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  1. #1
    Senior Member tuna's Avatar
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    Getting Solar on Camper

    Just ordered a solar kit for my TC, install next week, oh boy been long time coming, no more generator noise although it's a Honda 2K, it's noise!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuna View Post
    Just ordered a solar kit for my TC, install next week, oh boy been long time coming, no more generator noise although it's a Honda 2K, it's noise!!!
    As a Christmas Present to ourselves, we also bought a solar panel kit for our camper. Haven't hooked it up yet. We don't use a lot of electron's when we camp but we tend to camp in free no hookup spots 99% of the time. (99% is a guess but pretty close)
    littletommy, Tweaker, tuna and 6 others like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Congrats solar is awesome. We too like boon docking. I have a 160w panel it's kinda big but you can't have too much power. Lol. I made angle brackets for it that I remove and store the panel behind the sofa. I left mine movable so when camped in a shady spot I can move the panel to the sun with 50' of cables. A permanent flat mount on top of the trailer would be cleaner and work most of the time. It's great to be able to run the furnace all night if needed and then the batteries are magicly refilled. Plus we sometimes like to watch movies at night running a small inverter so no noise for us or neighbors.
    Last edited by Tweaker; 02-07-2017 at 09:04 AM.
    admiral, littletommy, tuna and 6 others like this.
    ”Everything You Know is Wrong”

    ” How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You Are Nowhere at All?”




    Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by admiral View Post
    As a Christmas Present to ourselves, we also bought a solar panel kit for our camper. Haven't hooked it up yet. We don't use a lot of electron's when we camp but we tend to camp in free no hookup spots 99% of the time. (99% is a guess but pretty close)
    Congrats!

    When we bought our ranch in January, 2001, we had a 1,000 watt Honda generator for lighting and other light loads.
    However, it is so quiet out there, that we did not like the noise, even 50' away.

    Upgrading to all LED lighting allowed full solar. They are just small panels, for an automotive AGM battery to recover after our typical 3 day, 2 night trip.
    The battery size was selected to match our Jeep(s), for backup, since it is 13 miles to "civilization", 8 miles on a non-maintained road/trail.
    They are now larger than the one in the photo on the tongue of our small trailer (guest house), but only because that small one failed after about 15 years.

    Our ranch has no electricity (and we haul water), but we only use lighting, power a water pump and recharge cell phones/Ipad and run small 12 VDC fans in the summer. Occasionally turn on the radio.

    TV, microwave and air conditioner long ago removed.

    01 Wrangler at ranch 15 Dec 2001.jpgcampfire.jpgDeck & trailers.JPG
    Mel, Tweaker, littletommy and 9 others like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Nice ranch. I'm a newby on the whole solar thing with much to learn. We bought ours to recharge our single battery in the pickup camper. The panel we got I'd guess is 1.5ftx3ft and no idea without looking at the box on watts and stuff. In the beginning, we are going to use ours like Tweaker by not permanently mounting it like others do. Mostly because we don't want to break it going down the road.

    Pops-in-law has been using one about the size you show on his wagon for years to recharge the battery. He bought the same one we did for his wagon too.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  7. #6
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Here's another of "My brother" stories. When we were camping at Alabama hills my brother borrowered my bike to try it out. He stopped to relieved himself. After he got off the bike he stepped on a rock he didn't see because he still had on his helmet and rolled his ankle, badly spraining his one of his feet. What's this have to do with solar you ask? Well he had a 100w light weight flexible solar panel that was leaned up against and tied to a small step stool. It got windy and he put a BIG rock on the step stool to keep it from blowing away. The three of us went for a ride and he stayed at camp because of his foot. While we were gone he limped out to take the dog out for his duties, the dogs leash caught the step stool and knocked over the rock which fell on his other foot breaking some small bones. Needless to say he had a bad trip and we had to take him to see a doctor. He ended up with some crutches. This was day 2 of a week trip. The moral of the story don't put any rocks by your solar panels.

    Nice ranch BTW.
    Mel, littletommy, jtstdub and 10 others like this.
    ”Everything You Know is Wrong”

    ” How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You Are Nowhere at All?”




    Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.

  8. #7
    Senior Member jtstdub's Avatar
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    We added solar to our truck camper years ago. 200 watts.. We rarely hook up to shore power when on a boondock/trip excursion. 17 years now.
    I switched to led lights, got rid of the old tube combo tv and installed a LED tv and then a Olympic Wave 3 for heat.... I managed to reduce our battery usage by more than 1/2 so I got rid of the 2 pain in the ass Flooded Wet Cell batteries and switched to AGM. We have almost 200,000 miles on the camper that has been on 2 trucks.
    Solar is the only way to go!

    Our portable go anywhere cabin! Oh and the trailer is the son's bedroom! This picture is from our 10,000 mile Alaska trip.

    tumblr_n93mmpKylG1tfw5yxo5_1280.jpg

    Jim
    Tweaker, littletommy, tuna and 8 others like this.
    Hidden Content 2003 Tw200, 2014 BWS 150, 1969 VW Beetle Baja, 1972 Super Beetle and a 1987 Suzuki Samurai.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Yes the flooded LA batteries are a pain. My two came with the trailer. I have been looking at lifepo4 cells. I can make up a 12v pack of @ 120 amp hrs which is eaual to @ 240 amphrs of LA for @ $240. I would need to change my solar charge controller to one with a charge profile suitable for LFE batteries though. LFE's are perfect for solar no need to leave full or float charge. It doesn't hurt them to sit with out charging so when you are not using the rv no problem. Probably good for 10 years too.

    Here's an example of 160 cells 3,200 mamp cell = 160÷4= 40, 40 × 3.2 amps= 128 amphr. 4 cells in series for 12v actually 12.8v nominal times 40 cells in parallel.

    Look at this on eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/351864507828

    I have bought 10 of the 5,200mamp cells to test. I am going to make two 12v packs to replace my bike batteries. More on that later.
    Last edited by Tweaker; 02-07-2017 at 11:19 AM.
    ”Everything You Know is Wrong”

    ” How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You Are Nowhere at All?”




    Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.

  10. #9
    Senior Member tuna's Avatar
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    I just got a 100W kit that I can add to if I want. My TC only has a single battery, no TV no Radio, just the basic stuff, changed all my lights to LED, should work just fine. Have a flooded battery and that will be changed to a AGM when needed. Just had to put 2 new batteries in the truck so the AGM is on hold for now.

  11. #10
    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j...3Qo9ArIwSZhQcQ any body who is going to do their first solar install, should read Handy Bob's Blog, he knows! I spent a winter learning his lessons and it paid off big time. I installed 2- 100 watt panels on the roof of our travel trailer and never looked back. I can watch movies all night and the wife has lights on for reading and the pump running for showers and we have never had the battery monitor show less than 100 per cent charge, in the summer. even when we are hooked to shore power, I turn the inverter off. Here is a picture of my design for a control panel 69.JPG If you can, pick a controller that is adjustable, so you can charge you batteries to the manufacturer's specs

    just one more hint, one the RV dealers don't understand ( I don't think they or the rv manufacturers understand anything about solar power) Pull the fuse or turn off the panels before disconnecting the batteries or you will damage the controller. we bought a new trailer with power on the roof and the controller was all ready damaged, it didn't matter much because the whole system was really badly done. it never would have done anything but hurt the batteries. and that was a professional installation
    Last edited by grewen; 02-08-2017 at 04:02 PM.
    Greg

    2019 honda cb500x
    2018 honda grom
    2018 suzuki dr200

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