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Old 04-11-2016, 08:23 PM   #1
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Model: Axis 24.1
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THOR #3306
Portable Solar for Axis

We are considering the options to add a portable solar panel (or two) to the Axis 24.1 with the two battery option. We want to boondock on BLM land for a few days and only plan to use the lights/CPAP.

Has anybody installed portable solar on their Axis?

We are looking at
- PSK120 http://gpelectric.com/files/gpelectr...ccessories.pdf


I'm open to thoughts and opinions - we don't want to break the bank to get solar right now, but would like to recharge too :-)
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:39 PM   #2
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Model: Four Winds 33SW, Diesel
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More information would be really helpful, what size batteries, are the lights LED, what is the draw on the CPAP. If you get the draw on every item and add them up so you can figure what your AH are going to be. Then on the battery need to know the AH along with other info, are they two 12v wired in parallel or two 6v wired in series. But just pondering the question, you have not enough solar to charge the battery in one day, it may take up to 24+ hours and translate that into daytime hours when you have full sun. I just would not lead you into a situation where you run out of juice for the CPAP, unless you have a generator for a back up of course.


Recharging your batteries is one thing but depending on the batteries every day while out is another.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:59 PM   #3
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I bought this one - seems well built and solid. I have not tried it yet, but my friend has the same one and he said it worked well.

Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase
Got it for $260 from amazon.

Too chicken to drill into the roof to install a permanent system.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:10 PM   #4
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I bought that exact one. Used it in Mexico while boondocking in our Vegas 24.1. Wife's BiPAP machine drew very little. I use a 300 watt inverter I bought at Love's for $29 including rebate.

Would definitely buy this one again.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:19 AM   #5
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A Second Vote for the Renogy

We have a 29.2 with a pair of 6 volt golf batteries, a 1000 watt pure sine inverter and the 100 watt Renogy portable solar panels. We boondock and this system works well with a little power conservation. We crank up the generator in the morning for about 30 minutes while we make coffee and cook breakfast. That allows the batteries to catch up after draining a bit overnight (fans, lights, stereo, TV, phone/computer charging, etc). The batteries maintain a good charge level t/o day with the panels. We crank up the generator for a little bit right before bed to top off the batteries. Obviously, no A/C and fridge and water heater on gas. FYI, a friend with a similar RV and similar power demands has to run his generator 2-3x more to maintain his batteries (2 x 12V) without the solar panels.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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I used to 100 watt panels, made stands from scrap 3/4 inch pvc and mounted the Controller, Midnight Solar Baby Box breaker panel and Trimetric battery monitor where the outside 32" TV option is supposed to go.
This is what the panels and frame look like when they were attached to our previous camper.
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Old 06-09-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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We have stayed in Denali NP for a week at a time (where you cannot move your RV until you leave) and had no problems running all our systems with battery power, a small solar panel in the window and running our generator an hour or so a day. Solar panels do help, but unless you intend to stay out weeks at a time without moving your coach, spending several thousands of dollars on a roof mounted system, to me, just does not seem to be worth the time, effort, money, and maintenance costs. I have averaged over three months a year in my 22' Class C, Vegas and Axis over the past six years.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:15 PM   #8
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Can you take a picture of your mounting in the area of the outside TV? I'm more interested in that. Your mounting of the panels is dangerous where I am most of the time, the desert = wind.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:17 PM   #9
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I have three 12 V, with a single 100 Watt panel. The wife runs everything lights. TV, Satellite. or radio. 600 watt invert er. we used the inverter for morning coffee maker, which was a small six cup. All that lasting three days draining battery's down to 80% She upgraded to a 12 cup. Now we have to use the generator.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
We have stayed in Denali NP for a week at a time (where you cannot move your RV until you leave) and had no problems running all our systems with battery power, a small solar panel in the window and running our generator an hour or so a day. Solar panels do help, but unless you intend to stay out weeks at a time without moving your coach, spending several thousands of dollars on a roof mounted system, to me, just does not seem to be worth the time, effort, money, and maintenance costs. I have averaged over three months a year in my 22' Class C, Vegas and Axis over the past six years.
For us solar is the only way to go since we dry camp 6 to 8 months at a time.
Getting used to the power loads of the Axis after the Trailmanor is a little adjustment. Looks like a minimum of between 300 to 400 watts will do for us.
No dip coffee maker, hair dryers of other heavy load items to run. Boil coffee on the stove and run the refrig on gas. Our friends were talked into a residential refrig and regret it as it requires 4 to 6 hours of running the ginney to keep the batteries up.
We will meet up with them next week and in between hikes I'll take a look are requirements and see what amount of solar it will take to off set of the ginney use.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemitebob View Post
Can you take a picture of your mounting in the area of the outside TV? I'm more interested in that. Your mounting of the panels is dangerous where I am most of the time, the desert = wind.
Never had a problem in the desert; but the stands are tyraped to the panels and I have anchor hole through the pvc if needed.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
For us solar is the only way to go since we dry camp 6 to 8 months at a time.
Getting used to the power loads of the Axis after the Trailmanor is a little adjustment. Looks like a minimum of between 300 to 400 watts will do for us.
No dip coffee maker, hair dryers of other heavy load items to run. Boil coffee on the stove and run the refrig on gas. Our friends were talked into a residential refrig and regret it as it requires 4 to 6 hours of running the ginney to keep the batteries up.
We will meet up with them next week and in between hikes I'll take a look are requirements and see what amount of solar it will take to off set of the ginney use.
For permanent dry camping you certainly need a way to charge your batteries besides running the genny all the time. Have you ever thought of wind power?

