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Old 10-27-2010, 12:40 AM   #1
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Gas genny vs. solar and/or wind power

I have noticed many boondockers prefer small gas generators and others prefer solar and/or wind power. Just wondering how many on this forum are using gas gennys and do you have any aspirations to go alternative?
I have a theory people under appx 50 years of age prefer alternative and people over appx 50 prefer gas, am I wrong?
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:47 AM   #2
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I think your right on.


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Old 10-27-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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I am over 50 and have both. Only run the gen set if I need the a/c to cool down otherwise the solar [500 watts) will keep up with all my power needs when dry camping.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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I'm 40 and plan on having both. Solar is "free", in the sense that I don't have to pay anything after I have the panels. It can't be my only source because I like my electronic toys and air conditioning, but firing up the generator is something I want to keep to a minimum.

It really comes down to the AC, you can work around solar's limitations on everything else, but you can't get enough power to run the air conditioning off solar unless you pack and lay out a *lot* of panels. Cover the roof with panels, you still won't have enough power. And past 85 degrees, I need my AC.

--Dave
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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I am well over 50, and use both solar and built in diesel generator. My simplistic mind tells me that I went to all the trouble of boondocking to enjoy the solitude that it offers, so why would I want to hear a generator hammering away. Solar allows me to keep the running of the generator to a mininum. If I could find a wind generator that was small, quiet, and simple to set-up I would probably have one of those also.

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Old 10-27-2010, 02:39 PM   #6
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I'm over 50 and have both, of course DW is under 50. We use solar as much as possible because we don't like hearing the generator run in the places we like to camp. We try to avoid places (temperatures) where we need to run the A/C.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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I'm just a bit over 50 - say - about 18 years more. I have all three, solar 500w, wind 500w and a 1200w gas gen. I like to tinker so the system we have is as much hobby as it is a source of power. I'm currently thinking about using this system to tie into the elec. grid when we are home. I think I'd have to expand it a bit, but not by much.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
I have a theory people under appx 50 years of age prefer alternative and people over appx 50 prefer gas, am I wrong?
Sounds about right, there are a few older RV'ers who prefer the alternative for reasons of their own. I'm 75, DW is 71 and handicapped with MS. I'm afraid solar just wont do it for us. We use the inverter quite a bit (MW, toaster coffee pot etc) and We have a little 1Kw genny for charging the batteries through a B&D Vector.
(Addicted to our electrical appliances )
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:04 PM   #9
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Greetings All, Since batteries are the "heart" of the power systems while dry camping, I use a (what I think is a practical approach) a balanced system. What I mean by that is I matched my battery bank (approx. 400 amp/hrs.) to the AC and DC needs with an 1100 watt inverter, Honda 2000i gen, and 60 watt solar and controller. All this works for my budget, runs a 700 watt microwave, 32" LCD TV, Sat Reciever, DVD Player, two 25 watt 110 volt CFL's for reading, Desktop PC, printer, and much more. In reality I fire the gen every other day for 1 to hrs each morn and eve and leave the solar hooked up all the time. Since doing this I have not discharged my batts below 50%, of course I use a trimetric battery monitor also as well as my hydrometer. So, all this leads to what I think is not an age thing but a practical thing, although If I could afford it I would go all solar if a system was made that would fit my 5ver and produce lots of power.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty_Dog View Post
Greetings All, Since batteries are the "heart" of the power systems while dry camping, I use a (what I think is a practical approach) a balanced system. What I mean by that is I matched my battery bank (approx. 400 amp/hrs.) to the AC and DC needs with an 1100 watt inverter, Honda 2000i gen, and 60 watt solar and controller. All this works for my budget, runs a 700 watt microwave, 32" LCD TV, Sat Reciever, DVD Player, two 25 watt 110 volt CFL's for reading, Desktop PC, printer, and much more. In reality I fire the gen every other day for 1 to hrs each morn and eve and leave the solar hooked up all the time. Since doing this I have not discharged my batts below 50%, of course I use a trimetric battery monitor also as well as my hydrometer. So, all this leads to what I think is not an age thing but a practical thing, although If I could afford it I would go all solar if a system was made that would fit my 5ver and produce lots of power.
Hello Salty_Dog, and welcome to IRV2!
Great answer, simple yet effective. That does sound like everything you would need (as long as you don't need A/C)
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:05 AM   #11
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wanabee FTer View Post
Hello Salty_Dog, and welcome to IRV2!
Great answer, simple yet effective. That does sound like everything you would need (as long as you don't need A/C)
Thanks for the welcome...yes you are right about the A/C. We use two of our three fantastic fans for "A/C". Usually have the one in the kitchen on low blowing in and the one in the bedroom on low blowing out. That keeps us pretty cool even in Arizona or elswhere.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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I'm over 50 and don't like running the generator unless I need the a/c. I have my 2 Harbor Freight solar panels and LED lights with a small undercounter tv so don't have a large power demand.
Can go 4 or 5 days easily with out the generator on 2 group 27 batteries if a/c is not needed.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:12 PM   #13
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I am well over 50 and the DW is well under 50....... go figure!!!!!
Anyway, we have 3 new 135 watt and one old 90 watt solar panels and use them until we have to run the diesel generator.... rarely...... don't like A/C so the solar is awesome
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:59 PM   #14
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I'm way over 50 and don't think wind power or solar will run my 2 AC while driving down the road.
I love to use my AC's in 80-90 temps. Or even above 75 if sitting in the sun.

I worked many years and saved for my retirement. So I am not going to sweat now like I did at times working.

Today here it was 84 and It feels like 90. No number of fantastic fans will keep you cool sitting out in the sun. Without AC it would be in the high 90's or more inside.

Give me 30 AMP hook up any day. It is in my budget to use all the electric I need.
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