Solar panel size? - Fiberglass RV


View Poll Results: What size solar panel do you have?
0-49 watt 3 11.11%
50-74 watt 6 22.22%
75-99 watt 11 40.74%
100-124 watt 4 14.81%
125-149 watt 1 3.70%
150 watt plus 2 7.41%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-23-2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Solar panel size?

What watt solar panel do you have?
0-49 watt
50-74 watt
75-99 watt
100-124 watt
125-149 watt
150>
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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Trailer: Escape 17 ft 2006 / 2005 Honda Pilot
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I got an 80 watt panel this summer but haven't really had the opportunity to fully test it (the Pac NW is surprisingly full of shady trees and clouds). It did very well despite the lack of direct sun as long as I was careful with electric usage. Looking forward to 2013 and camping in some sunnier places to fully check out how well it does for me.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Florida
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We've had an 80 watt panel for about a year. We are light energy users and the panels have provided adequate power for the water pump, TV, sat dish and all rechargables with occasional e-blanket use.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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I purchased my system from rvsolarelectric.com (great people) and decided to go with the Carmanah CTI-80 panel which is of course 80 watts. I installed it myself using the directions that were included with the system and the technical support they happily provide over the phone. Had to make a few minor modifications to get everything to fit but now I am enjoying what has felt like unlimited free electric. Granted I don't run any heavy appliances like television of my system, I do run a couple 12v fans almost 24 hours a day when camping, a 12v fluorescent light several hours a night (more in the fall and winter months), charge my cell phone and also my computer with the help of a small 300w inverter which I think is my biggest draw. I have yet to run out of power. Even today as I am enjoying some camping surrounded by fresh snow my panel was covered with snow and ice the last 18 hours, just got in from clearing it off I was still drawing some recharge off the sunlight that was filtering in through the snow. I have been simply amazed at how well it all has worked. Oh and I have everything connected to a group 32 deep cell (biggest one I could find) in case you were curious about that.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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I went and took a picture of my little winter camping setup / deer hunting camp. You can see the panel and how much it was covered yet still capturing some energy.

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Old 11-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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We have a 30 watt panel which keeps the battery topped up for evening lights. For fridge, fan and cooler it really sucks (powerwize) but for extended weekenders it's done it's job for several years at FG outings.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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I have Escape's 95 Watt GoPower solar option combined with a pair of 6V batteries - so far I've managed to dry camp for 2 weeks with nights in the low 30's, brewing a pot of coffee each morning & running my power hungry laptop a couple of hours per day. The charge controller indicates I'm back to 100% by noon each day...
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:29 AM   #8
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I have a permanent 50 Watt panel that I replaced the original UHaul panel with. when we go to the outer banks of NC I carry 2 more 50 watt panels as there is no power where we camp. Battery bank is 2 Trojan T 605 210 AH 6 V in series. I run a 50 Qt ARB fridge as a freezer and LED lights in the VT. Only Issue I have had was last OCT. we ran movie night and drained the reserve to 50% which is not really a problem. If I ran the ARB as a fridge I would probably never have an issue but I like fresh Ice in my drinks. Picture of design iteration 2 mount attached, iteration 3 spans both panels and adds a ball joint to the feet to allow for better adjustment of the solar angle.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Tyler,

Love your picture.
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #10
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Thank you.
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
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Trailer: Egg Camper
Tennessee
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I just ordered my panels. I plan to put one 100 watt panel in front of the roof vent and one behind, both right in the middle of the roof.

I may move the battery from the tongue to the rear storage if I really get into the project. The rear storage area is a pain to get to on the EggCamper if you don't fold the bed up, and there are no outside doors.

I already moved the spare to the back bumper from the forward closet. The plan is a trailer tongue box, but I need to balance that weight. So I'm moving the more permanent items to the rear (battery, bike carrier, spare tyre, etc.).

Projects, like a honey do list

Jason
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
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Jason,
I added a curb-side hatch to the area beneath the bed. It provides easy access to storage. There was a bit of tension about cutting a hole in the side of the shell, but the first cut is the hardest. Click on my Registry link to see a photo.

Ron
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron F View Post
Jason,
I added a curb-side hatch to the area beneath the bed. It provides easy access to storage. There was a bit of tension about cutting a hole in the side of the shell, but the first cut is the hardest. Click on my Registry link to see a photo.

Ron
I like the idea of an outside door. Just need to find something aesthetically I can handle. And get over cutting holes in the fiberglass.

Jason
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #14
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Power Needs.

I guess my power needs are bit lower than many. I carry in the back of my truck a 65 Watt panel that gets used several times during our 3 to 4 month winter trip. Some times to charge the 75 amp hour house batter and sometimes to charge the 50 amp hour amateur radio/recharging electronic devices battery. But not everyday, closer to twice a week, depending on usage and travel days.

The charge rate of about 4 amps seems to be pretty good. One of the batteries is a gelcell and requires a slower charge rate. (sometimes bigger is not better). This all works really good for us, but might not for others.
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