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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're boondockers - love to dry camp. Like being out in the woods away far from the madding crowd. As a result, we really use our solar capabilities. We can ride out a four day storm without recharging the batteries, and when the sun reappears the panels kick in to recharge. Our time on station is one week, and that's only because we have to move to dump the tanks. If it weren't for the tanks, we wouldn't have to move until we needed propane. The batteries have never run down (unless they needed replacing). I was curious if anyone else used solar to the extent we do.
 

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I put 500 watts on mine along with two golf cart batteries but haven't used it as much as I have wanted to. But love having it and never worrying about my batteries, I purchased a watering kit for my batteries and check it every now and then to ensure the water is full.
 

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Boondocking is our style of camping. As we Atv the mountains and back country. 280 watts of solar and 4-6 volt batteries and all LED lighting. We also have an extra water tank in the box of the truck. Weeks on end no problem. Oh and no genny either. Love it
How do you deal with black and gray water? That's what limits our time on station...

And yes - LED lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I put 500 watts on mine along with two golf cart batteries but haven't used it as much as I have wanted to. But love having it and never worrying about my batteries, I purchased a watering kit for my batteries and check it every now and then to ensure the water is full.
Have you considered AGMs? We've been using 400 watts and 250ah on 2 6v AGM batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With us changing from a truck camper to a 24' travel trailer, I'm really wondering how much we'll continue boondocking. The new rig just doesn't seem as conducive to it.
 

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I put 500 watts on mine along with two golf cart batteries but haven't used it as much as I have wanted to. But love having it and never worrying about my batteries, I purchased a watering kit for my batteries and check it every now and then to ensure the water is full.
Have you considered AGMs? We've been using 400 watts and 250ah on 2 6v AGM batteries.
I would LOVE AGM batteries but when I priced them out at the time I didn't have the extra cash for them. I even looked into lithium-ion to try cut out some weight but that was WAY out of my price range. So I stuck with flooded interstate golf cart batteries from Costco and switched everything over to LED lights inside.
 

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I love our solar setup. I have 4 136w panels on the roof, wired in both series and parallel, giving me 544 watts, 48 volts and 10.2 amps. I route that through a Renogy MPPT controller to 2 Trojan T1275 (12v) batteries.

Now...for those that are just thinking of trying solar, I would HIGHLY recommend this 120 watt portable GoPower kit from Amazon.

gallery_535_64_2228.jpg

Even WITH my built in system, I am about 95% of the way there to convince my wife we need this portable kit in addition to our permanant panels on the roof. Sometimes you just find the perfect dry camping spot, but it leaves the RV in the shade....this allows me to move the panel to where the sun is...much better than firing up a generator. IMHO of course. :)
 

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Boondocking is our style of camping. As we Atv the mountains and back country. 280 watts of solar and 4-6 volt batteries and all LED lighting. We also have an extra water tank in the box of the truck. Weeks on end no problem. Oh and no genny either. Love it
How do you deal with black and gray water? That's what limits our time on station...

And yes - LED lighting
Atving the back country we pass through many forestry campsites ect. So we use those facilities when we can. Dumping grey not a big issue where we usually camp. With only 2 of us it's pretty easy to conserve water and only use the black tank when absolutely necessary. We also pack a few empty 5 gallon pails with lids if thing start to get a bit dicey. drain the black into those and good to go. Normally run out of atv fuel after about a week of hard riding. So a trip to the closest town for fuel and dump the pails at same time.
 

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I love our solar setup. I have 4 136w panels on the roof, wired in both series and parallel, giving me 544 watts, 48 volts and 10.2 amps. I route that through a Renogy MPPT controller to 2 Trojan T1275 (12v) batteries.

Now...for those that are just thinking of trying solar, I would HIGHLY recommend this 120 watt portable GoPower kit from Amazon.

gallery_535_64_2228.jpg

Even WITH my built in system, I am about 95% of the way there to convince my wife we need this portable kit in addition to our permanant panels on the roof. Sometimes you just find the perfect dry camping spot, but it leaves the RV in the shade....this allows me to move the panel to where the sun is...much better than firing up a generator. IMHO of course. :)
We used Renogy panels as they had a slightly smaller footprint than most 100w panels - necessary for the limited space on the truck camper.

