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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 03/14/22 09:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Size is particular worrisome in windy conditions.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 03/14/22 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Portable solar panels = set up in morning (my roof mounted panels are already working), watch over, move around. Go to town for lunch after putting panels away (my roof mounted panels continue to work). Return from lunch and put panels out. Watch over, move around. Near sunset, put panels away. Repeat every day.


Compared to my roof panels that almost never work, because we camp in shade. And having a trailer means going out for the day doesn't involve repacking anything.

But seriously,
I have an AcoPower 120W soft style. 10lbs and easy to store. I don't expect it to fill my batteries, just extend my time without a generator.


Rick,

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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 03/14/22 10:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RickLight wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

Portable solar panels = set up in morning (my roof mounted panels are already working), watch over, move around. Go to town for lunch after putting panels away (my roof mounted panels continue to work). Return from lunch and put panels out. Watch over, move around. Near sunset, put panels away. Repeat every day.


Compared to my roof panels that almost never work, because we camp in shade. And having a trailer means going out for the day doesn't involve repacking anything.

But seriously,
I have an AcoPower 120W soft style. 10lbs and easy to store. I don't expect it to fill my batteries, just extend my time without a generator.


yes, the big advantage of portable panels. Park in your favorite spot,put the panels in the ideal solar location. I also have roof panels, they usually work part of the day at a sub optimum (e.g. flat) orientation but most of the time are in shade, whilst the portable panels are out aimed south and a appropriate angle gatheting all the sunshine they can.

could they grow legs? yes, but seriously in our family history dating back to the 1950's none of our family has ever had anything disappear whilst camping.


2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!


RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 03/14/22 10:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I worked some aircraft cable (wire rope) into the extended wire run. It keeps the kids and idiots honest.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/15/22 01:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For whatever it's worth, we have a very similar trailer to yours, and we love our 120 watt portable -- it tops up the batteries almost every day. Point it south and leave it there.

Wind is a concern, but we put big rocks into the support struts. After many years of use, no problems.

By the way, our panel is a no-name knock-off of the Renogy. We got lucky -- the panel is great -- but if you want to be sure of high quality, buy a name brand.

If you boondock in heavy shade (which we do), you may want an extra long power cable. Use thick wire -- like 10 gauge -- to avoid voltage drop. Our cable is 50 feet long -- so the trailer is in the shade and the panel is in the sun.

If you are in really deep shade, and you have a spare battery, put the panel and the battery out in a sunny patch, away from your trailer. We've had to do that once or twice a year.

After the spare is charged, just swap out your depleted battery.


2012 Fun Finder X-139 "Boondock Style" (axle-flipped and extra insulation)
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Our trips -- pix and text
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MMEvans

Pennsylvania

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Posted: 03/15/22 03:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you! All very helpful comments! [emoticon]

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 03/15/22 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found that one 100 watt panel is sufficient for my particular needs. I don't run a microwave oven or have any other large electrical loads.

Being able to move the panel to avoid shade is a HUGE benefit - allows one panel to produce the same amount of power as a dozen roof-mounted panels in partial shade.

My 17' Casita isn't factory-equipped with a solar power connector, so I just fed solar power to the house battery through the 7-pin hitch connector instead:

[image]

The panel is connected to this "solar charge box" through approx. 50 feet of wire, allowing the panel to located some distance away from the trailer.

Total cost of the "charge box" with the Renogy charge controller, 7-pin receptacle, wire, etc. is maybe $60.

Bobbo

Wherever I park

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Posted: 03/15/22 09:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skibane wrote:

[image]

Now, THAT, is genius. I have been looking for a way to weatherproof an MPPT controller for a portable panel. Thank you.


Bobbo and Lin
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Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 03/15/22 11:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought two 100 watt Renogy panels and a 400 watt MPPT controler. I made a suitcase set up out of the panels---the glass sides closed on each other to avoid damage. The two panels weigh about 43 pounds. Then I have a Renogy 40 foot cable that plugs into the trailer and goes to the controller.
I found an old square PVC fence post that I cut in half longways, and lay that in the bed of the truck--to store or carry the panels, I slide the closed panels into the PVC really easily.
I fashioned some folding legs to stand the panels up somewhat when using them.
The system actually works pretty well and I have about $475.00 invested in it.

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 03/16/22 12:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Incidentally, Renogy's RV Tilt-Mount Solar Panel Brackets work great for setting a panel directly on the ground.

The quality of their metalwork and fasteners is quite good - better than most folks could build from scratch for the same money.

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