I've been lurking on this site for a while now, but just joined a couple of weeks ago. Kudos to the moderators for a very informative site! My wife and I just bought an '87 UHaul, and I've been in the process of modifying it to meet our needs (or maybe it's to satisfy the underlying desire in my heart to tinker with things - must be the engineer in me).
My question is, does anyone know the wattage of the solar panels that UHaul installed on their campers? Mine is still in pristine condition, and I'm attempting to estimate how long the battery will last when we are boondocking. I know that there are other UHaul owners here, and wondered if any of them have ever measured the output from their solar panels. Thanks!
A U-Haul owner can update with more authoritative information, but in previous discussions I believe that these were described as "15 watt" panels. Of course, solar panel ratings are under some (hopefully standard) full-sun ideal condition. Actual current (and power, when multiplied by the operating voltage) will depend on sun exposure as well as the characteristics of the load (e.g. the charge level of the battery, if trying to charge a battery).
It depends on your electric needs, obviously.
I run on a 15 watts panel. It works adequately, even on an overcast day, to run my lights and tv at nite. I have run over a week on strictly solar charging starting out with a FULLY charged group 24 battery.
I have just about everything BUT lights that run either manually (Water pump) or on propane (Fridge and heat) The heater runs a little fan. My lights are low draw florescants and I use them conservatively. I also avoid using my ceiling fan except when absolutely necessary for cooking etc.
If you have a bigger TV or other elctrical needs, than 15 probably will not due for you. Just HOW much you need, as mentioned, depends on what you use.
I want to expand with another 15 watt panel, as it gives me a little extra edge, but I think with the two, for just me, it will be more than enough.
Remember, these panels will not bring a dead battery back to life quickly. Sometimes it could take days. Always start out with a fresh full charge and depend on the solar to replenish.
To your left is a link for solar tips Solar Linky
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