Two Batteries and Two Tanks - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2012, 12:25 PM   #15
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Lightbulb Solar Panels

Oh and I notice a LOT of people here use solar panels, is there a certain brand and wattage and price point people like, and are they permanently mounted or otherwise.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Thee Jimbo View Post
Wow, thanks everyone for the feedback, and scott and P-Raz thanks for the Pix and links.

This is really helpfull informaiton.

And to provide a little more info for my needs:

I would like to go a full 7-9 days with no hookups. I have a Dometic 211 3-way fridge, works good on propane and have no idea how much 12V juice it will need, hopefully wont need it other than for towing purposes (I have heard that a flame will not stay lit when towing). Also I am converting my interior lighting to 12V, most likely LED so it will use less draw, and I am installing a Fantastic fan, which may run lots.

Currently I am looking for a heater (PO took it out) and I believe they are fan driven as well.

So hopefully the draw will not be a lot.

I have read several places that 2 6 volts can draw lower than 1 12V, but from what everyone has posted, I may be able to get away with 1 12 V.

Input????

thanks!!!!
6 Volt batteries (the golf cart type) generally are around 250 amp hours, weighing close to 100 lbs each. One 12 battery with 250 amp hour capacity would weigh around 200 lbs. It's much easier to handle and change 2 100 lb batteries than one 200 lb battery. All the rest you hear about 6 volt golf cart batteries is myth.

I've gone as much as 3 weeks without moving and will probably go for a month next winter. One 20 lb propane tank, one group 24 battery at less than 80 amp hours, one 65 Watt solar panel. Plus one 50 amp hour battery that runs my ham radio using the same 65 watt solar panel to keep it charged.
What I run on that:
Furnace set to 55F. It usually comes on a couple times early in the morning, the is set to around 65F when we get up. The 65 is only until the trailer warms up. Depending on the outside temperature is it usually turned off.
Fridge use propane, have to be careful and not freeze everything in the box, so it runs from medium to low.
Stove top. Make coffee every morning, cook breakfast about half the time, Dinner most of the time.
Lights. 6 LED fixtures and 2 CCFL tubes. In the winter a couple of the lights are on for about 3 hours each night, even in the southwest.
Charge various electronic devices like cameras, PDAs, Kindles.

I usually charge the laptop computers (2) with the 50 amp hour ham radio battery.

Note that most of our long term camping is in the winter, cooler temperatures, and shorter days, which requires more propane and more lighting.

There's tendency to over estimate energy needs while living in one of these small trailers. Remember you spend most of your time outside, with the trailer door open, at least we do.

For 7-9 days you only need to watch your battery, if you have a solar panel it's not a problem. If need be you can always hook up the big generator (tow vehicle) to charge the battery.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Thee Jimbo View Post
Oh and I notice a LOT of people here use solar panels, is there a certain brand and wattage and price point people like, and are they permanently mounted or otherwise.

Thanks again!!!

Mine is not permanently mounted. I'm keeping two batteries charged and like to follow the sun.
There are lots of brands, styles, and configurations out there. Some will swear by Harbor Freight's 3 panel 45 others swear at it. I have Kyrocera 65 Watt pane (KC65T). I purchased it after reading a lot of specifications. The form factor (size and dimensions) along with life and output are what led to that panel. I built an aluminum attached stand and have about 30' of wire so I can move it around. I also have about another 15' of extension wire.
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Old 06-26-2012, 03:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thee Jimbo View Post
Wow, thanks everyone for the feedback, and scott and P-Raz thanks for the Pix and links.

This is really helpfull informaiton.

And to provide a little more info for my needs:

I would like to go a full 7-9 days with no hookups. I have a Dometic 211 3-way fridge, works good on propane and have no idea how much 12V juice it will need, hopefully wont need it other than for towing purposes (I have heard that a flame will not stay lit when towing). Also I am converting my interior lighting to 12V, most likely LED so it will use less draw, and I am installing a Fantastic fan, which may run lots.

Currently I am looking for a heater (PO took it out) and I believe they are fan driven as well.

So hopefully the draw will not be a lot.

I have read several places that 2 6 volts can draw lower than 1 12V, but from what everyone has posted, I may be able to get away with 1 12 V.

Input????

thanks!!!!
Your fridge will not use any power when running on propane. You will have no problem running your fridge on propane for 9-10 days with only one tank. All my lights are LED and when off the grid I often use small LED head lamps for reading at night. The other thing that will use some power is your water pump. I also use the Fantastic fan which is good with power but my stock Scamp furnace is a little bit of a power hog. I can go about 3-4 days without putting my small solar out if I have been using the Fan regularly. If I have been using the furnace a good deal then no more than 2 days.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:00 PM   #19
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Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thee Jimbo View Post
Wow, thanks everyone for the feedback, and scott and P-Raz thanks for the Pix and links.

This is really helpfull informaiton.

And to provide a little more info for my needs:

I would like to go a full 7-9 days with no hookups. I have a Dometic 211 3-way fridge, works good on propane and have no idea how much 12V juice it will need, hopefully wont need it other than for towing purposes (I have heard that a flame will not stay lit when towing). Also I am converting my interior lighting to 12V, most likely LED so it will use less draw, and I am installing a Fantastic fan, which may run lots.

Currently I am looking for a heater (PO took it out) and I believe they are fan driven as well.

So hopefully the draw will not be a lot.

I have read several places that 2 6 volts can draw lower than 1 12V, but from what everyone has posted, I may be able to get away with 1 12 V.

Input????

thanks!!!!
Most propane furnaces will run down to about 10.5 volts; 12V powers the fan (causes a safety switch called a sail switch) to close, which in turn delivers 12V to the solenoid gas valve to feed the propane. If the fan gets too slow (slow voltage) the RPM drop will not close the sail switch, so no propane to feed the furnace. Current draw is usually 2-3 amps when running, so it can suck down a battery in a few days in really cold weather...
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:20 PM   #20
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A good battery monitor, like a Victron Bvm600, will let you see the power flowing in and out of your battery and accurately measure state of charge. You can turn on each device and see exactly how many amps it takes. They are a little pricy though, about $150, but worth it if you really want to manage your 12v system.
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