Originally Posted by flyrotor
Do you think I am behind the 8 ball with this? I usually camp 4-6 days at a time, rare that it ever exceeds that.
Well, I guess that depends on what "behind the 8 ball" means to you.
45 watts is a bit over 3 amps at full sun.
"Full Sun" is when the sun angle is exactly 90 degrees to the surface of the panel. Unless you have a motor drive on your panel system; this happens exactly once a day IF you have the azimuth set correctly for your latitude.
If you just flop it down, you will get less than rated output.
Now, back to the 8 ball.
Say you average 2 amps all day. Say 12 hours of sunlight. That will put 24 amps into your battery a day. If all you pull from the battery is 24 amps you will use "none" of the battery capacity that day. Net zero.
If you use more, say 50 amps per day. You will have reduced the battery capacity by 26 amps per day; not 50. This will effectively double your battery life.
Now 50 amps may seem like a lot, but ONE 12 volt incandescent light fixture uses about 3 amps (~1.5 amps per bulb). The water pump running uses about 13 amps. My motor driven slide draws 18 amps when running them in or out. Running both at the same time...
Well I don't want to say
but it sure looks cool.
Can you say "Transformers."
I know you don't run the slides every day or the awning up and down either but you get the drift. Some is better than none.
To go "off the grid" without a generator you are going to need to create more power than you use. A minimalist would need a 200 watt panel and a fair sized (500 amp-hour) battery bank.