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Old 10-11-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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new to rv camping

So.I have ordered a 21 escape.How much power/draw is there when utilizing a Maxfann.Thought I may purchase a generator,but really doubt that it would be used for anything .Other than charging batteries 500 watt? Or should I go with a 2000 watt.I have heard that if you don't put suffient draw on a genset,they develop a memory..thanks
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:31 PM   #2
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Brian,
Just get the factory solar and dual 6 volts or single group 29 battery. The MaxxFan draws little juice on low and with this set up you will always have juice, skip the generator. I have the single battery and the original 95 watt solar, I leave my fan on while camping, have had no issues.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
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I now have both a 1000 Honda genset and two 40 watt Coleman solar panels.
Haven't really put the panels to the test, so I'm still dragging the genset around.
I agree with Jim. Go solar. You don't have to haul gas or put up with even the minimal noise of the expensive Honda. You won't annoy your neighbours with the genset ( or in my case, my wife ) and you don't have to change the oil in a solar panel or run it every couple months, just to keep it in shape.
I didn't get the ETI solar option, so I'm limping along with small portable panels.
Wish I'd just gone solar from the start.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:16 PM   #4
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Brian, you're on the right track! Welcome to camping. You'll great advice here. Suggest you order a trailer with all the essentials, like dual batteries, and then learn about them out on the trail. It can be a little cumbersome and expensive to retrofit. Doing mods can be as much fun as actually camping!

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Old 10-12-2014, 12:51 AM   #5
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Welcome, Brian P. As said, the Maxx draws very little. The solar set-up is now 160 and people with the 95 have had no trouble keeping up.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:55 AM   #6
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Welcome Brian, I don't recall the exact numbers but the fan uses something like 1A on low and 3A on high. Agree with the others, go with the solar, you can always buy a generator later if you find you need one. Most folks go with a 1000 or 2000 watt, the 1000 is plenty to charge the batteries, it just takes longer and weighs a good deal less when lugging it around. The 2000's are quicker and will just run your air conditioner, at least it ran mine when I tried it out. Yamaha makes a 2400 watt that would give you some overhead if running the air conditioner is a prime concern, it of course weighs and costs even more.
I usually look for campgrounds with hookups if we're going to be in real hot or cold weather. Other then that the solar and 2 6v batteries has so far worked out very well.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #7
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We weren't sure if we needed solar, we mostly camp where there are hookups, although we do go for 4 days or so without. We didn't get the solar, but did get it pre wired and got two 6 volt batteries, from what I've read on the forum, I think we should be able to manage with the extra we get from the two 6's, if not then we'll add the solar panel.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
Welcome, Brian P. As said, the Maxx draws very little. The solar set-up is now 160 and people with the 95 have had no trouble keeping up.
When you speak of 160 is that watts,or cost of a panel.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Brian,
Just get the factory solar and dual 6 volts or single group 29 battery. The MaxxFan draws little juice on low and with this set up you will always have juice, skip the generator. I have the single battery and the original 95 watt solar, I leave my fan on while camping, have had no issues.
I have ordered the trailer w/dual 6 volt batt.One of the reasons for purchasing a generator is.You can put it away,out of sight out of mind.Solar where are they generally mtned.?Would they charge batt's in 3 hrs. Love my fishing time,more then baby sitting a gen/or solar panel..
I guess there are good pts. & bad pts.Cost is perhaps a breaker.I generally camp well into shady area's,winter camp. Thanks for the advice...very good pts.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:37 AM   #10
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Another thought on a generator is use besides when camping. We live in a rural area and power outages are something that happens. During big storms, it may take the power company a while to get to all the places without power. So, for us the Honda 2000 is enough power to run our home fridge and large freezer (that is packed full with home grown garden produce) in emergencies.

But like Baglo says, I spend more time running it just to exercise it a couple of times a year than actually using it. I put synthetic oil in it so I don't have to worry about changing that all the time.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:30 AM   #11
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Normally the solar panels are permanently mounted to the roof, so you can fish whenever you want. 160 is the wattage. You can get the trailer prewired for solar without the panel and controller installed, making it easier to install later if you so decide.

