Solar

Key West Solar: How did we live on Solar when at Key West?

Sunset in the Valley of the Sun

Key West Solar: As a recap, this is the geeky version of how well our solar did while boondocking in Key West without outside electricity. Also covered is some detailed information on how we lived with limited water. The last part will introduce you to my supplemental water plan. We already covered the wonders of …

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Red Bay Makeover

Red Bay Makeover

Red Bay Makeover: Why go to Red Bay to remodel our RV? Why would we need to remodel our RV? Red Bay is the home of Tiffin Motorhomes. The people here have more experience with Tiffin Motorhomes than anywhere on earth. While here we performed our annual maintenance, fixed a few broken parts, and gave …

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Redirect Can you run your RV Air Conditioner on Solar and Batteries?

Air Conditioner from Solar and Batteries

Can you run your RV Air conditioner on Solar and Batteries? We have the test results. The quick answer is yes you can. We have proved that it is possible. This update includes testing data with some surprises. These surprises are not encouraging and show how hard this is and why this is so hard. …

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RV Air Conditioning on Batteries and Solar without extra electricity

Sunset at Placid Lake

My goal is to be (electric) energy independent, this includes air conditioning on batteries and solar. I have not yet installed solar. I can now run air conditioning from my lithium batteries. Someday soon I hope to run my air conditioning on batteries and solar with solar replacing the electricity the air conditioning consumes. The …

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Our new RV Massive Electric Bucket

massive electric bucket

Massive Electric Bucket: What is an electric bucket? An “electric bucket” is my description of our battery remodel. (I will explain later) How did the battery remodel work?  This post describes the real testing results while camping off-grid with our new battery remodel. How much energy did we consume? Did we achieve our design goal? …

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Redirect Bash Solar Test Data Analysis / Observations

Arizona Sunset afterglow, Lake Havasu

Bash Solar Test Data Analysis / Observations. At the Xcapers 2020 BASH we took the opportunity to gather user inputs for our Solar Test Data Analysis. There were 400 RVs and no hookups for more than a week. These are the lessons learned. We gathered results from the Bash(ers), usually on a daily basis to …

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Xcapers Bash Solar Data Collection and analysis

Bash Solar Data

Xcapers Bash Solar Data Collection and analysis. As you know, the Xcapers Bash is 100% off-grid. Many RVs have solar to recharge RV batteries, some only have generators. This represents a huge opportunity to get same-day, same-weather, day-by-day electric data from hundreds of RV battery users – with and without solar recharging. Thanks for contributing …

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RV Solar Series: Which first, solar or lithium?

San Diego California Campground Sunset

RV Solar Series: Which first solar or lithium? My install could have been done, either way. There are good reasons to put in better batteries first and there are good reasons to install solar panels before upgrading the batteries. I learned lots of things that I wouldn’t know had I done both at the same …

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RV Solar Series: Inverter/charger or Inverter & Charger

San Diego California Campground Sunset

Inverter/charger or Inverter & Charger each has some benefits. Separate also has some benefits. Which is better? Which would I choose? Inverters and chargers are actually two different items. Some manufacturers have built chargers into inverters and these units, depending on their design have some advantages over separate units. However, some inverter/charger combinations are not …

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RV Solar Series: Lithium/Lead Acid Final Analysis

San Diego California Campground Sunset

This is my Lithium/Lead Acid Final Analysis where the determination isn’t necessarily all data-driven. Live style makes a big difference in the end result conclusion on the Lead/Lithium debate is going to happen. One of the biggest problems with lead-acid is that they don’t like to give up electricity without a fight. Tell this to …

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RV Solar Series: Batteries Lead or Lithium

San Diego California Campground Sunset

Battery choice is a critical part of living with an RV solar battery charger. Battery design determines success or failure. The question comes down to Batteries Lead or Lithium. The first question that the RV Solar Series needs to address pertaining to batteries is that there are two types of batteries. Batteries that created to …

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RV Solar Series: How to use the Generator with Solar

San Diego California Campground Sunset

RV Solar Series: How to use the Generator with Solar. The sun doesn’t shine every day so you can’t expect that solar is going to be your only power supply. My solar coupled with a bigger battery bank of the right kind of batteries could bridge multiple cloudy days and return to a full charge …

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Solar report:

Tiffin RV 34TGA Solar Panels 700 watt

We have gathered data on electricity used in our RV and have compiled a solar report to analyze the actual results. We still have issues of understanding what is going on, but overall we are thrilled. Yesterday was the true test and we did really well. Data to follow. Starting last spring we monitored battery …

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RV Solar Series: Design a Just – Right – System

San Diego California Campground Sunset

RV Solar Series: How to Design a Just – Right – System. A just-right size, not too small, not too costly. Sounds like Goldilocks. Just right. Start with simple and work to more complex.   Start with a battery.   Add to that a positive and negative wire that leads to a small solar collector. Connect …

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RV Solar Series: How much solar did we need?

San Diego California Campground Sunset

RV Solar Series: How much solar did we need? My answer was 600-700 watts of solar installed flat, (700 installed) to recharge our battery and live daily. Given six hours of sunshine, (winter) assuming the batteries were not overly discharged we should be good. Part of the assumption was that you can’t always count on …

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RV Solar Series: Understanding Electricity

San Diego California Campground Sunset

Electricity – 101 RV Solar Series: Understanding Electricity is not optional but is not a concern in every day modern life. What is electricity? Before you make a change to your RV electric system, you better understand at least the very basics of electricity. When you turn on a flashlight, you create a circuit.  The …

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RV Solar Series: Introduction

San Diego California Campground Sunset

RV Solar Series: Introduction “Boon-docking” or “dry-camping” is an RV style that refers to camping in an RV without the attachment of electrical, water and sewer hookups.  We bring our own generator to make electricity, sometimes campground rules restrict generator operation hours. The most restrictive generator hours we have encountered were at Death Valley National …

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Departing the Beach

Campsite View San Onofre California

Departing the beach. Solar panels on the roof, kayaks on the car… Be in Bonita for one more week, then we turn east for our longest route ever. Our objective for 2019 includes almost every cowboy state and most of the entire Oregon and California coast. Our stay at San Onofre was very nice and …

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