Originally Posted by oatmeal
I totally agree. But with the residential refrigerator, you're going to need a pretty good amount of solar--more than you're going to want to have portable panels for.
We dithered on solar for a while, back when it was quite expensive (2005), and finally decided that the deciding factor would be if we wanted to do it, mainly to not have to listen to the generator, and not whether it made financial sense.
We have 1,050 watts flat-mounted on the roof. If we're in the sun, we can go pretty much indefinitely without running the generator, but we have a propane refrigerator. I worked through some numbers and concluded we wouldn't be able to do that if we had a residential refrigerator.
Sure enough, there's a guy who has 1,000 watts of solar on this same type of motorhome, but he has a residential refrigerator and he reports that he runs his generator every 2-3 days, which comports with what my numbers told me.
I ditto the above post as I have 1040 watts of panels on my 28 foot Tiffin Breeze, big wiring to minimize losses, Morningstar TS-60-MPPT controller, Xlink pro battery monitor and love the silent sound of 60 amps of charging power while camping in the woods (20 amps on full overcast days). I too have a propane fridge but switch it over to solar when the batteries are fully charged most sunny afternoons. (draws 30 amps).
It doesn't have to be expensive-1040 watts of panels, Morningstar controller and 12 & 4 gage wiring- $1425 total cost.