solar setup at costco. Good buy - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-13-2006, 10:52 PM   #29
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Mine should be sitting at the post office!

Goodie Goodie Goodie! I can't wait to get hope to play with it. I am going to use it at Cambria next weekend!

Anyone done a real life test with thiers yet? It's one thing to charge up at home and play house for a bit.. it's another when you are depending on it.
__________________

__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2006, 12:31 AM   #30
Senior Member
 
colin k's Avatar
 
Trailer: 73 Boler
Posts: 159
I tried mine with the fridge running all day. Kept the battery at full charge. This was on a nice sunny day with no shade. Now throw in some rain and heavy cloud and i bet you have a completely different story. The first real test will be camping this coming weekend up in the mountains. It should be interesting because its still quite cold in the mornings and evening.
__________________

__________________
colin k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2006, 08:00 PM   #31
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1991 16 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 251
Did your panels come in, Gina?
__________________
Lee Hillsgrove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2006, 08:35 PM   #32
Senior Member
 
Mike Taylor's Avatar
 
Trailer: Hunter Compact II
Posts: 154
I have the 45 watt 3 panel set from coleman and have had them mounted on my roof for 2 years now. They do a good job a keeping the battery full. I don't use a charge line in my tow vehicle and have always had a full battery to work with. I did a week long trip of boondocking at a camp site in sierras with the solar the only charge for battery. I do run cold cathode flourescent lights and some radio gear and always have more than 12volts at night when i shut the stuff down. The solar controller is mounted where i can observe the led status lights and it usually is full charged by mid-day. It even shows a charge on cloudy days though it doesn't top off then. I rarely run a power cord to the trailer at home unless I'm running the fridge on ac power. When mounted permamently on roof you do have to get up there at times to clean off the grime to get full power. Mike
__________________
Mike Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2006, 10:49 PM   #33
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Quote:
Did your panels come in, Gina?


no. *sniffle*

It is coming parcel post from Georgia. It should take 6-7 days if the USPS is doing it right. I expect by weds. it should be here. According to the tracking # it left on the 8th.

Not enough time for me to do a glamorous install, but I should have it up and running. I already have a controller installed from my 15 watt panels. I am curious about the invertor.. will see what I can do with that, or turn around and sell it with my 15 watt set up

I DID manage to get my LED dome (24 LEDS each) lights permanently mounted and all looking pretty tho. I am going to have to get 2 more.. one end of my trailer looks like a landing strip, the other.. the black hole. (LEDs are something to get used to indeed)

Thanks for the info Mike. I knew about keeping them clean already. It sure doesn't take much to diminish thier capacity.

I also park in shaded areas, so I would rather move the panel to where the sun is than pick a spot based on exposure.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2006, 12:03 AM   #34
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1991 16 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 251
Ahh, I see - you got the Coleman set. I missed that the first time around.

I was wondering if anyone had got the J.C. Whitney set, as their descrption as to what exactly was included was a tad vague. Hoping that someone could be a guinea pig for me.
I guess I'll have to see for myself.
__________________
Lee Hillsgrove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2006, 08:03 AM   #35
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1985 17 ft Burro
Posts: 134
Quote:
I DID manage to get my LED dome (24 LEDS each) lights permanently mounted and all looking pretty tho. I am going to have to get 2 more.. one end of my trailer looks like a landing strip, the other.. the black hole. (LEDs are something to get used to indeed)

Gina, have you already shared your LED source in another thread? Would love to see pictures of your landing strip and hear your experience with those as a main source of light. Thank you!
__________________
D Shubel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2006, 04:30 PM   #36
Member
 
Roy Massen's Avatar
 
Trailer: Boler 1975 13 ft
Posts: 57
Hello

I started with with a 75 watt pannel mounted on the roof of my Boler but have added another pannel that I can plug in and set up somewhere in the sun when I park my trailer in the shade so it will stay cool in the summer. To avoid it walking off I usually set it up on top of my tow and lock it to the roof rack when I am in a place where that could be a problem.
__________________
Roy Massen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2006, 12:05 AM   #37
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Woo Hoo! It arrived!

It's a lot heavier than I prefer, but still not as much as my genset. It went together pretty easily on the PVC stand it came with... after I:

Redrilled mounting holes (They didn't line up) and fixed a blown diode and a busted crimp in one of the panels. Which I will have to do again as our local Radio Hack only had 1v ones. I really need a 3. (I will snag one from work, but I didn't go in today)

It came with one of these:

Powermate 200 watt invertor I already have invertors coming out of my ears, So this one can stay packaged. I might eBay it.

It also had a small 7 amp charge controller. I just used my currently installed 8 amp one. I will probably stick the new one on my gel cells since now I can use my old 15 watt brief case panel to charge them.

I wired it up.. it came with a nice harness, ez pz.. I had to make some mods to add length to the harness, and I wired in the pigtail from my old 15 watt panel so I can charge with 60 watts if I want. We'll see how it goes.

The size and weight are a big drawback tho. I was actually suprised at how big it is, but I can handle it. It may have to ride in the car tho.

Haven't figured out a good way to lock it up. It will probably just get tossed in the trailer if I am out of sight in a less the desirable situation. My 15 watter has stayed put in the boonies and at campgrounds tho. I suspect if someone wants it, they'll get it despite locks and chains.

