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View Poll Results: Are Solar Panels Worth it?
Adding solar panels is a MUST! 11 20.75%
Add only if boondocking often. 22 41.51%
Add only if the RV is already prepped. 7 13.21%
Neutral. 4 7.55%
Not enough gained to deal with it / another system to maintain. 12 22.64%
Stay away from them! 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-03-2020, 02:34 AM   #61
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 17,744
THOR #8860
If spending money on solar panels has to be "boiled-down" to the amount of time necessary to recoup the cost: exactly how are you valuing the advantage of having your batteries fully charged when you need them?
In other words: what value do you place on "Peace of Mind"?
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:59 AM   #62
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Pretty much all my upgrades are ďpeace of mindĒ. Do not know what itís like elsewhere but here in Wash. state some of our state parks have no electricity. They also have restrictions on generator use. Using solar and lithium batteries allows us to relax at lot more when camping this way. We are not generating noise but still get recharged during daytime. I forgot to mention that we use a 30í extension cord for our panels so we can always get to the sunny spots.

QUOTE=Bob Denman;252884]If spending money on solar panels has to be "boiled-down" to the amount of time necessary to recoup the cost: exactly how are you valuing the advantage of having your batteries fully charged when you need them?
In other words: what value do you place on "Peace of Mind"?[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-03-2020, 03:15 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
That would depend on the size of your battery bank and how much you use it.

IMHO if boondocking I would rather park in a shaded spot which precludes the use of solar panels.

I would much rather spend the money on a 1K or 2K Inverter Generator with Eco Mode to charge the batteries and only use the big generator for running the Air Conditioning if needed. That's just my style.

We're thinking of a portable array for this exact reason. I don't want to have to sit in the sun if I don't have to.
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Old 09-03-2020, 08:48 PM   #64
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Model: outlaw 37rb
State: California
Posts: 11
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Yes to solar and we love it

Dry camp enough and have residential fridge (wife loves food always cold and lots of space). Inverter runs fridge, 12 volt CPAP, 12 volt fan in bedroom for comfort, watch movies/TV with Dish Wally, enough power in morning to use inverter to run coffee maker and furnace if chilly.
3 solar panels and 4 large 6 volt AGM batteries.
We have dry camped for up to 2 weeks.
Use generator briefly to run microwave for food prep - but not every day.
Wife uses gas range and stove and is an awesome cook (PS: she cooks because I take her out to eat too!)
We get full hook-ups as well - especially in warmer weather to run AC.
Would have installed 4 panels, instead of 3, if I did it again.
So, solar, yes!
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:38 PM   #65
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Model: Thor Ace 33.1
State: Illinois
Posts: 101
THOR #20274
Solar

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
with a single 100w solar panel, it might not even NEED any controller, though if it has one, it's probably right with the House Batteries, which it is attached to in order to charge them.

a single 100w panel is not going to go far in 'charging' the batteries, even with full sun - but it will help just a 'tiny' bit - just don't 'over expect' - it's not going to 'run' anything in the RV, either, it's only to help 'trickle charge' the batteries.
I called Thor today and found my solar controller is supposed to be by the door. Under the cup holder were 4 bare wires that Thor was supposed to connect to the controller that isn't there. The fuse by the batteries did blow because of the bare wires. Thor is sending me the controller so I can put it in instead of camping world so it will be done right
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Old 09-03-2020, 11:46 PM   #66
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Model: '17-Vegas 24.1
State: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Johnson View Post
I called Thor today and found my solar controller is supposed to be by the door. Under the cup holder were 4 bare wires that Thor was supposed to connect to the controller that isn't there. The fuse by the batteries did blow because of the bare wires. Thor is sending me the controller so I can put it in instead of camping world so it will be done right



Sorry I'm laughing
Your post should be listed under "Would You Purchase Another Thor"

The employee responsible for connecting and mounting your solar controller got promoted.
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:57 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorbob1 View Post


Sorry I'm laughing
Your post should be listed under "Would You Purchase Another Thor"

The employee responsible for connecting and mounting your solar controller got promoted.
I had a one year old Jayco that I traded for this. So far this is a much better motorhome. Bigger inside, better quality materials, rides and handles better than the Jayco
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Old 09-04-2020, 05:48 PM   #68
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State: Florida
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Solar not worth it.

