Solar Charger and Panels - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-11-2007, 10:08 PM   #85
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Still have to get the battery. Should that be a 12v deep cycle?
Check out this link: What is the difference between a normal lead-acid car battery and a deep cycle battery?
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:24 AM   #86
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. . .

It's gonna be a hot day today, record-breaking, even. I'm hoping I can pull my trailer out and measure some volts and amps under the mid-day sun, then I'll report back.

There's some dumb saying that Kipling recites: "Mad Dogs and Englishmen . . ." But I'm sure that's just superstition. Has nothing to do with the fact I was born in England . . .
Must not have been in a very British mood that day. Didn't get the trailer back from the storage place and check the panel . . .
Still need to do that . . .

--P
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:22 PM   #87
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I purchased the solar panels from Harbor Freight.
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Today's Harbor Freight circular is advertising a [b]$179 in-store price!
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:51 PM   #88
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The website is posting much higher... $224.99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/disp...temnumber=90599
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:49 PM   #89
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I've got two batteries hooked in series in my '81 Trillium. I'm just now trying to figure out where to attach the controller + & - wires. From what I've read... positive/positive on one battery, negative/negative to the other. Am I ok? Helen
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:54 AM   #90
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I've got two batteries [b]hooked in series in my '81 Trillium. I'm just now trying to figure out where to attach the controller + & - wires. From what I've read... positive/positive on one battery, negative/negative to the other. Am I ok? Helen
If you're talking about two 6 volt batteries in series, then yes you are doing it correctly.
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #91
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If you're talking about two 6 volt batteries in series, then yes you are doing it correctly.
Yes, two 6 volt...thank you!

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Old 03-07-2008, 08:42 PM   #92
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Attachment 11810

Today's Harbor Freight circular is advertising a [b]$179 in-store price!
Went to HF today. The store price is $179. They will honor internet prices that are lower than the in store price. They also told me their pricing is different from online pricing, because they are two completely different groups. I now own aa observation camera, Two inverted tomato hanging bags, the tow alignment kit and a raincheck for the solar panels.


I was truly amazed. I have never been in HF during one of their big sales. Never, ever, have I seen that many men using shopping lists and coupon fliers. They were even comparison shopping. Guess, HF is a grocery store for guys.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:02 AM   #93
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I have had one of the 3 panel Coleman systems (45w@ 3a) for quite some time. Before I got them, I had (and still have) a small folding briefcase 13 watt@ 1a panel.

Altho the Coleman set works great and I have been satisfied with their electrical performance, I have been long annoyed by their size and weight. I had difficulty in moving the array as a set because of the weight. I could wrestle them into place, but it was not fun. In my 13, I could sort of tilt them up and slide them into the trailer as the last thing I packed, but the 17 sits much higher and they had to be lifted in, and the array took up too much space. Not convenient for those quick rest stops.


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The guitar case that Fred has actually came from me. I broke down the set and intended to carry the panels in the case, but the frames on the panels were about 1/8" too wide to fit into it. OK, back to the drawing board.

Carrying one at a time is far easier than hefting all three. I removed the frames and came up with a poorly executed PVC frame with alternating sockets and extended ends so I could fit the panels together in an array and lock them together. Since I often leave the trailer during the day, I am deeply concerned about easy theft, so I don't want to leave them sitting on a frame as individual bits that can easily walk away. 3 bolted together would take longer to swipe, and the perma frame I had them on could be locked to my trailer frame or a tree.

Well the PVC idea was a bomb, but I only got as far as doing 2 of them before I came to the brilliant conclusion that "This ain't gonna work". I also tripped on one of them at Quartzsite and cracked it, fortunately, on the back, which is exposed glass. It still works fine, it was the back, but it shows the perils of having them exposed and movable.

I will be taking the one with the original frame and attaching it with hefty hinges so it can be folded up INTO my rock guard for travel, then flipped out and supported by hefty telescoping poles for use. The poles will also double as a support for it when it's stowed. It will be hard wired into my controller, so I will need to do nothing but deploy it for quick afternoon and overnite stops etc. (The other two will get roof mounted permanently.) I will provide pics as I go along.

Since I still want the ability to adjust panels to the direction of the sun, I have decided to go back to my original briefcase panels.


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I found a source on eBay that I can get them from for around 50 a piece + shipping combined, so that puts them at just a over the HF system for price per watt for 3 of them. They do not come with the charge controller the HF one does, which should be tossed in the trash anyway :-P. I already have a nice controller.

The bonus for the slight upcharge for me is.. I already have one and can vouch for their quality and durability. They also COME with their own carrying and stand solution and are actually MUCH smaller when folded, yet only a hair deeper than a single coleman panel. They weigh less as well, and they have a handle. I currently stow them in one of my rear cubbies. The large panels have to be stowed on the floor.

I will fashion an aluminum sliding bar that spans through the handles and locks down so the panels will be latched together and I will have a place to run the Kryptonite cable lock through. Anyone with a hacksaw could still pinch them, but I had the same situation with the heavy coleman array. It will keep impulse snatchers at bay, however.

Sounds complicated, but I have already built a connection box with 1/4" phone jacks and will be fitting the panels with 1/4" phone plugs and then tethered to the controller. It will all snap together and be running faster than the frame for the HF one can be erected.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:09 AM   #94
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The guitar case that Fred has actually came from me.
and I am forever in your debt, Gina.
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:32 AM   #95
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send cash....
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:20 AM   #96
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So, Gina,

What's the link to your preferred seller for those briefcase solars? I like that idea better and being a small person was concerned about the weight and bulkiness of the Harbor Freight ones. Can't ignore the price,tho.



I am grateful you are going to explain step by step how you are going to wire them, as I am still more that a bit of a solar dummy.

Also, which controller do you recommend for this setup?

Yeah, I've done my homework and the array of possibilities is mind boggling. I'm not going to be able to get to a big egg gathering this year. but I have it in the plans for next year.

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Old 03-08-2008, 07:36 AM   #97
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FYI, there's a really good tutorial on the solar on the left nav bar written by Jim Dunmyer:
Solar for Travel Trailers
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:24 AM   #98
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FYI, there's a really good tutorial on the solar on the left nav bar written by Jim Dunmyer:
Solar for Travel Trailers
Because of that excellent tutorial,I am willing to try this. I have also read Gina's personal blog about the 13'. Plus what seems like a million words on the subject. I'm concerned in putting all that knowledge into practical use, not so much understanding the technology. It's [b]the doing part of the whole thing where I'm inexperienced.

Guess I should have made that more clear. Apologies for any confusion.

Never mind the seller link. I just ordered the 30 Watt Briefcase and charge controller package on Amazon. Not a bad deal, and now I've made the decision and I can get back to putting guts into the trailer.
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