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 Post subject: Solar
PostPosted: August 7th, 2017, 10:07 am 
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Joined: June 27th, 2017, 10:06 pm
Posts: 8
Does anyone know where to buy narrow solar panels, the sides on the roof are narrow, and I can't find panels narrow enough to fit


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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 7th, 2017, 11:17 am 
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Joined: December 31st, 2016, 5:57 am
Posts: 131
There’s more room for a larger panel mounted sideways at the rear. Perhaps the Mods will move this topic to Electrical / Electronics?


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"The Blue Chook" 2002 Concourse Dinette on 2001 E-350 chassis w V10
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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 8th, 2017, 1:44 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
Solarland SLP-070 are 13" x 58", and the second tier is around 18" wide.

The downside is they are slightly older/less-efficient design, so you only get 70 watts (little bit less per square foot and more expensive than "modern" panels). But if you want no overhang of the third tier, and also don't want to block the ladder landing spot or etc., they are probably your best bet.

A good "modern" panel is the Renogy Eclipse 100 watt. Just under 21" wide and around 42" long. That would slightly overhang the second tier but would not overhang the side of the coach.

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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 27th, 2017, 10:29 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2016, 9:25 pm
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I have Renogy panels on mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 27th, 2017, 11:40 am 
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Joined: August 8th, 2015, 11:54 am
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Try AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon. They put 460 watts of panels on my 2003 Premier and the two panels that run north-to-south along the top sides of the rig are 100 watts each. Not sure what brand they use but they sell parts and do installations as well. They also managed to fit two panels behind the A/C unit; a large 160 watt panel directly in in back of the A/C unit and then one 100 watt panel at the rear. www.amsolar.com

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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 9:50 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
As far as I know, the AM Solar 100 watt panels are essentially the same as the Renogy Eclipse panels (note that Renogy also sells some larger 100 watt panels without the Eclipse name). Last time I checked (about 6 months ago), they had the same specs, but the Eclipses have black anodized frames and the AM Solar ones are sliver anodized. Might matter if you are trying to match other panels, or just prefer one of the other look. AM Solar tends to carry good quality products.

I have a pair of the silver AM Solar 100-watters from 2013 and at that time they were from Grape Solar. But since then they went to black framed ones, then didn't have them at all for awhile, and now are back to anodized silver. Not sure if they changed brands; but at any rate all three variations have the same specs and are efficient 32-cell panels (which is why they are smaller than the typical 36-cell 100-watt panel).

My original plan was to put 470 watts on the roof, which was going to be two of the 100-watt 32-cell panels, and then two of the 135 watt same-width panels that AM Solar was also carrying at the time (one of each on each side would fit on the second tier). I thought I needed all the solar I could get, and that would have been 470 watts on the roof (and room for two moer 100 watt panels if I REALLY needed them and wanted to jam them in.

But since then I've lived for 2-1/2 years with only two 100-watt ground panels and have gotten by just fine 95% of the time (even running a small compressor refrigerator) -- and can park in the shade (and put panels in the sun). BUT, it's a pain when traveling and stopping for a night (maybe don't want to put panels out), and also sometimes like now when fall is coming and I'm not in the wide-open desert yet, but the shade in the woods plus lower sun angle is starting to give some limited sun time. So I still want roof panels. However I don't want *only* roof panels, because I do like my shady camping (and/or orienting to the view, not to my panels). And I now know I don't need a solar factory's worth of panels to keep my batteries happy.

So my current plan is to put the pair of 135 watt panels on the roof (so 270 watts there), and then keep the 200 watts of ground panels (these are the lightweight used-to-be-called-flexible ones). (The two 100-watt 32-cell panels went onto a boat project.) For my uses, this should be the best of both worlds. (And still room to add a 100-watt 32-cell panel behind each 135-er if for some reason I need a powerplant later on :D)

BG

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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 11:52 am 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Blue - sounds like a plan. I went overboard with my solar setup because in addition to the electric fridge I'm running a C-Pap machine (5 - 7 amps for 8 hours avg.), charging two cellphones, and running a 110 volt desk fan all night when its warm out. During the hot days when we're off on the boat I'll run both the main cabin and bathroom vent fans as well as the desk fan to keep the interior from heating up as much as possible. So, my electrical needs are pretty high. When I took my rig to AM Solar my goal was to have a system that could give me about 150 amps per day of power and it has turned out to be a wise decision. I've never seen my batteries below 60%. Having moveable panels would be great but I'm not sure where I'd store them. As it is I'm still trying to come up with some way to add some sort of cargo box on the rear of the unit (picture something the size of a pickup truck tool box standing on its end). My vision (delusion?) is to move the spare tire to the front and use the swing-down bracket on the rear bumper to raise/lower the box so I can still access the rear storage locker behind the spare's current location. I have two popup shades and two folding camp chairs that take up the entire closet space so I'd like to get that stuff someplace on the outside of the rig. I've even toyed with removing the ladder from the rear and using that space.

All in good time...

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 Post subject: Re: Solar
PostPosted: August 28th, 2017, 12:46 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Always nice to have at least as much power as you need, for sure.

Just in case you do want to (at times) cut back, a couple of things. One is that I have a friend who uses a CPap, and if he's not wanting it to be power hog, he changes two things. First, he fills the water reservoir but doesn't turn on the humidifier (so there is still some humidifying effect), and second, he doesn't use the heater. Then it only takes something like an amp or less, IIRC. He also bought a 12-volt power cord for it, so no need to run inverter all night.

The second is that those Fantastic Fans (if you have the three speed model) are kind of power hogs. Close to 2 amps on low (any boater would think this was crazy). Their newer fan with remote has 13 speeds and a PWM control, and low is not only lower, but uses much less power. I want to say it is about ten times less power (think it's .3 amps on low). YOu might be able to achieve a similar power savings iwth one of the stand alone PWM controllers like kdarling got on eBay (I have bought one to but not installed it). Plus sometimes the low speed of the three is still kind of annoyingly high.

Not that you HAVE to do any of these with a million watts on the roof :mrgreen:

PS: Meant to add: Have you looked at a Stowaway SwingAway carrier? I had looked at them online and just a couple of days ago saw a truck camper (rear door) with one and asked them how they liked it. They did. Course that uses up the rear hitch, which might or might not be a drawback (I wouldn't like that).

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