Are they really worth it? (1 Viewer)

leeboy

Free Member
Sep 24, 2013
136
61
Sheffield
Funster No
28,262
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
newbie
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.
 

magicsurfbus

Free Member
Oct 11, 2010
4,673
10,150
NW England
Funster No
14,057
MH
Bessacarr Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 1997
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.
 

funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
16,419
23,115
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
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.
 
Jun 30, 2010
7,786
23,971
Cornwall
Funster No
12,372
MH
1992 VW Auto sleeper Mono
Exp
Since 2005 this time
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)
 
Oct 1, 2013
6,897
17,493
Lanzarote
Funster No
28,377
MH
Nil by mouth
Exp
Lots
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.
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)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

jumar

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 6, 2012
2,461
6,384
Spain
Funster No
23,578
MH
Hymer Tramp
Exp
Since 1994
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.
 
Feb 9, 2008
3,852
5,170
SW Scotland
Funster No
1,453
MH
LP Coachbuilt
Exp
Since 2008 after caravanning for 20 years
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.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Wildman

Free Member
May 30, 2008
0
8,492
Ilfracombe, Devon
Funster No
2,913
MH
Amazon Ambassador
Exp
since 1967
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.
 
Aug 22, 2012
1,648
3,088
Wilds of Ceredigion.
Funster No
22,516
MH
AT 634 Apache.
Exp
Since 2011.
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)
 

DBK

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 9, 2013
16,615
39,882
Plympton, Devon
Funster No
24,219
MH
PVC, Murvi Morocco
Exp
2013
Surely running the engine for a short while will put in more power.

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.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jun 30, 2010
7,786
23,971
Cornwall
Funster No
12,372
MH
1992 VW Auto sleeper Mono
Exp
Since 2005 this time
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.



(y):notworthy2::lips:
 

ebo

Nov 9, 2009
99
105
Essex
Funster No
9,255
MH
A class Carado i449
Exp
Since 2009
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.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Techno

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 28, 2010
15,474
19,655
Leeds the one up North
Funster No
12,905
MH
Rapido 7090F 3 litre 160
Exp
May 2010
I may be biased.
CA_05311408481429-X2.jpg
 

jonandshell

Free Member
Dec 12, 2010
5,477
8,297
Norfolk
Funster No
14,648
MH
Not got one!
Exp
Since 2006
90 Ah of charge per hours run of the engine at tick over.....
But only with the right kit!

A standard split charge wouldn't put much more than 10-25 Ah back in that time.

We aren't fans of solar, but if we were parked for 4 months in the Med, we would be!

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

SMB

Apr 26, 2013
1,186
1,156
Spain
Funster No
25,710
MH
Coachbuild
Exp
Fulltiming since February 2013
I'm definitely in the 'yes to solar' camp (240w panels in total), engine battery always topped up, recently had extra leisure batteries fitted along with Ctek smartpass B2B system, reckon I could go indefinitely without EHU :)
 

gibbon

Free Member
Feb 25, 2013
307
325
Shatterford
Funster No
24,838
MH
C class
Exp
Since 2005
Most definitely YES.
Probably the best upgrade we've made, I'd rate it as more useful than our Gaslow conversion & that's also been a godsend.
If we chose to we could manage indefinitely without hook up. Just returned from 5 1/2 months over the water & only bothered hooking up if it was inclusive of site fees or dirt cheap. It really was not a concern.
 

Peter A Forbes

Free Member
Nov 23, 2014
270
184
Rushden, Northants, UK
Funster No
34,314
MH
Mercedes 614D
Exp
10+
The whole point about solar power is that it requires no input from you, it starts working just after sunup and almost until sunset.

We use EHU a lot, but we also have a very large battery and 4 X 100W panels with twin controllers on the Mercedes, powered them all up for the first time today on a temporary hook-up:

VarioSolar41.jpg


VarioSolar42.jpg


Have them on the big six-wheel trailer as well.

The overall costs are low in comparison to some other items like water heaters etc, I think we paid £327 for four panels, £160 for two controllers (no duty either!) the four new 6V 225AH batteries were free :D:D

When we take our show engines to rallies etc we rarely get EHU although the Ruston diesel has a 2.5kVA alternator which we can use if we are parked up close to it.

Peter
 
D

Deleted member 29692

Deleted User
YES from us. 200W of solar panels, 2x110ah batteries and we can go indefinitely with no EHU summer or winter.
 

mjltigger

Free Member
Nov 12, 2014
1,676
2,720
Trowbridge
Funster No
34,213
MH
Autotrail Dakota Max
Exp
2012
Nope.

We have no solar, no b2b, no generator and very rarely use hook up. Our battery is usually running low by the time we set out from sitting unused for a couple of weeks but is fully charged by the time we get to folkestone and then with a top up each day as we tour gives us all the lights and phone charge, water pump etc we could hope for. The only time we co wider hook up is to get hot water without us I g gas.
 

jonandshell

Free Member
Dec 12, 2010
5,477
8,297
Norfolk
Funster No
14,648
MH
Not got one!
Exp
Since 2006
So over 100A into the battery. That's pretty cruel.

But there's 345Ah of battery to absorb it! The batteries are now 7 yrs old and still have full capacity. It hasn't done them any harm, but 6 monthly topping up is required.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Top