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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    12

    Solar panels for charging batteries

    I've attended Airventure most years since 1993. A couple of years I've had times when I just about depleted my two camper batteries. I'm thinking of buying a portable solar charger that can keep up with my vent fan. Any suggestions on brands and models?
    Thanks,
    Wes

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    1,198
    Harbor Freight has a three panel set and regulator for 12volt (14.4 volt regulated)
    About $150. Might need to make a base mount. 75 watt total, I think.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Danville, KY.
    Posts
    55
    I just bought a lightweight 60 watt solar panel that folds up to 18"x18" $99 on amazon. It will recharge a portable power supply also purchased off amazon in about 6 hours. My friend is testing it with his cpap machine this week. 3 nights on a/c power before needing a recharge. There are hundreds of power supplies to choose from. I settled on this inexpensive($189) one:Amazon.com : PAXCESS Portable Power Station 200W, 230Wh/62400mAh Emergency Backup Lithium Battery, 110V Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, QC 3.0, USB-C PD Input/Output, Solar Generator for Home/Outdoor Camping Adventure : Electronics

    and this solar panel:Amazon.com: 60W Portable Solar Panel Charger Kit, Foldable Solar Charger for Outdoor Camping RV, Suitable for Portable Power Station(2 USB, 1 Type C, 1DC Port): Electronics

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Gwinn, Michigan
    Posts
    234
    I have two Renogy solar panels hooked together with their wiring harnes kit. Camper has dual batteries and have no trouble keeping them charged. AC and microwave are not battery powered so they
    won t work for them. I just lean them against camper in the sun and no problems.

  5. #5
    Harbor Freight now has a single 100 watt panel for $98. But it doesn't include the controller. They have a small, simple controller for about $25 I think. The 3-panel set for $150-$179 includes a nice controller, but it's a bunch of work to install it inside the TT.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    12
    I lookded at a 200 watt "suitcase" model they've got and was just curious if they'd keep my two camper batteries charged with the vent fan going (with some windows open) while I was at the AirVenture grounds. I'm not sure what the amperage draw is for the fan, but can't be more then the 16+ amps it would put out at full sun. I might just see if I can find a 100 watt Renogy.
    Thanks for the feedback everyone.
    Wes

  7. #7
    Hi Wes, I don't know what sort of fan you have, but I have a Riverside Retro with a "Maxx" fan which I am told draws only 0.3 amps on it's lowest speed. It's a very smart fan, electronically controlled, rain sensor, etc... There are many Retros which have a smart fan called "Fantastic" fan, if I remember correctly. It also takes very little current. Note that the refrigerator, on propane, draws 0.350 amps of D.C. With no fan or other things on, my travel trailer draws 0.50 amps. So I think you should be good with 100-150 watts of solar power to make up for the fan power drain, a few LED lights, and cellphone chargers. My water pump draws 6.5 amps, but it runs very infrequently. -Frank

  8. #8
    BunnyRobie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Geoergetown
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by RC Gregg View Post
    I just bought a lightweight 60 watt solar panel that folds up to 18"x18" $99 on amazon. It will recharge a portable power supply also purchased off amazon in about 6 hours. My friend is testing it with his cpap machine this week. 3 nights on a/c power before needing a recharge. There are hundreds of power supplies to choose from. I settled on this inexpensive($189) one:Amazon.com : PAXCESS Portable Power Station 200W, 230Wh/62400mAh Emergency Backup Lithium Battery, 110V Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, QC 3.0, USB-C PD Input/Output, Solar Generator for Home/Outdoor Camping Adventure : Electronics microinverter

    and this solar panel:Amazon.com: 60W Portable Solar Panel Charger Kit, Foldable Solar Charger for Outdoor Camping RV, Suitable for Portable Power Station(2 USB, 1 Type C, 1DC Port): Electronics
    I don`t trust Amazon reviews, so before buying check Trustpilot before buying anything

  9. #9
    I've used the 3 panel Harbor Freight unit for the past couple of years. It came with a PVC pipe frame with legs to set it up at an angle. It mostly kept my 5th wheel batteries up for two weeks.

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