Originally Posted by Johnny M
Glad to see you are getting to enjoy it! I am very curious as to how much power you are using off your batteries and/or inverter that allows you to keep it topped off with only the 2.5 watt panel...
1) Are all your lights
2) How much on average day/night were they used?
3) Did you run a water pump and if so how much?
4) What else did you run off the battery? Inverter, DC refrigerator
, cell phone chargers, tv, etc.
5) What battery, solar
charger, converter and inverter do you have?
6) What gauge cables are you using from the battery to the converter and/or inverter?
7) How long did the 2.5 panel take to top off the batteries?
8) Is your tow used in charging the battery also?
Hey Johnny, nice to hear from you again!
Yes, all my lights
are LED inside and out (I spent close to $400 on lights). I picked up under cabinet lights for the dinette area, the front couch/bunk and the kitchenette. They are 12V blocks with 20 or 30 leds. I also installed touch activated lights for each of the two bunks as reading lights for my kids at bedtime. The outside door light
is a standard fixture with an LED "bulb" in it.
My wife and I are very simple in our needs. We do not have cell phones (Can you imagine!) and we did not have any accessories inside the Boler
that required electricity. In fact I am planning on removing the sink completely and replacing it with a large cutting board style counter top. We have not used on-board water once on our travels. Our purpose for having the Boler
is to get away from it all so we do not have a television (We do have tablets that we charge in the van while driving).
The converter in the Boler
is the original ( I posted a couple of questions and photos in one of my other threads since I found a problem with my wiring I think) and I actually didn't use it. I ran the fridge
on LP and the odd time I had to take a site with hydro (electrical) I had an extension cord and a power bar that worked too. I plan to fix the converter in the spring.
The little Coleman 2.5 watt solar panel
is actually a trickle charger that I bought for the dash of my pick up truck originally.
This was my first time out with a solar
system and I wasn't relying on it and I didn't know if I needed one either. We drove over 10,000 km this summer towing the Boler so you can imagine there was lots of opportunity for the TV to charge the battery. The longest we stayed in one site was 5 days in British Columbia. I only charged with the solar panel
during this stay (it rained every day too). While I do not have a voltage meter and I never checked the battery the only thing we used during those 5 days were the lights in the early mornings and evenings and I never noticed a dimming or loss of power from the lights. It was summer and the sun did not set until 10 pm so we didn't have lights on for much more than an hour or two max and obviously we had lots of daylight hours to charge.
As for the guage of wire, I'll have to check the workshop so I don't quote the wrong size - pretty sure I used 14.
I hope this answers some of your questions. I know that we are fairly minimalist in our needs so this set up might not work for many others but it was everything we wanted.