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Topic: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator (Read 660 times) previous topic - next topic

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Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
We recently wrote an email response to a friend asking about solar needed to dry camp with an electric fridge, and we decided to also share our response with the Forum.

We have our electric Whirlpool 10cu fridge for about 7 years and it works...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #1
Is solar desirable for dry camping-- absolutely.

Is it required-- absolutely not.

Weigh out YOUR needs-- cost of solar panels, charge controller, wiring, etc VS fuel burned by your generator.  You will find that you can buy a lot of diesel or...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #2
Thanks Barry,

I agree, the simple answer is no.  Your answer depends on how you want to use your coach.

With new refrigerators, lots more mobile devices, new battery options, lots of solar options, new inverter/charger options, multiple inverter...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #3
Awesome thread!!

3M VHB tape would be my choice. Has worked fine for my 1180 watts on roof For me, no thanks for lots of new holes in my roof as potential future leaks DWMYH.

Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #4
Barry that is a well researched, well written post.  Thank you.

My first thought was to write visione the motorhome part out place and see how much they want for the 97 U320's upper battery tray they used to have.  Three new mk gels batteries...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #5
Our coach's previous owners installed 540 W of solar, and there is room for at least two more panels. We have two 8d AGM batteries and could install one more without major modifications. I consider what we currently have to be the minimum for sry...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #6
To add my 2 bits to the post, I have to play the devil's advocate with Barry's post. I love camping outdoors and nothing spoils it more (other than a boom box) than a generator running. Each morning in Q, we were awakened by the sound of...

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  • bbeane
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #7
I may get be getting off course here. To me the whole purpose of dry camping is the piece and quiet. No matter who you are generator noise is annoying. With that said while the residual fridges are nice, most folks I know have 3-5 hours of...

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  • John Haygarth
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #8
900 watts solar and 4 agm 8D batteries and no gen needed. Residential fridge,led lights and no tv use as we are on holiday.
No matter were we are parked if there are others we do not even consider starting the genset. In 10 yrs of use and travel...

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  • DavidS
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #9
I may get be getting off course here. To me the whole purpose of dry camping is the piece and quiet. No matter who you are generator noise is annoying. With that said while the residual fridges are...


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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #10
Bob & Susan, Thank you.

I think the AGM vs GEL is another tough one to decide which is the winner and the other the loser. We started with GEL, so even after considering the higher charge voltage and faster charge time with AGM, we still end up...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #11
Solar is fun to play with.  It's really cool making energy from sun light.  If you can afford it, put some on your coach.  It looks high tech, and is a good conversation topic at camp fires.  Don't stress over whether it is "worthwhile" or not -...

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  • bbeane
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #12
Let me the rephrase my original statement, rather than dry camping I should say boondocking, as in not in a camp ground.

Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #13
Let me the rephrase my original statement, rather than dry camping I should say boondocking, as in not in a camp ground.
I always treated them as if they were interchangeable words. I don't like to...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #14
When we are in a park where electric is metered our solar generation significantly reduces the 120v we use from the metered connection.  Most of the time we are not using the land...


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  • jcus
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #15
How is this significant reduction accomplished? Is it an automated or a manual process? If you have previously explained this then just post the link since I seem to have missed it and cannot...


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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #16
Pretty simple, turn inverter battery charge off, [if on shore power] and run refrigerator off inverter. Solar charges the batteries and runs refrigerator via inverter. Many with solar can run the...


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  • jcus
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #17
Sorry, I should have made it clear that I was asking Roger how he accomplishes this in his particular installation with multiple battery banks powering multiple inverters.
Believe premise is the...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #18
Believe premise is the same, no matter how many inverters or battery banks. Solar charges batteries, inverters{s] run equipment.

Roger is clearly a lover of technology and so I would think that his use...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #19
David, no big secret here. I am not sure of the exact mechanism here but with solar power coming in through the Victron Solar Charge Controller the Victron Multiplus charge side appears to not charge anymore than it needs to in addition to the...

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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #20
Newb question what $ per watt do you shoot for standard size 2 sq meter panels. They are not available on Craigslist here so will have to buy new. most bang for the buck and maybe then next level better is normally how i do things.

Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #21
I bought 10 300 watt commercial panels (39x77) in Las Vegas shipped to MN for $158 per panel.  Sold six for what I paid.  Retail for the same thing is probably twice that.  Lots of panel sources, shop around.  Civic Solar is an OK source.  The...

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  • jcus
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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #22
Roger is clearly a lover of technology and so I would think that his use of an elegant automated  solution would be at least as likely as would his use of a manual turn-off-the-charger...


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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #23
To add my 2 bits to the post, I have to play the devil's advocate with Barry's post. I love camping outdoors and nothing spoils it more (other than a boom box) than a generator...


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Re: Solar (or not) needed to dry camp with electric refrigerator
Reply #24
Let me the rephrase my original statement, rather than dry camping I should say boondocking, as in not in a camp ground.

You are the master boon docker, just make sure your new place has 50 amp...

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