Solar or not

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:31
ThreadID: 110649 Views:1379 Replies:4 FollowUps:0
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Van has single battery and wondered if I should install a second battery or Solar panels? Heading off on a 6 month trip and will free camp where possible but probably only 3-4 days at a time. Only power requirements are water pump, outdoor shower pump and LED lighting. Any help would be appreciated
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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:37

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 21:37
I just completed a round Aus trip.

Have a single battery in the van and a second battery in the truck that runs a freezer full time.

Free camped most of the time. Had a genny with me but the Solar panel coped very well, didn't start the genny the whole trip. The solar panel is linked to both the battery in the van and the one in the truck. The longest time in a free camp was 6 days.

So I find that the single battery works for me.
AnswerID: 543891

Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:17

Wednesday, Jan 07, 2015 at 22:17
So long as you can put the charge in during the day Brett, for your minimal needs one battery would meet your electricity needs.

In our previous camper, we ran a small compressor upright caravan fridge and lights from a single 100 ah battery charged by an 80 w solar panel put out when we stopped. A larger panel as are common now would have been better due to the times of day we put it out. With the camper we couldn't roof mount it for during the day while travelling. We toured in fine weather.

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AnswerID: 543894

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:59

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 08:59
I just faced that choice again. Have been running 2 100 aH batteries in the camper trailer charged off the car alternator. That was enough to power our modest kit for around 6 days. With the new CT I decided to go the same route. Certainly solar panels have come down a lot in price but I don't fancy the packing and placing routines.
AnswerID: 543912

Reply By: Gronk - Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 10:53

Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 at 10:53
If you're only going to be stopped for 3-4 days max, then what you have will be fine..

Make sure it's properly setup to recharge off the alternator...via an isolator and you're all good to go..

How big is the battery ? If it's smaller than 100 a/h, then a solar panel will help..
AnswerID: 543916

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