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Old 06-01-2015, 08:37 PM   #21
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Why, sure, Paul! You can take the bedsheet tax credit! LOL
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:15 AM   #22
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To qualify as a home, it must have separate bedroom, kitchen and toilet.

The term “dwelling unit” includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, or similar property, which provides basic living accommodations such as sleeping space, toilet, and cooking facilities”.
Consider that a one-room studio apartment or a one room cabin would qualify as a home, and they don't have a barrier separated 'bedroom'. So its an interesting question as to what actually defines 'dwelling unit'
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #23
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Consider that a one-room studio apartment or a one room cabin would qualify as a home, and they don't have a barrier separated 'bedroom'. So its an interesting question as to what actually defines 'dwelling unit'
Actually, it's very well settled among tax professionals. It doesn't have anything to do with barriers or hanging sheets. I think people are just trying to be silly and have a laugh at this point.
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Old 06-11-2015, 06:43 PM   #24
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1) Not knowing much about solar power, but it seems that 320w would be preferable to 100w for anyone expecting to do some boondocking, especially if AC or heat is needed. Can someone in the know give a price comparison of 100w vs. 320w - total cost including batteries and installation? I am clueless, but definitely want solar when I purchase my unit. I would love to be totally capable of living off grid.
2) A 30% tax credit would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to what the richest 1% get away with on their taxes. Not condoning cheating on taxes, and never made enough to worry about it, but I have no problem with a 30% tax credit for solar on an RV, considering what some people get away with by playing the tax deduction game.
3) Did anyone have the definitive answer on if the tax credit is legal?
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Old 06-11-2015, 07:34 PM   #25
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Problem with that argument is that you can forget using solar for AC or heat.
When you get your trailer you'll need 2,000 watts or close to it for the AC.
And even a small space heater will need about 1,000 watts.
Roughly the same range for a microwave, toaster, or coffee maker.
What solar is useful for is running your lights, which should be LEDs, the fridge control circuit, the fridge itself will be running on propane, water pump, electric element in the water heater if it has one, chargers for your electronics,.....did I forget anything?

Everyone I know of with a Casita finds that 100 watts solar is adequate for all of that. Maybe an Oliver needs more?

Walt
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:02 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
1) Not knowing much about solar power, but it seems that 320w would be preferable to 100w for anyone expecting to do some boondocking, especially if AC or heat is needed. Can someone in the know give a price comparison of 100w vs. 320w - total cost including batteries and installation? I am clueless, but definitely want solar when I purchase my unit. I would love to be totally capable of living off grid.
2) A 30% tax credit would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to what the richest 1% get away with on their taxes. Not condoning cheating on taxes, and never made enough to worry about it, but I have no problem with a 30% tax credit for solar on an RV, considering what some people get away with by playing the tax deduction game.
3) Did anyone have the definitive answer on if the tax credit is legal?
I don't know of anyone with an egg who expects to run A/C with their solar as it is basically extremely difficult. You would use a propane furnace for heating.

See no reason why you can't take the tax credit assuming you meet the bed, bath, kitchen requirements. You can look that up and fill out the proper forms and you can also talk to someone at the IRS if you think there might be any problem with it as far as your particular trailer situation.

Escape is presently using a 150-watt panel ($850 including roof installation and monitor.). If someone wants to run the microwave, he gets a 1500-watt inverter and it will also run other 120v items when boondocking. That is for a sometime camper, not a full-timer.

For your purposes, you may want two panels which Escape has also done, charging about $1500 for a two-panel set-up (without inverter.). You would need to get exact info from them. Hope that gives you an idea.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Missouri Mark View Post
1) Not knowing much about solar power, but it seems that 320w would be preferable to 100w for anyone expecting to do some boondocking, especially if AC or heat is needed. Can someone in the know give a price comparison of 100w vs. 320w - total cost including batteries and installation? I am clueless, but definitely want solar when I purchase my unit. I would love to be totally capable of living off grid.
2) A 30% tax credit would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to what the richest 1% get away with on their taxes. Not condoning cheating on taxes, and never made enough to worry about it, but I have no problem with a 30% tax credit for solar on an RV, considering what some people get away with by playing the tax deduction game.
3) Did anyone have the definitive answer on if the tax credit is legal?
I'll second what Walt said. You can't run the AC off an inverter. Even if you got a 2500 watt one, you'd find that AC will draw so many amps that your batteries (yes, you'd need more than one) would deplete very quickly. The solar would not be able to keep up.

If you want to run AC when you're boondocking, just get a capable generator. Cheap to operate and actually possible.
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Old 06-11-2015, 08:58 PM   #28
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Thanks all, I'm totally ignorant when it comes to solar power, and how to power off grid. I've got a lot to learn and this board is a huge resource. I do know i will absolutely need is AC at some point, as well as heat. I didn't know that solar wouldn't run either very long.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:32 PM   #29
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A Maxx fan is one great fan that can help a lot in hot weather and we would not want a trailer without one. Can be run with solar.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:04 AM   #30
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Since everyone's usage is different, I don't know how much this helps, but my experience:

I started with a 95 watt panel (factory installed in my 2011 Escape 17). It was adequate when combined with a pair of 6V 232 amp hour batteries & LED lighting for summer camping. I added a 1000 watt inverter, and used it to make a pot of coffee each morning (about 6 amp hours). Overall, I averaged around 25 amp hours per day, a bit more when making coffee.

