Originally Posted by hotfishtacos
I don't really understand the practical advantage of portable solar panels used for a 19' Escape trailer.
Hmmm.....I thought it was explained already, it has been discussed quite a bit here and on the FGRV site, but will give it a shot. For me, I rarely will need to top up my batteries, as we tend to err towards minimization. No electric grills, coffee pots, or anything. Just lights, pump and furnace. A bit of charging of devices and playing the stereo.
Some of my reasons for going portable.
- Any boondocking trips of 4 nights or less, it would not even be needed, or brought along. My dual batteries have plenty of capacity for this length of time in cold weather.
- The 40W panel is not that big to store when needed, and there are lots of nice bigger sets that fold up and are well protected. Set up is just minutes. I too have a lot of room left over in my tow to carry a panel or two.
- The panel can be positioned more easily for maximum performance.
- It can be lent out to someone else going out, or someone in need where you are camping. I know some of the tent trailers my brothers and friends have, with only one battery, run the furnace a fair bit, and are always needed to top up their batteries.
- It can be used for charging any battery, not even those for trailers.
- Cheaper and easier to initially set up.
- Plus, I am sure I could come up with a bunch of other reasons if pressed, and am certain others have their own reasons other than these as well.
I hope this has helped you better understand why I like the idea of a portable panel. We all have our own reasons for doing what works best for ourselves. Many say they could not function without the front storage box, while I personally see no reason for it, as without it I still have hordes of storage space unused. Again, personal choice.
I do however understand why some people want the permanent mounts, and some day may do the same myself. but for now the portable setup better suits my needs.