https://www.amazon.com/Missouri-Free...bine+generator

I have no experience with this particular one, but it gets good reviews. A friend of mine used a wind powered generator on his boat that he lived on while he travelled around the Caribbean. I never put one in my boat because I raced it and did not want the drag, but he swore by his.

I don't remember any discussion on wind power in this forum, but, depending on where you camp, it might be an option, especially if you used both solar and wind.
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Old 06-11-2016, 08:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
For permanent dry camping you certainly need a way to charge your batteries besides running the genny all the time. ....cut....
In most applications running the generator solely to charge batteries is very energy inefficient.

A converter that may supply around 40 Amps to batteries is only doing about 500 watts of useful work, so running a 4,000-watt generator for such a low load leads to a lot of inefficiency.

If the RV has a lot more battery bank capacity, and a much higher capacity converter (or inverter/charger for charging), then the generator won't have to run as often or as long. When it does run, it can do a lot more useful work in less time.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:44 PM   #14
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From what I have read on line wind power turbines aren't for RV's because of the heights needed. A mast on a sail boat is great.
We went the solar route because of panel portability so they can be moved around in the sun. Been using it since 2012 and really don't like the noise of a genny. Been a whole lot better if thor had gone with A honda or anything thats make a lot less noise then the trashing machine Onan. A cheap work around for charging is a portable smart charger of about 20 amps. The WFCO is a pile of junk good only for a trickle charger. The distribution panel is great though.
Thinking about storing the panels on the cab bunk if the motors can raise/lower about 50 #.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by scrubjaysnest View Post
From what I have read on line wind power turbines aren't for RV's because of the heights needed. A mast on a sail boat is great.
We went the solar route because of panel portability so they can be moved around in the sun. Been using it since 2012 and really don't like the noise of a genny. Been a whole lot better if thor had gone with A honda or anything thats make a lot less noise then the trashing machine Onan. A cheap work around for charging is a portable smart charger of about 20 amps. The WFCO is a pile of junk good only for a trickle charger. The distribution panel is great though.
Thinking about storing the panels on the cab bunk if the motors can raise/lower about 50 #.
Actually, you never mount a wind generator on top of the mast, they are always mounted on a short mast on the stern, so height is not the issue. While wind speed is generally higher at higher heights, it's impractical to get up the mast and weight up high is too much of a problem. I don't think that wind would be a practical single source to charge the batteries in an RV, but if I were planning to stay several months at a time dry camping, I think it might be a viable answer along with solar cells, as long as you are in an area with decent wind.
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Old 11-14-2016, 07:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneilkeys View Post
We have stayed in Denali NP for a week at a time (where you cannot move your RV until you leave) and had no problems running all our systems with battery power, a small solar panel in the window and running our generator an hour or so a day. Solar panels do help, but unless you intend to stay out weeks at a time without moving your coach, spending several thousands of dollars on a roof mounted system, to me, just does not seem to be worth the time, effort, money, and maintenance costs. I have averaged over three months a year in my 22' Class C, Vegas and Axis over the past six years.
What small solar panel are you using (or we're using) and how did you hook it up! Thanks! Just wanting a little extra energy that may be helpful for dry camping for more than a day or two. ~debbie
Note: Just returned from a 6700+ mile trip visiting the west and to San Francisco. Axis held up really well and tires look great with 10,000 miles on them. Did not get an alignment in May 2016 when first bought because didn't feel a pull. Heading to Florida in January and who knows where to before then.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:17 PM   #17
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Sorry I did not answer you. We have been in Europe for the last month and I just got back and checked the forum. The solar panel I bought was the Microsolar 30 watt one on Amazon. I ran connector wiring to both the chassis batteries and house battery thru the "dog house" so I could charge either. I use the solar as a trickle charger to keep the chassis battery charged when I am gone for any length of time and the house batteries when we are out camping. I usually just mount it inside the windshield, but I also have separate wires outside to the house batteries so I can set up the solar panel outside, if I want too. We used it this summer on out two month trip out west and it helped to not run the generator as often. After a month in Europe the chassis battery was at 12.4v using the charger.
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