After a year and a half of researching and waffling we finally had solar
installed on our Bigfoot
, in which we have been full-timing since July 1. We have four 80W Sharp panels, two Trojan T-145 6V golf cart batteries, and a Morningstar TS-45 charge controller with temperature sensor. A knowledgeable friend consulted with us on the design and did the install. I was the tool hander.
The panel mounting arms are longer that the panels are wide, allowing the panels to clear the air conditioner shroud when tilted. The panels will tilt to port or starboard but not fore and aft.
With our somewhat minimal lifestyle, so far the 260 amp hours storage capacity the two batteries provide has been more than enough. We have yet to drop below 80% charge, but we haven't been faced with multiple cloudy days in succession. Four batteries would have been nice for our times in the Pacific Northwest, but we cannot afford the additional tongue weight
Most people, including our installer friend, think we are nuts to have so many panels on such a little trailer. We love having them. Even partial shading greatly reduces panel output. Without tilting or orienting to the sun properly, most of the time at least 3 of the 4 panels are in full sun during the hours of peak insolation. This allows us to orient for the view or the topography and still get fully charged batteries. At this point we couldn't be happier.