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RV Products Review Do you use or know of a RV related product that you would like to give us your opinion of good or bad, just list it here and be as descriptive as possible about it and be sure to tell us where we can purchase it at.

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  #21  
Old 08-31-2013
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biobug View Post
The main reason I put on the flexible panels to start with was their ability to maximize
power in the shade. We seldom parked in the direct sunlight unless there was no choice and these Unisolar panels were fantastic for that reason. The trade-off was their size vrs.
their collection ability. When in the direct sunlight they were only slightly pulling more power than in the shade. I still like that feature. Seeing the Great job done on the Wanderlodge with the roof and air conditioners covered with crystalline panels I guess you would get the same benefits as you are in the shade of the panels.
Actually one of the best benefits was that I never had a problem with my slide loosing its program after putting on the panels. Even covered on our Pad they collected enough power to maintain batteries while in storage without plugging in. I added a 50 amp. plug-in for the Lodge and can't wait to see the power bill...
We have solar on out house and this time of year just pay the billing minimum but that might change- especially using it as a guest house as we are now.
That is a very nice benefit. Here in AZ however shade is at a premium and most times you're stuck out in the sun. Ideally you'd have the entire roof covered with panels that would shade your bus too. Then to gain roof access they could simply slide or pivot out of the way. If I remove my common sense cap for a moment and think out-side the box (I do have to do that from time to time) Then a simple slide that would move the panels so they over hang the bus sides slightly would preserve walk way while shading the sides of the bus. Shading the sides of the bus is much more beneficial as the roof already has the diamond plate for that function.

For me, I'm still casually researching solar and still trying to get a handle on what would be the best technology to purchase and what my needs will be so I can size it properly. Seems each technology has it's own advantages & disadvantages. You'd think that AZ would be ideal for solar BUT with the extreme heat that degrades performance it makes me step back and realize there is more to research.

I plan on using the RV as my test bed when the time comes then start looking at the house. Of course panel voltages will be different but still initial cost analysis don't support the move and when I try to get info from people that have gone that route I get less than accurate responses.

Seems people are reluctant to say "yes I spent $45,000 on solar and NO, it is not performing nor paying back as advertised." Also It still urks me that you have to rely on government intervention to make it all worth while with incentives costs that are passed on to the general public for the "good" of the nation.

Just old fashion I guess. Just make it affordable, sensible, and straight forward then people would purchase it in masses. The fact they have to play all those games to "entice" people tells me right there it is not cost effective... YET.

RV.. bottom line is if you are not full timing and you have plug in available while it is stored, I'm still not sold on the benefits yet. The older FC's don't have huge parasitic loads and the cost of plug-in is minimal. The dual genset path (12.5kw & 1kw) is a very efficient setup that works well, is cost effective, and prolongs longevity of the more costly genset.

As Usual.. this is just MY opinion and experience rambling here.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

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  #22  
Old 08-31-2013
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JD33 JD33 is offline
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Default Another solar question

Ok so this question may be dumb but here goes, why couldn't I put a 100W off grid system, (panel, charge controller etc. $199.00) on the roof of my bus barn and connect it to my bus to keep the batteries topped up when it is parked inside. The system charges at 15 amp max. This would sure help keep my electric costs down in the barn and at Ontario electric costs would likely pay back the $199.00 in less than 12 months.
These things are battery chargers, pure and simple. I was thinking that I could attach alligator clips to my batteries and not go through the on board charger/inverter.
Any thoughts on how well this would work or any potential issues it may cause?
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  #23  
Old 08-31-2013
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What I did was put four of those same UniSolar panels on the roof running through a Xantrex charge controller. I wired it so that the panels work even when the battery cutoff switch is off. That means that the parasitic loads are not draining the coach batteries and the panels are keeping the batteries topped off. The Xantrex charge controller is actually a smart charger and works well. Even at 13 amps max charge, the panels will not keep up with the coach parasitic loads because the panels do not work at the 24/7 rates that the loads do. However, the panels do significantly reduce the need for running the generator. And there is a separate cutoff switch for the Xantrex controller.
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  #24  
Old 09-04-2013
1derer 1derer is offline
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Has anybody else been shopping for panels that would fit between the rub rails (right name for these?) that go around the middle of the 1970s-80s era models: 13" max width x most any length. (The Unisolar is 15.5", a trifle too wide.) I haven't found any yet.

