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Old 06-15-2019, 04:41 PM   #41
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Okay Jim. I can handle the awesome cargo box. I can handle the custom cabinetry.

Okay, I'm happy for you. Really. I am.

But, toast from an electric toaster ! ? !
Worth the price of starting the thread!
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #42
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[QUOTE=Jim Bennett;745316]Hey, give me a break, I can be tactful just as much as obnoxious.

Jim, you are a true gentleman and sweetheart - as long as you're not discussing generators.

Here is a suggestion: Monitor the situation to prevent dryness. I wouldn't want you to strain your solar grid over a couple of slices of toast.

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Old 06-15-2019, 04:56 PM   #43
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[QUOTE=Jane P.;745560]
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Here is a suggestion: Monitor the situation to prevent dryness. I wouldn't want you to strain your solar grid over a couple of slices of toast.]

That picture of the stove top toaster toast has got to be bogus. I have never seen evenly browned toast like that.
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Old 06-15-2019, 05:55 PM   #44
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Fake ?!!

It's an Amazon.com product.

I think it is even an "Amazon's Choice"

Thanks for the head's up, Glen. I'm tossing it from my shopping cart. As far as I'm concerned this thing is toast!
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:57 PM   #45
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I had two of them over the years and never got toast that looked like the toast in that picture. I removed the wires from the last one I had so I could use it as a simmer plate.

I just use the BBQ and toast English muffins.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:51 PM   #46
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Yeah, I used one of those for over 30 years. It did toast but like baglo said, never that even, and usually very dry. Our $25 lightweight 120V toaster works so much better I actually eat toast more.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:44 AM   #47
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Like others, I learned that solar panels need an air gap to cool off. While it is absolutely true that as temps go up, efficiency goes down and I won't argue that getting really hot will shorten the panels life, I think you can't argue with results.

1 1/2 years isn't much time, but it sounds like a lot of people are successfully using flexible panels. Aside from the price, I'm having a hard time convincing myself they aren't the best option for me. I'm looking into the 2x80w kit they sell.
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:58 AM   #48
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Like others, I learned that solar panels need an air gap to cool off. While it is absolutely true that as temps go up, efficiency goes down and I won't argue that getting really hot will shorten the panels life, I think you can't argue with results.

1 1/2 years isn't much time, but it sounds like a lot of people are successfully using flexible panels. Aside from the price, I'm having a hard time convincing myself they aren't the best option for me. I'm looking into the 2x80w kit they sell.
I have checked my panels while the sun was beating down and they were hotter than the trailer but not that much. The manufacturer, Lensun, claimed they were just fine for this, and actually were designated to be mounted in most cases to give them strength.

Since my trailer was broken into and the portable 80W
GoPower solar panel stolen, I do believe I will replace it with a portable sem-flexible unit to save some space and weight.

When I was designing the solar for my trailer I was learning a lot and was at first sceptical about using semi-flexible. Lots of the data available was for older units that had some troubles, but these new units had addressed all the concerns of the older, like easier scratching, cells cupping, heat problems, etc. I know it has only been just over two years, but seeing they are as good as new yet, I am hopeful they will go a heck of a lot longer.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:15 AM   #49
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[QUOTE=Jane P.;745560]
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Hey, give me a break, I can be tactful just as much as obnoxious.

Jim, you are a true gentleman and sweetheart - as long as you're not discussing generators.

Here is a suggestion: Monitor the situation to prevent dryness. I wouldn't want you to strain your solar grid over a couple of slices of toast.

Attachment 129851
I have one of those thingys, they toast the bread pretty good ....But we set it up on the back burner and we melted the window knob somewhat, now it is all distorted. We now do toast on the O Grill.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:26 AM   #50
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I'm with Jim. Nothing beats a real, electric toaster. I did try a number of stovetop & campfire toasters, and the Primus (and no, I didn't spend $98.00 for it) did the best job. Slow, and only one slice at a time, but better than the Coleman Campstove Toaster.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:22 AM   #51
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Great, thanks Jim. If nothing else, I'm sick of hauling a 50lb suitcase solar kit around in the back of my truck, and setting it up. Plus, I really like the idea of way less weight on my roof. I do like to park in the shade, but I think when I can buy the Lensun kit, I'll ditch the portable panels and see how I do. They'll be flat and sometimes in the shade, but they'll also be 70w more than I have now.

