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Old 06-12-2017, 06:18 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: East coast
Posts: 48
What solar panel??

Hey guys I have a 2002 pleasure way Traverse and would like to mount a solar panel. I have to house batteries and would like to be able to run the Norcold refrigerator all the time without running my batteries to empty. What size/watts do you think I'd need and any clue what location to mount it (Traverse has the "westy" style pop top)? I currently have no roof rack. Thanks for any input?

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Old 06-12-2017, 07:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,069
Here are a few questions to help with members' opinions. Answer what you can, this will help! Thxs!

What size and type of house batteries? Group and Ah rating.
Anything else besides fridge? Computers, TV, fans, water pumps, etc?
All the time - does this include when parked and not camping?
Parking spots - sun exposure without shade for how many hours per day? At home and when camping.
Type of camping - about how many days at a time? Times of year? Where on east coast? Parking in the sun or shaded spots?
Roof is manual lift? Can you load 35 plus pounds and still lift? This could determine flexible lightweight vs rigid panels. There are trade offs.
The tilt of the Traverse roof will be helpful and hurtful in capturing sun depending on orientation to the sun. How does this impact your preferred camping? Angle of roof tilt? Available mounting area dimensions - width and length.

These data points will help determine if solar is viable and then type of panel(s) and sizing. It may be a portable panel set is better vs panels affixed to a tilting roof. Let's explore this stuff to narrow down a good system.

Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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Location: Western North Carolina
Posts: 1,258
Yup, those would be some important questions for the members here to give you a better answer...

The general rule of thumb is, for every 100ah of battery you need 100w of solar And... you only get to use half of your battery's max Ah.
2001 E350 PSD w/ a bunch of stuff.
And had three other E350s...
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: San Clemente, CA
Posts: 549
I think for the money renology is a good buy. 2 of their 100 watt panels have let me run my fridge constantly. Approximately 300 ah of agm batteries.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:11 AM   #5
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Location: San Clemente, CA
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Ofcourse, that said, the best thing you can do is get your alternator wired up to your house batteries via switch/separator/isolator.

Depending on how constantly you stay in one place, the money could be better spent on bigger batteries and a shore power setup.
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