The panel put it back on clear summer days, but did not keep up on overcast days and definitely did not keep up with low angle winter sun combined with overcast. I added a 100 watt panel for a total of 195 watts & carry a 160 watt portable panel. I have not needed the portable so far. I don't carry a generator & have dry camped for 3 weeks at a time.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:27 AM   #31
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According to Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2013-47, the credit is only on your principal residence, not a second home, nor a vacation home. In addition you must reduce your basis in such property and recapture as a gain upon disposition that portion upon which the credit was claimed.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:29 AM   #32
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Asking a question about solar opens a Pandora box that may take this thread in many directions. There are so many opinions, and experts on these forums that you will be more confused than ever after reading them. Oliver Trailers stock solar package is two 160 WATT panels. I opted for a 2000 WATT inverter, and four Trojan T 105 batteries which provide 450 AH. The installation is like everything else at Oliver...professional. Overkill? Perhaps, but this is our bug out trailer when we have hurricanes and need to evacuate, so I want lots of capacity. Oliver includes a 13500 BTU AC, and for that I carry a 3000 WATT generator. The batteries will not run the AC. Check these resources for more good information on solar. technomadia, AM Solar, Handy Bob.

The consensus seems to be that the 30% tax credit is applicable for RVs.

Good luck.


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Old 06-12-2015, 06:30 AM   #33
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See post #31
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:31 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
Since everyone's usage is different, I don't know how much this helps, but my experience:

I started with a 95 watt panel (factory installed in my 2011 Escape 17). It was adequate when combined with a pair of 6V 232 amp hour batteries & LED lighting for summer camping. I added a 1000 watt inverter, and used it to make a pot of coffee each morning (about 6 amp hours). Overall, I averaged around 25 amp hours per day, a bit more when making coffee.

The panel put it back on clear summer days, but did not keep up on overcast days and definitely did not keep up with low angle winter sun combined with overcast. I added a 100 watt panel for a total of 195 watts & carry a 160 watt portable panel. I have not needed the portable so far. I don't carry a generator & have dry camped for 3 weeks at a time.
Jon
That's the most specific I've seen yet and very helpful. Thanks.

Walt
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:44 AM   #35
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Problem with that argument is that you can forget using solar for AC or heat.
When you get your trailer you'll need 2,00 watts or close to it for the AC.
And even a small space heater will need about 1,000 watts.
Roughly the same range for a microwave, toaster, or coffee maker.
What solar is useful for is running your lights, which should be LEDs, the fridge control circuit, the fridge itself will be running on propane, water pump, electric element in the water heater if it has one, chargers for your electronics,.....did I forget anything?

Everyone I know of with a Casita finds that 100 watts solar is adequate for all of that. Maybe an Oliver needs more?

Walt
Tax credit or NO tax credit my 100 watt Renogy solar suitcase arrives today . Walt I am hoping you are correct about a Casita only needing 100 watts of solar because I was told by our local solar dealer that I needed 200 to 300 watts .
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:52 AM   #36
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Good luck with it Steve. Let us know how well it works for you.

Walt
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:11 AM   #37
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As I said earlier. "Opinions and experts abound when it comes to solar". IMHO the critical part of the system is battery capacity...not solar, although my 320 WATTS will harvest a small bit of PV even on cloudy days so more may be better.

With a 2000 pure sine wave inverter I can run the following: microwave, toaster oven, hair dryer, all lights (LED), Maxxair fan, stand alone fan, fridge. Not all at once, but I have had the toaster oven AND microwave on at the same time. With 450 AH in the batteries I can go several days without sunlight.

It is more efficient to run the fridge, water heater, and furnace on propane. There is virtually no way to run the AC off batteries, but I did read about a 'smart" inverter that will combine a generator with battery, which would allow one to use a smaller generator for the AC. When I owned a Casita I could use my Honda 2000i because it had a 9200 BTU AC, but the Honda will not work with a larger AC unit.

The make of the trailer is not important, but the usage pattern of the owner is. The good thing is that you can start small and add PV as needed.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #38
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Good summary David
I can see if you want all of the conveniences of shore power except the AC and want to run several appliances at the same time, that 300 Watts of Solar may be what's needed. I assume that's all roof installed and pretty well everyone I know with Casitas uses a suitcase set of 100 Watts. I still think that's a compromise I'd prefer if/when I go Solar.

On the AC note, I did replace my factory AC with a smaller 9000 BTU model so my Ryobi 1800 generator can run it if necessary. I didn't want to deal with the weight of a larger generator like the Yamaha 3400.

Walt
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Old 06-12-2015, 09:21 AM   #39
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We only camp a few times a year with out power and only for 2 to 3 days at a time . We are not concerned about running any 120 VAC appliances.
We live in Wisconsin so we often have to run the furnace in the morning and at night even in the summer. If we can keep the battery up to run our fan , led lights , refrigerator (on propane) and the furnace on occasion ,we will be happy. We have no desire to be able to run every appliance in the world when camping.
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Old 06-12-2015, 06:11 PM   #40
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This just points out that we have a wild variety of camping styles, yet we have a warm, sharing community. And it's fun to hear about everyone's differing experiences. I've been more like Steve than Dave, but lately I've been drifting toward the middle. (Getting spoiled)

Walt
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