April 2, 2014 at 2:29 pm #1837
http://www.Renogy.com I have 200 watts of solar, 30 amp controller with LCD display, 2-10 ft cables for less than $400. I have 2 matching fresh 12 volt batteries (~ $90 each) and 1 – 410 watt inverter (~$40) and a 600 watt pure sine inverter ($free from a friend!!).
This friend and I did the install/connections. Panels are portable right now, rather than mounting on my 23 ft travel trailer. May mount them later, as have the z-brackets. 🙂April 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm #1838
Free shipping on Amazon, too.
Excellent tech support!April 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm #1844
Ray…if I remember correctly you guys don’t watch nearly as much TV as we do. We have a 446 watt system so you would probably be fine with 300 – 400 watts. I feel we are still a little under sized so will eventually upgrade our four 6 volt golf cart batteries to the AGM batteries. If that doesn’t make a difference I will add another panel to get me around 600 watts.
AM Solar has a couple of sizing examples on their Solar Education section. Lots of great info on their website.
Not all brands of panels and controllers are equal. Remember the old saying…you get what you pay for:-)
SteveApril 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm #1848RayKeymaster
Thanks Steve. I think when I’m ready to go solar I will be buying the parts and installing it myself. That’s the fun part for me!
So many options and the tech is changing so fast.
Hope to do a bunch of research this summer and have a system together for next snowbird season. Carmanah has some interesting technology. – http://gpelectric.com/products/solar-flex-kits-modules
Our batteries will be ready to replace also. Are you getting the 6 volt AGMs or 12 volt?April 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm #1849
Your lucky Ray…you have the electrical know how to tackle this kind of a project. That will save you a ton of money!
I also thought of going with Carmanah but thought it would be cheaper in the states…our dollar was much higher in 2010. One thing I found interesting on the Carmanah site were the Flex Panels that stick to your roof. When you go to the AM Solar site they recommend mounting your panels a few inches above your roof to help cool them as heat decreases their efficiency.
Everyone I’ve met with solar and in the know say 6 volt AGM’s so that will be my choice.April 3, 2014 at 7:49 am #1852William PenderParticipant
I remember that old saying Steve, but it has been my experience that most of the time ‘you pay for what you get’. Everybodys needs and creature comforts are different. My wife told me after a night continually blowing up a new air mattress, sleeping in a tent on a moderately cool night that she would not go camping again until or unless she had a regular bed to sleep in. She didn’t go for a few years either. I on the other hand have slept on the ground or the bed of a truck and got up in the morning to melt the left over frozen coffee over a camp fire. I don’t need as much when I go, very seldom run the generator, hardly ever watch tv when I camp without my wife. 75 watts does me fine, for now, I don’t camp in extremes usually. I had it rain for 5 days once in Utah or one time we got a little snow, but mostly we enjoy great weather and sit around the campfire at night, not making smores, having a beer or something stronger and shooting the bull.
Attachments:April 4, 2014 at 9:58 pm #1861Bob,Marie & KhaleesiParticipant
I guess the size of your solar depends on your personal application. Mine will be full time RVing in a 35 ft 5th wheel it is going to be our home for a few years .April 7, 2014 at 6:54 am #1899
I found this on the RV -Dreams.Com forum.
SteveApril 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm #1902Bob,Marie & KhaleesiParticipant
Thanks Steve…it looks like AM Solar are the ones to go to for a proper install. They seem to pop up every where on the blogs. I guess if I want a system that will sustain our full timing then I will need to bite the bullet and get it done right the first time. You hear so many stories of folks who got solar and it never worked from the get go. Usually because they had someone who thought they were an installer and never really understood what they were doing. Even my locale dealer I feel is not really converse on solar for full timers. They felt they could install what I wanted in 4 hours. Scary !!!
BobApril 7, 2014 at 3:20 pm #1905
I think you’re making the right choice Bob. We full time in our 37′ Montana so you’ll need a system similar to ours.
Good luck!April 13, 2014 at 3:52 am #1958AnonymousInactive
I sure enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I have been doing a lot of reading about solar panels and haven’t learned nearly as much in the last year as I just have in the last 10 minutes. Steve and Dianne, sure sounds like you are living your dream. Ray is getting along great in the winters. And where on the east coast you heading Bob? I can check for some boondocking spots for you. And it sounds like CBreaze and William get out when the bite gets them and they are ready. I prefer solar, healthier, easier, and if used enough, cheaper. Everything is getting too costly, propane going up $2 a gallon in 2 months because Obama wouldn’t open up the pipeline and most of our propane is shipped out of country.April 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm #1961
Spirit, we have been CBreaze Ontheroad (Facebook page) full-timing for 18 months. We are living with 2010 Dodge Ram and a 2002 23 ft Ultralite Travel Trailer with recent acquisition of 200 watts Renogy solar panels ….mom, roadschooled 15 yr old daughter, 3 small dogs and a cat. Have gone from NE Oklahoma to East Coast, down, across southern edge of US, up West Coast, inland and down thru to southern Utah, southern Cal, crossed Arizona, and are currently just outside Silver City, NM – at Trailhead for Dragonfly Petroglyphs. Moving in just a bit (evening as sun sets so pull solar down anyway) To Fort Bayard, an old military TB hospital a few miles away. We are living the dream! Cyndi & Breanna
Pic is last nights sunset with reflection in solar panels on truck bed cover @ Dragonfly Petroglyphs Trailhead, Gila National Forest
Attachments:April 14, 2014 at 3:26 am #1972AnonymousInactive
You sure are living the dream Cyndi and as a family unit, Wow! I thought you would need more wattage for the solar than what you have.
My van goes back in the shop tomorrow for rear spring brackets and adding new springs, just because. It is only $100 more so why take a chance. But the radiator decided to leak on Friday so getting a price quote and appointment for that repair. And someone took the battery from my camper so that is $500 to replace. I am just getting slammed. I hope I can enjoy instead of worry when we head out.
Going to rain here shortly. Glad I took Kaiya out to the woods for a nice 2 mile walk with a 3-4 mile hike. I got wet, she got wet and muddy, silly girl.
Enjoy your day Girls!April 14, 2014 at 5:34 am #1974Eddie & AileenParticipant
Hi Spirit, I’m not tring to get into your busness but what type of battery is costing you $500.00? Hope all your repairs work out ok,we understand haveing one thing brake to find out somthing else is broke/damaged. Good Luck!! When you get fixed up “happy trails”!!April 14, 2014 at 7:36 am #1976AnonymousInactive
From all the reading I have been doing it is highly suggested to use 2 6 volt True Deep Cycle Battery (although there is a newer and more expensive battery), cheapest I found was $249 each. With this set-up it is said I should be able to boondock for 7 days (which won’t be too often this trip, maybe the next one), just go easy with heavy appliances, tv, computer, etc. It is said to last longer than 1 12 volt (which I have found for $100 with shipping) and longer then a Deep Cycle. It also read it is best to hook up a solar trickle charger to the battery. Any suggestions on which panel size to get until I convert to solar?
I have just done more reading and have found that a 6v golf cart battery is a True Deep Cycle Battery and they come in 200ah and 220ah. What’s the difference?
If anyone has any suggestions my ears are open.
Battery or no battery. Only thing going to stop us now is all flat tires on both vehicles!
Spirit and Kaiya
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