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Old 04-28-2011, 06:18 PM   #1
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Solar RV systems

I am seriously thinking about adding Solar panels to my 2011 Rockwood 2604 to be able to boondock, when and where I want. I have just ordered a Solar panel for keeping my batteries charged when in storage. Here is what I got: 10 Watt Solar Panel 12 Volt + Battery Charge Controller - eBay (item 130511608765 end time May-21-11 14:21:41 PDT)

I assume that there are members on this forum who have such systems, or are in the middle of designing/building one. I suggest that members post info/details about their systems and the advantages/shortcomings of what they have so that we can all learn from them
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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10W is almost nothing - plus in real life it will be more like 5-7W as the 10W is when it is angled perfectly and not a single cloud in the sky (some coulds you don't visually realize) sitting right at the equator. With a full day of sunshine (calculated as 8 hours) you're likely to charge 40W (= about 3.5amps) into your battery per day. That should be about enough to run a light for an hour but nothing else.

It might be enough to keep your battery nicely charged in storage but won't do a thing for you when boodocking. You first need to figure out how much electricity you need per day when boondocking and then calculate the proper size of solar panels that you need. But don't expect to be able to use anything <100W.

Reiner
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by reinerka View Post
10W is almost nothing - plus in real life it will be more like 5-7W as the 10W is when it is angled perfectly and not a single cloud in the sky (some coulds you don't visually realize) sitting right at the equator. With a full day of sunshine (calculated as 8 hours) you're likely to charge 40W (= about 3.5amps) into your battery per day. That should be about enough to run a light for an hour but nothing else.

It might be enough to keep your battery nicely charged in storage but won't do a thing for you when boodocking. You first need to figure out how much electricity you need per day when boondocking and then calculate the proper size of solar panels that you need. But don't expect to be able to use anything <100W.

Reiner
Reiner,

The package I ordered is just to keep a charge on my batteries when the TT is in storage. I have a disconnect wired already, so there should be no phantom draws. I am not expecting this unit to do anything from a boondocking perspective. However, I do want to learn how to outfit my trailer with solar for boondocking, hence this topic.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:50 PM   #4
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Just wanted to make sure you were not expecting it helps when boondocking. Glad you've bought it for the right purpose.

We're planning to outfit our MH with Solar as well one of these days, so it will be interesting to see what others have done. The biggest consideration is finding space on the roof for the solar (those panels aren't small - apart from being expensive).

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Old 04-28-2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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I am cheap and thus waiting for prices to come down.... currently and from what I have read - one needs to invest between $1500-$2000 for a decent solar system for boondocking.

Regards,
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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I am cheap and thus waiting for prices to come down.... currently and from what I have read - one needs to invest between $1500-$2000 for a decent solar system for boondocking.

Regards,
I am curious, can you provide a list with prices of what you are/were assuming?
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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Solar Cell, Solar Panel, Solar PV, Solar Products, Charge Controllers, Solar Trackers

Check out solarblvd's web site. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with what you can buy within your budget.

If you expect to go 100% "off grid" you will find the panels are not the expensive part. It is the storage and maintenance of the infrastructure to provide power after the sun goes down.

http://www.solarblvd.com/Solar-Panel...duct_info.html

is less than 2 dollars a watt!
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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I am looking at 2 new Trojan deep cycle batteries T105 6V, for approx $300 for both

2 good quality PV panels - like the Kyocera 135W selling for $800 for both (and that's a great price)

A decent charge controller $275 with a display

Cabling, blocking diodes, junction box, roof mounting brackets and the rest for $200.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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Well, the single 205 watt panel below is 400 bucks, but the rest is the "Devil in the details" for sure.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:02 AM   #10
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For decent performance, I have read that one should look at 60-140 watts of PV for every 100 AH of battery bank. Which is why I am considering 2 X 135W.

Finally, considering the mounting area - the roof of a box travelling at highway speed, good quality panels and solid brackets are a must. Many RVers have recommended the Kyoceras, their price have dropped by close to 50% in the last 2 years.

Looking better and better.
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