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Old 05-31-2015, 04:28 PM   #15
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Don't park near anyone else if you plan to run that 5500 genny. You will get loads of complaints and/or bad stares.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Don't park near anyone else if you plan to run that 5500 genny. You will get loads of complaints and/or bad stares.
Oh no...that would only be if we were out back on our ranch or out on my uncle's ranch in west Texas. I would never run that stinky loud thing near any other campers.

Luckily, I am hearing impaired (-50dB) and could probably sleep right through it.

But I know nobody for a half mile around me could.

My parents live out in Yuma AZ and there are places where you can just pull off the road and settle down. Those places I might light up the generator.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #17
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I scrapped the solar idea and got a 3200/4000 watt generator instead. Supposed to run 10 hours on a tank and should be plenty strong if we take it easy on the microwave and just run A/C and Fridge. We can turn off the AC if we need to nuke up some food, and restart the A/C after dinner is cooked.

Might handle all of the above, but I see no reason to push it.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:33 PM   #18
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I wanted something to keep my battery charged up when we are in national or state parks without electric for 3-4 days. The GoPower 120 watt suitcase portable was $600 on Amazon. The Renogy was $279 for their 100 watt suitcase package. I got the Renogy for two 4 night stays this year in VT. State Parks. And for a trip to AK next summer.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:51 PM   #19
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Guys, the thread is a little misleading.

I'm a big solar proponent. If you want to use a generator, great. If Solar is of interest, the more batteries to store the power, fabulous; the more panels you can get on the roof, the faster you can store that power, and then store that energy with the best possible controller you can use.

In my world, A/C is almost achievable. I just don't want to push it yet. I may go with DC Air Conditioners that double as heat pumps.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:07 AM   #20
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Living is SE Texas, A/C is a MUST. And since solar won't cut it yet for us (yet), we ended up going the generator route.

I got a 3400/4000 unit that I can pick up and carry, that should handle A/C and/or fridge. Might have to use one at a time, at least until they both cool down and aren't running full time.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:30 PM   #21
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I designed and installed my own solar 480w in our new motorhome. I did a lot of research beforehand and found the most common issue was that they just did not perform as expected. Mine does, exactly as designed. The main reason for non performance of solar is the wire size used in the installation. Most solar installs use a graph to tell them voltage loss in a given wire for a given distance, 3% being "their" acceptable loss from controller to battery and even higher between panels and controller as long as the controller gets 13 to 14 volts. They say the panels put out 17.7v so you should have plenty of umph at the controller. WRONG!

I bought 2 gauge wire online, 30' and used it exclusively. I connected the 3 panels in parallel using 8 gauge solar wire and connectors and ran it through the roof into a closet. In the closet I pick up the 2 gauge wire going to the controller and then to the batteries. My loss using a online voltage calculator is in the 0.1 volt range or less at 27 amps. With the digital voltmeter I verify the online calculator. I designed it for 27 amps, 480 w at 14.6 volts to the batteries. Today is cloudy, panels working just fine.

With kits like this do the math. Measure your distances, get the panel specs, and then use the online calculators to calculate voltage loss. Find your minimal wire size for the loss that is acceptable to you, the less the better.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:46 PM   #22
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Overall point is that in TEXAS you got to have air conditioning AND you got to have a generator to do that with current solar technology. In order to maintain stealth, you could get quiet generator and run them almost anywhere.

Case in point.

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Old 06-09-2015, 06:27 PM   #23
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Forest...when you say 2 gauge, are you talking about welding cable?

So the issue is more with the constriction of the wiring?

That said (asked), how much money do you have invested in your system so far?

I used 2g welding cable in my hot rod, and I know how expensive that stuff is, added to the solar panels and other electronics...

just curious.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:29 PM   #24
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Garbonz...I like your insulated box on the rear of your trailer! Nice and quiet!
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:08 PM   #25
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No I bought the cable from Cable 2 go and put it in a conduit. I would have to look up the type. I think total cost was south of $2,000. 2 day self install. I've seen 385w and 21 amps or so on the controller with it slowing down around 1 PM, batteries charged. We use from 20 to 40 amps per day boon docking. Real test begins soon, 12 days out at high alpine lakes. I also added the 3,000 w inverter, transfer switch, sub panel, pull/push bus fussing, remotes for inverter and controller, LED interior bulbs and two 6v Trojan 360 ah 6 volt batteries with 2/0 welding wire.

Made up all my own wires, wire terminals using a cable cutter, hammer crisper, shrink wrap, master cutoff, fussing.

It works, drove my son in law daffy with the wire runs.

I also hooked up a pigtail to charge my trolling motor for our infateable boat.
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:14 PM   #26
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Overall point is that in TEXAS you got to have air conditioning AND you got to have a generator to do that with current solar technology. In order to maintain stealth, you could get quiet generator and run them almost anywhere.

Case in point.

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Old 06-10-2015, 06:33 AM   #27
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WOW! What a setup! Let us know how it works on your longer trip!
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:44 AM   #28
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Scott.. Getting off the grid is a nice debacle. Some can merely add a single solar panel and one battery to charge and they are off grid.... In my case I have the need for everything! I would require a life change...and a full roof top of panels that charge banks of batteries that I could try to run my AC units. But I have 500watts and about 15 amps of charging power and I get by with 4 batteries and no AC unit ... I can use my microwave conservatively....frig....and TV/stereo/DVD player....fan...and still survive. Everyone has their personal tolerance for devices and all that factors into a solar charging system and off grid capability.
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