My New Solar System - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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Thanks Sharon. I think it will work well for me too. They're out of stock right now, but I think I'll go ahead and get on their waiting list. Now I just have to decide if I should convert to golf cart batteries. So many decisions...so little time and money.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:38 PM   #16
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Sharon, just to provide a little experience.

We've been dry camping with our 80 watts and have no trouble running pump, fans, lights, sat dish and TV.

The biggest load for us seems to be the two refrigerator fans that blow over the cooling coils. We keep the fans on through most of the day.

We use a 100 watt Inverter to run the TV and Sat Dish. Other than that we've found no need to use AC.

We used to run the AC to make coffee, 600 watts for 10 minutes but now just pour hot water thru the drip unit. Actually makes hotter coffee.

Of course we are in a particularly sunny part of the world.

We're about to dry camp in a deep mountain valley for four days and I'm wondering how we'll do it that situation.

Safe Travels
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:56 PM   #17
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.........so little time and money.
If you want to save money, you can put together an equivalent solar kit for a lot less money. Buy two panels off ebay, add hinges, a controller and a carrying case made for something similarly shaped.

New 50 watt Sun Solar Panel PV Poly-crystalline 25 Years Warranty | eBay

Solar Panel Charger Controller Regulator 10A 12V/24V | eBay

DELUXE ART PORTFOLIO CASE, BLACK CANVAS ~BIG 28"x 24" | eBay
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #18
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Linda,

We used the solar panels last weekend in Sequoia National Park. It worked well. The solar panel comes with a 16ft. cable and we decided that we need to get the 25ft extension.

The solar panel is great to have. We will be using it extensively when we go to Anza Boreggo in November.

Teri
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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Thanks Teri, that is good to know.
And my husband thanks you Tom. He likes it when I save money. However, I was sold when this Solar System was described as Solar for Dummies. I'm just starting to buy things for my new-old Scamp, but Solar is one of my priorities since I primarily ike to camp at places without hookups, and having only one battery, I believe solar is the way to go to keep me charged while boondocking. This forum has sure helped me learn a lot about the scamp. Great bunch of contributors!
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:35 AM   #20
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.......However, I was sold when this Solar System was described as Solar for Dummies.......
It is your money, so enjoy. The way I look at it, if I save money on one trailer item it leaves me that much more to buy other fun trailer stuff.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:27 PM   #21
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if I save money on one trailer item it leaves me that much more to buy other fun trailer stuff.
Now that I get!!! And believe me, I've got a looooonnnng wish list. Something to consider...

Linda
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:07 PM   #22
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Um, it just occurred to me to wonder how many planets you have in your new solar system...
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:48 PM   #23
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Sharon, just to provide a little experience.

We've been dry camping with our 80 watts and have no trouble running pump, fans, lights, sat dish and TV.

The biggest load for us seems to be the two refrigerator fans that blow over the cooling coils. We keep the fans on through most of the day.

We use a 100 watt Inverter to run the TV and Sat Dish. Other than that we've found no need to use AC.

We used to run the AC to make coffee, 600 watts for 10 minutes but now just pour hot water thru the drip unit. Actually makes hotter coffee.

Of course we are in a particularly sunny part of the world.

We're about to dry camp in a deep mountain valley for four days and I'm wondering how we'll do it that situation.

Safe Travels
Norm, I just saw this post. Good to know that your 80 watts provides everything you need. I've put an air baffle on the outside of the refrigerator so it works great without fans. My concern is if we will have enough power to run a mifi and two laptops.

We also switched to a french press for coffee. Comes out hotter and tastes better than in the electric pot.

I am seriously thinking about getting one of those portable countertop icemakers so we won't have to lug around a big cooler and can make ice as needed for our cold drinks. I'm guessing I'd need a bigger inverter for that. We would probably use it once a day and put the ice we didn't need right away in the freezer.

Right now I'm just using one of those little 75 watt cigarette lighter inverters. I was thinking of getting a 400 watt inverter just to be safe. Is that overkill?
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #24
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the more i read about solar, the more friggin' confused i get! i have no head for amps/voltages etc. but i do like the "solar for dummies" concept and i am deep into investigation!
i want solar. we boondock alot. and our fridge is not 3-way but only 2-way, meaning no propane.

keep the info coming....i appreciate any and all i can get!
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:05 AM   #25
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the more i read about solar, the more friggin' confused i get! i have no head for amps/voltages etc. but i do like the "solar for dummies" concept and i am deep into investigation!
i want solar. we boondock alot. and our fridge is not 3-way but only 2-way, meaning no propane.

keep the info coming....i appreciate any and all i can get!
The solar kit is tidy, but you pay a fair premium for that convenience. A solar system is really simple:
  1. A solar panel (or two)
  2. A charge controller that hooks to the solar panel with two wires
  3. Your deep cycle battery that you probably already own, hooked to the charge controller with two wires.
I mounted a 60 watt panel to my roof for $130, bought a good quality controller for $50 and wired it to my battery. Done.


You cannot practically run an absorption refrigerator off a battery / solar system. If it is a compressor refrigerator (makes noise when it runs), you can use larger solar panels and batteries to make it work.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:52 PM   #26
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Thomas,
THANK YOU! I too have been totally confused with this solar stuff. I was hoping it didn't really need to be as confusing or difficult as it was sounding!
I appreciate the fact some like to have a very elaborate setup, but I prefer things as simple as possible, as I am one of the "dummies"! Thank you for making as simple as I thought it could be!

Vicki
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:29 AM   #27
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................
Just as a FYI to others interested in solar kits, I was at Costco today and they have this 55 watt Coleman kit for $199. It includes a 200 watt AC inverter and a charge controller. The panels are amorphous.

Amazon.com: Coleman 55 Watt Solar Power Generator Kit: Patio, Lawn & Garden
I was at my local Costco recently in Livonia MI and they have dropped the price to $149.

For comparison, I paid $130 for a 60 watt panel alone with no controller or inverter.
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #28
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Ice and Inverters

Norm, I just saw this post. Good to know that your 80 watts provides everything you need. I've put an air baffle on the outside of the refrigerator so it works great without fans. My concern is if we will have enough power to run a mifi and two laptops.

We also switched to a french press for coffee. Comes out hotter and tastes better than in the electric pot.

I am seriously thinking about getting one of those portable countertop icemakers so we won't have to lug around a big cooler and can make ice as needed for our cold drinks. I'm guessing I'd need a bigger inverter for that. We would probably use it once a day and put the ice we didn't need right away in the freezer.

Right now I'm just using one of those little 75 watt cigarette lighter inverters. I was thinking of getting a 400 watt inverter just to be safe. Is that overkill?


Sharon,

We have given up ice and have found we can easily live without it. We keep 5 cans of drinks in our fridge at the bottom and they are typically near ice cold. We carry no coolers.

Let me know what the ice maker is and I'll see what size inverter it needs. If it has a compressor 400 watts is probably not enough.

We use a cigarette light inverter to run our TV and sat dish receiver without issue. We have used one to charge cell phones and computer.

I sometimes put a 3 way plug expander on the cigarette lighter inverter so I can run a computer and hotspot simultaneously. We also keep one in the car to allow us to charge things as we drive. computers, phones, cameras hot spots draw very little from an inverter and do not have high start up currents like compressors.

Hope this helps.
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