My Thor Miramar is pre-wired for solar but even with that it just didn't seem worth the investment. Here in Florida we run the air conditioning almost continuously during the summer so even when boondocking it's not going to cut it if it won't run AC.
When the generator isn't needed full-time it's still only cost about a gallon an hour to charge the batteries in the morning and at night. I thought a much better investment was to add two 6 volt batteries for a total of 4.
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:28 PM   #69
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Solar worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mr Beaumont View Post
Like many, I have the solar prep kit but am unsure if installing the solar panels is worth the hassle. I will have the batteries on a battery maintainer when it isn't being used at home. If I'm on the road, I will be plugged in, driving or using the APU. The last three scenarios will be charging the batteries anyway if I understand correctly.

If I am boondocking without the APU or engine generator, will the solar panels keep up with the electrical withdraw. Most of that would be at night when using the lights which is when solar is no good anyway.
I bought a 100 watt panel, and used it once, and will return it hopefully when I get home. Just turn on the generator if you want to give your battery a boost. Uses very little gas.
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:54 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Tom View Post
My Thor Miramar is pre-wired for solar but even with that it just didn't seem worth the investment. Here in Florida we run the air conditioning almost continuously during the summer so even when boondocking it's not going to cut it if it won't run AC.
When the generator isn't needed full-time it's still only cost about a gallon an hour to charge the batteries in the morning and at night. I thought a much better investment was to add two 6 volt batteries for a total of 4.
Great idea and investment adding the extra house batteries. Especially with your residential fridge.
That is, if I had room and extra available weight, Iíd add an additional battery or two as well

Whenever I look at the cost of adding mods I calculate how many nights at $50-60/nite in a full-service RV Park would pay for the mod.

So to pay for my $350 solar investment, all I needed to do over the life of my RV ownership was/is spend 6-8 nights BoonDocking which I completed over a year ago.
And, oh by the way, I can now do even more quiet & peaceful BoonDocking because I have solar.

We have a trip scheduled in two weeks to Pismo Beach. Itís all BoonDocking with solar (or genny, or chassis engine) to charge house batteries.
Itís so much more pleasant not to rely solely on generator or chassis engine to charge batteries.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:18 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1bone View Post
I bought a 100 watt panel, and used it once, and will return it hopefully when I get home. Just turn on the generator if you want to give your battery a boost. Uses very little gas.
From what they say it takes 6 to 8 hours to recharge the batteries if you are camping without power. So running the generator all day isn't an option
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:58 AM   #72
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While we pretty much NEVER boondock we specifically didnít want a residential fridge because it uses too much electricity. Weíve been using absorption fridges for many, many years and long ago made peace with their quirks and you just donít need a great battery set-up. Iíd likely think differently if I was selecting a coach for full time living.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:10 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Johnson View Post
From what they say it takes 6 to 8 hours to recharge the batteries if you are camping without power. So running the generator all day isn't an option
We turn on the generator in the morning for coffee and other items for about 30 minutes. The house battery charges right up to full power. Solar only works during the day. I donít use any lights during the day, so I donít need the solar panel.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:32 PM   #74
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Just 100w keeps my agms charged. Yes, no hassle no worry.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:27 AM   #75
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people buy rv 's because they can , they will never be an economical investment, that being said... your money, buy what you want and not care what others think....I did solar on my 29m, haven't used for anything but a fun learning project...I also changed the wheels and muffler on my fiat toad....
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:15 AM   #76
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My 29M was solar prepped for up to 160 watts so I put a 160 watt flexible panel on the roof with eternabond. Works great to keep batts topped off plus security for using my cpap machine during occasional boondocks.
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Old 11-30-2020, 04:58 AM   #77
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Flex panels are the simplest install as a DIY project
Once youíve got them on the RV roof you will never be able to live without
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:00 PM   #78
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
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I agree!
Peel, stick, and hook them up.
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Old 11-30-2020, 01:55 PM   #79
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How do the flex style hold up if you were to walk on them? Those weren't an option when I got my old rigid style panels but I can sure see the benefit to the lower profile flex type stuck directly on the roof.

I just wondered if you damage them any if you ever needed to walk on them.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:18 PM   #80
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It's the same as with any solar panel: you don't walk on them for any reason.
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