By the way, I need to rescind the idea of looking for ones that can handle infrared. Though such panels have been built, they're not commercially available yet. I wish. Same apparently for ones usable as windows, and same for paint. Patience, my heart.
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Last edited by 1derer; 09-05-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-04-2013
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I was able to fit four of the 68 watt panels on the roof of my SP. Two on each side just inside the goat rails. The TV antenna was relocated to the center of the roof to facilitate the installation.
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CW4 retired
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87 FC SOLD
89 SP SOLD
94 WB SOLD
95 WB 42
2007 Jeep Wrangler
2015 GMC Acadia
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  #26  
Old 10-02-2013
1derer 1derer is offline
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RTPN60 – Re your post 41 to this thread

Though I was thinking of just sticking on the flex panels around the midriff of the body, your post inpires this idea:
Since our narrow body FCs aren’t the legal limit width, how around using stiff panels that would attach to the top of the goat rail and be flat or tilt out to the legal limit width. Long narrow panels. Then use the outer edge of the panels to mount a curtain rod the length of the panels to loosely hang shade cloth to shade each side of the bus. Or you could play it safe and limit the span from the goal rail to the edge of the bus. This would eliminate the idea of an air space between the shade cloth and the side of the bus, plus make shopping for panel more difficult since they'd have to be only about a foot wide.
(Need to find out if the panel could sustain such weight, but if they couldn’t I suppose the outer bracket to hold them in place could.) The end brackets for both sides of the bus could just be straight angle attached to the goat rails that run across the front and back ends of the bus. Mounting straight out (flat) would avoid all vents and other obstructions. Whether flat or tilted, you’d preserve the entirety of the walking area defined by the goat rails. Plus you'd keep the height of the bus as is (helpful for tight passes under bridges, trees ....) In summary, the Birds would really be birds because they’d have wings.
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  #27  
Old 10-02-2013
1derer 1derer is offline
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Biobug -
From what you know of the flex panels, do you believe they can still function if one drills a hole thru them? If so, is there a need to prevent contact between the wafers in them and the bus' metal body beneath? (In which case maybe some insulating tape applied to the backside of the panel and maybe non-conductive screws doing the attaching?)
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  #28  
Old 10-02-2013
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1derer View Post
RTPN60 – Re your post 41 to this thread

Though I was thinking of just sticking on the flex panels around the midriff of the body, your post inpires this idea:
Since our narrow body FCs aren’t the legal limit width, how around using stiff panels that would attach to the top of the goat rail and be flat or tilt out to the legal limit width. Long narrow panels. Then use the outer edge of the panels to mount a curtain rod the length of the panels to loosely hang shade cloth to shade each side of the bus. Or you could play it safe and limit the span from the goal rail to the edge of the bus. This would eliminate the idea of an air space between the shade cloth and the side of the bus, plus make shopping for panel more difficult since they'd have to be only about a foot wide.
(Need to find out if the panel could sustain such weight, but if they couldn’t I suppose the outer bracket to hold them in place could.) The end brackets for both sides of the bus could just be straight angle attached to the goat rails that run across the front and back ends of the bus. Mounting straight out (flat) would avoid all vents and other obstructions. Whether flat or tilted, you’d preserve the entirety of the walking area defined by the goat rails. Plus you'd keep the height of the bus as is (helpful for tight passes under bridges, trees ....) In summary, the Birds would really be birds because they’d have wings.
Post #41? There's only 26 posts in the thread? Am I missing something?

Also.. although not legal limit 2 things come to mind;

1) for legal limit we can only protrude 3" per side so not sure that buys you much?

2) once stopped.. who cares about legal widths?

Could be mounted between the goat rails and simply slide out a good 3' for direct sun access and to provide shade. The more I think about the side shade aspect the more I like it. Since most of us have an awning on the passenger's side, would make sense to try and have all the panels slide out from the driver's side. Now you've doubled your shade.
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78FC35SB & 83FC35SB Wanderlodge - "Putz'n Around"
'90 GL1500 Goldwing | '67 VW Rail | '82 CJ5 Jeep
eMail=Mike.Putz@cox.net | Web=http://mikeputz.com/
Solar = https://www.solarpenny.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=257

FMCA #236459, Good Sam #17270530, Vintage Birds #1509
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  #29  
Old 10-02-2013
1derer 1derer is offline
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RTPN60
I meant 21.
3" buys you insulating air space between the side of the bus and the vertically hanging shade cloth.
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  #30  
Old 10-02-2013
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why not put the solar panels on a hinge attached to the goat rails so they would fold down on top of the roof when not in use? Then once parked could be folded out for shade?
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