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Old 05-05-2017, 12:35 PM   #1
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Experience with solar on the Wet side of the PNW

For those on the wet side of the PNW, how much solar are you running, and have you found it sufficient to keep your house batteries topped off? Looking at a system where the only significant power draw is the fridge, which will likely be a truckfridge 65 or 130, leaning toward the latter.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:04 PM   #2
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We had about 185 watts on our SMB. It was more than enough for our TruckFridge 45 and a few lights. The real issue is the tree cover and amount of shade where you are camped. In full sun the battery would be back up to full power in about two hours. In a shady campsite it took much longer.

On our new rig we got a 150 watt Overland Solar portable system that we can move around to miss the shade. It works well. Just have to keep an eye on its location and the shade.

I am not sure solar is worth it if you are planning on driving every day. If you have a big battery bank and drive every two or three days it may not be worth it either. It all depends on your power loading. An all 12volt rig with all LED lights uses very little power.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:36 PM   #3
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Location, location, location....and....shade, shade, shade......cloud cover, cloud cover, cloud cover.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
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That chart is awesome Len. The solar info is good but also pay attention to the bang for the buck on the TF130 vs. the competition (some at more than twice the price!)

Here's another thing worth remembering. The newer the solar panels the better the performance, in a big way. I have several panels working and have installed newer and older. The newer ones, Renogys made in the last year or so, for instance, will grab power on heavily clouded days and almost to full dark every evening. Older panels drop to nothing just as soon as it clouds over.
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