Strength solar power needed...? - Fiberglass RV
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-31-2016, 02:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Estella
Trailer: Currently shopping.
California
Posts: 27
Send a message via Yahoo to LaFille1
Strength solar power needed...?

Hello there!

I am wondering if anyone would know how much of solar power panel (strength)I should get for my small Van Wagon in order to provide me just enough power when being in places without electricity. Also, I worry that if I install it on the roof, can it be stolen? Has anyone had their solar panel stolen in the past? Maybe I am just being a worry wart? Can this be possible? Any input will be appreciated!

Wishing You Good Health & Happiness in 2017!
LaFille1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 02:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Raspy's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Black Series HQ19
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,389
For minimal use and ease of use, probably one 50 watt panel works well. This assumes propane refrigeration, LED lights and low general use.

If you install on the roof, probably double that to 100 watts. I'm not a fan of roof systems because they are never oriented correctly to the sun, get dirty and must be cleaned, and I don't always want to park my trailer in the direct sun. Parking in the shade suits me better, but would make roof mounted solar useless.

A 50 watt panel can easily be stored inside and moved out when you set up camp. If dirty, it can be easily cleaned and then set to the correct angle to the sun. I found a spot in my closet that is perfect and in my pop-up camper I had a fine spot under the bed.
__________________
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
Raspy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 03:02 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Estella
Trailer: Currently shopping.
California
Posts: 27
Send a message via Yahoo to LaFille1
Hey John,

Thank you for your reply. I never thought I could keep a solar panel indoors, but I suppose it can be done if it's a small panel, and take it out when it needs too...I always thought that solar panels should be mounted on the roof, but I see it's not necessary in all cases.

Happy New Year!
LaFille1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 03:21 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,446
I have a 100 watt portable solar panel . Works well with our single
27 F deep cycle battery. We stayed away from the roof mounted panel for the reasons Raspy stated. We would rather park our trailer in the shade so it stays cooler and place the solar panel in the sun where it works the best. As far a theft , it has not been an issue , we store our panel in the bed of our truck during travel and at night.
3 to 4 hours in the sun is usually enough to bring our battery up to full charge . A bigger solar panel would charge the battery faster but it's not worth the additional cost / hastle just to shorten our charge time by a couple of hours
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 06:32 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
My panel is 70W and I stow it behind the driver's seat of my vehicle. Standing up, it doesn't take up much space.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 11:34 AM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Estella
Trailer: Currently shopping.
California
Posts: 27
Send a message via Yahoo to LaFille1
To all of you...

Who sent their reply to my concerns about what kind of solar panel I should get...I just wanted to say:

From the bottom of my heart; Thank you, so much!
LaFille1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 11:39 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Name: Estella
Trailer: Currently shopping.
California
Posts: 27
Send a message via Yahoo to LaFille1
Hi Steve,

I was wondering, where did you get your 27 F deep cycle battery? Is it a good idea to carry one of these when using a solar panel? I drive a small vehicle.

Thanks!
LaFille1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaFille1 View Post
Hi Steve,

I was wondering, where did you get your 27 F deep cycle battery? Is it a good idea to carry one of these when using a solar panel? I drive a small vehicle.

Thanks!
The 27 F deep cycle battery came with / is part of my trailer. I do not carry an additional battery in my vehicle . When the time comes to replace my trailer battery , I will probably up size to a 29 or 31 F battery
My 100 watt solar will still be adequate for our style of camping / power requirements. My solar is set up to be plug and play .
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 12:05 PM   #9
Member
 
Name: dave
Trailer: no longer looking at Parkliner,04 Honda Odyssey
Pennsylvania
Posts: 51
Solar panels on TV roof

When I get our Parkliner this summer, I am thinking of mounting the solar panel on the TV (Honda Odyssey)roof rack. Easy to clean with long handled brush, park camper in the shade while TV is at proper angle to and in sun. Just run cables to do the recharging. On our current camper, we removed the battery completely then ran a 10' extension cord to connect the round 7 way plugs. Works ok on a more basic level. You just have to start the TV when you want much power to preserve its battery charge. Worlds quietest generator. Anybody know if this would work on other campers?
flaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Estella
Trailer: Currently shopping.
California
Posts: 27
Send a message via Yahoo to LaFille1
Thank you Steve- I hope you don't mind me asking you too many questions, I just wanted to know; how much should I expect (approximately) to pay for a 100 solar panel?

Thanks!
LaFille1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 12:34 PM   #11
Member
 
Name: milton
Trailer: Northern Lite
British Columbia
Posts: 33
Registry
solar system

Happy New Year,I mounted a 150 watt panel onto an articulating frame,on the roof.It can angle 45 degrees side to side.It supplies two AGM 6 volt batteries.This gives me enough power to run the system and an inverter.For field work I set up a 40 watt portable unit with a 12 volt ATV battery,with a controller in an ammo box.This maintains LED lights plus all computer,and sat phone needs.Cheers m
milt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 01:12 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Steve
Trailer: 2018, 21ft escapeó 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie
NW Wisconsin
Posts: 4,446
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaFille1 View Post
Thank you Steve- I hope you don't mind me asking you too many questions, I just wanted to know; how much should I expect (approximately) to pay for a 100 solar panel?

