bunk (these panels are 57" long) and I believe that a sat. receiver would still have space available in the center of the roof between the A/C units.


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OK, thanks. I'll send a photo of the roof when I can.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:38 PM   #30
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See the install that Barry BAB did with the Travl'r. He had to move the AM/FM antenna but it fit in. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f520...ml#post1584465
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:04 PM   #31
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Thanks for the link Gary!
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:41 AM   #32
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Doug,

Actually, with the proper solar panels, solar charge controller and system design, you don't even need full sun for a solar charging system to charge the batteries.

Yes, you read that right! Many of the systems that I install show significant charging amperage to the batteries in minimal daylight conditions. If there is sufficient sunlight (enough to cast a shadow on the ground) many of our systems will work. I have clients that have sent me screen shots of their systems producing charge amperage even in the rain!!!!
Yup, I concur, we have been extensively boondocking and we never run out of power, even with the crapo lead acid batteries. I think next year I want to move to lithium ion that AM Solar sells. But right now, our solar seems to be generating the power we use during the day. I've been really happy about this whole system.

Although I'm sad that the 135W has been discontinued, I thought about adding a 4th panel. GRRRR.
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:05 AM   #33
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I used the 135W panels and made cardboard cut outs, there is space in 2 more locations, for 2 additions panels based on my first measurements. But I have panels on both sides.

I could fit another one of the 135w panels in front of the one in the rear in front of the A/C. I would clear it fine.

And I can get another 135w panel behind the one on the street side.

You can also see me using tilt in this photo. You can tilt these either way. I've tilted for early morning sunrise and sunset. But overall, I've found I don't even need to bother most of the time.
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