Will this work for Solar? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-04-2014, 05:43 PM   #1
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Name: Linda
Trailer: Burro 13'. 1982
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Will this work for Solar?

I've attached three pictures showing what my 13' 1982 Burro has for power. Is the doodad from Cabelas a charge controller? Can I run a connection up thru the same hole in the bottom that the black propane hole uses?

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Old 08-04-2014, 06:50 PM   #2
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Name: RogerDat
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Don't think so. I think that is a 6 amp battery maintainer that charges battery when plugged into 110 volt shore power. Probably with some automatic adjustment in charging.

Link to 20 amp version.
Cabela's Advanced Anglers ProSeries On-Board Marine Battery Chargers : Cabela's

For solar you need a different device intended to regulate incoming DC current. Such as this at the low end.
http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-7-Amp.../dp/B0006JO0XI
OR
this on the high end.
http://www.amazon.com/MorningStar-Pr...0A2M68SKDTDSHR

With lots of choices in between.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
With lots of choices in between.
A gulf actually. What solar panels and wattage are you going for?
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:07 PM   #4
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Name: Linda
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Something small.........don't have any micro or tv in my egg. Basically the biggest item is my 3 way frig. I don't fill up my propane tank and I cook outside on my Coleman. I use Coleman latterns or pop in battery pucks at night. If it rains, I read. So we're not talking about needing much. I guess I have a 6 volt so I'm not sure how long it would last if I went to Yellowstone for a week. We get a LOT of sun, that's why I was thinking solar.


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Old 08-05-2014, 12:15 PM   #5
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Name: Denny
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a more basic question: How do you see a solar system improving your camping experience? The more detailed your answer the more we can offer useful suggestions.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:22 PM   #6
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You're about like me. We don't need much.

Our power draws are as follows:
5 LED lights .22 amp each (1.1 amp)
1 LED outside light .11 amp
fan .11 amp (cools the coils in the back of the fridge),
Fantastic Fan 1.62 amps (on high)
water pump .89 amp.

There is also a 12 volt florescent light installed by the PO which we use rarely as general lighting for short periods, which draws 2.4 amps. This last is used rarely and is soon to be done away with, or replaced by an LED fixture.

Excluding the florescent, if everything was on at once, total draw would be 3.83 amps total.

We run the fridge on propane so there is also a miniscule draw to the control board.

As you can imagine there is almost no situation in which all of these devices are on at once. The wife and I read at night, so two of the LEDs are on on each side of the bed. The Fantastic fan may be on all night, but never on high once we dump the day's heat.

We're running an ACDelco M24MF battery charged by 85 Watts of amorphous thin film solar panels flat mounted on the roof, running through a Morning Star SS-10 PWM controller, which thus far is meeting our needs.

I'm sure what you have is a 12 volt battery of some sort. If it were 6 volts there would be two of them.

By the way, on the one nighters on the road we make coffee on the 2 burner stove in the Little Joe. Like you, once we've settled in, we cook on the Coleman and use Coleman lanterns in the campground. The main use of the propane is to cool the refrigerator, so I modified our tank mount to take an 11 lb tank to reduce tongue weight.

I would suggest converting the incandescent lights in the trailer to LED. There is a bit of expense up front, but you will make that up in reduced battery purchases for the puck lights and as you can see the draw is very small.

Lastly, if you plan on going solar, you need to do the sort of draw analysis shown above to properly size your system.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:14 PM   #7
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I agree with everything that Clif said. Especially that you have to figure out power use based on what the device states it uses and how long you will run it to know how much 12 volt capacity (battery & solar) will actually meet your needs.

If your fridge is a 3 way (110 volt, propane, 12 volt) then it uses heat to move the coolant. Will suck your battery flat in very short time. People have had the battery run down using 12 volt feature of fridge while going down the road getting a charge from the tow vehicle if they are not set up to provide a really good charge.

If it is a 12 volt and 110 volt then it has a compressor but will still draw a lot of battery power.

For off grid propane fridge is the best in my opinion. There are some really efficient 12 volt compressor refrigerators and people use them with good success by providing sufficient battery capacity and solar capacity to recharge those batteries. So there are different valid opinions on "best" option. But if you already have a working propane fridge why spend the money.

Oh and if you have the tank removed make sure you cap the propane line, water gets in there it will freeze and will expand enough to split the copper line.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:48 PM   #8
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Name: Sue
Trailer: Casita Patriot '13
Connecticut
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Here's my easy, cheap, wonderful solar panel system, fully explained. Works great. Remember that it's not for plugging 120volt appliances into: It's for keeping the battery topped off with an intermittent electric pump, the propane alarm and night time led lights. I've never dropped below 12.5 volts, even in intermittent sun.

My Working 100W Solar Panel System: Made It Myself For $270 - General After-Market Accessories Forum - The Casita Club Forums

I dropped the o rings from the solar charge controller right of top of the o rings for the house 2 volt trickle charger, on the battery + and - posts. They're never on at the same time.
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