Thanks!
I have the Renogy 100 watt solar suitcase with the factory charge controller . Cost was $ 249 with free shipiping from Amazon.
There are cheaper ways to go if you shop around .
I did not want to drill mounting holes in the roof of my trailer or the fiberglass topper on my truck so I went with the portable system
It takes me approx 5 minutes to uncase , set up ,and plug in my solar charging system. I do move it during the day in order to track the sun.
We have LED lights and try to minimize our usage . We don't take / use a lot of electronic devices when camping . We camp to get away and have no desire to be constantly connected to anything.

I would figure out how and where you want to camp before rushing into buying any solar . When we only camped for one or two days our battery was sufficient . When we went to 3 or more days camping off grid we needed to find a way to charge our battery.
We chose solar . We are not generator people . A/C is not a real necessity in Northern Minnesota / Wisconsin and the majority of campgrounds / public parks in our area do not allow generator usage.
I am too old to be lugging around a 100 lb generator , my solar suitcase is under 30 lbs . My wife can set up our solar system , the same cannot be said for a generator.
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 01:20 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
Solarblvd.com has a 100 watt panel for $80.
https://www.solarblvd.com/product_in...oducts_id=2673
That's where I bought my 70W panel (same brand) and a Morningstar SG-4, 4.5 Amp controller. With a 100W panel you'd need a controller that can handle at least 6A. Solarblvd has the Morningstar SK-6
https://www.solarblvd.com/product_in...roducts_id=623
which can attach right to the junction box included with the above panel, and it will be a waterproof outdoor setup; or there are some affordable indoor controllers on ebay, like this
LCD 30A 12V/24V Solar Panel Controller Regulator Charge Battery Safe Protection | eBay
or this
LCD 30A Solar Panel Battery Regulator Charge Controller 12/24V Auto PWM one USB | eBay

I wired my panel to my controller with a cut-in-half extension cord, using the 2 plug ends together so I can separate the pieces or even add an extra extension cord to get the panel into a sunny patch. The other end of the controller is wired to a 7-pin receptacle that I can plug a trailer's pigtail into. Basic and easy. The SG-4 was capable of being left outside in the weather.

If you mount a panel to the roof, you're better off wiring everything up permanently and mounting the controller inside the trailer. Those ebay controllers would need to be kept indoors, for example.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Randy J.
Trailer: Trillium
Ontario
Posts: 153
Rather than going straight to the solution, first, I would suggest that you evaluate your needs. There are good planning guides online. Here's how I figured mine. I started by listing everything that would run on DC. Then I listed each current draw and multiplied by the number of hours I expected to use each device on an average day to get the daily amp-hour (ah) requirement. Furnace fans are energy hogs. LEDs use very little. Then decide on a battery. The general guide for AGM batteries is to never discharge them by more than 50%, so I figured the battery a.h. rating needed to be at least double my maximum daily usage. For solar panel size figure on having no more than four hours of good sunlight per day. So if you expect to draw 5 a.h. per day, meaning your daily use is 5 amps X 12 volts or 60 watt-hours, you need a solar panel capable of replacing that much power in three or four hours. A 20 watt panel might just do it, but a good rule is to double-up. My system has minimal draw and gets by in this range.
Randy J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Jon Vermilye's Avatar
 
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
Posts: 2,129
Registry
I second Randy's suggestion to first determine your average & peak daily usage of electricity. It can be an expensive mistake to purchase a panel & controller that does not supply what you need (or, for that matter, building a system that is way beyond what you use).

A couple of things to think about -

If you flat mount the panels on your roof, and winter camp, the low angle sun & shorter days will severely limit the amount of charging you get from the panels. Under full, direct sun you can expect 25 - 30 amp hours per day from a 100 watt panel. During the winter, flat mounted roof top panels will probably produce less than 1/4 of that. Tilting brackets can provide 30% - 40% more output during the winter.

A portable panel has the advantage that it can be aimed at the sun, and lets you put the trailer in the shade & panel(s) in the sun. A disadvantage of the portable panel is it must be set up at each stop, doesn't charge the trailer battery while driving, and has the small risk of being stolen while camping.

A combination of both roof mounted & portable makes sense for those that use lots of amp hours. In my case I have a 1000 way inverter I use to run a microwave, make drip coffee & toast. I also have lots of electronics that need recharging, including a power hungry laptop I use for photo editing, and winter camp, often running the furnace most of the night.

