Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Boondocking
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 500
Finally Got to Use The Harbor Freight Solar

I previously boondocked with one set of the Harbor Freight solar panels and they were ok, but still had to use the generator at times.
Last fall I installed a second set of HF panels so have 90W of free power.
I went on an elk hunt a couple weeks ago and gave the set-up a good test. My rig only has 2 group 27 batteries. I previously installed LED lights on the rig so this cut power consumption quite a bit.
With both panel sets we could use the LEDs, furnace was set at 60' at night. We used the under counter kitchen TV to watch DVDs, the fridge and water heater use 12v for controls. The water pump was used as needed. In the morning the batteries were about 12.3V. After all day in the sun the batteries were at 12.8V.
We used the generator only a couple of times to power the microwave for a couple of minutes each time.

I know some here say these panels do not put out much power, but it has proved enough so the generator will get very little use now.

I have about $350 total in the solar system so I think it was a good investment. And I have a spare controller and flourscent lights that came with them. I was also able to make the investment in 2 stages so this helped as my budget is limited.

Just thought I would share how my system turned out for those that might be considering something similar.
__________________

__________________
leadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-03-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Conquest102's Avatar
 
Gulf Streamers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 336
Did you run all 6 panels thru one controller? I was told by HF tech support not to do that I would love to have second set of panels running.
__________________

__________________
1996 GulfStream Conquest 31feet May 2011
1984 SouthWind 27feet loved for 6 years
1 Wife 6 Kids
Conquest102 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 500
Yes, the one controller seems to be handling it just fine. The system has been operating with both panels since last fall. This was just the first trip, but I did run lights, fan, etc. once in a while when it was parked at the house.
__________________
leadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
Member
 
jscribn1's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 56
More importantly..... Did you get an Elk???
Glad the solar setup is working for you..
__________________
jscribn1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 500
Yes, all 3 of us in camp got elk. I was the last one to tag one. Was almost a self defense situation! My friend spooked them and the elk ran right at me. When I knelt down they swerved to the side and I took the lead cow at about 20 yards.
__________________
leadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 01:28 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Dunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phx, Arid~zona
Posts: 11,106
I have 96 watts of solar wired straight to my battery bank. It puts out about 6 amps on a good day and does alright. Would a controller help? Which kind?
__________________
2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
If Dunner (RVM23) can't fix it, it ain't broke!
Cheap Handling Fix Poll. Click Here to vote?
Dunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Shadowcatche's Avatar
 
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,219
The care and feeding of deep cycle batteries is complex and if you want maximum life from your batteries they need to be managed. The best bet is to check the Solar that really works thread.
__________________
Shadowcatche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
wa8yxm's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 22,799
I do agree. However if you boondock for say a week, using solar and not burning up a lot of power watching old CRT tv's and such... Then come home and plug in so as to let your 3-stage convereter properly re-charge and top off.. should be good.

Congrats on bagging your elk too.
__________________
Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #9
Member
 
JimandWanda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 48
I have 3 HF sets on my MH. Rather than use the 3 controllers which was a headache to turn on and off each day, I purchased a Prostar 15 charge controller and connected the 3 sets to it. This controller will charge 3 types of batteries and has a digital display. I can leave it on all the time. With 135 watts it keeps my 2 trojan 6v batteries in good shape. We can watch 2hrs of tv each day. I have also converted all lighting to LED. our longest trip has been 4 days without running the genset. I use a 750 watt inverter from HF

Jim
__________________
JimandWanda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2011, 05:25 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 500
I never turn off the controller unless I want to check the battery level during the day. There are diodes in the controller I use to prevent feedback so I can plug in if I want with no problems.

The controller will charge to around 14.3v in good sunlight. At this level, which is the same as most autos charge at, I have very little outgassing from the batteries.

Dunner, with your panels you should have a controller to prevent boiling your batteries. Have you checked the output voltage from your panels? My HF sets put out about 22v before the controller.
__________________
leadman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2011, 05:41 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Dunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phx, Arid~zona
Posts: 11,106
The label says open circuit:19.8V, 3.35A and rated: 15.9V, 3.02A. They are two older Siemens 48 Watt panels that were given to me several years ago. I'd have to check the voltage output, but I do know they put out 6 amps on a sunny day. Pretty sure they put out at least 16 open circuit volts, maybe more.
__________________

__________________
2004 32' National Sea Breeze 1311 Class A on a F-53 Chassis, CHF, TST TPMS, 5Star Tune.
If Dunner (RVM23) can't fix it, it ain't broke!
Cheap Handling Fix Poll. Click Here to vote?
Dunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cheap solar panel charging batteries danes-on-tour RV Systems & Appliances 3 08-05-2010 03:44 PM
SeeLevel Gauges Using Existing Wiring with Solar Charging LED jimmccreary Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 5 06-11-2010 09:37 AM
Solar Charging Light LeeSoCal National RV Owner's Forum 11 03-12-2009 07:03 AM
Solar power GraciesMom MH-General Discussions & Problems 9 12-09-2008 08:37 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.