what makes more sense. a third 12 volt battery( 3 group 27s) and no solar panel or two group 27's and a solar panel(sportsmobile installed). i know their will be other opinions involving more or bigger batteries and more solar. please stick to the question i asked.
Depends on your "stay with no power" needs and "how big a watt panel" you use. Rule of thumb for the same price ~$200 a battery will do better, but $300~$400 on solar will be a better long term solution.
The prices are rough cost of the equipment, have no idea on SMP pricing or install. But I'm sure their solar will cost a lot.
I think that the solar is also great for keeping your batteries properly maintained in a full state of charge for when it isn't being driven at least 1-2 times a week, every week. I think this will prolong the longevity of your batteries. A worthwhile investment from that perspective.
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
Two group 27's let us camp for 3-4 days. 3 would make that 4-6 days.
Two 27's and a 125W solar panel let us camp until we run out of time.
If the van is parked and gets some sun the solar panels will keep all the batteries charged. Third battery does nothing in that case.
Weight, nod goes to solar.
Resale - solar
Solar makes more sense to me.
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
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Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average
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2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
I agree with Herb and SheepShagger. I don't use the solar to run things in my van; that's not what it's for, but it does run the little things like the refrigerator (Ihave two 135W panels). The main purpose of solar is to charge up and maintain the batteries. Your alternator will always charge the batteries at night and on overcast days if you run the engine so more battery power is a sure deal where solar could be hit and miss. But if you look at it as what makes more sense, keeping a healthy battery bank saves money down the road. There are lots of other factors to deal with as well. If you sit and don't drive much solar would be my first choice. If you're on the go each day, a larger battery bank will help at night. I'd say do both.
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer