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Old 05-19-2013, 06:39 PM   #1
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Solar panels

What would you all suggest for solar panels on a 34' footer. I am looking at putting 4 150's up there. Anybody have more then two on top of your unit? Please let me hear your pros/cons for just one or two?
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
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Depends on what you are trying to do, where you camp, when you camp, how you camp, what you want to power, etc. Battery sizing goes hand in hand with sizing a solar system.

Here is a rule of thumb sizing via AM Solar, a respected RV provider of solar systems.
RV Solar System Sizing by "Rules of Thumb"
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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MY general rule is to put as much wattage up as you can afford, and if there is still room left, buy more as you go.

You cannot have too much solar panel wattage, but you CAN have too much battery power.

With enough wattage you can get your balanced battery bank topped off even on sprinkling days.

Ed
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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Thanks Ed! Never thought about storing the wattage. Retool my thoughts to the system rather then just a component of the larger issue! Ed is the battery compartment on most units just one portal in the undercarriage?
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
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Any shadows on a panel will make it almost worthless during the time that shadow is on it. Plan where you will put them with the least amount of shadows.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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That is our plan and thank you for your reply.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
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More electric power with Solor Panels.

I have 2 panels on my M.H. roof with a voltage regulator and they seem to keep my 4- 6-volts batters up O.K.
The voltage regulator has a red light when it on and it has a meter to let you know how much it is charging the batters and when the red light goes out the batters are charged up.(except at night).
I have had them for 13 years or more my M.H. is a 1997 36' Dolphin and they seem to be doing their job quite will.
I did have to replace the voltage regulater once about 4 years ago.
I guess nothing last for ever.
Juat a thought
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #8
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #9
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I have:

Six 100w panels (bought used for ~$500 on Craigslist)
Morningstar 60a controller
Four Trojan 105 6v batteries
3000w inverter
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:11 PM   #10
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Wow do you have any issues with power?
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:37 PM   #11
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4 - 105 trojans will store about 2 kilowatts of usable power.
the grid charges 10 cents per kilowatt in my region, so 20 cents worth.
if you are boondocking, 2 kws should be more than enuf to get you thru the evening.
unless you want heat or AC of course. you could even run a resedential fridge with this.
I have 2 panels with 2 - 105 trojans, so 1 kw avail. and I have never run out of power, in the summer months, and can not recall the last time I fired up the generator.
most of my power goes to the TV, which consumes about 100 watts per hour.
power in a MH is easily solvable.
the problem is heating and AC. MHs are cold in the winter and cooking hot in the summer.
the trick is to keep the heat in, or heat out in summer. insulation, window covers etc.
400 sq feet is not a lot of area, if these units were well insulated it would be easy.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darmknight05 View Post
Wow do you have any issues with power?
When we dry camp we are usually in desert or open areas of SoCal - so positives of no tree shading and usually clear weather, but negatives of the sun low in the sky and our panels are fixed flat. Batteries are typically fully charged each day. Biggest power draws are evening TV / satellite, furnace fan (a good down comforter allows to minimize furnace usage), DW's sewing machine, and microwave at breakfast time. Infrequently we may need to run the genny in the early morning or on overcast days.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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How many panels do you have? I have read that flat panels only result in a loss of 15 or so percent of charge!
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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In a few weeks I will be installing solar to my Class B. I will be getting two 100W USA made solar panels. I have two mismatched 12v marine batteries I'll be using. My power needs are small but so is my van. Being vintage, the furance lacks a blower but is positioned roughly mid way so it heats the entire space nicely and no power is needed to stay warm which I like. No risk of running down the batteries while sleeping since I would have nothing running except a phone charger. My CO detector runs on AA batteries, as does my smoke detector.

The biggest overnight draw would be fans if I need to run them due to heat buildup.
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