Solar advice - Fiberglass RV

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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Name: Jeff short for Jennifer
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1977
North Carolina
Posts: 65
Solar advice

I could use others' advice and experiences on solar power for our 13' Scamp:
1. What are others recommendations as to the desirable capacity of the system? We anticipate our needs to be largely for LED lighting, phone/computer recharging through an inverter, Fantastic Fan, and occasional 1.5 quart 12-volt crock pot, but we want to stay away from hookups as much as possible.
2. Err on the side of more battery or more solar collection?

Thanks, Eric

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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Name: Kevin K
Trailer: 17' Casita
Posts: 3,040
I would go with a 80 watt panel.
Good prices here
Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Charge Controller, Solar Trackers

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Old 02-02-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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Name: Carol
Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
Posts: 11,704
If you have the option to run your fridge on propane & have LED lights in the traile you will not be using a lot of power - although I dont know what the crock pot will use in the way of power. I only have a 30 watt that I only need to put out every 3 days or so - no crock pot or TV usage though. Just lights, water pump, computer and camera recharging, fantastic fan or light use of the trailers furnace. As the prices have come way down on solar since I purchased mine I would buy more solar - 60 watt would more than take care of my needs plus some and an 80 watt would result in enough to allow me to watch a movie at night if I wanted. The condition of your battery will also impact how long/well you do with a smaller amount of solar. If its more than 4 years old or has been run right down more than once or twice replace it.

If you use the search functions on this forum and go to the bottom option to use the search with Google option you will find lots of threads here on the topic.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2011 Escape 17B
Oswego, NY
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I have the GoPower 95 watt system (although you could save some $ by purchasing individual components) along with a pair of 225 amp/hr 6V batteries installed by Escape on my 17. I've camped dry for 2 weeks using the furnace for 45 minutes per day, LED lighting, a 2 amp cell phone amplifier & router, a couple of hours per day on a laptop that draws 9 amps @ 12v, various camera & phone chargers, and making a pot of coffee (through an inverter that draws 60 amps for 6 minutes) every morning. The system is back to 100% by the end of the day, usually by noon.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Name: Kinga DeRode
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A crock pot is not really practical to run off a battery / solar system. You could achieve the same thing with a propane stove on a very low flame.

Aside from that, you would probably be happy with 60 to 100 watts of solar panel and a 100 amp hour battery.

As noted above, Solar Blvd seems to have some of the best deals. You could put together a nice system for $200 or so.

12 Volt Solar Panels

They also have controllers:
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
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The crock pot is fused at 15 amps or rated at about 180 watts. The manufacturers assume that the operating voltage will be nearer 14 volts than 12 expecting most will be driving while using it and be running it off the tow vehicle's generator. As Tom suggested this is a lot of power for the typical solar system though definitely possible.

We have an 80 watt panel on our Scamp 16 and it is more than adequate for all our LEDs, fridge fans, wi-fi hot spot, computer/phone charging, sat dish and LED TV.

We have a single type 24 battery. In the future we plan to get a larger single battery, though the 24 has been fine for all our travels, probably because we never run our Propane furnace.

We also have the ability to charge our battery from our CRV while driving. This suggests that one could be cooking their meal on drive days heating the crock pot from the tow vehicle's generator power. The crock pots do look nice in that the cover can be locked in place.

As to all other needs, our 80 watt fixed position solar panel has been adequate to meet our needs.

Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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