Wind Power - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
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Has anyone used a wind turbine with their camper . I'm curious to know the cost and the effectiveness over solar power .
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:33 PM   #2
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I have seen some inexpensive ones in Canadian Tire. I don,t know how effective it would be.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:36 PM   #3
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http://www.rvstuffusa.com/rvwindpowergenerators.html

Lots of sites out there to look at. This is only one.
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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First thing to check is a wind resources map for where you camp. Some places simply do not get a mean average wind to make a turbine operate well enough. Second is most turbines are placed on high towers so to clear any obstructions. If you can set up in an area without obstruction; trees, buildings, etc, then go for it. The newer tech can operate at fairly low wind speeds.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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I've been doing a little bit of research lately on new residential wind turbines. There's a lot of new stuff out there, that does not require a thirty foot tower to capture a breeze. No, it may not create enough power to supply a three bedroom home, but may be enough to keep the batteries charged in a small trailer, with very little wind. The neat thing about wind and solar as a combo is the wind is often strong when the sun is not....
Sam's club has a same/similar unit to the one Chester posted, for far less, that could (possibly) be adapted to portable use. You might also want to look at Missouri Wind's website. Odd looking, but claim to begin power generation at 3.5 miles an hour, at a price under $500.
New vertical and/or helix wind turbines are being developed, and marketed, much more rapidly than a few years ago. Vertical and helix turbines generally are much more expensive, initially, but require less wind, are bi-directional, lower mounting pole, or rooftop install, and, in many cases, are actually quite beautiful. Rather sculptural in appearance, they also present a more "solid mass", causing fewer problems for birds and bats.
Cruising sailboats have employed battery chargers from windpower for decades. But, the type typically used may or may not be practical for a travel trailer. You'll want to look at something you can adapt to a quick setup/stow for campiing.
The biggest complaints I've encountered in checking references on various systems is actual vs. potential energy production. Second (tie) biggest is maintenance, and manufacturer support. You'll need to go into this with eyes wide open, and skeptical. Small windpower systems are not as common as small solar systems, by far.
There are a number of websites where you can check (by zipcode) average windspeeds without an expensive wind study, helpful in a residential application, and in deciding if it's worth it to deploy your camping setup.
Just my two cents.
Sherry

edited for spelling
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Has anyone used a wind turbine with their camper . I'm curious to know the cost and the effectiveness over solar power .
Hi Perry
We had a neighbour on South Padre Island this winter who was using a 1000 watt wind turbine mounted on his fifth wheel. The turbine was mounted on a pipe which pivited around a bracket on the roof. When travelling the turbine had to be removed and the pipe pivoted until it rested horizontally at rooftop level. Of course that meant he had to carry a ladder and setup every time they moved. It takes a lot of wind to spin this size prop and it sat idle some days. I thought it might make sense to look for a smaller unit which might turn easier and run more of the time. He figured he would install solar panels for next year to cover the days when there was no wind. I used solar only and had two 30 consecutive day periods with no lack of power. We even used a 2 quart(90 watt) crock pot for 4 hrs a few times. I will double my battery reserve to improve for next year. Wind power looked like too much bother for me, plus I thought it made enough noise to possibly interrupt sleep at night. Before you use either wind or solar consider changing to LED lights for reduced consumption first.
Bill
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:21 AM   #7
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Thank you , everyone for the information .
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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This is the same unit that Chester referenced but Amazon has it on sale for only $500.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-44444-12-Vo...=pd_sim_dbs_k_2

It certainly is a temptation at that price. I'm sure we've all camped placed where we wished we had a windmill.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:17 AM   #9
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As Sherry mentioned, many sailors use them aboard. In that situation they only need to be mounted just high enough to keep people out of the blades; but then there is not a lot to block wind at sea.

The main issue I have with them is that they are noisy. Now yes, some are quieter than others (I had one of the quiet ones), but they still make noise. That might bother you or other nearby campers, if there are any. I'm not even sure I would have one on a sailboat again, and I know I wouldn't want the noise around a camper, personally.

Another consideration, that others mentioned, is that I imagine many campsites are sheltered from the wind; but that depends on where you camp.

They are pretty robust units and sailors leave them up all the time, but then I don't know of any sailboats going 50 knots down the highway so I don't imagine you could leave one up all the time on a camper.

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Old 04-24-2010, 06:17 PM   #10
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Raya has a couple of really good points... I haven't seen a wind turbine system yet, that could be deployed going down the road, at normal highway speeds. It's all based on campground teardown/setup.

Solar is more expensive, but totally silent.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:04 PM   #11
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This one looks interesting. Wonder how well they'd hold up mounted on a egg rolling down the road. Says they can sustain 110 mph. Hmmm. They are available as an educational kit for $79.
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