LED Lights & Briefcase Solar Panels

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Greg A
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LED Lights & Briefcase Solar Panels

Another immediate modification I made to our "egg" was to install LED bulbs in all fixtures.

RV LED Bulbs and Lights  (click if you would like to order some)

Two reasons I do this immediately:

  1. If you will be doing any "off the grid" camping or plan to stay at Wally parking lots enroute to destinations the LED lights don't even dent your battery. They are a very necessary first step to add solar to your trailer.
  2. I have Solar Briefcase panels that hook up quickly to the battery and deploy for recharging during the day while boondocking.

With my LED lights installed, briefcase solar panels, and twin propane tanks on the tongue I should be able to remain "off the grid" for at least a month if I wanted to.

2yax2go
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Greg

Greg

Can you tell me about your Solar Briefcase panels. Josie and I are starting to look into adding some type of solar panels to our Scamp so any info. would be helpfull.

Craig

Josie and Craig

Greg A
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Hey Craig,

Hey Craig,

I use 2 briefcase units similar to this:

Velleman SOL8 COMPACT SOLAR GENERATOR IN BRIEFCASE DESIGN

More Expensive and more powerful portable units:

Instapark PowerBox Mars100 Fold-n-Go Portable 100-Watt Solar-powered 12V Battery Charger with Built-in Charge Controller & Cooling Fan

Renogy 35w Watt Folding Solar Panel Portable Charger 12v and 24v Battery Charging

 

Since they exceed 20w I put them through a solar charge controller:

Sunforce 60022 30 Amp Solar Charge Controller

Pretty inexpensive rig, but in the 7 or 8 years I've used this setup and the LED's my battery has never been an issue on a trip.  There is a real good Solar briefcase vendor that comes to the Quartzsite gathering in Feb and usually sells out what he brings.  Cross-country trip in your near future?  wink

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

zackc
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Solar Panel Charger Connection

Greg,

Is it necessary to disconnect the load from the battery when charging it from a solar panel charger?

Zack

 

Greg A
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No need to unload battery

Hi Zack,

You just hook the solar charger lines directly to the battery terminals and there is no need to disconnect anything from the battery. Of course, if you continue to use more than you're generating during the day then you won't be charging up the battery for night. Normally that isn't an issue though. You will want to have some type of battery monitoring device to be able to check where your battery is at as well.

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

Earl A.
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LED lights

I also have replaced all my light bulbs with LED lights.  They ARE expensive, but will last a long time.  Although I usually stop where hookups are available, those times where I do boondock, they come in handy.  I will be boondocking for over a week in February, at Quartzsite, AZ.  I don't have to worry about drainng the battery and my solar panels will keep up with the charge.

- - Earl

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Earl, aren't your briefcase

Earl, aren't your briefcase panels the one's the vendor brings and sells at the Quartzsite gathering?  If I recall they are very good ones.

Earl A.
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Solar Panels

Yes, those are the ones.  I bought them a couple years ago, and they are sure easy to hookup.  The suitcase is hard sided and affords excellent protection for the panels.   I understand the same vendor will be at Quartzsite again this year.

Joe Z
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cool white vs warm white LED's

Some people (Not All) like the glow of the old Incandescant bulbs in that case you want a warm white LED....but if you like that bluish.white color then you want a cool white LED..... well worth the investment in battery savings as an LED bulb typically uses about 1/4 watt or less, while a regular incandescant bulb typically uses about 1 to 2 watts.

Joe

Joe & Linda
New River, Arizona 

2013 Casita SD 17'

Greg A
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Good info Joe.  You do need

Good info Joe.  You do need to select the type of light when you purchase LED's as well as making sure that your getting the correct bulb by finding the bulb numbers on the ones ur removing.  Myself, I mix them up.  Over the dinette and kitchen counter I use the cool white because it is a much more intense light for cooking or playing card games, etc. The lights over the beds I use the warm LED's which are more what we're used to with old bulbs. It is one of the best mods u can do to your trailer and I do it right away with a new trailer.

Our Trailers:
2015 19 Escape

Buying or Selling Molded FG Trailers:

Fiberglass-RV-4Sale

JRaps
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Two ?????

Hey Greg, I already changed all my interior lights to LED's and yes it is well worth it. I like your solar panel set up but why do you use two ? Is the solar charge controller necessary and why ?? Do you put them on the roof or any place in the sun? How quick is the set up ? Thanks for your help. Jeff

J Raps Lancaster county Pa 

God Bless America

 

2012 Jeep Wrangler

 

2013 Scamp 16'

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