Originally Posted by CleverCamper
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.