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Old 09-10-2013, 07:42 PM   #21
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Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
I just bought two of the Sam's club golf cart batteries. I am having a custom stainless steel box created for the tongue of my Scamp. Next up, an e-meter to start watching the usage and charging. I have my doubts re the built-in charger that comes with the scamp, not to mention the size of the wires leading to the battery.

We shall see.

Once I have a handle on that, then I will look at solar. The nice part is, the longer I wait the cheaper it gets so there is no down side to taking my time and learning what I really need.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #22
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Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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We started out with one 50w panel attached to the roof of our Scamp 5er, but found (during a cold, cold September night in Yellowstone National Park) that 50w is not enough when your furnace runs a lot. We added a second panel. In all, we spent around $500 on panels for the Scamp.

We have a second, project trailer we're working on, and I just bought a 100 watt "polycrystalline" solar panel for it for less than $140, delivered. I haven't installed it yet, but I tested and found it delivers pretty good power levels, even at steeper angles of the sun and across a pretty wide temperature range. (Monocrystaline and polycrystaline panel power production falls off rapidly once they reach 120 degrees or so.) On the hottest day of the year here in Vancouver, WA I tucked my panel into its box so air could not circulate underneath and cool it, let it heat up in the sun to the point where I literally burned my arm when it brushed its aluminium frame when I picked it up after testing, and it still managed to produce 23.4 watts of power with the sun hitting it at a 30-degree angle.

Back to how large a capacity panels do you need. If you're like me, which means you use all LEDs in your trailer, have a furnace that gets a fair bit of use, and frequently charge camera, laptop, and cell phone batteries, 100 watts of roof-mounted solar is about right. Take away the small electronics charging and change the heater to Wave 3 a catalytic, direct vent heater that uses no battery power at all, and 30 watts of detached solar panels that can be placed in sun away from your trailer should do the job. Where you fit on that spectrum is up to you.
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:20 PM   #23
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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I went with a really small set up. I bought a 300 amp jump pack and a 4.8 watt solar panel from walmart, cost $90. Since the jump pack has battery level display, a 120 volt charge cord and a DC outlet to plug the solar panel into I didn't need anything else. When I return home from camping my battery is still full. I use it to run 1 led outside light, 2 led inside lights, usb charging port and a computer fan in the vent.

Occasionally I will run the vacuum off of it.

I also use a solar powered light from Ikea for $19.

This has never been short on power for us, but is a very small system.
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