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Old 04-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #11
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Nope, not easy being green, especially on the pocket book! But it makes me feel better considering how much gas I burn getting somewhere and adds to my own enjoyment doing something I've already spent a lot of money on.

Most of our camping is at places people go to escape noise and the good sites at most of our State Parks or any US Forest Service campground rarely have electrical hookups so I really like the solar idea. I hate running our big generator so I even have a 2000w Honda I run when I need the 120v. It hardly burns any gas, is very quiet and easily hidden behind a hill, berm, or tree to cut down on the noise even more. Again, not easy, but when I'm sitting in that chair sipping a cold one, I want to hear birds, not motors. I'm sure the family in the tent next to us appreciates it also. I feel bad enough parking the monster next to them.

Here's a picture of the panels on my roof. Future panels will be in the middle between the current ones. Screwed and glued with 3m 5200 Marine adhesive.

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Old 04-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #12
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Looks great Ron. Can you tilt them? I found it makes a HUGE difference in the amount of amps you get when you can tilt them into the sun, especially in spring and fall when the sun is lower on the horizon during the day.

I see you fed the wire down the fridge vent, same thing I did. Works out great.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
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Yes, I have the tilt bars and look for every opportunity to use these expensive strips of metal I can I even drilled a few more holes in them for more angle options.

It never fails though, when I get to the site and end up in the position my wife wants it parked or the space the campsite allows, I usually can't take much advantage of tilting due to shade in certain directions or without having to get up on the roof and switch them around 2 or 3 times a day. That's something Ill only do if I want to tinker with something or am really having problems getting enough amps. I think I only used them 3-4 trips last year mostly in the spring and fall so wasn't able to play with them much. You're right though, the sun is pretty high during our camping season but I can see where it would be VERY useful during the winter months when the sun is so low.

Yes, the fridge vent is great. I just don't see why anyone would want to do it another way. I did take one shortcut I regret. When I installed the first one, I didn't use a weather tight cord fitting for the wire going into the combiner box since I was missing one. I sealed it up with the 3m 5200 sealant since I was in a hurry. While adding the 2nd panel this spring I wanted to rearrange the wires and do it properly. That 3M stuff is impossible to remove without destroying something.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronhanson View Post
Nope, not easy being green, especially on the pocket book! But it makes me feel better considering how much gas I burn getting somewhere and adds to my own enjoyment doing something I've already spent a lot of money on.

Most of our camping is at places people go to escape noise and the good sites at most of our State Parks or any US Forest Service campground rarely have electrical hookups so I really like the solar idea. I hate running our big generator so I even have a 2000w Honda I run when I need the 120v. It hardly burns any gas, is very quiet and easily hidden behind a hill, berm, or tree to cut down on the noise even more. Again, not easy, but when I'm sitting in that chair sipping a cold one, I want to hear birds, not motors. I'm sure the family in the tent next to us appreciates it also. I feel bad enough parking the monster next to them.

Here's a picture of the panels on my roof. Future panels will be in the middle between the current ones. Screwed and glued with 3m 5200 Marine adhesive.

Looks awesome! Simple too! I'm SOOO doing that.

Brian
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