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Old 04-03-2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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Attaching Solar Panel

I have searched this forum for ideas about adding solar. It generally seems like a practical solution for dry camping, but I'm puzzled about how to attach panels to the roof. I see that there are some flexible panels with adhesive backing, but I wonder if the edges will lift and eventually be torn off by the wind. Drilling holes into a brand new fiberglass roof goes against my better judgement. I read that the flexible ones can be rolled up and stored.

Do some people store the panels in the basement and set them out when camped?

How well does that work?

If that is done, don't the panels have a tendency to develop legs and walk away?
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:40 PM   #2
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I'm very interested in this topic and have done research on this forum as well. But, not answering your questions, I want to offer a different perspective based on my limited experience. During my three-day/two-night dry camping trip to Joshua Tree, I monitored battery usage closely. I purposely left on lights, turned on TV, kept mobile devices charged, and used water pump, and so on, and the longest duration was about 5 hours at night. I never once noticed the battery fell below 50% mark. I never had to turn on generator to charge battery. Just driving around during the day was enough to keep battery fully charged.
I realize with solar you will save on LP and gas, and prolong dry camping.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:49 PM   #3
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Just driving around during the day was enough to keep battery fully charged.
So Home, how long a drive was enough to keep your batteries up? Are you talking about daily mileage to or from a destination?

Greg
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Old 04-03-2015, 07:00 PM   #4
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I bought the 134 volt stick on but its too long to fit. Instead I'm going to buy 2x 100 watt flexible panels and was told I could stick them to roof with industrial strength Velcro so no drilling needed. I measured and found I could even fit a 3rd panel
Already bought mppt controller
Just not sure how much power needed. I was told if you let batteries go to 50 percent it's bad


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Old 04-04-2015, 12:22 AM   #5
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So Home, how long a drive was enough to keep your batteries up? Are you talking about daily mileage to or from a destination?

Greg
No more than 10 miles to charge from 50% to 100%.

Forgot to mention earlier, I also left two dometic fans on at ~50% speed when testing the battery.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:24 AM   #6
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I was told if you let batteries go to 50 percent it's bad


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That's really disconcerting if it's true.
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HomeOnWheels View Post
I'm very interested in this topic and have done research on this forum as well. But, not answering your questions, I want to offer a different perspective based on my limited experience. During my three-day/two-night dry camping trip to Joshua Tree, I monitored battery usage closely. I purposely left on lights, turned on TV, kept mobile devices charged, and used water pump, and so on, and the longest duration was about 5 hours at night. I never once noticed the battery fell below 50% mark. I never had to turn on generator to charge battery. Just driving around during the day was enough to keep battery fully charged.
I realize with solar you will save on LP and gas, and prolong dry camping.
You must have one huge alternator to recharge your batts in that short of time! I'm talking HUGE! I have a Balmar 150 amp alt. in my sailboat and it doesn't charge that fast. Don't always believe the wall panel monitor lights. Try a hydrometer to get the real charge level. You will find the two don't always agree.
What voltage are your TVs?? 12vdc or 110vac?
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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You must have one huge alternator...
I think I read that it's 200 Amp in the 2015 Solera.

Greg
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:57 PM   #9
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If I run the gen for an hour or so it shows 4 lights but I think it's a surface charge and batteries must sit to get true state of charge. That's why I am putting on solar panels for dry camping. I like to run the fantastic fans during the day to keep air moving. And wife likes to read at night.


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Old 04-04-2015, 06:02 PM   #10
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I think I read that it's 200 Amp in the 2015 Solera.

Greg
WOW! That's one huge alternator!
Solar panels keep your batts charged if you have a big enough system. Don't know how it would save you LP but it will save you having to wear out your motor and burn fuel just to do the same thing as solar.
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