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Old 10-08-2020, 07:58 PM   #71
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Help! I just purchased a 2021 Forest River travel trailer and was "sold" on how great the 12V Magic Chef frig and solar panel would be. This isn't my first camper so I'm pretty experienced over-all with their systems but this solar panel is throwing me! The deep cycle (dual) batteries I have just don't seem to cut it with the 12V frig if my panel isn't able to recharge. I mostly camp in Federal or State parks in mountainous areas that don't necessarily offer open, sunny spots. What suggestions are out there to improve the amount of time I can get when "dry-camping" with this system? Upgrade batteries? Extra panel if I happen to get an open spot?
Extra battery will always get you extra capacity. How much depends on your system and what you have room for.


I've got a few ground-deployed panels that we take with us. They can be set up in the sun while the coach is in the shade, and the cable is long enough to make the connection. Doesn't take much to keep up with a fridge if you can keep charging.


Alternatively, if the sunny spot is too far away for the portable panel to reach back to your trailer, what about getting another battery which you take with the panel to the sun. Many of the portable panels come with their own charge controller. After the battery is charged just add it to your system or swap it for one of the uncharged batteries.
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:07 PM   #72
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Clever - you might need a generator to help charge the batteries if you do not have an open spot to the sun.

I know they make solar panels that you can take away from your trailer a bit and position them in the sun when your trailer is in the shade but that sounds like that won't help you much.

So back the the generator. You should be able to charge your batteries while you use the microwave or coffee maker for a few hours in the morning then a few hours in the evening.

Not sure what size batteries you have but maybe get a larger group. Like group 27 or better a group 31 for more amp hours. That should help some.

I don't boondock very much but that could change. I do have a generator that I would use if I decide to noon dock.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:22 PM   #73
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Clever - you might need a generator to help charge the batteries if you do not have an open spot to the sun.

I know they make solar panels that you can take away from your trailer a bit and position them in the sun when your trailer is in the shade but that sounds like that won't help you much.

So back the the generator. You should be able to charge your batteries while you use the microwave or coffee maker for a few hours in the morning then a few hours in the evening.

Not sure what size batteries you have but maybe get a larger group. Like group 27 or better a group 31 for more amp hours. That should help some.

I don't boondock very much but that could change. I do have a generator that I would use if I decide to noon dock.


Batteries are one part of the issue. If it were me I would have at least 4 golf cart batteries or 2 LiP batteries. That way you would have over 400ah and at least 200 usable.

Supplemented with a generator is a good idea. AGM take a charge faster. A soft roll up panel placed remotely in the sun is not a bad idea either.
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:24 PM   #74
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We have a 12v compressor fridge which draws about 5.7 amps when it runs, which is about a 50% duty cycle.


We also have folding ground-deployed solar panels. One of the 180-watt panels can easily keep up with the fridge and some other light use of the 12v system. We went with the ground deployed panels so we can park in the shade and leave our solar in the solar.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:54 AM   #75
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We added the Amish conversion to our 4 door Norcold in the Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. We installed the 12 volt/ gas combo . It worked amazingly well and uses very little power. The reefer (LRM 1200 4 door) has never worked as well.
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