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Old 11-25-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
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Solar panels

None using solar panels on there truckcamper? If so does it work well and can u keep going try camping as long as u have sun? Another words r they worth the price??
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Solar works well. If properly sized and installed it can provide for most usages. With a truck camper your biggest challenge may be enough roof area for panels.

Here is about my installation:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 92 views)
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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Hello Dave. Have you picked up your Truck camper yet?
Solar panels are good for if your going to be doing a lot of off road camping with out power.
So it depends on how you are going to use your TC and how long you are going to be out.
It is worth it to help keep the TC batteries charged and trickle charge the truck batteries when camping with the camper on the truck, without hook ups for Electrical power. A lot of TC owners out west have solar panels on their Truck campers. Normally they say to get at least one 100-140 Watt panel, because you only have so much room on the roof of the camper.
You also want to position the panel away from obstructions like the AC if you are going to have one, to give it clear sun light most of the day. You also do not want to run a lot of camper electrical systems at one time, the solar system will not keep up with the usage. Usually if you have a AC, and need to run it. You would run the A/C with a portable generator. Just info for you.

vsheetz gives some good information in his post for his solar system, to give you a idea of the cost.

I am looking to get solar panel with my TC in the future with the same wattage.
Best of luck.
Scott
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #4
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Thanks Scotty and as we speak my unit finally came in last Friday! I was hoping to use it in October but I will pick it up sometime either Christmas or first of year because we won't use much during the winter! Have a great turkey day!!
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #5
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In 2000-2004 we had an AFox 1150 with two 110w panels and four 6v batteries in a reinforced outside compartment. Xantrex 2000 in another compartment. With a Link 1000 readout. Worked pretty good.
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Old 11-28-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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Solar panels work well within design limits. You can't expect to put one little 50 watt panel on an RV and then proceed to use the TV, computer, all the lights, and everything else like you're plugged into shore power.
If you normally camp where you can plug in there's no point in getting solar panels. If you like to camp with out shore power then solar is a great means of keeping your batteries charged. Depending on your power usage you may have enough room for enough solar to pretty much run indefinitely. Or, you may not have enough room for enough panels to cover your usage.
For me, 100 watts is plenty for us to camp for a long weekend away from power.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #7
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Solar really works great to extend your stay if you camp without hookups. If you have LED lights that really helps as well to reduce your power consumption. Size your solar system for the type of camping you enjoy along with the length of time you want to spend off the grid. Take into account how much sun you can expect to get each day. Camping on the coast in the fog will be a lot different than setting up in AZ. It doesn't help to produce a lot of energy if your batteries can't handle it. Knowing how much energy your rig uses to do the things you like to do while camping is a great place to start.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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I have been using solar panels for about 15+ years now, and things have definitely evolved, and prices have really come down. I now use 2 6V batteries in series rather than the marine batteries, and have adapted all of my incandescent & fluorescent lighting to LED's to save on power usage. The beauty of the solar power, is we have stayed at remote camping areas for 10 days or so, and never had to fire up a generator or run the truck to recharge.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:32 PM   #9
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Just ran across the guy below. What I picked up as an 20-year industrial electrician says that he knows what he's talking about. You decide.

HandyBob's Blog
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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keep in mind that you keep your CG as low as you can most of the good 80watt or more solar panels are 60lbs or more

if you install them on the roof keep wight on your mind at all times
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:51 PM   #11
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I don't know where you would find solar panels that heavy. Most panels in the 250 watt range are only 40 to 50 pounds.
The have to go on the roof and either way, compared to the weight of the RV, that's not going to be much difference in COG.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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We have a large teardrop trailer 6X10 so a similar architecture. There is a 185W 66 cell high voltage panel which requires a Morningstar MPPT Sun Saver controller which feeds a 150AH AGM battery. I designed the trailer for serious boondocking, LED lights, 300W Morning Star Sure Sine inverter which powers the TV laptop and Waeco 12V refrigerator (the size of a large ice chest). The high voltage panel means it produces usable current from sun up to sun down and with the panel shaded. We spent 8 days on the north shore of Lake Superior in a shaded site and at the end of the eight days we were at 64% SoC. So yes it can work and work well.
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