LEDS.. thats a subject for another thread. I'll do some pictures this weeknd.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 08:11 PM   #38
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry


Yeah, so, er.. I forgot to take pictures of the LEDs. DOH!

I did use the panel in a total Boondocking situation this weekend. As far as performance of the panel, I am exceedingly pleased. I never dropped below 12.2v. I ran my heater all nite, used the cieling fan freely, used my new LEDs and even left them on for hours at a time while no one was in the trailer.. just to see. (At the same time I forgot to turn off my flourescant fixture.. it ran for several hours without making a dent. Charged my computer battery twice and in general, never paniced or had to think about getting juice. I even watched a little TV (Until the signal went all whacky!) which required my invertor.

my little 15 watt briefcase panel was getting passed around to top off Liz and Freds trailers. I hooked it up last nite just for grins to get 60 watts this morning, even in the cloudy rainy overcast conditions.

BAD things.. I have it set up in the array config, and it is somewhat cumbersome to move around. The level was wierd at Cambria, and I had help getting the whole thing back in the trailer. It takes up a TON of space in there too. I have to firgure out a better carrying scheme.

Mike Taylor has the same panels, his are on the roof and he uses cold cathode lamps. I am still hesitant to put on the roof. Maybe carrying the spare in the car and figuring out how to put them on the back with protection would work.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 08:51 PM   #39
Senior Member
 
colin k's Avatar
 
Trailer: 73 Boler
Posts: 159
We had a chance this long weekend to go camping and check out the solar setup. The first 1/2 day was nice and sunny. Battery stayed at full charge with fridge running. Then the clouds rolled in and it POURED. And by POURED i mean we got absolutely drenched. We toughed it out the remainder of the day and woke up the next morning to pouring rain. Hmmm. The forecast was 70% chance of the same so decided to head out. It was a mud bog getting down off the mountain. I kept the truck in 4wd just to make sure if i got in a bind i could get out. The battery stayed at about 75% charge. The sun peaked out again the next day and fully charged the battery again. Its surprisingly fast how 3 panels can bring your battery up to full power. We headed out to a new spot a bit closer to home. The sun was out so battery power stayed at full charge. The clouds rolled in again and it spitted for the rest of the day. The panels still kept up the battery with fridge running.
The roof mounted panels are the way to go Gina. Once they are up there you can forget about them. Just take a squeegy along and when you get to your spot just give the panels a quick squeegy and your done. Let technology take over.
I agree though that the panels are pretty heavy. I would hate to lug them around.
__________________
colin k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 10:08 PM   #40
Moderator
 
Gina D.'s Avatar
 
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016
Registry
Well, they are not as heavy as my generator, they use less gas, and smell better.. not to mention are slightly quieter!

I am just going to do some consolidation. I notced this weekend that when someone didn't have "something" I had a spare "wot not". I might have too much junk, eh? (Tho it's nice to help folks out if they need it.)

Holes in roof.. scares me.

Quote:
Just take a squeegy along and when you get to your spot just give the panels a quick squeegy and your done.
You haven't seen my massive towering bulk have you I am 5 foot one on a good day. Things on the roof might as well be on another planet to me.
__________________
Gina D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2006, 10:27 PM   #41
Senior Member
 
colin k's Avatar
 
Trailer: 73 Boler
Posts: 159
Quote:
Holes in roof.. scares me.
You haven't seen my massive towering bulk have you I am 5 foot one on a good day. Things on the roof might as well be on another planet to me.
Are you telling me you dont carry an 8 foot extension ladder?

So you have a squeegy on a stick. No big deal. I stand on my front propane tank and squeegy from there. Takes me 30 seconds.

I think carting around those panels will get old quick. Not only are they heavy but are kind of aukward. 4 holes in the roof is no big deal. When you mount just use butyl tape and stainless hardware. This weekends wet adventure produced no leaks.

Ok. Since you have to cart around the panels. Why not mount them permanently and cart around a light 8 foot extension ladder.
__________________
colin k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2006, 12:01 AM   #42
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2000 19 ft (formerly 17 ft) Casita Freedom Deluxe ('Nuestra Casita') / 2000 4WD V8 Tundra
Posts: 760
Send a message via Yahoo to Kurt & Ann K.
Sorry Gina, you can't have my extension ladder!
On a more helpful note, would those panels fit on a roof rack for your tug? If so, they would also provide shade and keep your Element cooler inside, which your dogs just might appreciate. Some creative wiring with maybe an extra plug might do the trick. The top of the Element may also be a little more accessible than the roof of the "Shady Bush II". Land Rovers can be ordered with a "shade" panel for the roof and it doesn't generate any electricity!
Has anyone else come up with mounting possibilities for solar panels?
Watching with interest...
Kurt & Ann K.
__________________

__________________
Kurt & Ann K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar, solar panel


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Strange Tow setup Doug Arthurs General Chat 36 07-28-2010 10:52 PM
Costco shopping FRED SMAILES Jokes, Stories & Tall Tales 0 05-12-2010 12:10 AM
Small Daewoo AC at Costco $50 after rebates (PGE) Bobbie Mayer Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 0 03-29-2008 08:47 PM
Setup Questions Cam A Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 16 04-26-2006 07:13 PM
Some pictures of our new 'setup' Legacy Posts General Chat 2 05-15-2003 11:23 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.