Battery and solar question

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by mpotapa, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. mpotapa

    mpotapa Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    I currently have a 2014 Rockwood 2280BH. It came with one 12v group 24 battery. I removed that and added two group 27 batteries on the bike hauler rake. I wasn't happy with losing space on that rack so I switched back to the one group 24 battery. With the propane tank and battery on my tongue I don't have room for a bigger battery. I am considering getting a solar panel to keep the group 24 battery charged up on our longer trips. Do you think this would be a solution so we only have one group 24 battery for our rustic trips?


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  2. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Thornville, OH
    it depends? Yes that could be enough?

    What your energy usage?

    How big of solar panel?

    Do you camp in states with good sun? Or, states with spotty sun, overcast?

    Will you be camping in the winter and using the furnace?

    But yes one 24 battery and solar could be more than enough?
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    TX
    if the sun shines and you monitor usage and conserve when needed!
    100 watts on a sunny summer day tilted to the sun can produce ~25 ah or a lot less in the rain/winter/north

    portable?
    https://www.solarblvd.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_269&products_id=2754
    Fixed, one or two of these?
    https://www.solarblvd.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_269&products_id=2666


    Charge controller, 40A grape controller with Bluetooth, monitor via cell phone.
    or
    https://www.amazon.com/EPsolar-Viewstar-VS2024BN-Battery-Controller/dp/B00N4PTJWI

    pricey 100watt plug and play?
    https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase-back-order/
     
  4. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    I bought a Go Power 120 watt suitcase style with a built in controller to use on sunny days and a Champion 3100 inverter generator for those days that are cloudy or rainy. I installed a Group 31 AGM battery for our TT
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    Depends on your needs, conservation, and where you camp.
    With our pup, which had two LED ceiling lights and a furnace, we did fine with 60 watts of solar and one group 24 battery. When we moved to the 17' TT, that solar panel didn't cut it.
    We now have a 160 watt Zamp panel, and a pair of 6v "golf cart" batteries. The only time that the panel has struggled to keep the batteries charged was while perched in my MIL's yard last October - SE Ohio, under trees, rainy & cloudy, and oriented so that we needed to re-aim the panels a couple of times a day. If we did much of that type of camping,we'd probably have to go to a generator as an alternative. OTOH, in most places the batteries are topped off by early afternoon, if not earlier.
    [The first full season with our TT, we dealt with a defective 12v battery and an electrical gremlin, which added to our confusion over power needs. The gremlin turned out to be from the LP/CO detector that got zapped when DH dropped a wrench in the battery compartment. Gremlin disappeared when the detector finally set up a fault indicator and we replaced it.]
     
  6. mpotapa

    mpotapa Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    Do the bunk end fans and fantastic fan vent draw a lot of power?
     
  7. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    SW Montana
    anything with an electric motor (blower fans, heater, water pump, etc) is going to suck up the juice. That being said, in good sun, a 100w panel could provide enough juice to power your fans and lights (LED) 24/7. I didn't have AC in one of my Pups, so I used a 12in fan constantly. Never had an issue with this and my LED lights. It all depend on what you want to power and how much sun you get.
     
  8. mpotapa

    mpotapa Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    I think I could get by with the 60watt and group 24 battery. I only use a couple lights, heater at night (I also have a wave 6 heater that uses no battery power), water pump, bunk fan, and a vent fan. The 60 watts is 199 and the 100 watt is 369 so I have to decide if the 40 watts is worth an additional 170 dollars.
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Albuquerque, NM
    @mpotapa: We discovered that the current water pump in our TT seems to be an energy hog. Since it has a couple of issues, we'll be changing it out for a better one sometime this year. I'm not sure how much the bunk and vent fans pull.
    If you camp where the solar panel will top off the battery completely each day, 60 watts is a reasonable number for light use. We started with two 15-watt panels, and added a third after a trip with rain and heavy tree cover. We added the 4th when we found a killer deal, for our 60 watt total. We actually still have that set, since we can sue it to charge our Goal Zero Yeti 150 separately from the TT batteries.
    [An added wrinkle, and I don't know how common this is: friends have a solar panel that connects through the 7-way vehicle connector. According to one of them, it only charges their battery to 80% and is designed that way, which makes no sense to me. I haven't gotten an explanation of why that's handy, or if that friend misunderstood how it works, which is not likely, I forget to ask about it.]
     
  10. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    SW Montana
    I would suggest a minimum of 100w in sunny weather, and at least 300w if you get clouds or mixed weather. Better to have too much than not enough. I found that out the hard way trying to run my dorm fridge off 100w and mixed weather last summer. I'm about to add another panel to the roof for a total of 350w. Always run it through a charge controller connected directly through the battery to minimize voltage loss and to provide the proper amount of charge. A good controller can boost the charge quickly to get up to a float level and also condition the batteries for maximum life. If you shop around and install yourself, you don't have to spend big $$.
     
  11. mpotapa

    mpotapa Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    I'll probably just get the 100w. I don't really feel like piecing one together so I'll just buy this. https://www.renogy.com/renogy-100-watt-12-volt-monocrystalline-foldable-solar-suitcase/
     
  12. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Yep, we are in a similar latitude to you and it does make a big difference.
    We have 400 watts of solar and need every cell when it is cloudy overcast and cold.
    In the middle of summer on a bright sunny day it charges the battery to full within 4 hours as it has light usage.
    In the later months (Like now) and it is cloudy and cold, it barely supplies our daily needs. The heater cut out due low voltage the third night of a trip in very early spring here (7 months ago) due no real sunshine.
    mpotapa: As you don't have your location, can't tell if you are low or high latitude. I believe a lot of people who reside in the lower states seem to get away with around 100 watts, so up to you as you alone know your area.
     
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

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    M, if you're going to use a g24 battery 60 watts is about right, unless you camp in the shade. No use paying for watts you can't store or use. You'll get more bang for the buck by upgrading your battery.
     
  14. mpotapa

    mpotapa Member

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    Mar 11, 2014
    And I only go dry camping 1 or 2 times a year at most, no more than 3 nights. This season I'm only doing one trip without shore power.
     

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