Originally Posted by TurnerFam
Now, realistically, even with 'full sun', solar is not always a power source that will be there - for instance, at a off-grid campground on a lake in the Yukon, the only camp parking sites were all under tree cover. Great for the shade, but hardly for the solar, especially if it's permanently attached to your roof. Another time we parked on a roadside pulloff while coming out of Jasper, on the way to Banff, on the Icefields Parkway, on the Athabasca river(beautiful!), the sun was full out, but just over the trees - another 'generator' overnight.
Your trip was exactly the kind of RV use that makes me want a small motorhome with Volta-like design and capabilities. It doesnít need to cost $20,000 though.
We want to be able to park just about anywhere overnight and be comfortable without a generator. That means enough battery to power A/C overnight (not too difficult to pull off in a well-insulated van). Once you commit to that much battery as a requirement, then itís much easier to make do without a generator.
Additionally, to charge in a ďreasonableĒ amount of time, you need so much power that solar wonít help much, so contribution would be minimal.
Bottom line is that the proliferation of all-electric or mostly-electric (those still using propane or diesel for heat) motorhomes are based primarily on desire to power air conditioning with batteries at night. Once you give in to that dream, eliminating the generator and solar becomes a lot easier.
Iím hoping that mini-Volta-like small motorhomes can be built using the Ford dual-alternator option. If they get 2 hours of A/C for each hour of driving, Iíd be happy enough with that. Cost could be under $5,000.