Solar charger questions - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-18-2005, 01:35 PM   #15
Mary F's Avatar
Name: Mary
Trailer: Escape 21; (formerly Casita LD 17 & 16)
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Originally posted by Gina D.@Nov 18 2005, 09:55 AM
Chiming in again here, now that I have back up* I also do not understand where folks are basing the 15w only good for topping off thing.

My experience and Jacks proves otherwise, tho admittedly it is bare bones.

I also remember a thread here where a woman took her panel off her UHaul because she thought it was only a 5 watter and folks told her it was useless. Whoever that was, if she still has it, I am more than happy to take it off her hands. It will install nicely on my Burro. Ready made. It and my other panel should get a run and I will see if "More Power" after that is needed.
A forced air furnace like the one in my 1999 Casita uses a fair amount of electricity. I assume the one in Steve's Scamp 16 is similar. We've done fine with our 3.1 amp solar panel, but we are careful. Very. And we don't run our heater any more than we must (a short while on a summertime a.m., at 9000 ft. in Colorado) when we are camping without hookups.

If we were camping in bona fide cold weather, I don't think our panel (& single battery) would keep up...

Thus, my answer that a panel of 50 watts or more is needed.

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Old 11-18-2005, 02:33 PM   #16
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,000
I think it's interesting that none of us has asked exactly what type of heater is in the Scamp, although Steve suggested a catalytic heater and Gina mentioned the assumption of a fan; perhaps for those who know the Scamp option lineup better than I do, there is no question... but what does this Scamp have?

Furnaces like my Boler original equipment Suburban with a fan for combustion and exhaust, and another one to circulate the interior air (both driven by the same motor), use a lot of power (about 5 amps at 12V). "Gravity" furnaces don't have a fan for the heated air; I don't know if they have one for the combustion air. Vent-free heaters shouldn't have any combustion air fan, but might have (if not strictly "radiant") a fan for the heated air - these types will use less or no power.

1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 11-18-2005, 05:26 PM   #17
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
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I will have to go dig thru my manuals for specific details, but my heater is a Cat heater, AND vented, AND has a small fan.

I have never actualy dug into the guts.

There is a vent tube connected to the outside, and hot air DOES blow out there, so I assume the fan is an exhaust fan. I have no hot air blowing inside, except for my dog, it wasn't me, no, the dog did it.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:00 AM   #18
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Trailer: 2001 13 ft Scamp / 1993 Jeep Cherokee
Posts: 1,252
Steve's question was about using his furnace in his Scamp. And I agree with Mary F. on wattage.

I have had a 15 watt solar panel which barely trickle charged the group 24 battery. It was useless on a camp trip.

I upgraded to a 50 watt panel and have plenty of juice to the battery even in low light. I use my factory installed Suburban furance in my Scamp, Steve should have the same furnace in his. It was mighty cold in the desert this last week so the furnace got used more than ever. With no hookups available in Joshua Trees NP I relied on my solar panel and battery. When I arrive at camp my solar panel immediately goes on top of my Scamp and stays there until I pack up to leave. The panel is doing it job wheither I'm in camp or not. My generator on the other hand needs me to be there while it's running.

I'm not one to use my Honda 2000 generator much as time contrains in campgrounds really don't give me much time anyway. Generally, you can't run them much at night. At Joshua Trees there are 3 two hours windows in which a person can use their generator. Since I don't hang around the campsite the times weren't of much use to me other than on Thanksgiving when I roasted a chicken for dinner. I really carry it just in case I need to cool the trailer off with the A/C or if I happen to choose to hand around the camp one day. Then I might need it for baking or I've even been known to make mods with my drill. But for the most part I have the generator just in case.

Steve R. go with a 50 watt solar panel or better, you won't be sorry.

Joy A. & Lily
and "Puff", too
No. Ca. Sierra Foothills
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