Some of the folks are getting portable panels, which you move around in the sun as needed.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:33 PM   #12
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The solar panel is mounted on the roof, out of sight and out of the way, in the rear of the trailer. The 160 means watts which divided by 12v means about 13-14 amps per hour charge. By noon your battery will be full, every day. I believe the solar option is $700 if my memory serves me right.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Normally the solar panels are permanently mounted to the roof, so you can fish whenever you want. 160 is the wattage. You can get the trailer prewired for solar without the panel and controller installed, making it easier to install later if you so decide.

Some of the folks are getting portable panels, which you move around in the sun as needed.
Portable would almost require the same effort as dragging out a generator.Escape installs them on the roof? I'll have to drop a line to Tammy..Thanks
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #14
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The 160 watt solar option is listed for $850.00 Canadian (which would be $760.00 US these days)


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Old 10-12-2014, 01:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The solar panel is mounted on the roof, out of sight and out of the way, in the rear of the trailer. The 160 means watts which divided by 12v means about 13-14 amps per hour charge. By noon your battery will be full, every day. I believe the solar option is $700 if my memory serves me right.
They are rated for 9.14A, best I've gotten in a full day was about 50A in the dead of summer in Ma.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:11 PM   #16
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Welcome Brian,
We do not have solar and we only carry a Yamaha 2400 generator on extended trips. The Yamaha is very quiet, like the Honda, but it does make noise. We use it to run our A/C and charge the battery when absolutely necessary. It's gotten very little use, but it has come in handy. Carrying a generator requires a pickup for towing. I won't carry a generator inside a vehicle for safety reasons. I love pickups so that's not a problem, but others like their SUVs. A generator has its drawbacks, like requiring gas, maintenance, towing with a P/U, its size and weight, but solar has drawbacks too. It can't run A/C, and running the microwave, hairdryers, and some other things would require more investment in equipment. So the way I see it, the cost of each (including onboard inverters etc) is very near the same. Solar is easier to transport, is quieter, (because it’s passive) and requires less maintenance. But a properly sized generator will run everything while solar will not. With that said, I do admit that I don't like taking the generator for so little use, and if I didn’t already own one I’m not sure I would buy one.
Tom

PS; I haven't heard of the memory problem with generators that you mentioned.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:41 PM   #17
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We have a Honda 2000 watt and had solar on our 19 and will
Have the newer 160 watt panel on the 21. We would never Have a trailer without solar again . We don't even bring the generator most of the time . Other than using it to make sure it still works we have not needed. I can't imagine going back to not having solar. The only time make sure to have hook ups is if it's going to be really hot for the ac
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The 160 means watts which divided by 12v means about 13-14 amps per hour charge. By noon your battery will be full, every day.
I see two issues with that charging current expectation:
  • Charging the battery takes more voltage than the battery has already, so the number to divide by is not 12, but at least 13 and by the end over 14.
  • The 160-watt power rating is in ideal conditions of full sun, panel oriented directly to the sun, and load (battery) at the ideal voltage for the panel characteristic - none of those will exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
They are rated for 9.14A, best I've gotten in a full day was about 50A in the dead of summer in Ma.
That looks like a more realistic rating - 9.14A at 17.5V. 50 amp-hours over a day would be equivalent to about six hours of excellent conditions (less than perfect, and at a little lower voltage than for peak power thus yielding more current), resulting from over 12 hours of varying and never ideal conditions, which seems reasonable.

If you only use 25 amp-hours from the battery a day, then I can see this panel getting the battery charge back up by noon in the summer.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:14 PM   #19
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I see two issues with that charging current expectation:
[*]Charging the battery takes more voltage than the battery has already, so the number to divide by is not 12, but at least 13 and by the end over 14.[*]The 160-watt power rating is in ideal conditions of full sun, panel oriented directly to the sun, and load (battery) at the ideal voltage for the panel characteristic - none of those will exist.
Spot on. The Charge Controller efficiency figures into that as well.
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