Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Boondocking
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-27-2021, 06:32 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 104
Going solar??

We travel in a 30' MH with limited needs for power; Ref is the primary, a Norcold 8cu. I am wanting to use a portable 100W solar panel to maintain batteries (2 deep cycle) and I would also be running the Generator as needed! Any thoughts on weather the 100W would be adequate? We dry camp for a max of 4 days on average. Thanks in advance!
Daryl molly is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-27-2021, 08:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 493
If you can keep the panel in good sun, it can certainly extend your dry camping time. 100 watts at 13 volts gives you something on the order of 7 amps at the best. My experience with a fixed panel is that I would often get a lot less than the maximum rated output, but a portable panel may do better.

If you get half the rated output for 6 hours, that is some 20 to 25 amp-hours. That can be a significant input, and if you get more that is all gravy.
__________________
2018 F350 Limited
2021 Outdoors RV 24KRS
2021 Arctic Fox 27-5L
JHinman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2021, 06:59 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Cedar Falls, IA
Posts: 1,707
Short winter days or cloudy weather make a huge difference in available power. In our 27’ trailer, we used 300 watts and two 6v batteries with a 220 amp hour capacity. Seldom had to run the generator. You may be more power conscious than we were, but a battery monitor would be a good idea to first determine your real needs which will be at night (furnace and refrigerator mostly).
__________________
2018 Tiffin RED 37PA
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk toad
https://toobusyforwork.com
UTTransplant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2021, 07:22 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Marine359's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 361
Our experience this last year with just a 110w bi-fold portable with 30ft cable to mppt:
1. 50% of the time we were camped in NP or SP totally canopied, so it was useless.
2. When we had sun we’d always find ourselves putting it away because we couldn’t leave it out when we left the campsite. It’s the first thing that would sprout legs.
3. Our panel puts out about 6 amps in ideal sun. Not enough to meet our consumption needs, even if we have it out all day. That’s because we have a compressor fridge.
4. Conclusion. If you have a compressor fridge, you need 300w on the roof. Works well charging our portable power station. Our LiFePo4 house batt can absorb 100% of the panel charge amps. Don’t believe it would work as well with AGM or FLA batteries.
__________________
Jim. 2021 Canyon Denali 4x4 3.6L, Husky C-Line
2021b Micro Mini 2108DS, 170AH LiFePo4, Xantrex XC2000, 110w Solar Suitcase, Champion 2500w df
Marine359 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2021, 08:02 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl molly View Post
We travel in a 30' MH with limited needs for power; Ref is the primary, a Norcold 8cu. I am wanting to use a portable 100W solar panel to maintain batteries (2 deep cycle) and I would also be running the Generator as needed! Any thoughts on weather the 100W would be adequate? We dry camp for a max of 4 days on average. Thanks in advance!
Two batteries maybe 200 amp hours. Mostly consumed in 4 days is 50 amp hours per day.

8 amps from solar for 6 hours daily is 50 amps.

Technically it is close to being enough. However, actual world conditions will not be optimum. It will help a lot, but ultimately there will be many conditions that will not be enough.

A good combination is to run your generator for 1 to 2 hours in the morning before the sun is strong and then let the solar finish a lot of the charge.

The generator powering your converter/charger can supply 30 amps or more. When batteries are deeply discharge they will absorb a lot of that. Later the batteries won't absorb as much. The low current from the solar can finish bringing the batteries up to 80 to 90%.

