Are they really worth it?

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by leeboy, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. leeboy

    leeboy Read Only Funster

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    As the title says, are they really worth the cost and installation worries (potential leaking/extra weight) for the power they put back in? Surely running the engine for a short while will put in more power. 120watts is only 10amps per hour and that's on a sunny day. Any thoughts?
    Lee.
     
  2. Bill_OR

    Bill_OR Funster

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    Solar works well for me - but I guess it depends on your motorhoming site preferences.
     
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  3. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Same here.
     
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  4. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    If you're never more than 3 days from a campsite with an electric hookup and you can park your MH on your drive when it's not in use I'd say there's little point in adding a solar panel.

    If you prefer the low cost flexibility of very basic campsites, aires and/or wild camping, and you keep your MH in a storage compound then I'd recommend it.

    It doesn't suit everybody.
     
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  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Guess that we are talking solar panels, and my answer is definately YES. Cost not a lot in the grand scheme of motorhomes very few of which can be had new for less than £50k, no worries about ours leaking as I fitted them myself and no worries about weight. We get 20 amps on a good day so how long would you have to run the engine and would you do that on a campsite or crowds aire.
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Don't be offended but I'd rather park next to a solar van than you.
     
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  7. MichelleRyall

    MichelleRyall Funster

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    Wouldn't be without ours. We don't run juicy appliances like televisions though but we can go indefinitely just on gas and solar.
     
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  8. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    Forget the Solar thingees load of rubbish! If you really want to meet fellow Funsters get yourself a gennie, not just any gennie,
    get yerself an old one , driven by a single lung Lister diesel, preferablly one with worn rings.(y)

    Funsters will be hammering on yer hab door wanting to meet you, you will be very popular !!!!:)

    Trust me! I'm a Funster!(y)
     
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  9. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

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    I'm a thicky.

    So how long will you have to run the engine for to produce same as solar panel in 1 hour ? (assuming sunny day)
     
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  10. Jaime

    Jaime

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    Love my solar panel, and my little meter gadget things that tell me what's going on. And inverter (must have an inverter).
     
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  11. jumar

    jumar Funster

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    Top posting, from Rangarita, cannot wait to meet you, especially if you are parked next to us. As for us living in Spain, solar power by the bucketful. If you don't use it all one day, it returns the next.
     
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  12. WillH

    WillH Funster

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    We have one as we regularly use a site with no electric, and occasionally spend nights pitched up in the nearby hills. The other benefit is that when we are at home the van sits on the drive and I know both batteries are fully charged, all the time, so no worries there Running the engine is a very noisy, smelly, and expensive, way of charging, I know, I've tried it, and other campers really do not appreciate it.
     
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  13. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    we never have a hookup and use tv 6 hours a day summer and winter does that answer your question. We wild for 3 weeks at a time, no genny or EHU.
     
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  14. Trikeman

    Trikeman Read Only Funster

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    I would never be without ours - NEVER plugged in an EHU (or required one) since I fitted our system. When parked up we don't even restrict use of internal electrics and have NEVER run short of juice. We use everything as you would on an EHU and still no issues. A one off cost, not at all heavy, fit and forget and does not restrict where you park up - great bit of kit.

    Hope it helps.

    Trikeman.(y)
     
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  15. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    No it doesn't necessarily. Do a search on here for "B2B" and you will find out what you need to do to get your engine to charge your batteries in a short time.

    And the wattage rating on solar panels is based on what you would get near the equator at midday, or something like that! But as others have said they do work well, silently putting power back into the batteries - but you do need to keep consumption down. Run a heavy inverter for an hour and forget the panels doing much to recover the situation - assuming you have say a typical set up of 100 to 120W of panel(s) and say 200Ah of battery. So its LED lights, low wattage TV - that sort of thing. These are not essential but will help especially when the sun isn't shining much and the days are short.
     
  16. rangitira

    rangitira Funster

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    (y):notworthy2::lips:
     
  17. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    & me ! (y)
     
  18. ebo

    ebo Read Only Funster

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    Definitely worth it, if only for keeping the engine battery topped up whilst in storage, never had a flat battery since.
    They don't weigh that much and are fairly inexpensive these days, depending on your use a 100w panel would be about average.
     
  19. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    I may be biased.
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Trikeman

    Trikeman Read Only Funster

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    Andy's Hinkley 'C' on wheels is this..........

    Trikeman.
     
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