My average amp hour usage in winter is 35 - 40 per day. I have 2 6V, 232 amp hour Interstate batteries combined with two flat mounted panels on the trailer roof (a 95 watt that came as an option when I bought the trailer, and a 100 watt I added). That provides all the power I need during the summer, however I carry a 160 watt portable panel (from Solar Blvd that they no longer sell) that I add during the winter. I often get more charging current from the portable than the roof mounted panels, at least during the winter.

While this is considerably more capacity than most will need, without determining your needs first, you may under or over size the system.
Jon Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
The advice to try to calculate a usage estimate is worthwhile, if one can do so with reasonable accuracy. However, if those estimations turn out to be too low, it can often be corrected by adding another panel (which would have been needed in any event), sometimes adding another battery (ditto), and perhaps replacing the controller (if the first one was undersized in amp-hour capability). With the prices of controllers nowadays, it is not expensive to buy one that cannot be undersized or to buy a replacement for one that was undersized. So in the long run, going too small at the beginning is not a costly mistake IMO.

From an anecdotal standpoint, there are a number of people in small trailers like ours who get by with about 100W or so of solar panels. Use of a Danfoss-compressor, DC-only fridge could bump that up to 150-200W, but absent that... or a bunch of camping in cold weather without much sunshine... I'd hazard a guess that a 100W panel is probably plenty for the OP.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2017, 04:44 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
Posts: 1,769
just whats been said about what your intent is.
Example: I spent the summer working in a National Park and had all I needed was 2 deep cell group 27 batteries and a 15 watt panel on my Boler1300.
During the day I would charge one battery and use the other for just lites(led) and very little else.
I was there to chase the sun around with the solar panel so MAX charging occured. I had a sunny site so no problem.
That evening I would change out batteries and have plenty of power to run lights/furnace/and could charge phone.
This system worked out even in early May and late Sept. when the temps would dip down into the low 40's and furnace would turn on and off all night.
This past Sept. we took a trip up in Maine and 2 out of the 4 state parks we stayed at were deep in the woods and no direct sun was available on any site. I kept a chart and the loss to gain on these occasion were as followes:
Arrival...13.2 volts
morning..12.6
night......12.9
morning..12.1
night......12.7
As you can see I was loosing a little bit every day.
I also found out that if the evening started with 12.4 or less my furnace wouldn't work all night as it took to much power.
All depends what your looking to do.
Gerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2017, 07:00 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
Posts: 1,769
to Estella and all, I knew I had this around somewhere and I found it today.
This is an add from samlexsolar:
Solar Charger
Panel Controler

100W SMC-10/10AMPS Lights/Water Pump/ Battery
150W SMC-10/10AMPS ADD Fan
200W SMC-20/20 AMP ADD Tablet & Computer
250W SMC-20/20AMPS ADD Telivision
300W SCC-30AB/30AMPS ADD Kitchen Appliances &Entertainment
400W SCC-30AB/30 AMPS ADD Vacume & Small Fridge
450W " " ADD MORE TIME
500W " " ADD EVEN MORE TIME
Gerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2017, 07:30 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Oklahoma
Posts: 5,892
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
just whats been said about what your intent is.
Example: I spent the summer working in a National Park and had all I needed was 2 deep cell group 27 batteries and a 15 watt panel on my Boler1300.
During the day I would charge one battery and use the other for just lites(led) and very little else.
I was there to chase the sun around with the solar panel so MAX charging occured. I had a sunny site so no problem.
That evening I would change out batteries and have plenty of power to run lights/furnace/and could charge phone.
This system worked out even in early May and late Sept. when the temps would dip down into the low 40's and furnace would turn on and off all night.
This past Sept. we took a trip up in Maine and 2 out of the 4 state parks we stayed at were deep in the woods and no direct sun was available on any site. I kept a chart and the loss to gain on these occasion were as followes:
Arrival...13.2 volts
morning..12.6
night......12.9
morning..12.1
night......12.7
As you can see I was loosing a little bit every day.
I also found out that if the evening started with 12.4 or less my furnace wouldn't work all night as it took to much power.
All depends what your looking to do.
12.1V is roughly half depleted. A battery can start to sulfate if depleted much lower than this. Better to have more solar wattage so the battery can become fully recharged on most days. Honestly, as affordable as solar panels are these days, for someone just setting out to buy a panel there's no good reason to skimp on panel wattage.
Mike Magee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2017, 08:09 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Glenn Baglo's Avatar
 
Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
British Columbia
Posts: 7,515
Here's battery table ( again ).
Attached Thumbnails
Battery table.png  
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
Glenn Baglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar, solar power


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Table Strength question DaMScampers Modifications, Alterations and Updates 4 05-16-2015 07:04 PM
Power inlet dimensions needed Raz Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 17 04-18-2015 04:34 AM
Is a Power Steering Cooler Needed? Dianne Dohei Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 9 05-15-2013 09:27 PM
Water tank fiberglass support strength Storm Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 3 05-21-2011 08:48 PM
Class I Hitch Design/Strength Question KarinP Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 13 09-21-2009 09:50 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.