Solar...should I, or should I not

Discussion in 'Camping Green' started by jmkay1, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. wusthof

    wusthof Active Member

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    Thx.....yea not looking to go dual batteries yet. If so I'll do the Trojan 105s. Looking for the single battery to start and see if it'll do the job
     
  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I would get a good battery to start with. Then do a test run to see how long it lasts with normal use. Either a weekend driveway camp or somewhere with hookups but don't hookup until you need to.

    Then you will know what is actually needed in YOUR circumstances.

    Why buy equipment unless you know you will actually need it.
     
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  3. George2018

    George2018 Member

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    Why not two gc2 batteries ?
     
  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Simplicity. Why mess with two batteries when you can get the job done with one?
     
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  5. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    I went a different way. I got a 110ah Trojan Trillium Lithium battery. It lets be discharge much deeper than anything else, so I get most of the 110ah usable (I think it’s 85%, so 94ah usable) in a 30lb group 27 form factor.

    If I get solar, it charges faster. It holds charge longer. It seems pretty perfect besides the price.

    So I get similar availabile capacity to twin t105 6v batteries in half the size, a quarter of the weight, and it has a planned life of a lot more charge cycles making it cheaper per year in the long run. 39C4A306-9B35-4400-BE92-CB83B6B5E898.jpeg
     
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  6. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    From a cost perspective, I would try a good deep cycle G31. I got mine at SAMs (Duracell - East Penn) for $80 on sale (frequently). I can go 10 days no problem without hooking up, but I don't use the furnace much at all. Unless you are a heavy power user, I would think that almost all folks could get by with a G31. We do have LED lights and we use it to charge devices also.
     
  7. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Active Member

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    My big power drain is my Nespresso coffee machine. 1300watts but not for long.
     
  8. CO Hiker

    CO Hiker Active Member

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    I've use my Grape Solar 50w kit for four years on a regular AGM Marine battery (added another 50w panel three years ago). A panel will produce even in the shade, all be it, a little less and slower but it still produces. I used our panels for 3hrs a day at Yellowstone while parked under the pines, panels out in the sun, and that kept the battery in the useable range (furnace ran at night) each night for a three night trip.
    Go to an auto parts store and pick up the applicable fuse, fuse holder, terminals, Anderson connector, heat shrink, battery isolation switch (or cutoff), a bag of 3/8" wiring conduit, grommets if you're passing through the metal frame, and two rolls of 10g wire in red and black. Mock everything up to see where you want to put the controller inside and the battery switch as close to the battery/s as possible. Wire the panels to the Anderson connector, run the positive from the other side of the connector to the battery cutoff switch then to the back of the controller. Make your run from the controller to the battery (put a fuse holder in place before the connection to the controller). Took about two hours to install after I figured out where I wanted everything. Used a spade bit to cut a hole in the floor inside a cabinet, cut out the panel where I wanted the controller mounted near the bed (controller turns on /off my red LEDs night lights), strung the wire, mounted the switch and Anderson connector. Wired to the battery and good to go. The red LED lights are automotive 12v 24" accent lights with the wiring connectors cutoff and wired to the load side of the controller
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-Solar-50-Watt-Off-Grid-Solar-Panel-Kit-GS-50-KIT/206877151
     

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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  9. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Best advice I can give about going solar is to start simple with a smaller kit, but don't skimp on the charge controller. Be sure to pick one out that will handle double what you currently need. Solar is adaptable and you can add to it as your needs change. If you get a decently sized controller to start with (20a minimum), you can add several panels as your needs and budget allow, but still use the original controller.
     
  10. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

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    Group 27 battery with the renology
    100 watt suitcase style panels, 30 ft extention....never let me down jmkay1.
     
  11. West Coast Canuck

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

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    Over the years, I started with cheap generators and then progressed to a 2000 watt Champion inverter generator and when I got the TT, picked up a 3100 Watt Champion inverter generator. Then I picked up a group 31 AGM deep cycle backed with a Go Power 120 suitcase solar panel with a built in digital controller and also a 30’ extension to try to keep the panel in the sun....in full sun it will put out 6.7 amps. In shade it drops to 1-1.5 amps. So I have an option to go solar or generator in less than ideal conditions...especially in the fall when it gets darker sooner.
     

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