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Old 06-12-2021, 08:02 PM   #1
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Renogy 100W 20A portable solar panel

Want to limit running the generator when boondocking during July 4th weekend for 5 days. Camps with electricity are already booked. Will this solar panel be OK or should I buy a larger unit. We have a single 27 Lifeline 95 A battery in our class C. We seldom bookdock for extended periods. It is usually just for 1 night. I would rather not buy an additional battery. Will use propane for refrig, water heater and stove.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLRanch View Post
Want to limit running the generator when boondocking during July 4th weekend for 5 days. Camps with electricity are already booked. Will this solar panel be OK or should I buy a larger unit. We have a single 27 Lifeline 95 A battery in our class C. We seldom bookdock for extended periods. It is usually just for 1 night. I would rather not buy an additional battery. Will use propane for refrig, water heater and stove.
100w will not do much. If it is in perfect sun, without any shade or clouds it might generate 4-5amps for 4-5 hours per day which is about 20amp-hr max into your battery daily. You can make some calculations regarding what your lights, water pump, TV, etc burn and you will find it will be hard to keep up with just one solar panel like that unless you just don't use much electricity. It is definitely a help but it isn't alot. This all boils down to how much you will be draining out of the battery each day in amp-hrs and how much you will be putting back in. If you are really not using electricity you might get buy.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:44 AM   #3
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Good advice above!

The answer is "yes" it will help. But that is not saying much. I recommend you start with doubling your battery capacity. It is the first step in a solar installation.

100 watts would run a 100 watt incandescent light bulb or 5 LED lights from 10 am to 2 pm. It is not going charge your house battery much.

A 95 amp hour battery may get you through the night, but it will need 10 hours of charging to get you through the next night. While charging, it will start drawing about 20 to 30 amps and slowly drop to 3 to 5 amps over 10 hours.

You need grid power or a generator to deliver 20 amps. You would need about 300 to 600 watts of solar and bright sun.

Successful solar dry camping strategies start with a large battery bank and a quiet inverter generator. Solar is the last component to add.

I would choose enough battery to get through at least 3 days, but two days may work in places with reliable sun. Run the generator for 2 to 4 hours in the early morning before sun is high in the sky. Let the solar provide the long slow finishing charge.

I recommend 200 amp hours of AGM batteries as a foundation for 3 days of dry camping. If that is enough, you are done. RV lithium batteries would be better.

Next add at least 1000 watt quiet inverter generator to power your on-board RV converter/charger and run it every three days for 5 hours continuously. Many people choose a 2000 watt inverter generator to run other 120 volt AC appliances at the same time.

Finally, if you want to avoid running the generator, install 300 to 600 watts of solar. You would still need the generator for cloudy days and shady camping spots.

There are lots of variation on successful plans, but this is the core.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-13-2021, 10:25 AM   #4
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I have 165 watt on the roof, but in fixed position so benefits can be limited. We bought the 100 watt renogy portable and has helped us a lot, every couple hours move it to face direct sun. We are in Az so we donít know what clouds are, being able to aim helps tremendously, 1 day of good sunlight it will bring 35 to 40 amps back into batteries. if I were buying again I would prolly get the 200 watt package, but for now am happy with 100. We do have 2 6 volt AGMís. That helps as well. Good luck
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