I was wondering about the amperage you were getting. How are you measuring that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Boondocking is our style of camping. As we Atv the mountains and back country. 280 watts of solar and 4-6 volt batteries and all LED lighting. We also have an extra water tank in the box of the truck. Weeks on end no problem. Oh and no genny either. Love it
How do you deal with black and gray water? That's what limits our time on station...
And yes - LED lighting
Atving the back country we pass through many forestry campsites ect. So we use those facilities when we can. Dumping grey not a big issue where we usually camp. With only 2 of us it's pretty easy to conserve water and only use the black tank when absolutely necessary. We also pack a few empty 5 gallon pails with lids if thing start to get a bit dicey. drain the black into those and good to go. Normally run out of atv fuel after about a week of hard riding. So a trip to the closest town for fuel and dump the pails at same time.
A weeks about our limit as well. Maybe with the new rig we'll have room for an external tank we can use for transport and dumping, without having to move the rig.
 

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We used Renogy panels as they had a slightly smaller footprint than most 100w panels - necessary for the limited space on the truck camper.

I was wondering about the amperage you were getting. How are you measuring that?
Amperage is simply Ohm's Law for "stated" numbers. For real world I see more than that, as the MPPT controller can create amps as needed by batteries. That is the main reason for the MPPT controller.
 

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We used Renogy panels as they had a slightly smaller footprint than most 100w panels - necessary for the limited space on the truck camper.

I was wondering about the amperage you were getting. How are you measuring that?
Amperage is simply Ohm's Law for "stated" numbers. For real world I see more than that, as the MPPT controller can create amps as needed by batteries. That is the main reason for the MPPT controller.
OK - I wanted to know if that was a physical reading you took from system, and if it was affected by weather conditions in your region. the max a 544 watt panel system can actually produce, under ideal sunlight, is about 462 watts (85% of rating - information acquired during a technical conversation with Renogy). Using aa maximum charging voltage of 14.5v, your system - under ideal situations and disregarding resistance loss - has the potential to produce about 30 amps; but that's also going to depend on battery conditions, as a 3 stage charger will produce different amperages depending on battery reserves. Then again, if Seattle is mostly cloudy, that will affect results lol. Thats why I was wondering what criteria you were using for measurement!

Our batteries drop about 8% over night, so our controller never goes into bulk mode. Even if we have a day of thunderstorms, after two days the batteries only drop to about 84%. The max I've seen out of ours was 11 amps - using a trimetric battery monitor and readings from the controller . It should be capable pf producing twice that much, under ideal conditions, should the controller ever kick into bulk mode.

We're also flying out to Seattle for a few weeks for our 40th anniversary, and noticed you were nearby from Oregon. Going to cruise the area. No camper *sigh*
 

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bfe9658393650ac96c22405062dd6a16.jpg


I can stay out indefinitely. The fridge pulls three amps set at 38F. 100 watt solar panel keeps the house battery charged.

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Nice looking rig. Looks like you put a lot of thought into organizing it. We like small - just gotten to the point we go out for months at a time and have more toys - bikes, canoes, etc - to carry. You're making me nostalgic, as I feel we're moving furher away from true camping with each new rig. We tried a small trailer behind our TC, but that had unacceptable results. We're also in our 60s now lol. Below is the truck camper we're giving up Friday...
 

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Boondocking is our style of camping. As we Atv the mountains and back country. 280 watts of solar and 4-6 volt batteries and all LED lighting. We also have an extra water tank in the box of the truck. Weeks on end no problem. Oh and no genny either. Love it
How do you deal with black and gray water? That's what limits our time on station...
And yes - LED lighting
Atving the back country we pass through many forestry campsites ect. So we use those facilities when we can. Dumping grey not a big issue where we usually camp. With only 2 of us it's pretty easy to conserve water and only use the black tank when absolutely necessary. We also pack a few empty 5 gallon pails with lids if thing start to get a bit dicey. drain the black into those and good to go. Normally run out of atv fuel after about a week of hard riding. So a trip to the closest town for fuel and dump the pails at same time.
A weeks about our limit as well. Maybe with the new rig we'll have room for an external tank we can use for transport and dumping, without having to move the rig.
We can go much longer than a week easily. Run out of atv fuel is the main reason for heading to town.
 

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Hi, I'm new to this. Just put down a deposit on a 2020 Outback 210 URS. I haven't gotten it yet, but I'd like to prepared to "get and go" when it is ready. So, I want to figure out how to power resmed cpap. Trailer salesman said its pre-wired for solar panels, but they "say" lots of things. Anyone out there already have my model? I can spend $ for an easy, reliable elegant solution. Will be camping using Harvest Hosts, so no hook ups for a few days. Thanks.
 
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