solar setup at costco. Good buy - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-06-2006, 01:07 PM   #15
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I fabricated this out of aluminum. It holds 3 panels and fits tight to the boler. Its permanent. Its wired to my battery box i made under the table. the box is airtight and vented to the outside. You can see the solar charge controller mounted there.
Colin K, Nice job on the solar mounting hardware you made!
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Old 05-06-2006, 01:22 PM   #16
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I am really debating this though
This is a no brainer. That price is practically give away. As Colin mentioend.. 10 bones per watt is typical. And that doesn't include the controller and all the other candy they give you with this system.

I already have that stuff, but it doesn't hurt to have back ups.

They have these mail order, I may go that way.
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Old 05-07-2006, 11:26 PM   #17
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Found one on eBay and got the top bid! Woo Hoo! Hopefully he will get it shipped in time for the Cambria rally.

$255 bid + $50 shipping.. and no sales tax.. cheaper than the costco one!

I think I will try it with its stand supplied before I do roof mounting. I am not quite as skilled as Colin.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:20 AM   #18
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Stand supplied? You must have bought the super deluxe version.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:00 AM   #19
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stand and other stuff with this one

Is this the same as yours?

INCLUDED IN BOX:

THREE 15 WATT SOLAR PANELS THAT PROVIDE UP TO 45 WATTS OF CHARGING POWER
PVC FRAME STAND AND WIRING
7 AMP CHARGE CONTROLLER FOR PREVENTING BATTERY OVERCHARGE
POWER INVERTER TO BE USED FOR SMALL APPLIANCES
12 V SOCKET CABLE FOR SMALL ELECTRONICS
BATTERY CLAMPS
INSTALLATION VIDEO INCLUDED
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Old 05-08-2006, 05:38 AM   #20
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I was visualizing something like this. Although I have seen movable sun chaser installations.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:13 AM   #21
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stand and other stuff with this one

Is this the same as yours?

INCLUDED IN BOX:

THREE 15 WATT SOLAR PANELS THAT PROVIDE UP TO 45 WATTS OF CHARGING POWER
[b]PVC FRAME STAND AND WIRING
7 AMP CHARGE CONTROLLER FOR PREVENTING BATTERY OVERCHARGE
POWER INVERTER TO BE USED FOR SMALL APPLIANCES
12 V SOCKET CABLE FOR SMALL ELECTRONICS
BATTERY CLAMPS
INSTALLATION VIDEO INCLUDED

Nope. 3, 18 watt panels. 5 amp charge controller. bunch of wiring most of it was useless really. and.......thats it.

I already had a 1000 watt inverter. I would have tossed the stand just because im not into setting up every time and risking the solar array walking off.

Let me tell you. You got a smokin deal on that set up. Good on you.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:20 AM   #22
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Hi Folks,

I'm new to this solar stuff (OK I'm new to this trailer stuff too ) but I am very interested in this setup and am going to swing by Costco in Newmarket, ON to see if they have them tonight.

Can anyone give me some information on what I should be looking for in terms of a battery to go with this? Any other tips and tricks for a solar newbie?

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:27 AM   #23
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Can anyone give me some information on what I should be looking for in terms of a battery to go with this? Any other tips and tricks for a solar newbie?
Dave, if you haven't already, check out our Solar Tutorial. (It's also available in the list on the (upper) left of this screen.)
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:17 PM   #24
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I love ebay, but that return policy at Costco is rather terrific!
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Old 05-08-2006, 02:13 PM   #25
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Hi Folks,

I'm new to this solar stuff (OK I'm new to this trailer stuff too ) but I am very interested in this setup and am going to swing by Costco in Newmarket, ON to see if they have them tonight.

Can anyone give me some information on what I should be looking for in terms of a battery to go with this? Any other tips and tricks for a solar newbie?

Thanks,

Dave
Im new to solar too so i dove right in .

The higher the amp/hour rating the better. I bought the biggest battery walmart carried. 118 amp/hour i think it is for $100. I moved my battery box to under the bed/table. While sitting at the table there is unused space at your feet against the back wall so thats where my box went. Its sealed and vented to the outside. Now i can fit 2 batteries in there if i want. I have my propane tank mounted on the tongue. Its a nice balance.Tongue weight is probably around 50 lbs. Im not sure what the tongue weight should be but a big a$$ battery on the tongue i think is too much.
I routed the wires through the cabinets above the stove and down to the battery box. All wires are hidden. Wiring is straight forward. Each panel has a positive and negative just like a battery. Wire the panels together then to the controller. Wire the controller to the battery. No diodes are needed as the panels have diodes in them.

Its real easy to do . I think the biggest problem was mounting to the roof. The aluminum cost me a bottle of Gibsons finest. Its basically just a frame holding the panels in place with 4 angled legs. You can mount the panels directly to the roof but i didnt want to riddle my roof with 12 holes.

Thats it. No sweat .
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:17 PM   #26
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Mary and Colin,

Thanks for the replies - I had read the Solar Tutorial but it didn't make much sense to me at first... until I went to Costco and looked at the batteries, then it kinda all fell into place.

So I dove in too... starting out a bit smaller, with a Group 24 battery, 95 AH. I figure I can always add another battery, for now I'm trying to keep the weight down.

There has been a battery in this trailer before, which is no longer there - there is a plastic battery box with a lid under the front bench, a vent in the side of the trailer and a strange looking thing that looks like some kind of blower. I'm not sure if I will try to re-use what's there or re-locate, keeping it off the tongue sounds like a good idea as I already have two propane tanks up there.

In the mean time it also appears I have some spagetti to clean up after 30 years of miscellaneous re-wiring

Thanks for the pics also Colin!

Dave
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:07 PM   #27
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And speak of the devil, Costco magazine had an article about solar this month, including news that some California warehouses will have solar roadshows this summer.

http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/200605/
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:30 PM   #28
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For those in Baja Canada, the following might be of interest:

Harbor Freight Solar Panels

It looks like the Costco item most of this thread is about is not listed on their website any longer, but J.C. Whitney still has the panel kit linked above.

Quote:
45 WATT SOLAR PANEL KIT



Use the sun’s power to run TVs, lights, computers and recharge 12VDC batteries!
Three 15 watt solar panels give you plenty of clean, quiet energy-- no fuel required
Power center is completely weatherproof and works under all light conditions
3, 6, 9, 12 volt DC adapter outlets
Easy-to-read LED charge indicator
Includes mounting hardware, light, 12V socket and battery clamps
Requires 12 volt storage battery and 300 watt power inverter (not included). Maximum current, 3000 mA. 15 watts max per panel. Peak voltage: 23.57 volts open current. Panel dimensions: 12.40'' x 36.42'' x 0.75''; Weight: 9.7 lbs.

ITEM 90599-1VGA

<strike>$249.99 </strike>
$199.99
45 watts for $200 is a pretty good deal, but I'm a little unclear as to what exactly is included with this kit. Looks like the three 15-watt panels and some extras but I'm not sure about the charge controller. I think even if one is not included the price is still very reasonable.

Has anyone purchased one of these from J.C.?
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