Hi All, I'm new to this forum but have a 1956 Shasta that I have done extensive restoration and customization to. As with any camper I've owned, I installed a 23watt solar panel permanently on the roof along with a deep cycle battery/ controller and 400watt inverter. From this simple power source I can plug in my exterior power to utilize my 110watt interior lights. Replacing the bulbs with CF bulbs reduces the power draw substantially. I also run a sound system, small flat screen tv, DVD player, computer, etc. With the technology of electronics these days, the energy draw is so low that i can run several devices with little draw on the battery. I have dry camped for days on end and along with my daily and nightly energy needs, I've played music all day and much of the night and never come close to killing the battery. I installed the whole system for under $300 as solar kits have come way down in price. Where ever I go, fellow campers that haven't gone solar are amazed, not only with the vintage element of the style, but the high technology she bares. As my system is inexpensive and simple, I gauged it to my needs. Something like this is not sufficient to run appliances such as air conditioners, Refers, Heaters, etc. Though there are low draw heaters out there that can be integrated. So if you are thinking to going solar, take into account your energy needs and consult some solar web sites and/or your local solar source.
Post by universalexports on Nov 6, 2012 12:03:31 GMT -5
yeah, I have a 45 watt solar kit from harbor freight I have considered tying into my camper, but it has 3 panels, not sure if I will end up using it or not. I am going to be running 12v lights, so it would be east to tie into the battery.
Arlob... Can you give us more specific info on your set up and where you got your solar set up from. I have been thinking of solar power lately but the systems I have seen are very expensive!!! I do have a habor frieght in my town as someone else said they got some stuff there..
Your laptop power supply probably needs 90 watts AC, right? Which is .8 amps AC. That requires about 8-10 amps DC into an inverter to run... Which means you'd need somewhere around 144 watt panel to keep up with your laptop. If it was a 90-watt panel, your laptop would still deplete the battery faster than it charged. Running off a battery, it wouldn't matter if your solar panel couldn't keep up in real time, it would just mean it would take twice as long to charge...
Post by Gone Kayaking on Dec 4, 2012 16:07:57 GMT -5
The other important factor here is what kind of battery size you are using not just the inverter. The solar panel is really a trickle charger to keep the deep cycle batteries from discharging too low. I have all my lights set up on 12v. I do have an inverter as well for my 110 needs which are low. The I phone and ipad charge directly into cigarette plugs. The laptop charges off the inverter but I try to start out with a full battery. Arlob...what solar panel do you use and how did you mount it? Some pics and detail of your set up would be great. Sorry I've now asked this in several threads.
1956 Shasta 1500
Can't wait to go campin'
We use the Harbor freight 45 watt set up that we bought for about $130 with their 20% coupon. It works great for our large travel trailer and allows us to boondock camp at the ocean for two consecutive weeks using just one battery. It keeps our battery charged the whole time and comes with a regulator box that shows your voltage at all times. The box also has two 12v recepticles that all the kids use to charge their phones and our laptops all day long.