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Old 11-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #1
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solar panel -- pay off

this is mainly for full timers and boondockers. how long do you think it takes to pay for your solar vs. the fuel you would have spent in fuel for your generator. I haven't got mine yet, diffently high on my list. guess== diy solar $2000 -$3000. cost of fuel $4 gallon. generator 1/2 gallon per hour. 2 hours generator time min. ==$3000 / $4 per day = 750 days or just over 2 years. like i say this is just a guess. 2 hrs of generator sounds lite. what are your numbers ???
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #2
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So are you only wanting to compare the cost to charge a battery bank? Or the total ROI of going either solar or genset?

Not an easy comparison as you also have to value in the convenience of having the Genset available for full power if you needed/wanted it. Also, I'd calculate the upfront costs of your panel setup and the cost of the genset.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #3
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Solar panels reduce the amount of time you and your neighbors have to listen to and smell the operating generator. It's not all about money.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
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Payback time? Way more years than I will be RVing. It is not about payback, but rather about how long we can sit with no Hookups before we have to run the generator.
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Depends, but, it use to be 7-10 years before the price drops and fuel costs increase. Now its 2-4 yrs.. Again, depending..
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:35 PM   #6
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not hearing the gennie run PRICELESS!!
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Old 11-08-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
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Aside from fuel, their can be other savings. One may dry camp where otherwise they would have paid for an shore electric connection.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:50 AM   #8
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Since I detest the sound of my own generator nearly as much as the sound of others, use of the generator doesn't come into my calculations.

I figure that every night I boondock save me $x in RV fees. To me, that is worth an extra $x on top of that for enhanced lifestyle. Then the relief at not having to run the generator is worth another $x in lifestyle enhancement.

So all up, that is $3x per night payback on the cost of solar.

Say x = 30 so solar benefit is close to $100 a night.

Say good solar system costs $5000

So payback is less than 2 months.

Even based on actual costs saved on generator fuel and service plus savings in RV Park fees, the payback can be well under a year for full-timers.

Then you can also enjoy waking up to views like these nearly every morning - for free!!!
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #9
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Solar is high on my list for the coming year. Like others I am less concerned about payback nor even the generator noise. More want the convenience and reliability of solar. No need to carry additional fuel for a generator, exercise monthly and other associated maintenance items. The reality is I will probably still pick up a small gasoline generator to run my air compressor on the side of the road or for emergency backup on the rare occasions it may be needed.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Lee View Post
Since I detest the sound of my own generator nearly as much as the sound of others, use of the generator doesn't come into my calculations.

I figure that every night I boondock save me $x in RV fees. To me, that is worth an extra $x on top of that for enhanced lifestyle. Then the relief at not having to run the generator is worth another $x in lifestyle enhancement.

So all up, that is $3x per night payback on the cost of solar.

Say x = 30 so solar benefit is close to $100 a night.

Say good solar system costs $5000

So payback is less than 2 months.

Even based on actual costs saved on generator fuel and service plus savings in RV Park fees, the payback can be well under a year for full-timers.

Then you can also enjoy waking up to views like these nearly every morning - for free!!!
Do you honestly believe you are generating $100/night in electricity? How can RV parks afford to cover the costs at an average of $20/day charge?Or am I misinterpreting your words?
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #11
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Do you honestly believe you are generating $100/night in electricity? How can RV parks afford to cover the costs at an average of $20/day charge?Or am I misinterpreting your words?
No, he's saving $100 a night by not being in a RV park and paying fees, coupled with not having to run the genset..
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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Pay-back was on the bottom of my list of considerations, convenience was close to the top, along with not having to run the generator. Your solar panels are always charging your batteries when they are turned on, when plugged in, driving, even when running the generator, and etc. Will I ever get "pay-back", I don't know, and don't really care.

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Old 11-09-2012, 09:31 PM   #13
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We are pretty much solely boondockers... thankfully our new to us motorhome came with solar. Hubby has a C-pap machine to wear at night at it allows him to do that and for that we are very thankful.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:55 AM   #14
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No, he's saving $100 a night by not being in a RV park and paying fees, coupled with not having to run the genset..
My costs for camping areaverage <$20/night over the past 9 years. The cost of running the generator is << $4.00/hr

Electricity costs ~ 0.20/kwhThe RV park must make money so their rates must include all of the costs of doing business. E.g. electricity. maintenance, etc. I have been in parks where I plug into a post and it calculates my useage and I am charged by the KWH. I have never paid more than $6/day and the park owner admitted he was making a small profit on the charge. So I don't see how one could save >$100/day.

I am just saying, I believe he slipped a decimal point in his calculations.
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