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Old 04-14-2016, 09:16 AM   #1
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Portable solar from 2 regular size panels

Just curious if anyone has done it. Adding legs would be simple enough. I have plenty of storage for them when not in use. 200 Watts for less than 2 suitcase units, no holes in the roof and they can be aimed and set in sun while trailer is parked in shade.

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Old 04-14-2016, 09:42 AM   #2
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I use my panels remotely for several things. My solution is to use 3/4" PVC and made an angled stand for the. If you strategically glue only some joints, it will come apart and fold flat. it is light weight, no rust and waterproof. Parts list 6 Tees, 6 90 angles, 2 end caps , PVC ( length depends on panel size)
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:09 AM   #3
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Nice.

Regular size panels? What are they 42 x 22 something or other.

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Old 04-14-2016, 12:41 PM   #4
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I am struggling with this same thing. Trying to decide if I should mount on roof or not.

Pros of roof mount:
  1. No need to find storage.
  2. Already set up.
  3. Can have multiple panels
  4. Totally hard wire.
Cons

  1. We camp in mostly forested area so finding sun maybe an issue if they are permanently mounted to the roof. No ability to move to the sunny spot.
  2. Tilting at the sun. They make mounts but they are expensive and multiple mounts could get really expensive
  3. If not mounted on roof would have to find storage and risk damage.
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
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Crazy idea, do both. Setup for roof mounting that would allow you to unhook and bring down so you can move the panels to a sunny area. Can use the same charge controller with a little design creativity. Just a crazy thought. 2 100 watt panels aren't difficult to move around. This way you have the panels stored and providing power, then if needed you can bring them down to place in a sunny area with an extended cable
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:08 PM   #6
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I have both. When the camper is in the shade, I pull out my 200W portable that I put hinges, latches, and a handle on. I just normally prop it on a blue water jug to get the best angle to the sun.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:47 PM   #7
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That's an interesting idea but that means I would have to climb on the roof to get them down. Ugh.

How long can the power cable be? Assuming that you don't want to use 2 guage wire what can you use and how long. I would think the current isn't a big problem but the voltage drop is a killer.

I've seen some of the new campers have a solar plug on the side!
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr1rd831 View Post
Crazy idea, do both. Setup for roof mounting that would allow you to unhook and bring down so you can move the panels to a sunny area. Can use the same charge controller with a little design creativity. Just a crazy thought. 2 100 watt panels aren't difficult to move around. This way you have the panels stored and providing power, then if needed you can bring them down to place in a sunny area with an extended cable
I want to avoid drilling holes in the roof. I know it can be done. I know they can be sealed up so they don't leak. I just have a phobia about holes in a roof. I am also very aware there are currently roof penetrations.... I realize my state of mind is not rational...
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybob View Post
I use my panels remotely for several things. My solution is to use 3/4" PVC and made an angled stand for the. If you strategically glue only some joints, it will come apart and fold flat. it is light weight, no rust and waterproof. Parts list 6 Tees, 6 90 angles, 2 end caps , PVC ( length depends on panel size)
What controller are you using?
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:37 PM   #10
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I have (2) 100 watt panels that are placed on the ground. I made adjustable brackets with aluminum flat stock to get the best angle to the sun. There is 30 feet of 10 gauge wire between the cables and the Bogart SC-2030 charge controller. It should really be 8 gauge but it works. My wife made a storage bag for the panels, out of denim, and it fits behind the couch when traveling.

I will be adding another 100 watt panel to the roof in the next week or two. It will keep the batteries charged when the trailer is not being used as well as give us a little more electricity when camping.
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