It's extremely inefficient, but I have an oven in my camper, and it's what I use for a toaster. I tend to only have bread when it's my own homemade sourdough, so I don't need a toaster often anyways.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:28 AM   #52
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Maybe Lensun is OK for flat mounting.. I dont know.
I do know that when I simply placed a 50 watt flex panel on the roof of my Scamp it got so hot it could burn your hands. I'm confident that this panel would not have lasted nearly as long flat mounted as it would have with an air gap (not to even address efficiency). YMMV
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #53
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Do a search online about this topic. I find surprisingly little, and what I do find shows that efficiency drops somewhere between 9-20% under conditions that would not be found camping the way most of us camp. They have seen problems in places that get well over 100 degrees. 75C is what one article mentioned. I won't be out in the sun if it's even 90F. One study shows a 9% lower output with the panel reaching 83C, which was 20C higher than the panel with an air gap. Here's the article in case anyone cares or sees issues with its methods or trustworthiness. I'm just doing quick searches.

I saw an article about Renogy stopping production of flexible panels due to high failure rates, but that they were fixing the issues and coming out with updated panels. I'm not educated enough on the issue to tell anyone else what to do, but for myself, from what I can find online, I just don't see any talk about flexible panels mounted with no air gap being a major problem for anyone, or a terrible idea, or even really a slightly bad idea.
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Old 06-16-2019, 12:53 PM   #54
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I had two 100 watt Renogy semi-flexible panels mounted to the front of our Lil Snoozy. They suffered from all the above stated problems (so hot to the touch that one could get burned while trying to clean the dirt off them; cupping; easily scratched; turning a milky color; and when hot, the voltage would drop from 18 volts to 3 volts) in our Arizona heat. Renogy gave me a full refund even though I had them mounted for two years. They told me at that time that they were not selling them anymore, but new ones were in the making. I purchased a single 160 watt monocrystaline rigid Renogy panel and mounted it on the roof with their mounts designed for fiberglass roofs, using VHB tape. I was planing on purchasing their semi-flexible panels to make my own portable units to supplement the 160 watt panel, but so far (two years later) haven’t needed them. I will be interested if anyone has a report on the New Renogy semi-flexible panels.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:10 PM   #55
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Good to hear different experiences. I've found that's the problem, though. There are a few threads about this topic on other forums like this one, individual experiences, but very little actual data. Some of the companies who sell "higher quality" flexible panels claim that all the issues you listed (except getting really hot) are due to poor quality panels, and their panels don't do that stuff. Hard to put too much trust in that, but I'm willing to listen.

Anyway. Hopefully we didn't send the thread too far off topic. If I do end up going with flexible panels, I'll definitely let the forum know how it goes.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:37 AM   #56
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And after all that...I decided to check out the Renogy site to look at their flexible panels, and decided to see how much rigid panels weigh, while I was there. I'm used to my 50lb suitcase setup, which is 90W. A single 100W panel is only 16.5lbs...And on sale!

So I just bought the 100w starter kit with the rigid panel. Only $170. Plus whatever mounting kit I'll need to buy to avoid drilling holes. I'll start another thread on all that. Hard to argue with 16lbs and well under $200 for a 100w kit.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:56 AM   #57
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And after all that...I decided to check out the Renogy site to look at their flexible panels, and decided to see how much rigid panels weigh, while I was there. I'm used to my 50lb suitcase setup, which is 90W. A single 100W panel is only 16.5lbs...And on sale!

So I just bought the 100w starter kit with the rigid panel. Only $170. Plus whatever mounting kit I'll need to buy to avoid drilling holes. I'll start another thread on all that. Hard to argue with 16lbs and well under $200 for a 100w kit.
That starter kit looks like a very good deal!
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Old 06-17-2019, 09:38 AM   #58
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I thought so too. Now to go through my mounting options...

I'm not afraid to drill into the roof, but will avoid if it seems right.
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Old 06-17-2019, 11:59 AM   #59
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I thought so too. Now to go through my mounting options...

I'm not afraid to drill into the roof, but will avoid if it seems right.
I had 2 100 watt panels on the roof of my Escape 17. The factory supplied was bolted to 2' pieces of 1" Square aluminum tubing & attached to the roof with VHB tape. When I added my own, Escape was using epoxy, so I did the same. Again, bolted to 1" square tubing & glued to the roof. Preparation in both cases is critical, but if you do it right, they should stay stuck the life of the trailer. While I sold the trailer, the folks who bought it still have 2 panels on the roof after 100,000 miles...
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Old 06-17-2019, 12:06 PM   #60
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And after all that...I decided to check out the Renogy site to look at their flexible panels, and decided to see how much rigid panels weigh, while I was there. I'm used to my 50lb suitcase setup, which is 90W. A single 100W panel is only 16.5lbs...And on sale!

So I just bought the 100w starter kit with the rigid panel. Only $170. Plus whatever mounting kit I'll need to buy to avoid drilling holes. I'll start another thread on all that. Hard to argue with 16lbs and well under $200 for a 100w kit.

I suggest you read the entire specifications and try to understand them. The first thing I noticed what Renogy specs indicate 80% output at 5 years. This seems to be a bit low to me. I own a Kyocera that states 80% output after 20 years.
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