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Old 04-10-2016, 06:38 PM   #15
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Thanks for the responses

Well, I'm starting to feel shorted on panels. All my calculations are theoretical and this is all new to us. We head out mid May so we'll see soon enough. A portable unit is always a quick fix but most are low wattage and pricey for what you get so a home made unit would be the way to go I think.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:59 PM   #16
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Plan for the unexpected. Clouds, tree shading, deeper canyons, etc.. And also oversize, or leave headroom to add more panels and batteries later, by oversizing the rest of your components. (Controller, cable size, etc.)

We figured we used a max of 145-160AH's per day. So I pumped this to 200AH's, to allow for extreme days, and power usage creep. Bought 800AHs of Lifeline (X's4 L16's), 1200W of 48V High Efficiency Panasonic 240S Solar Panels, MidNite Classic 150 controller, and upsized all cabling in the mix.

Another design goal for us, was to usually be at between 70-80% SOC in the AM. As the life of a battery, is all dependent upon DoD Lifecyles. The simple truth is, that by upsize the battery bank a bit, you can extend you non infinite DoD rated Life Cycles out quite a bit in time span, which means many more years on the same set.

For us, it is the exception for us to 'need' the generator. (I make a point to exercise it under load every 4-6 weeks, as that is the way to prolong the generator's life.). Snow on the Solar Panels, shading of trees, are two main reasons for need of running the generator at times.

If I was doing this today, I would not go to Lithium, as I feel though the payback is out quite a few years on costs, the lessor weight is a dividend to consider too.

Best of luck to you,
Smitty
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:55 PM   #17
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Is your "12 Volt" refer propane?

If it is propane I think you are over estimating on your usage.

You mentioned "dry camping" but didn't really say how long your typical outing is. For instance I have about 400 amp hrs of storage. If I was only going to go for three days at a time I could probably get by without solar. This would be unlimited TV. Furnace usage during the night and all the lights, etc.

Remember a lot of things cycle on and off and aren't a continuous draw.


My setup; 400 amp hrs AGM (telecom), 200 watts solar, trimetric, Morningstar.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by okcnewbie View Post
Is your "12 Volt" refer propane?

If it is propane I think you are over estimating on your usage.

You mentioned "dry camping" but didn't really say how long your typical outing is. For instance I have about 400 amp hrs of storage. If I was only going to go for three days at a time I could probably get by without solar. This would be unlimited TV. Furnace usage during the night and all the lights, etc.

Remember a lot of things cycle on and off and aren't a continuous draw.


My setup; 400 amp hrs AGM (telecom), 200 watts solar, trimetric, Morningstar.
The fridge is a Unique 10.3 CuFt 12/24v with the "super efficient" Danfoss/Secop compressor (we'll see just how efficient). Haven't done any dry camping beyond a couple of days as we haven't had the MH very long but for the next several years we plan on being pretty much full time. Sounds like you're doing well with what you have. Well done.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:40 PM   #19
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800 watts total, 480 on the roof, 320 on the ground, Full integration.
6 T-105's. We limit ourselves to 300 AH as a self imposed safety measure and have found the Trimetric 2030-A meter to be a must have as it measures amp hours in and out of the bank.

Go Power 480 watt Solar Extreme kit
Eco-Worthy 120 watt foldable
DIY 200 watt foldable made from Renogy 200 watt kit.

If we are in full sun we have the full 800 watts, but if the RV is in the shade then we still have 320 watts out in the sun on the ground and tilted. The only time we really have to run the onboard 5500 watt generator is when we want to run the AC, or we have been without sun for 2 days, or have had the RV parked in the shade. Just the wife and I, 2 dogs and a cat. Normally, if we have full sun then this system more than meets our needs, easily. ( but I still want 200 more watts on the ground to make it an even 1000 watts total, not sure what that's all about )
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:09 AM   #20
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400 watts of solar

220 AH of battery

Generator only when on the road or when under heavy tree cover.

We went camping last Thanksgiving in the NorCal Redwoods, talk about 24 of darkness. The tree cover was so drnse, I didn't see more than 0.3 amp at the brightest part of the day. We went three nights without the generator (or solar obviously) and the batteries were down to 12.0 volts by the third morning when we left. We weren't being too conservative and I'm not worried about the batteries. After all what's the purpose of having them if you don't use them, they're all going to die at some point.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:46 PM   #21
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300 Watts of Solar ( 3 panels ), flat mounted on roof using z brackets to provide air flow to avoid overheating underneath them. Grape Solar 320 Watt MPPT charge controller. Two Winnebago OEM Group 24 flooded lead acid deep cycle batteries + one added Group 28 flooded lead acid deep cycle battery, 250 Amp-hours.

Only having 300 watts and 125 Amp-hours of usable battery storage (to 50%) works for me. No residential refrigerator. LED lighting. Low power LED TVs, low power Sat TV equipment, and laptop computer AC adapter are my primary AC loads.
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