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Old 06-20-2013, 03:54 PM   #41
          
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Originally Posted by Utard View Post
Ok please, Please, PLEASE don't tell us you just drywall screwed all that to your dash?
Of course he did. Personally I would have used those Non slip cell phone mats or some double sided grey foam 3m tape 6050.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:38 PM   #42
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You'll need a pretty big solar bank if you flatten your battery and want to leave in a hurry. Charge a jump pack with a small solar cell use it when you need it. Charging the cell phone is not an energy hog laptop around 50 watts (4 amps @12 volts) If you are moving every day you should be fine but days on end it ain't going to happen.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:02 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ssmith29440 View Post
You can purchase a decent jump box for around $60.00. Plug it into your recepticle in the bed during the day to keep a peak charge on it. A lot of these units have a built in air compressor. You could purchase a tire plugging kit and along with the compressor fix flats if they occur while on your trip. Just an idea.,
Yup. Stanley jump starter plus a 20W Powerfilm folding panel that stays with my camping/cruising gear as backup-



The Stanley is nice because it can be recharged from an AC outlet or a 12V lighter outlet which means once you're started and going down the road, you can recharge the jumper just in case you need it again. I bought the panel for another use, but it also works well as an emergency backup if needed.
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:12 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by RevAdam View Post
Just curious... how much energy was you able to recover from those high bay lights?
It was mathematically equivalent to an overcast day. Enough to power 3 lights, a thermostat, a power outlet that was running a computer, and a stereo that pulled about 200 watts. in addition to powering those, it also charged the 12 volt deep cycle battery.

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Originally Posted by Utard View Post
Ok please, Please, PLEASE don't tell us you just drywall screwed all that to your dash?
don't worry......i predrilled

Quote:
Originally Posted by skygear View Post
Of course he did. Personally I would have used those Non slip cell phone mats or some double sided grey foam 3m tape 6050.
the screws were only supposed to be temporary. been busy though, so i haven't had time to fab some mounts yet. screws are working well so far though. you just don'w want the panels coming loose, bouncing around offroad at high speeds.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savedone View Post
I would suggest that you forget about a solar battery charger. They are just too small to charge a battery so that it will start a vehicle unless you have several days of wait time. They are mostly maintainers not battery chargers.

You need to first understand amp hours. For instance if you have a 100 amp hour batter and it is dead it would take approximately 100 hours of charging at 1 amp. Keep in mind this is theoretical. I have a Sunforce 50032 15 Watt (1.5 amps) Solar Battery Charger on my boat. If I run the battery down while fishing (to 11.8 volts) and try and use the solar charger to charge it back up it would take about 65 to 70 hours of sunlight to bring it back to full charge. So all I use it for is a maintainer not a charger. By the way that one costs around 90 dollars.

Now that being said if you invest in a really big one, lets says one that is rated at 60 watts ( 5 amps) they cost about 250 dollars but they are also very big and not practical to carry around and they would still take about 20 hours of sunlight to charge a dead battery back to full charge.

There are several other choices. One is to get another battery and wire it into the system in parallel giving yourself double the amp hour capacity. You should also use an Automatic Battery Protector. Something like this
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0030A10V0 or this http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Prog-B.../dp/B000T3236M to monitor the batteries and shut everything down so the batteries cannot be run down beyond starting capacity.

Another is to purchase a small generator. Something like this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sportsman...3#.UcNz7b4o7cs and run your equipment with a pure sine wave converter or use the generator to charge your truck battery using a converter. Still it will take some time if the battery is dead.

Just keep in mind there just is not any solar chargers that put out enough watts to charge a dead battery in a couple hours, even in 5 or 10 hours, that are affordable and small enough to carry around. A small generator with a pure sine wave converter would be the best choice.
It all comes down to space and money. My 100w solar setup takes up no room and on sunny days gives me 40+ amp hours back into my bank (well enough for my needs). I run my fridge and all my power needs off my AUX battery and I never like to run it below 50% so this single panel is perfect for me to keep me topped off. Ive camped parked for over 5 days and had no issues and it was at 95% charge when I fired it up to go home.

Skygear - sounds like he wants to run a ton of stuff and this is where I agree a generator would be good. You can pick up a Honda EU2000i (2000w) pure sine wave generator for about $950 to your door. They weigh under 50lb (well less than 1 31m battery which weighs about 70lb). The only downside is the noise. Granted the Honda is quiet - I own one myself for home backup power) - but to have that thing running around camp is not appealing to me. If it was for tailgating, yes its fine, but not to sit at camp and listen to that thing hum - even in Eco Mode - would drive me nuts
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:26 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colinb17 View Post
It was mathematically equivalent to an overcast day. Enough to power 3 lights, a thermostat, a power outlet that was running a computer, and a stereo that pulled about 200 watts. in addition to powering those, it also charged the 12 volt deep cycle battery.
So if you need to charge your battery at night... take 10k worth of solar equipment to a gym full of high bay lights....
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:44 AM   #47
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Pretty much lol.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:10 AM   #48
          
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I do go camping a lot and thus why I was looking at a solar array. Generators are NOT in the works right now. Last one I gad, a 3000 honda inverter series, was stolen. Broken window on the camper door and all. With as much as I want to do, I want to make as much as possible hidden/ integrated into the truck, and the rest of the stuff BOLTED down.

