Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-19-2018, 09:48 PM   #1
Member
 
Droes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 92
Solar panels.

Starting to think I should get a small panel to help keep battery charged when parked a couple days.
What’s a decent one I could get without going overkill? Someone said to make sure it comes with a shut off so it won’t over charge.
What watts or voltage should I get?
Thanks
__________________

Droes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2018, 10:15 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
jeffnboise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 22
Need more info...

You said "parked for a few days"... Do you mean in the driveway or at a campsite?

What battery set up do you have now? 12v, 6v.

What are your electrical needs when camping? Do you want to run the heater, A/C, or just lights and smaller power draws?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droes View Post
Starting to think I should get a small panel to help keep battery charged when parked a couple days.
What’s a decent one I could get without going overkill? Someone said to make sure it comes with a shut off so it won’t over charge.
What watts or voltage should I get?
Thanks
__________________

jeffnboise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2018, 12:27 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
MontyPP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 449
100 watt kit from Renogy on eBay at $270 & convert it to 2 6v golfcart deep cyxle batteries.
__________________
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
2016 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
Flagstaff T21TBHW
MontyPP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2018, 12:57 AM   #4
Member
 
Droes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 92
I have a 12v 24dc now. I just want to run lights and small stuff.
Droes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2018, 03:56 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 156
I camp off the grid pretty often, and I use this solar panel and charge controller:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've never run out of battery, and have been out at least a week before. You do need to watch your power usage, but as long as you're not doing anything too crazy it should be okay.

I mainly just run lights, the water pump, phone charger, and sometimes the vent fan.
__________________
2014 Rockwood A122BH
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
bensinc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
Member
 
Droes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensinc View Post
I camp off the grid pretty often, and I use this solar panel and charge controller:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I've never run out of battery, and have been out at least a week before. You do need to watch your power usage, but as long as you're not doing anything too crazy it should be okay.

I mainly just run lights, the water pump, phone charger, and sometimes the vent fan.


Thanks
Droes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2018, 07:35 AM   #7
Member
 
ccamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droes View Post
I have a 12v 24dc now. I just want to run lights and small stuff.
12v 24dc?
ccamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2018, 03:09 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,116
A good condition, deep cycle/marine Group 24 battery (80AH) can run an A-frame with modest use of lights and heater (up to 5 hrs/night) for 2 nights. Using the battery for other purposes - stereo/CPAP usage will reduce the run time.

The cheapest way to double the time without charging is to add a second battery. We moved to 2 GC-2 232AH 6V Interstate golf cart batteries from Costco (total cost $150) to run our A-frame for up to 4 nights without recharging. At the end of 4 nights, we are usually ready to move to another site, or we made sure we had a powered site. And the fridge and water tank are approaching empty.

Next cheapest alternative is solar. But storage of panels while traveling, secure setup to work unattended in Colorado winds, and having to use sites with good sun exposure are negatives we didn't want to deal with. 160-200 watts of solar panel is enough to keep your A-frame batteries charged under most conditions.

A 2K generator will both recharge the batteries and run the A/C (at least on my 2014 A122 - I understand newer/HW A-frames have bigger air conditioners that need more power). However, the generator is the most expensive option, and requires hefting the generator and generator fuel. Again, more hassle than we wanted with our camping.

happy with 2 batteries and 4 nights dry camping - KISS
Fred W
2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
camping Colorado and adjacent states one weekend at a time
pgandw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2018, 03:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 165
"Someone said to make sure it comes with a shut off so it won’t over charge."

If you buy a portable solar kit, it will come with a charge controller. If you have a Zamp solar port on your camper, be aware that Zamp reverses the polarity of their wiring compared to other manufacturers so you'll need an adapter to plug in another brand. (See the video below for more info on that.) You can also just take the cable from your portable panel and connect it directly to you battery with alligator-type clips.

wannabeowner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2018, 07:30 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Lockport NY
Posts: 51
Send a message via Skype™ to Doc Wu
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccamper View Post
12v 24dc?
as well as reply: What battery set up do you have now? 12v, 6v."

In order to answer questions properly, we need the right questions.

Is it "I just want to run lights and small stuff." or "keep battery charged when parked a couple days."

First of all, it's a 12 volt system. Even if you use two 6v golf cart batteries, it is still a 12v system. It won't ever be a 24v system. (You're in the A-Frame section, not Class A Motorhomes.)

If you just want to keep the battery topped off while parked, you can get a small panel in the 20 watt range. It will keep the battery charged enough that the smoke/gas detectors won't start beeping and it will be ready when you use it.

If you are talking about power for use while camping, think bigger and think about how much you plan to use. 100-200 watts is typical for A-Frames. Everyone starts out "just lights and small stuff" and it grows from there.

You can consider adding battery capacity then too.

You don't need to think about disconnecting the solar panel. You should always use a charge controller and that will take care of preventing overcharging the battery.

Another consideration point is whether you want permanently mounted panels, or portable ones that you set up on the ground. Advantages and disadvantages to both.

It's a big subject. Too big for one thread here. Do some research and you will come up with better questions that will get you better answers once you know what you want to do.

There is a forum dedicated to this topic here.
__________________

Doc Wu is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar, solar panel

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:57 AM.