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Solar battery charger?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by OnHartung'sRoad, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Sep 30, 2017 at 11:51 AM
    #1
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    We don't use or want generators, so instead I have a 200w system on my trailer that works great for us, but I would like a smaller one for my truck to keep the battery charged when we are dry camping in just the truck (I've been stuck on a beach with a dead battery in Baja before while solo camping because my girlfriend at the time kept leaving the lights on! A fisherman helped us out). Ever since, I brought 2 batteries but now that solar technology is so much better, I think that would be best. I need a panel that's robust enough to keep up top on my Prinsu rack that I can move around when putting gear up there. Any recommendations?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  2. Sep 30, 2017 at 12:16 PM
    #2
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
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    Renolgy makes great panels, I'm using the same x2 on my trailer- are you using their Wanderer regulator? Several questions if you don't mind- How did you mount the panel? What type of fridge and what's its current? Any pics?

    I like the Renolgy system a lot, it's small and has a high output, is very robust, and was perfect for my trailer roof. I'm just wondering if I should go smaller, even a single 100w panel seemed large, but I see why you have it if you are running a travel fridge cooler.

    This is the Renolgy 50w system- its my original thought for which to use, but I was wondering it there was a more off-road type of armored panel since I want to move it around and may occasionally put lightweight gear on it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00D...ogy+50watt&dpPl=1&dpID=51mvEbVVJtL&ref=plSrch
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  3. Sep 30, 2017 at 1:03 PM
    #3
    climbhigher23

    climbhigher23 Well-Known Member

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  4. Sep 30, 2017 at 1:07 PM
    #4
    tacomacrazy

    tacomacrazy ExPo Truck

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    This was the route I'm taking, I have the similar set up but wanted to go with a MPPT control vs the PVM. (Research throughtout forms suggested this route due to efficiency)

    I was thinking of going with 150-200w due to the charging of all the electronics. I.e. Cameras laptops phones. As well as running camp lights (LED strips) and and the shower
     
    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] likes this.
  5. Sep 30, 2017 at 2:33 PM
    #5
    erok81

    erok81 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. This could be an option too. New truck battery and then put a spare deep cycle in the bed and just charge it with a solar panel.
     
    over60 and OnHartung'sRoad [OP] like this.
  6. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:15 PM
    #6
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
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    200w will take up a lot of room on your roof- I get by with 200w on my trailer - that has a two battery system, two power converters, forced air heating, electric water pumps and a dozen overhead lights- we run our laptops from it all night when doing astrophotography and have full batteries the following night.

    Just saying you will probably do well by it, save the space requirement.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:16 PM
    #7
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    I would use a second battery on extended trips- that would be easy enough to swap out too when not in use.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:20 PM
    #8
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    That's a good shot, thanks! 100w would be nice and it's only $30 more than the 50w. Roof space will be the only issue for me as the panel will be sharing room with a canoe and possibly some other bulky stuff, but I could make it work.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:37 PM
    #9
    erok81

    erok81 Well-Known Member

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    And you just charge with solar?

    All I run at night is a fridge and two cell phones. Maybe a little camp lighting too. But that's it.

    I've had to jump my stock battery twice while camping. But don't want to replace until I figure out what I'm going to do. Either dual or solar.

    I like solar as stupid as it sounds but it would nice for bad scenarios too. Haha
     
  10. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:54 PM
    #10
    Leppz

    Leppz Well-Known Member

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    Get a CTEK d250s DC-DC charger and solar regulator. It's a MPPT charge controller, DC-DC smart charger (alternator charging). It will charge an auxiliary battery off solar and off the alternator when the trucks unning. If your aux battery is charged it will also back feed the starter battery and charge that off the solar.

    This is the system I have in my truck.

    CTEK Dual d250s
    Group 31 AGM deep cycle battery (105ah)
    2x50w panels on my cab rack on a custom tilting mount.

    20170808_185210.jpg
    20170926_172638.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  11. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:58 PM
    #11
    tacomacrazy

    tacomacrazy ExPo Truck

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    I was looking at different dimensions, therefore I'm planning on being able to remove the panels and be able to have it mobile. While traveling I don't need solar since the engine is running hence I can pull them out in camp and throw them up on the roof rack, you can even make a custom storage space beneath your rack that can side out when you need to solar charge?

    Even with all the technology these days, the amount of sun and efficiency of solar obtained to charge everything, I rather have that wiggle room.

    You can also look at flex panels and mounting them on top of the bulky storage items? But Ive heard that those are not as effective

    edit: here's a link to Xportal on how they store solar panels on rigs.
     
    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] likes this.
  12. Sep 30, 2017 at 4:59 PM
    #12
    License2Ill

    License2Ill Woke like a Coma Toyota Tacoma

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    I also use a CTEK Dual d250s, dual inputs ALT and PV. I also have a Morningstar Sunkeeper 12A under the hood.
     
  13. Sep 30, 2017 at 7:24 PM
    #13
    jcayce

    jcayce Well-Known Member

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    Pics of the CTEK setup?
     
  14. Sep 30, 2017 at 7:33 PM
    #14
    04TacoRunner

    04TacoRunner Toyota Junkie!

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    Are those Instapark panels? Nice set up btw!
     
  15. Sep 30, 2017 at 8:10 PM
    #15
    Leppz

    Leppz Well-Known Member

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    image (3).jpg
    I have it all mounted underneath my bed platform.

    ACOPOWER, I got them off Amazon.
     
    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] likes this.
  16. Sep 30, 2017 at 8:53 PM
    #16
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
    Vehicle:
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    Sounds like you have a nice setup. Is your fridge eating most of that power? We just have a two-way, so it's on propane while we are boondocking it. I doubt my 200w system could do it if we had our Norcold running off 12v too.
     
  17. Sep 30, 2017 at 8:55 PM
    #17
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma OR 4x4 (formerly 2002 OR 4x4, 1995 4x4 4Runner, 1985 4x4 Toy PU) ... and RIP’s (rust in pieces) to a Bronco II 4x4 & S10 Blazer 4x4
    Sweet, I like how you set it up.
     
  18. Sep 30, 2017 at 8:57 PM
    #18
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    6,625
    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma OR 4x4 (formerly 2002 OR 4x4, 1995 4x4 4Runner, 1985 4x4 Toy PU) ... and RIP’s (rust in pieces) to a Bronco II 4x4 & S10 Blazer 4x4
    Brilliant idea- a cover box! You are right though- those panels are tough, I like the material they are covered with.
     
    dtaco06 likes this.
  19. Sep 30, 2017 at 9:01 PM
    #19
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma OR 4x4 (formerly 2002 OR 4x4, 1995 4x4 4Runner, 1985 4x4 Toy PU) ... and RIP’s (rust in pieces) to a Bronco II 4x4 & S10 Blazer 4x4
    That is a good idea, a slide out or swing out bracket would work as there is room under it. And if the rack is empty, plenty of direct light would hit the panel between the bars anyway, so it wouldn't have to be pulled out to work either.
     
    tacomacrazy likes this.
  20. Sep 30, 2017 at 9:05 PM
    #20
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad [OP] -So glad I didn't take the other...

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Member:
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    Messages:
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    Somewhere in the Mojave Desert...
    Vehicle:
    2017 Tacoma OR 4x4 (formerly 2002 OR 4x4, 1995 4x4 4Runner, 1985 4x4 Toy PU) ... and RIP’s (rust in pieces) to a Bronco II 4x4 & S10 Blazer 4x4
     

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