\
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:12 AM   #49
          
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I remember I was at a convention in DC a few years back. There were all sorts of solar exibits and I saw a few cylindrical solar panels that were suposed to be very efficient. Yep, have NOT seen them anywhere since. My idea was 4 of them. 2 on either side of the truck on the roof. I'll keep looking.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:27 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skygear View Post
#5 will be on road trips and thats about it for the total.
#1 I WAS thinking that was the case, but it has been 15 years since my ET classes.
#2 WOW - I see everything is in the cabin. I will have a total of 6 people at any given time including myself so that cannot work for me unless I disassembled it and got real creative with the install.
#4 it is big, but it is the same case with #1, only puts out what is needed at the time.
#3 also will vary, but have always been a firm believer in rather have MORE than is needed just in case.

I was NOT aware of that with the Sears battery's. Still think I could do 3 of those? 2 in the same OEM spot and one on the opposite side over the wheel well.

As for charger controllers. Have you looked at any of the ones that HomeDepot sells online? Or are they garbage? They sell panels too. Alternatively, I could get some from Amazon. I guess. Always looking for the best deals. Any specific ones you recommend? Or some better than others?
2 - thats a lot of people in a tacoma lol
4 - yes bigger can be better, but keep in mind the bigger it is the bigger the fuse/breaker and cables needed.
3 - the more is better attitude is not the best when it comes to spending money. Use the link i sent you, map out what you have, what Ah draw each thing has and how many hours each will be used each day. I say size it for what you need and buffer in a little. you can expand any system at a later time.

The re-branded Odyssey batteries that sears sell (31m) are big batteries and heavy (72lb ea) http://www.sears.com/diehard-platinu..._tnt=39869:4:0

I do not think you would be able to fit two in the stock location nor would you want almost 150lbs in the corner of your engine. With 6 people, fridge and gear sounds like more room is what you need. You can always mount them in the bed.

As for charge controllers and panels - you get what you pay for. The grape solar panels are good and available at costco pretty cheap. Any good name brand MPPT charge controller would do, but now you need to figure how to wire it to charge a multiple battery bank.

The more I see what your power needs are the more I think a small generator would be best (bolted and chained down )
http://powerequipment.honda.com/gene...models/eu2000i
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:43 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utard View Post
Why not just get one of these and be done with it? Plus it has lots of other stuff.

http://www.sears.com/diehard-platinu...p-02871988000P

Those devices are typically 10-20Ah (this one is 22Ah according to the specs)- that wont get you very far with the stuff skygear is running. a 100w (charging a laptop) item plugged into that would run 1-2 hours if your lucky- and that would be a 100% drain which isnt good to do because its a small AGM battery in there and max DoD should be 80% - 50% giving you the most cycles

they are good for jumpstarting or running very low wattage LED during power outages but that about it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #53
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I don't think you need to wait days for charge, maybe a few hours. I have the goalzero kit (along with the smaller version for phone/tablet/computer charging) that i used to recharge batteries and it works great.

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/159/G...rging-Kit/1:4/
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #54
          
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I agree I need space. But I have to work with what I have for the time being.

Generally it is 4-5 in the cabin, and 1-2 in the bed for a combination of 6 people. When we show up to a place, I like to park it and camp. NOT turning over the engine again til it is time for us to leave in however many days or weeks it may be. The kids like to play their consoles in the evenings and on the road whenever we are camping. Sometimes I even use my truck as a mobile advertising platform also. Then theres times when I'm DJ'ing remote locations. No doubt I am NOT under stating my current needs. I just like to show up and have the "GREEN" factor for when onlookers are checking out the gear.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:03 PM   #55
          
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peligroso View Post
I don't think you need to wait days for charge, maybe a few hours. I have the goalzero kit (along with the smaller version for phone/tablet/computer charging) that i used to recharge batteries and it works great.

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/159/G...rging-Kit/1:4/

I like that, looks like an interesting investment.
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:11 PM   #56
          
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utard View Post
Why not just get one of these and be done with it? Plus it has lots of other stuff.
Read my other post. But I wanted to say thank you also. I have a nice jump box. My goal, optimally, would be to show up, do my thing then leave. Not popping the hood to start my engine is the goal for me. GREEN factor also.



As for the batteries, well, I have the 700# springs up there already - plus the added weight of 2 adults and 4 children.

Cable, I have ~200' of 3/000 gauge, 500 Amp Isolator, 50 Farrad hybrid capacitor, couple of fuse blocks and a couple of Digital fuse blocks with various distributor blocks.

Anyone have any input on the cylinder panels?
I saw these - apparently they are able to store POWER internally due to the design also. That could be a space saver and all in one solution right there.
http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/prod...lar-cylinders/
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Old 06-21-2013, 02:17 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skygear View Post

Anyone have any input on the cylinder panels?
I saw these - apparently they are able to store POWER internally due to the design also. That could be a space saver and all in one solution right there.
http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/prod...lar-cylinders/
I think those were developed by Solyndra the company that Obama gave over 500 million to make cheap solar that went out of business due to the dramatic price drop in solar panels. Not sure of the current status of the development though.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #58
          
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AH,! Well damn. THats a name I can do some research on then. I guess I will find some off the grid sites and start reading.


Also, the items I get for the truck will translate to an off the grid project integration eventually also. SO I do not mind getting what is needed now at a great price while I am able to.
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #59
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I didn't have the time or money to do an aux battery bank, battery isolator setup, trick mounting of solar panels, charge controller etc. The truck was going to see a lot of drive-way time draining away while I was deployed, so I bought a used VW solar battery tender. I'm really surprised how big the panel is, and the uber convenient part for the wife, it already has a controller inline and plugs into the OBDII port to charge.


But for the OP, this isn't going to have the juice to keep much going- its really just a trickle tender. IMO you need the surface area of the roof of a shell and a couple of batteries to get enough solar a day to run computers, radios etc day and night. And by being a separate circuit you don't have to worry about killing the starter battery.

I've wondered how much MPGs could be had if completely taking the alternator out and running on solar...
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