Ladybug goes solar! - Page 4 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #31
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It's all good. It just seems that lately I seem to hear a lot of folks saying that in order to boondock you need to have solar, and that the batteries need to be back up to 100% by nightfall or there seems to be reason to worry.

As far as over analyzing and over building things in our trailers, I do that too all the time. I do it for me though, and others may, or may not, not have the same needs or desires. I am good with that....just so long as they are good with my choices.

In years past with my tent trailer, or large stick built, both were not all that great insulation wise, or well sealed to the outside, and there were times that I was lucky to get through a couple really cold nights (temps below freezing) without worry that the single 12V battery would hold out. Now, with the reasonably well insulated and sealed Escape, combined with two 6V batteries, that worry is not there anymore. Some day I would like to test just how long one could go without recharging, as the longest I have gone in cold weather is 5 days.
Jim, Some good observations here. I also come from a somewhat minimalist background - canoe camping & tent camping with "just enough to get by." If I can't fit it all in my CR-Z for the weekend, I probably don't need it. I'm much further south so am more concerned about staying cool than warm. Do you have thermal windows & spray foam insulation in your 19? I'm looking forward to plenty of camping in National Forests (where I can take advantage of the 1/2 price America the Beautiful Pass) My concern is "too much shade" to recharge the solar. Maybe the 2-6volt batteries would be the better route to go?
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:24 PM   #32
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I also enjoy camping in under developed campgrounds in State & National Parks & Forests. I did order a pair of 6V batteries & the 95 Watt solar package as well as LED lighting.

Even with a fair amount of daily draw (I usually make a pot of coffee each morning with a 600 watt drip coffee maker & run a cell phone amplifier & a power hungry laptop), I generally manage to get the batteries back to full by noon. I do try for sites with partial sun if at all possible. The only time the solar package could not keep up was in Apgar Campground at Glacier - very heavy shade with no direct sunlight anytime, and after 4 days I was down to 80%.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:08 PM   #33
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[QUOTE=kstock11;25685Do you have thermal windows & spray foam insulation in your 19??[/QUOTE]
I do have the thermal windows, and the doubled up insulation, but they did not offer the spray foam underneath. I could do that myself at any point. I will be scraping out the vinyl flooring and putting down two layers of 3/16" cork on the floor. That should insulate a bit, and most definitely keep the tootsies nice and warm.
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The only time the solar package could not keep up was in Apgar Campground at Glacier - very heavy shade with no direct sunlight anytime, and after 4 days I was down to 80%.
Still, that is a decent amount of reserve energy for that length of time, with the draw you have. I am hoping the 40W Coleman portable panel (with controller, leads and connectors) I just picked up for $100 (after having a raincheck for 3 months), will keep me topped up. I likely will have a bit less draw than you.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:27 AM   #34
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I think a the statement that solar gives you freedom is 100 percent true. It is also true that not everyone needs it. If you want the freedom to go where you want, how you want, and for as long as you want, solar is is the ticket. Without solar, you simply have limitations (or a generator, if you are so inclined).
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #35
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I think that the ultimate reward will be when I can camp in the National Parks and stay in the "generator free" zone. Thanks for all the feedback!
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