A good quality state of charge meter would help a lot to manage your needs.
__________________
Paul Bristol
Kodiak Cub 176RD
Nissan Pathfinder 2015
Persistent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2021, 11:29 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Buxton, North Dakota
Posts: 3,902
Use a larger residential higher voltage panel such as 330 watt and a MPPT Charge Controller
__________________
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G F53/ V10 605 watts of Solar
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C F53V10 Handicap Equipped
1999 Jeep Cherokee, 1991 Jeep Wrangler Renegade and 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Diesel
John Hilley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2021, 10:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Posts: 3,116
Blog Entries: 6
If your fridge is electric only a 100 watt portable panel won't do much. I started with a portable panel and found myself moving it constantly to avoid shadows. It worked much better on the roof.
__________________
'04 Newmar MADP, 1100w of solar, towing a lifted Rubicon
ByeTheWay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 05:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 104
solar

I wanted to confirm a few things; we have the 2 way RV fridge. We are not using much else except lights (all LED) and we run water pump and furnace only when Generator is on. What battery charge minder would you all recommend? lets start there.
Daryl molly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 08:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 493
If you are using lead acid batteries a good voltmeter works. You correlate battery voltage to state of charge. Years ago I picked up a little digital model that reads a narrow band of voltage to 1/100 of a volt. Worked really well, but I donít know if it is still available.

The other option is a coulomb counter, which actually measures the energy going into and out of your battery. You can see the instantaneous current draw at any time. The lithium batteries need that technology because the voltage varies so little as the batteries are discharged. Victron makes a popular one, but I think there are some that are cheaper.
__________________
2018 F350 Limited
2021 Outdoors RV 24KRS
2021 Arctic Fox 27-5L
JHinman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 10:31 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 15,008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl molly View Post
I wanted to confirm a few things; we have the 2 way RV fridge. We are not using much else except lights (all LED) and we run water pump and furnace only when Generator is on. What battery charge minder would you all recommend? lets start there.
I think your 100 will do just fine for what you want to use it for with a supplemental generator. However, compare a 300 panel... you may be surprised at the little cost difference and you wouldn't have to use the generator at all. We had 300w and boondocked as long as we wanted. Fully charged by noon. Of course, we were in the West with lots of sun.

Once, we even spent a week in Apgar campground, Glacier Nat'l Park .... a week of clouds and rain and we were in the trees. We were able to park with the panels under a big open space and it got enough light; no sun, to charge enough. Of course, we really conserved because of that.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . .
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2021, 11:08 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Northern California
Posts: 821
You'll be okay, but plan for expansion. Almost making it through without the generator will get old and with the low cost of solar, you may be going 200 or 300 in short order.

Arrange the panel and wiring so you can easily add a second and third panel.
Buy enough MPPT controller to handle two or three panels (very small incremental cost)

Your batteries will appreciate being fully charged more often and you will like not worrying so much about taking life out of them via excess discharging. And, did I mention wishing you didn't have to get the generator out to run for 20 minutes so you have enough charge to get through the night?
__________________
2020 GMC Denali 2500HD Crew 4X4 Gas 6.6L Rockwood 8280WS (30' 5th)
Solar plus LiFePO4 with mini split A/c & 12V fridge
hclarkx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2021, 07:20 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl molly View Post
I wanted to confirm a few things; we have the 2 way RV fridge. We are not using much else except lights (all LED) and we run water pump and furnace only when Generator is on. What battery charge minder would you all recommend? lets start there.
My Thor Axis uses about 25 amp hours daily for the same usage pattern as yours, but no furnace and no generator running. Since your batteries are probably 70Ah G27s and you shouldn't run them down below 50% routinely for best life, you are limited to 3 days with no generator or solar input.

With 100 watts of solar in a sunny camp site, you should be able to extend the 3 days to 4 or 5 days.

Battery voltage is a very poor indicator of state of charge. Voltage is dramatically affected by coach loads when you measure it.

A shunt based battery monitor (a coulomb counter as noted above) is a much better choice. Here is a good one I installed on my Axis: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
DavidEM is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Going, Going, Gone! Motorhome sold today 89sandman Just Conversation 8 07-23-2014 08:05 AM
New Nav and Audio. How hard is this going to be (or how much is it going to cost me)? FlyingDiver Newmar Owner's Forum 3 06-17-2009 10:33 AM
Microwave Digital Display going, going, gone! Tagalong RV Systems & Appliances 13 03-19-2009 08:45 AM
Going...going...gone! Jackm MH-General Discussions & Problems 16 07-09-2008 08:11 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.