Looking at solar power options - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
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Looking at solar power options

We are starting to look at Solar panels for our Scamp 5er. We have one battery. We have already converted to LED lights in our Scamp and basically would like to be able to run our fridge, heat and lights and maybe a 12v fan when we do not have access to hookups.

We ran across this SoldonSUN Solar Battery Charger Kit 68w flexible solar panel plus 30’ cable, plus Morningstar SunSaver 6 Charge Controller.
http://www.soldonweb.com/Battery-Charger-Includes-Flexible-cable/dp/B0056EKD66

Looks like the cost would be about $250.


I know Norm & Ginny have a flexible solar panel setup they like - I tried to find the model etc in the posts but didn't have much luck.


Does anyone have any experience with this equipment or have a setup they like better?
Thanks!
Fran in NM
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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I have been looking at that panel and the size may be more than you can fit on your roof. The "Uni-Solar PVL 68" panel is over nine foot long and about 15 1/2 inches wide. If you have that much space it looks promising. Products « Uni-Solar under "PowerBond". The panel by it self sells for around $130 with out the 30ft cable.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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That's a great price on a Unisolar panel. Led lights, fan, water pump, sure. Fridge (on battery), I don't think so. Heat, no. Furnace fan, maybe. Raz
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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Flexible Solar Panel Source

Fran,

Here's our source for our Flexible solar panel. I originally bought two 40 watt panels and this year we bought a 70 watt for our son's Scamp 13.

I see some one suggested Uni-Solar. That was our first choice but they simply do not fit on our Scamp 16. They also are less efficient and take up more space.

It is difficult to search for info on this site. I'm not sure why. However please do not hesitate to PM me. Glad to answer.

Solar South USA, Providing the Best in Alternative/Renewable Energy - About us
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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Fran,
I have an 80W panel, Morningstar controller, and 15 foot extension cords that make up my brand new portable set up. Total cost about $250. Purchased from UL Solar, no tax free shipping. Like Raz said: yes on the lights especially LED, fan, and pump, but that's it. Frig on propane.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
That's a great price on a Unisolar panel. Led lights, fan, water pump, sure. Fridge (on battery), I don't think so. Heat, no. Furnace fan, maybe. Raz
+1. You need to calculate the amp hours of power that you need daily and back out the solar panel / battery size from there. Refrigerators are hungry, electric heaters are voracious.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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Didn't realize the panel was that big! We'll have to keep looking.

We did mean that we would run the fridge on propane and use the on board furnace - not an electric heater.

Thanks Norm & Ginny - we'll check out that link.

We really want to be able to run our furnace a little - at least to take the chill off in the am.
Thanks!
Fran
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran L View Post
We really want to be able to run our furnace a little - at least to take the chill off in the am.
You could use a portable catalytic heater. Probably best not to run it all night.

It is too bad that no one offers a gravity furnace any more. No power requirement, and very quiet. Not very efficient though.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fran L View Post
Didn't realize the panel was that big! We'll have to keep looking.

We did mean that we would run the fridge on propane and use the on board furnace - not an electric heater.

Thanks Norm & Ginny - we'll check out that link.

We really want to be able to run our furnace a little - at least to take the chill off in the am.
Thanks!
Fran
I have a 60 watt rigid panel and have run the blower fan for the furnace occasionally plus lights with no issue. So, yea, this is doable.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:02 PM   #10
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Thanks. The catalytic heater worries us a little...maybe the 12v electric blanket could fill in the gap....we haven't been out in really cold weather so we might not need either most of the time.
The other old trick I picked up while on safari in Africa is to use a hot water bottle wrapped in a fleece sleeve. Tuck it under the covers at the foot of the bed and it will keep your toes nice and warm all night long! I even use it at home during the winter...decadent!
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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Electric Blanket

We use a twin sized electric blanket and it does a great job. We find once we make a cup of tea the trailer heats up quickly.

We also carry a small block heater.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #12
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Solar will always boil down to your usage because everyone has different appliances and habits. I use a 75w panel with a Morningstar ss-mppt controller, use all the mentioned appliances plus a stereo, and I’ve never had issues, but my appliances are quite efficient. If you can figure out what you really need to run and their draw, then you can match a solar build to give you what you need. Of course I did none of that at first, but you learn as you go
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Norm , I probably missed it but I didn't see a 70watt panel in your Solar South link . And what controller did you end up with ?
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:06 PM   #14
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I was at Costco today and they still have the 55 watt Coleman for about $150, which included a 12 v DC to 110v AC converter.

I think it is this one:

Coleman 58050 55 Watt Solar Charging Kit
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