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Old 11-08-2014, 11:13 AM   #29
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I did the math, and decided my big Onan Genny was more efficient than solar. If you have to buy the panels, wiring, controller, and a proper inverter, you have to spend more than 1/2 your time boondocking to make it pay.
When we travel point A to point B, we take our time and boondock along the way.

If you are going to be mostly boondocking, an all electric coach most likely won't work.
Out west, there are plenty of RV parks with big comfortable spots, nice trees and you can get them for 400-600 per month. If you want a all electric coach this is probably the way to go. You can boondock Week here, or a week there and still enjoy it.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:52 AM   #30
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Using some fairly round numbers, I figure my solar install will pay for itself in approximately 30 weeks of boondocking. That made it worth it to me.

However; for me, there is an additional factor that was even more significant than cost/payback. Noise. I hate it. The fact that I can sit in the middle of the forest listening to the birds and breeze in the trees while my batteries charge, instead of a generator, is worth a LOT to me. I realize this varies from person to person so is impossible to quantify. For me, my $1,500, 650 watt solar charging system paid for itself the first week of peace and quite.
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:14 PM   #31
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JFNM

We see to be on the same sheet of music. Attached photo of young Bull Moose fighting on earlier post on this thread. They were within 25 metres of our rig.

Attached today is a White-fronted Parrot that was above our rig on beach in Yucatan (about 25 km north of Tulum). We primarily boondock/bush camp/dispersed camp and the wildlife come right up to our rig and generally ignore us. We do put out bird/hummingbird feeders and the birds certainly prefer the quiet as well.

We have only stayed at RV parks when we are visiting family near large cities. We also mootchdock (mootch + boondock) with our kids. They have installed 30 amp outlets for us but we have had no use for these for the last 18 months.

Currently in Las Cruces, NM for 3 weeks or so
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:31 PM   #32
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We see to be on the same sheet of music.
Hi Reed,

I agree! Very nice! The following is a shot of small herd of elk that I spotted early one morning while sipping my coffee. They were about a hundred yards or so from my spot in the Cibola National Forest (near Gallup, NM) not too awful long ago.





Hopefully this is not hijacking this thread. The point, I think, is that solar offers some "interesting" benefits that are often unmentioned (as I believe a generator scares off much of this type of wildlife).
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #33
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Lovely photo of the Elk. We were in Rocky Mountain NP two Octobers ago and it seemed that half of Denver was up there to watch the Elk in rut. One poor giant Elk was going nuts checking out his harem of 100 or more as the sneaky "hasty rutters" (expression I heard on NPR) lurked in the brush.

As you noted "..solar offers some "interesting" benefits that are often unmentioned (as I believe a generator scares off much of this type of wildlife).."

Of course there are some downsides. We thought it cute when the ground squirrels scampered up the stairs and checked out the 5th wheel. They are not house-broken.

Three times we have had had hummers come inside and panic. They just huddled in a corner in a catatonic state. I was able to pick them up and release them outside. They are so light weight that you are not sure they are within your hands. Twice, the hummer flew backwards and observed me from 2 or 3'. Generally, they fly in, find nothing of interest and wander off. Had Grizzlies within 100 metres of our rig near Glacier. Bryan Appleby had come by to visit and let us know about the one that was perhaps 75 metres away. Just don't leave trash about.

Again, as you note, hope we are not hijacking but are trying to show the advantages of the solitude of bush camping with solar.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #34
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I have 630 watts of solar, 10 T105 bats and run the genny only after 2 rainy days in a row. I also have a 130 amp 3 stage charger and all works great.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:41 PM   #35
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Using some fairly round numbers, I figure my solar install will pay for itself in approximately 30 weeks of boondocking. That made it worth it to me.

However; for me, there is an additional factor that was even more significant than cost/payback. Noise. I hate it. The fact that I can sit in the middle of the forest listening to the birds and breeze in the trees while my batteries charge, instead of a generator, is worth a LOT to me. I realize this varies from person to person so is impossible to quantify. For me, my $1,500, 650 watt solar charging system paid for itself the first week of peace and quite.
I went to your link, very good work! If you enjoyed doing it, that was just a bonus!
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:02 PM   #36
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A tidbit of info on per amp-hour cost based on 2 batteries of each type

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Old 11-08-2014, 07:27 PM   #37
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A tidbit of info on per amp-hour cost based on 2 batteries of each type

Attachment 78526
And the better charger you have, the quicker the recharge. Very important if you recharge with a Genny only.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:28 AM   #38
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80% DOD with lead acid batteries is probably not the best idea. 50% is far better for long life.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:56 PM   #39
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80% DOD with lead acid batteries is probably not the best idea. 50% is far better for long life.

Reed and Elaine

Reed may I ask what type and size of coach you have?
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:22 AM   #40
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Freebird - we have a 34' Open Range 5th wheel, model 337RLS. This is probably considered an entry level rig but it is the second one we have owned. First was destroyed in a 70 car pile-up between Vera Cruz and Puebla, Mexico. We liked it so much we bought the same model but a 2014 (instead of a 2012 and there were substantial improvements) and the same model 2006 4x4 diesel (dualie this time) since a 2006 or earlier is required for Mexican 500 ppm sulfur.It took 15 months to finally get Mexican insurance settled and we still do not have things worked out with Mexican customs. They now need proof of destruction of vehicle and rig from insurance company.

This 5th wheel comes with R30+ on floor and ceiling and R9+ on walls. We paid to have double-pane windows installed on all windows. It does make a difference in both summer and winter.

The front bay is designed to have an Onan 5.6 kW generator installed and we use it for our LFP battery bank (9.6 kW-hr), PSW inverter, etc. The empty weight is around 8400# and a loaded weight of about 12400# so that there is about 4000# capacity (water, grey and black water, propane and whatever we feel like carrying. We are pretty much weight police and weigh on CAT scales every several months.
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:58 PM   #41
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80% DOD with lead acid batteries is probably not the best idea. 50% is far better for long life.

Reed and Elaine
I was to ask the same... 80% DOD on LA surely will destroy the pack soon.
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Old 01-30-2015, 08:14 PM   #42
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Again, as you note, hope we are not hijacking but are trying to show the advantages of the solitude of bush camping with solar.
Reed and Elaine[/QUOTE]

Just this morning in California right off s22 a great boondock spot near the Anza-Borrego state park, we were sitting in our RV with the diesel generator running. First a young Road Runner came up by us and search for food. Next a small bluish purple hummingbird flew up to our windshield and kept going back and forth. Apparently fascinated with its reflection.

Good generators don't scare away wildlife. We go for a walk, and never hear it until we are within 50ft or less.

My point being, you better do a lot of boondocking to make up for the 10-12 dollar per day cost to run the Genny. Solar is VERY expensive considering its just another generator. Get a estimate for 400-600 watt solar, and you will think twice.

The Genny comes with most MH.
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