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herbert007

Cobble Hill

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Posted: 07/28/21 05:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Winnebago Voyage 2006 with a 10w solar panel. I was thinking of a 100w panel. Would it be easy to install with the existing system? What are solar panels like for dry camping in shaded areas? My requirements are to maintain the batteries and run some lights. Any ideas would be appreciated

enblethen

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Posted: 07/28/21 06:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Odds are that the wire will not be large enough. You will need a solar charge controller for new panel. In light shade, solar will work somewhat.


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Posted: 07/28/21 07:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would check out you tube all sorts of installs to watch.

jdc1

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Posted: 07/28/21 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That 10 watt panel on the roof of a large motor-home is doing nothing. The amperage drop over the length of the wire alone makes it useless. You might be able to use the existing wire to pull new, larger wire.

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Posted: 07/28/21 09:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well 10W did a lot for the salesman to explain how great the batteries are maintained. [emoticon]

I'd go for 200W for your stated use. Installation depends upon many RV layout considerations, a lot of other considerations, skill so as a WAG I'd say since you're asking not easy.


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Posted: 07/29/21 04:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

herbert007 wrote:

I have a Winnebago Voyage 2006 with a 10w solar panel. I was thinking of a 100w panel. Would it be easy to install with the existing system? What are solar panels like for dry camping in shaded areas? My requirements are to maintain the batteries and run some lights. Any ideas would be appreciated


10w might (iffy) stop a fully charged battery from discharging over teh winter if there are no loads on it.

Most likely, they didn't bother with a charge controller as it's not enough to overcharge the batteries.

It's not hard to add a 100w panel but the existing 10w system likely does nothing to make it easier.

If you are in a shade area, don't bother. Solar doesn't like shade. Your basic panels can lose 90% with just a single branch shading part of the panel.


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obiwancanoli

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Posted: 07/29/21 08:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

10W of Solar is probably for the chassis battery. Adding a 100W solar panel is a start, but better you should be thinking 400-500 W (3-5 panels). These would recharge your "House" batteries, which power your electric needs.

There may be some small charging going on if the panels are under shade, but for all practical purposes, parking in shade won't do much to charge the batteries without some kind of portable panel you can place facing the sun.

mr_andyj

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Posted: 07/29/21 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, the 10 watt is plenty to keep the batteries from going dead during storage. This little amount of solar may or may not even have a charge controller. I had 10 (or 15) on the roof pumping in a full 18 volts everytime the sun shown and never ever had battery issues during storage. I had a 5 watt dashboard panel to keep the starting battery topped off and both worked just fine.
These trickle chargers had very thin wires from panel to battery though so I suspect yours does too.

So, no, the answer is, the 10 watt panel does nothing to help you get going on useable camping solar panels.

100 watts would keep batts topped off and let you use lights and fans at night. You really do need 200 watts to truly be self-sufficient out there boondocking. At about 70-80 cents per watt these days off eBay I strongly suggest going 200-350 watts since you are doing all the work, something you might end up with when all is saidanddone anyway.

One 350 watt panel, or two 100 (or 150) watt panels.

You can get two panels and run in series to double your voltage which is more efficient over the wire, just be sure the charge controller can handle the voltage.

18 volts is typical for a "12 volt" panel. So double that and 37 volts would be if you run them in series. Most controllers can handle either automatically.

MPPT is most peoples preferred charge controller. Get the right amperage.

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