Mornin gang, I have been absent for a while too busy updating my latest RV. While I don't currently own a good "old" RV (its a 2006) that's all I had for like 40 years lol so I feel right at home here.


 So, we do a lot of dry camping and in my last RV I had 400 watts or solar which kept my four deep cycle 6 volt golf cart batteries well charged. However, in my latest 2006 29 ft, Class I initially installed 470 flat rooftop solar watts (with four Trojan T-105's, 450 total Amp Hours) and again I got by fine powering a small Haier dorm size 120 VAC aux fridge 24/7 via my 2KW PSW Inverter plus the normal LED lights and vent fans and water pump etc.        BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT   when we dry camp in warmer climates if we park in the sun, sure my 470 watts took me up to near 100% SOC most of the daylight hours, HOWEVER it stays much cooler if we park in the shade but then you don't harvest as much solar energy WELL DUH.  

 THEREFORE I went and added yet another 245 watts taking me up to 715 total solar panel watts. So far with that even if parked in shade on a sunny day I can achieve 100% SOC in the day yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Even when parked under roof in my pole barn lean to addition I still get enough charge to keep her at 100% SOC on sunny days (that's no load but phantom draws of course)

 As far as expense if you do all the work yourself its not really that bad, here is an estimate of my installation cost. I say estimate, I done forgot some of the exact costs, bought on Amazon & Flea Bay but the panels locally from an Amish store

715 Solar watts at 90 cents per watt =  $644  Three 24/30 volt panels approx. 39" x 64"

50 amp Sun MPPT Smart 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorb, Float, Equalize) Solar Charge controller  $270

80 Amp PD 9280 Smart 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorb, Float, Equalize) Charger   $280

2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave (PSW) Inverter  $300

Four Trojan T-105 6 Volt Golf Cart Batteries $500                  TOTAL COST  $1994

 We have a 4 KW Generator which we might use for morning coffee and wife's hair dryer and microwave etc. I don't like such heavy loads sucking off my stored battery energy

  We just love the freedom and cost savings from dry camping in the Utah and Colorado mountains on BLM and Natl Forest and Wildlife Management type areas, BUT to do so long term (we may stay a week at a time) you gotta have Solar SUBJECT TO THE LIFESTYLE AND CREATURE COMFORTS WE DEMAND you can obviously dry camp with no solar (or much less then we have)  whatsoever, but this is our personal choice of comfort and living.

 Best wishes n God Bless

 John T

Views: 509

Tags: Cost, RV Solar Costs, Solar


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Comment by John "T" Nordhoff on July 12, 2018 at 6:29am

 Ralph, I use those fold up silvery car windshield heat deflectors WOW DO THOSE MAKE A DIFFERENCE.......  Thanks for the tip on Space Blankets I will have to look into those.

  REGARDLESS still if its say 80 to 85 in the day but cools at night we dry camp. If too hot we may fire up the genset and run the AC an hour or so. HOWEVER if its gonna be near 90 for a few days we simply choose NOT to dry camp. If were out west we simply drive up in elevation to say 8000 + feet in altitude, problem solved.


 I just bought another 24 Volt 235 Watt 39 x 64 Solar Panel (my 4th takes me up to 950 watts total) AND TO MY PLEASANT SURPRISE THE PRICE DROPPED TO 80 CENTS PER WATT

Pat, I've been in the RV since last October 13 as we sold our farm and headed to Texas and Florida. Were back home in Indiana still in the RV for the summer, but we just bought a house we will move into a couple months before heading back to Texas and Florida mid October.  

 John T

Comment by Ralph Javins on July 11, 2018 at 11:54pm

Good morning, John; 

     Thank you for the break down of your solar energy system costs. 

     Regarding the noticed temperature rise when parking out in the sunlight for solar panel charging, I can offer one way I have found to reduce the inside temperature of the venerable Winnebago Elandan.  I have a collection of "solar blankets" to reflect the unwanted sunlight from one side, usually the back, and most of the top of the motor home.  While there are many different kinds, from the simple reflective bubble wrap type up to the Norton "Space Blankets" turned inside out or reflective side out, to reflect the unwanted incident solar energy from the surfaces I am trying to keep cool.  I first used this concept with a tent during the day after spending most of  the night viewing the sky at an amateur astronomy "star party."   This made sleeping to at least the late morning not only possible, but also quite comfortable. 

     As a demonstration of how well this concept works, I have covered most of my 10 foot by 10 foot shelter with Norton "Space Blankets" leaving only one small patch of the heavy Nylon cloth top not covered.  I have the people put a hand up inside by the open patch, and compare that with the rest of the covered parts of the Nylon top.  The resulting facial expressions are usually pretty impressive.  The amount of IR (Infra Red) radiation that is blocked by this technique is significant.  It makes all the difference in the world in how effective having a truly "shady" space can be. 



     Latte Land, Washington 

Comment by Rich Thomas on May 14, 2017 at 8:08pm

Nice to hear from you John T, I'm glad you are on the doing well list. safe travels.

Comment by Pat Daly on May 14, 2017 at 2:30pm

John T, thanks for the great read, information, equipment list and costs. We all always want to know "ok, so how much is this gonna cost me". Now we know!   I'll put a perma link to your post here in the center main section so folks can read it.   Where you at now?



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