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Old 09-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
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Solar Charger ????

what size do you recommend ?? I had a 20 watt on my Desert Fox and it seemed to do ok but took a little to long to replenish so I was thinking at least a 70 watt
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:24 AM   #2
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what size do you recommend ?? I had a 20 watt on my Desert Fox and it seemed to do ok but took a little to long to replenish so I was thinking at least a 70 watt
You want to keep your draw down as minimal as possible and your recovery time will be less. The battery over time will not recoup a full deep charge to sustain good out put with what you are doing now. If you do a lot of boon docking, get two batts and the higher wattage solar panels, imo.

Do your horses ride well in your camper?
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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what size do you recommend ?? I had a 20 watt on my Desert Fox and it seemed to do ok but took a little to long to replenish so I was thinking at least a 70 watt
I think the real question is- what are you trying to accomplish? Are you just wanting to trickle charge your batteries while it's in storage? Are you wanting to fully recharge your battery of a day's worth of camping use? etc?
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
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we dry camp a lot so we run the frige constantly and heat at times in the mountains--I have a on board 4000 watt gen so that helps when we do run it--sometimes we are camped for a couple weeks at a time with no electric--I will install a second battery but was thinking I need a 70 to 100 watt solar charger !!
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #5
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Ok, let's analize this.

1. If you get a second battery, how old is the current one? You will want the batteries to be the same size and age so they will charge properly, if your current battery is very old you will want to get 2 matched batteries.

2. You need to determine how many watt hours you are using by checking your appliances etc watt rating. If you are running the fridge on propane you are only powering the circuitry for operation with the battery for monitoring, starting and stopping. If you have an inverter and running the fridge or anything else on 120 volt then you need to know the watt usage from that approach.

3. You will need enough solar to replace the battery usage each day in about a 5 hour window of good sun light. Formula = Battery amp hour rating X volts = watt hour available.

Example = 2 each 12 volt batteries rates 200 amp hours each = 400 Ah, never use more than 50% available Ah from your batteries you will ruin them and shorten their life span if you do.
200 Ah X 12 (volts) = 2400 watt hours available for use each day from the two fully charged batteries which means you would need for this example enough solar to produce more than 2400 watts in a 5 hour period (I say more than because you want the batteries to be fully charges and in a float stage at the end of each day).

My DW watches a lot of television when we are camping (me also in the evening) so we are running the tele and satelite equipment, when it is cold out and the kheater is in use it will use a lot of battery power, so I went a little heavy on my solar (at least for current use I will be adding more use as I determine how much my actual use is when camping.

My system:
288 watts solar
464 Ah worth of batteries.

At 50% battery use I can get 2,780 watt hours use but can only produce 1,440 watt hours in the 5 hour period at full efficiency on solar which is unreallistic to expect so let's say 1,000 watt hours is what I need to limit my use to if camping for say a week, just for two or three days we could stretch the usage some and be ok.

Ok so I got a little long winded but you see what I am getting at, if by your usage experience, going to 70 to 100 watts solar and 2 batteries covers your needs without using more than 50% available Ah by all means go for it along with your Generator to suppliment. So you need to do the math based on your needs.

Hope this helps and happy camping.
Dale
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #6
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thanks BT
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