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Thread: Solar panels for camping

  1. #1
    Not a Mod ZENNON's Avatar
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    Solar panels for camping

    Hi gents,

    What's the current hotness in solar setups (panels and/or regulators)?
    Brands? Sizes? Comments? Thoughts? Experiences? etc

    Ps. if you have a setup - what is it and how is it going?

    Cheers,
    Z
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  2. #2
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    How much have you to spend, what do you intend to run & what batteries?

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    Got Stock?
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    psi is on the money work backwards what you are using, how long between charges (e.g. will you be driving every day to help charge it?), what region and season are you traveling in (work out daylight hours), then you can roughly work out panel

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    I have a 80w solar blanket. Packs up to nothing and with a 100amp battery will run a 40L engle indefinitely. My 80L engle goes for 4 days before battery drains below 12V.

  5. #5
    right over the top TJ Shermuz's Avatar
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    i've always wondered about these things. Isn't it better to just buy a 2000w generator? they are cheap as hell now.

    Seems to me I spend the daylight hours in the 4x4 and only need power after dark
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  6. #6
    Opens blackbart's Avatar
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    Some camp sites don't allow generators.
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    Registered User Captain Kermit's Avatar
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    Don't have anything to contribute specifically but a mate of mine has a Waeco fridge/freezer, 130AH deep cycle and a cheap arse solar panel/reg from 4wdsupacentre. It fucking amazes me. It's basically cheating as far as camping goes. Also hooks up some LED lights for under the gazebo. It's convinced me to do the same, though maybe slightly higher quality than supacentre shite. He went 4 days without an inkling of an issue.

    I've got a 2kw Honda generator and when it comes to beach doofing I'll bust it out again, but for basic fridge/lighting needs I'm a convert. Solar+deep cycle is the way to go.

  8. #8
    PARRA MartyHusseinXF's Avatar
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    People tend to throw noisy generators in the nearest river.

    Solar FTW, no need to go overboard on batteries etc for your basic setup.
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  9. #9
    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    my van is wired with a redarc BCDC charger which I have wired to a Anderson for connecting a solar panel.. I have a 130ah battery which is used for lights, phone charging, tv etc, fridge in the van is gas and all cooking is gas, may add a 12v fridge shortly.

    would a 150w panel do the job? was thinking of adding a second 130ah battery to the mix as well as I can get them cheap etc..
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    Depending on your setup (inverter) a cheap arse residential 250w from gumtree could be to go. I'd add a 2nd battery personally.

    But all really hinges on how long you get away for and how long off grid. Away for a week with a couple of overcast days you'll be drinking warm beer after a few days with fucked battery running a decent fridge (tv, lights, fans, phone charging etc) on a single battery with small solar panel.

    Not sure if this pic will work (google photos) but ive probably gone a bit overboard with my solar setup on my camper. ~600w of panels into 2 x 100ah batteries. Never ever running out of power after a week of overcast rainy days. Not constantly moving panels either.


  11. #11
    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    the redarc BDCD25 has a built in solar regulator, thats what i would be using, i was thinking 300w worth of panels with 2 130ah batterys for a week away..
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    That'll do the trick. Can't hurt to chuck in another portable folding panel if you find you are running down.

  13. #13
    #sydneydents Blow's Avatar
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    We had a 150-200w panel on our camper van, 120ah battery. It ran a small bar fridge off a 1000w inverter, charged phones, powered led light etc full time. It wasn't connected to the vans alternator, full stand alone system. Would drop to about 65% over night and be fully charged by mid day. Fridge was running full time

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    i have a 120ah battery in my van and bought a 160w folding panel from supercheap when it was 20% off the other week.
    I had run a 40l waeco fridge and lights and 2 fans all night for 3 days and the panel had the battery charged back up in 2 hours (in the middle of the day in summer)

    The panel just came with two alligator clips and its own regulator on it.
    I'll probably convert it into an anderson plug for convenience
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    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    thanks boys ill find some panels now
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  16. #16
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    FWIW, our trailer has 2 x 120ah fullriver agm's, a Morningstar solar reg, and a 120w BP solar panel. The load side is various led lights, a 57L Engel Combi, a 14L gas hws ( electronic igniter) and a 12v pressure pump that uses a shitload.
    Have done 6 nights easily at Virilya Pt on the cape, and never looked like needing a top up from the genset. Ran the genset once to power the rice cooker. Not having to worry bout power and water while remote is a godsend. More time for fishing/drinking

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10sec rx7 View Post
    thanks boys ill find some panels now
    My fb newsfeed always has some mob from Gundy selling off old 200 and 250w panels removed due to system upgrades. Reckon you could get a few decent panels for the right price there if you are keen/don't mind freight.

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    Dale, if you got a 25a bcdc, remember it can only theoretically cop a max 25a input charge. So with 300w worth of panels it will be at its limit in full sun pretty quick, and depending on type/brand of batteries, most on the market wont take that sort of current ( yes the bcdc has different charge profilea depending on the type of battery). The second 130ah battery would be handy, cos if you get a few overcast shitty days in a row, capacity is what will save you.

  19. #19
    Registered User :)'s Avatar
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    I have an arcpak 715 with a 110 ah battery, it is charged by a 120w folding hard portable solar panel, and a waeco cf80

    Recent trip was 7 nights away, with fridge being used for food only, plus the battery pack was used for some phone charging and led strips. There were 3 overcast days and the battery was just fine for the whole time, but wouldn't want to push it too much further. We did take an esky for beer though as I wanted to keep the fridge for food only, and it was getting opened plenty throughout the day for beers.

  20. #20
    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    I fixed my solar problem by selling the old van and buying a new one with solar on it already lol, only got a single 100ah battery and a 120w panel, I need to install a BCDC charger as both the fucking cars have smart alternators,

    so ive ordered a projecta IDC25 which allows both solar and the towing car to charge the battery's, unlike the redarc BCDC1225 which only allows input from one or the other, ill remove the shit house PWM controller that jayco fit to the vans and replace it with the projecta, the van has a management system which displays amps in and out so I have to wire all to the load side of the shunt to get accurate readings etc..

    so with 2x 100ah batterys and maybe a second 120w panel we should be good for as long as we want lol
    im a cunt
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  21. #21
    PARRA MartyHusseinXF's Avatar
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    Offtopic but what van did you get?
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    Registered User StanM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10sec rx7 View Post
    I fixed my solar problem by selling the old van and buying a new one with solar on it already lol, only got a single 100ah battery and a 120w panel, I need to install a BCDC charger as both the fucking cars have smart alternators,

    so ive ordered a projecta IDC25 which allows both solar and the towing car to charge the battery's, unlike the redarc BCDC1225 which only allows input from one or the other, ill remove the shit house PWM controller that jayco fit to the vans and replace it with the projecta, the van has a management system which displays amps in and out so I have to wire all to the load side of the shunt to get accurate readings etc..

    so with 2x 100ah batterys and maybe a second 120w panel we should be good for as long as we want lol
    New REDARC BCDC1225D allows dual inputs, and can favour the ‘green’ supply if required.

  23. #23
    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartyHusseinXF View Post
    Offtopic but what van did you get?
    2018 jayco journey 17.58.3
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  24. #24
    sack riding 10sec rx7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanM3 View Post
    New REDARC BCDC1225D allows dual inputs, and can favour the ‘green’ supply if required.
    projecta was $230 here in 1 hour after calling repco lol I don't think ill notice the $200 difference over the redarc..
    im a cunt
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