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Old 04-29-2014, 10:47 AM   #41
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I would suggest going with Flexible Solar panels that are mounted straight to the roof.

100W semi-flexible mono and poly solar panel |Eco-worthy

We've switched our 150W with 2 100W panels after an incident and I've noticed that even so I cannot raise them they produce more power than the 150W if adjusted perfectly to the sun.

Reiner
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:51 AM   #42
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Although to hard wire an inverter to the outlets like someone suggested, gets expensive.
All it takes is a transfer switch and not wiring the Fridge, Converter through the same breaker (or at least not post transfer switch). That is what I did to install our inverter - rewire those two and everything is working perfectly well.

The main use for use for the inverter is to power the TV and Satelite TV. That way we really don't need power at campsites.

Reiner
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:03 AM   #43
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The nice thing about the 150 watt panel, is that for those customers that care, they can buy the adjustable feet if they want from Samlex. I personally would not climb up there every time to alter them.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:03 PM   #44
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I agree with reinerka the thin-film flexible panels are the way to go (IMHO). Their downside is for the most part they are much larger than the regular panels; on the upside they have the added benefit of being very shade tolerant.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:03 PM   #45
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I agree with reinerka the thin-film flexible panels are the way to go (IMHO). Their downside is for the most part they are much larger than the regular panels; on the upside they have the added benefit of being very shade tolerant.
I can only agree on efficiency.

Previous 150W (rated 8.7A) panel would deliver up to 4A peak when flat and briefly 8A when lifted and adjusted to the sun absolutely perfectly.

The flexible 100W (rated 5.4A) panels (we have 2 of them) deliver 8.8A peak without adjustments. Even right after sunrise they start to deliver almost 1A.

From a sizing perspective it isn't as bad. I could have installed the 2x100W panels in the same space over the bunk bed that was previously occupied by the 150W panel.

Another benefit is that low hanging trees no longer scrape over the panel. Plus it is possible to walk on them....

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Old 05-01-2014, 03:24 AM   #46
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Update: We used the Solera for a 7 day trip to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. The Solar system worked like a charm. I haven't had a reason to connect to shore power. On a daily basis the batteries dipped to 50% charge by morning. But then recharged fully within 1-2 hours in the morning. We charged our phones, computers, shaver, etc. during the day when the panel was producing extra power.
So with the the solar system we can boondock as long as the water holds out, 4-5 days at our rate, before needing to fill up. The batteries also kept a good charge during storage - no electric, and its parked under a cover. Apparently enough light to keep the batteries charged.

We stayed at a beautiful BLM campground for $4 with the senior pass discount. Really nice to boondock at out of the way campgrounds.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #47
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There are two things that kill power output on Photo-Voltaic modules and arrays.

1) Shade. Even the slightest amount will deplete the output. Try placing a business card on one module in a full sun environment. You might be surprised with the result.
Do NOT park where there is ANY shade hitting the module. Having shade hit a porting of the module is like having a Christmas light bulb go out on a string. If the bulb is out, the whole string is out. Photo Voltaic Modules work in a similar way.

2) Heat. Placing modules directly on a surface that gets hot, like roofs, will reduce the output. Placing them up off the mounting surface allows air to circulate below the module, which in turn cools it. This is why the stick on type of modules are not very popular.

As far as tilting the modules goes, well that seams silly to me. Having an array mounted on the roof of a house that faces south west at a 33 degree pitch is perfect. But an RV is mobile, always parking at different bearings.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #48
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Good Two Cents

We are heading for the Oregon Coast in 2 weeks. The State Park Campground (Bullard Beach) looks shaded but the RV sites are all electrical. So, this will be a good test. I can use solar only to see what happens, but then plug into shore power since I have to pay for it anyway. Also, the coast is often fogged over, so it will be interesting.

From my brief experience, I believe the 2 12-volt batteries that came with the RV may be the limiting factor. I am not replacing them (or adding batteries) until I have an issue. The solar panel cranks out amps with good sun exposure, so more storage may be the ticket when rainy days or shade drains the batteries.

In my ideal design (at the moment anyway), I would probably not install a generator or an air conditioner, reduce that weight, and instead put in more battery banks. Although we can have hot days in Idaho and the NW, I would rather cope by finding shady areas and higher elevations than turn on an air conditioner. I can imagine that RVing in southern US would an entirely different situation.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:45 PM   #49
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i have two wires not connected in the battery compartment is that for solar power hook up ?
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:37 AM   #50
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what unit do you have? Unless its used, we have never offered solar on any Forester River Class C's
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