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Old 05-04-2018, 06:56 PM   #1
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Portable solar or portable generator

Going to be boondocking Alot this summer and don't want to run the on board genset cuz it's a gas hog, been reading up on portable solar panels then it hit me how about a portable generator. ...this pulsar looks great and runs 8 hours on a little over a gallon of gas and quiet

Anyone else use a small generator for boondocking to keep batteries charged and run tv, dvd player and what not
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:03 PM   #2
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No, nobody's ever done that before. What a brand new and novel idea!

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Old 05-04-2018, 07:20 PM   #3
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No, nobody's ever done that before. What a brand new and novel idea!

Ha ha, what I meant was who uses a portable generator over solar power.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:46 PM   #4
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Are you going to be boondocking where the sun mostly shines? Solar needs sun.

Otherwise, both would need to be stored when you leave the site and solar would be the quietest and works constantly without any help on your part. You can even get some charge on cloudy days. We love solar!
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:35 PM   #5
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We like to park under trees in the shade so we have a little 2000 watt Yamaha. It is quiet and runs great.
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:07 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Portable Solar

Been reading about solar and various applications. Portable panels made a lot of sense to us, especially if wed have to stay in a shaded area for whatever reason and the shade interfered with our roof mounted panels. Saw some suitcase sized panels that had 30 or so cables with it for ~ $600 CDN. $475 USD.
Thinking about those possibilities as we live, basically, on a huge Island in a Pacific West Coast rainforest type environment.

So yeah, well upgrade our recharge potential with portable panels.
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:32 AM   #7
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Going to be boondocking Alot this summer and don't want to run the on board genset cuz it's a gas hog, been reading up on portable solar panels then it hit me how about a portable generator. ...this pulsar looks great and runs 8 hours on a little over a gallon of gas and quiet

Anyone else use a small generator for boondocking to keep batteries charged and run tv, dvd player and what not

BOTH! We love our solar. But it's not guaranteed to charge your battery's. You need "sun" and sun doesn't shine everyday. We only have 400 watts of solar, If it's a nice sunny day and we are parked in the right place, it recharges are battery bank quite well. But if we get clouds, fog, rain, well then we need help from the generator. So to answer the question, we use a generator to recharge our battery bank if the sun won't. we've boondocked about 20 day's before needing a generator, that was because about day 17 it rained for 3 days. Of course if you want to listen to a small GEN. running while your watching a movie, that works too!
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:42 AM   #8
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You need to do some research on solar. Typically a TV will draw about 3 amps at 120 volts. If you are using solar to recharge a battery connected to an inverter feeding the TV, 3 amps at 120 volts requires solar current at 30 amps at 12 volts at 100% efficiency to the inverter. Typically losses in the system will require a minimum of 10-15% more power input so to power your TV, you will need 33-35 amps at 12 volts. You are likely talking 4 or more 100 watt panels just to run your TV. My recommendation is to run your genset rather than solar as four 100 watt panels are definitely not portable. Good luck!
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:09 AM   #9
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You need to do some research on solar. Typically a TV will draw about 3 amps at 120 volts. If you are using solar to recharge a battery connected to an inverter feeding the TV, 3 amps at 120 volts requires solar current at 30 amps at 12 volts at 100% efficiency to the inverter. Typically losses in the system will require a minimum of 10-15% more power input so to power your TV, you will need 33-35 amps at 12 volts. You are likely talking 4 or more 100 watt panels just to run your TV. My recommendation is to run your genset rather than solar as four 100 watt panels are definitely not portable. Good luck!
400 100 watt panels and a decent battery bank will run a lot more then a inverter and tv. Sorry but we have 400 watts, we run 2000 watt whole house inverter, 1 or sometimes 2 flat screen TV'S, all of our lights (LED) C-PAP machine with humidifier as well as other little things. Saying you need at least 400 watts just to run the TV, is absurd.
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Old 05-06-2018, 08:19 AM   #10
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400 100 watt panels and a decent battery bank will run a lot more then a inverter and tv. Sorry but we have 400 watts, we run 2000 watt whole house inverter, 1 or sometimes 2 flat screen TV'S, all of our lights (LED) C-PAP machine with humidifier as well as other little things. Saying you need at least 400 watts just to run the TV, is absurd.
With your setup of 400 panels, I'm sure you can run the whole park for a long time. I have just 4 panels - like you - and agree it can be done with 4 and the right battery pack. Do the math on 400 watts output - it will run the TV but little left to charge the batteries.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:16 AM   #11
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With your setup of 400 panels, I'm sure you can run the whole park for a long time. I have just 4 panels - like you - and agree it can be done with 4 and the right battery pack. Do the math on 400 watts output - it will run the TV but little left to charge the batteries.
I don't have to do the math, we use it. Boy do we use it. I don't clam to be a solar expert, far from it. But I know how ours works, and it powers everything I mentioned above and recharges fully everyday, providing the sun is shinning. If your 400 watts is doing as bad as you describe, you either have a very small battery bank or a faulty system (probably to small of wiring). Although after re-reading your reply, maybe your sitting all day watching TV instead of recharging for the night?? I was not saying 400 watts will run everything 24-7, oh and we are rarely in a park, that's why we have solar.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:07 AM   #12
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How much power you need, and what sort of output you can expect from solar varies a great deal based on how, and where you camp. In my experience it also varies a great deal based on the RV you own as some use a lot of power just sitting there where others a much more efficient depending on what sort of appliances you have etc.

Personally, I'm not a fan of portable solar, but can understand the appeal. For me, one of the main appeals of solar is the quiet automatic nature of it. Once I installed it on the rig it just does it's job without any input or significant thought from me. If your camping style is to primarily be around the campsite and you're there for pretty much the duration of your trip though it makes a lot of sense if you camp in areas where your rig will be in heavy shade. Another option, which is the one we went with is to install a fair bit more solar capability than what is required to meet you basic needs, which brings us back to square one, which is "What are your average daily power needs, and what is the amount of power you would like to be able to use?" Knowing these specifics make it a lot easier to give good advice as to what might work.
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:23 AM   #13
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How much power you need, and what sort of output you can expect from solar varies a great deal based on how, and where you camp. In my experience it also varies a great deal based on the RV you own as some use a lot of power just sitting there where others a much more efficient depending on what sort of appliances you have etc.

Personally, I'm not a fan of portable solar, but can understand the appeal. For me, one of the main appeals of solar is the quiet automatic nature of it. Once I installed it on the rig it just does it's job without any input or significant thought from me. If your camping style is to primarily be around the campsite and you're there for pretty much the duration of your trip though it makes a lot of sense if you camp in areas where your rig will be in heavy shade. Another option, which is the one we went with is to install a fair bit more solar capability than what is required to meet you basic needs, which brings us back to square one, which is "What are your average daily power needs, and what is the amount of power you would like to be able to use?" Knowing these specifics make it a lot easier to give good advice as to what might work.
Thanks for the replies guys, I ordered the small 2000 watt generator, it will fit our needs better
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:53 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies guys, I ordered the small 2000 watt generator, it will fit our needs better
Honda??
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