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Old 08-17-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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My Solar Experience

We bought our used trailer about a year ago with old batteries. Took it out a few times and would get about 3 days on two old batteries. It was time for an upgrade.

We chose two 6V golf cart batteries as replacements. Total cost was $335.

I then ordered the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel kit on Amazon for $145 on sale. I chose not to install it ON the camper, but instead it can be set up upon arrival of the campsite depending on the sun and shade. I did install the charge controller, wires, etc... But the solar panels can be moved around freely.

Our last trip was 4 days. We ran the fridge for 3 hours on battery to our destination and then switched to propane. We then used exterior and interior lights, water pump, and ceiling fan with no regard for saving energy just to see how it all performed. And when I say no regard, I mean it. We left the ceiling fan on ALL day, our exterior lights were on Every night, we blasted the radio all day...

When we arrived home, our battery registered 12.7Volts. When we left it was at 12.8Volts.

I'm guessing our set up could last a week or longer as long as we have a little sun.
Though it was nearly $500 in total, it was well worth it. We now have a set up that will suit our needs.

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A122BH Trailer : Pulled by Jeep Wrangler : Good 'ol SLC Utah
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #2
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Congrats on the solar setup!

Looks like the only unknown is the heater fan, if and when it is used.

Happy camping!
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkev View Post
We bought our used trailer about a year ago with old batteries. Took it out a few times and would get about 3 days on two old batteries. It was time for an upgrade.

We chose two 6V golf cart batteries as replacements. Total cost was $335.

I then ordered the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel kit on Amazon for $145 on sale. I chose not to install it ON the camper, but instead it can be set up upon arrival of the campsite depending on the sun and shade. I did install the charge controller, wires, etc... But the solar panels can be moved around freely.

Our last trip was 4 days. We ran the fridge for 3 hours on battery to our destination and then switched to propane. We then used exterior and interior lights, water pump, and ceiling fan with no regard for saving energy just to see how it all performed. And when I say no regard, I mean it. We left the ceiling fan on ALL day, our exterior lights were on Every night, we blasted the radio all day...

When we arrived home, our battery registered 12.7Volts. When we left it was at 12.8Volts.

I'm guessing our set up could last a week or longer as long as we have a little sun.
Though it was nearly $500 in total, it was well worth it. We now have a set up that will suit our needs.

Attachment 117581Attachment 117582Attachment 117588



A122BH Trailer : Pulled by Jeep Wrangler : Good 'ol SLC Utah
Didn't I see that last pic in the movie The Martian? Looks awful familiar..
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:18 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harkev View Post
We bought our used trailer about a year ago with old batteries. Took it out a few times and would get about 3 days on two old batteries. It was time for an upgrade.

We chose two 6V golf cart batteries as replacements. Total cost was $335.

I then ordered the Renogy 100 Watt Solar Panel kit on Amazon for $145 on sale. I chose not to install it ON the camper, but instead it can be set up upon arrival of the campsite depending on the sun and shade. I did install the charge controller, wires, etc... But the solar panels can be moved around freely.

Our last trip was 4 days. We ran the fridge for 3 hours on battery to our destination and then switched to propane. We then used exterior and interior lights, water pump, and ceiling fan with no regard for saving energy just to see how it all performed. And when I say no regard, I mean it. We left the ceiling fan on ALL day, our exterior lights were on Every night, we blasted the radio all day...

When we arrived home, our battery registered 12.7Volts. When we left it was at 12.8Volts.

I'm guessing our set up could last a week or longer as long as we have a little sun.
Though it was nearly $500 in total, it was well worth it. We now have a set up that will suit our needs.

Attachment 117581Attachment 117582Attachment 117588


A122BH Trailer : Pulled by Jeep Wrangler : Good 'ol SLC Utah
Did you measure the battery before you hooked back to your TV? I'm assuming your TV charges your battery when connected to your RV.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:09 PM   #5
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I have seen very positive results in our solar setup. I too went with a Renogy panel. I went with their 100w Eclipse panel...a little higher output, slightly smaller in size. I paired it with a Zamp water and weather proof controller mounted to the back of the panel.

We have a 5 month old little girl camping with us!!! My concern is keeping her warm at night in the mountains where temps can be pretty chilly at night.

On our last trip like; like you we were not that conservative with our power use and ran the heater set at 63 all night. By 11:30 am the next morning we were back to a full charge.

I think the combination of the dual 6V batteries and the panel are the perfect combination for this little camper. I honestly can't recommend it enough.

In all honestly I debated between solar or a generator. I would have had to do batteries either way being as the stock battery was shot. Taking that expense away, I have about $350 into the solar. It's well worth it and at a savings compared to a basic quiet generator. [ATTACH]Click image for larger version

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Old 08-19-2016, 04:22 PM   #6
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Very nice set up! I'm guessing the mount allows you to tilt and also follow the sun? Using a 100W Renogy Solar suitcase with our pup and it works great.
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:52 PM   #7
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I built it so that the panel and bracket can be removed from the post. I replaced the bolts with lawn mower plastic nobs so that it doesn't require tools to remove or adjust. I had to put a bunch of washers on the bolt to get the clearance necessary to allow for the plastic bolt to clear the bracket.

I attached the post to the jack post using chain link post couplers. In addition, I cut the post and used a slip connection to allow the bottom part of the post to remain in place during transit.

So....when we are ready to leave I just take off the panel and store it on the bed, remove the top part of the post to free up the tongue jack and store the top part of the post in the forward locker.


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