Best camper solar systems

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Wild Bill, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Monkey

    Hey guys. I'm looking to buy a used 28-32 ft. Camper to put on whatever new land i end up with to use as a base camp and starting point for building my homestead.
    I've seen a complete solar system for an RV at about $2700 from solar elite but it was only rated for i think 320 watts which just seems low to me for the price and also doesn't seem like enough to run a fridge, ac, tv, microwave occasionally.

    looking for some recommendations for good systems in that price range. I'm not the most savvy electrical guru out there so I figured I would buy a complete system rather then build one. This way I canuunderstand everything better so I can diy a big system in the future when i build my home.
    I did a quick search figuring I'd find a bunch of threads like this but didn't find anything.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Hey @Wild Bill.... welcome to the Monkey Tree.... Grab yourself a branch and have a look around..... Plenty of Good Information to be had in the forums, and loads of Great Family Folks hang'en around the Tree.... You shouldn't be spending more than $1US per Watt for Solar Panels, these days, but a Good MPPT Charge Controller, will cost you some coins.... Buying a Package will usually cost you more, than designing your system, yourself, and buying the Parts independently.... We have plenty of Folks here in the Off-Grid forum, that will be along and give you some ideas on how to do that, and where the best deals are...
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

  4. gundog10

    gundog10 Monkey++

    just my.02. your frig will run on propane with only the use of a battery for the inside light and to light the pilot. Your ac will need to be run off a generator and please try before you buy the generator as many cheaper 3500 watt generators will NOT start your ac (ask how I know) and to run your ac off of solar will cost you big money and I believe $10,000 would not do it. My set up for our 32 ft TT is as follows: Four Costco gulf cart batteries, (2) 158 watt DM solar panels, (1) moringstar 65 controller and (1) 2000 wt pure sine wave inverter. I also have an automatic battery charger attached to my batteries when cloudy days prevent a full charge. We have been camp hosting for the past four years and this set up has worked great for us.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When thinking about a Generator, Do NOT buy a "Big Box Store" 3600 Rpm Screamer..... You will just be wasting your money.... Oh, they look pretty, but they are Cheap Trash, mechanically..... My suggestion is to watch CraigsList for an Older Onan 1800 Rpm Genset, that came out of a Wrecked, or Junked, RV..... These can be had for as little as say $200US, on up to say $900US, for a Pristine One..... They were built back in the day when things were built to last, and MANY, i have seen, are still running, after 15K Operational Hours. You can score Ignition Parts, and Filters, for them, at any NAPA Store. Total Overhaul Parts are still available from Third Parties, even if they may not be available from Cummins/Onan, any more. There are easy to install Propane and Natural Gas conversion Kits also available, or you can build one, yourself, if you have some mechanical Aptitude. I routinely post Onan gensets that are selling CHEAP, for the Oregon Monkeys, in the OffGrid forum, and those are typical, of what am suggesting... Onan also made some really nice small Diesel Gensets as well, but they go for a few more GreenBacks than the Gas Ones...
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    When it comes to solar, there is lots of information out there with diagrams showing you how to do it yourself. Search for "solar camper wiring diagram" in your search engine.

    The guys hit many of the key points and I am not an expert in this field, but I am confident I can rig up a working system for basic needs rather quickly by following the basic rules to solar wiring. Buying your own parts separately when they are on sale would yield you great savings, too. Since this would be a mobile project, it would be important to wire it all correctly so you do not get any problems, like a fire. I would definitely add an in-line fuse close to the positive leads of the batteries, too.
    Yard Dart likes this.
  7. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill Monkey

    Wow guys. Thanks. You all offered so much great info I'll have to spend my next day off going through it all. thanks a plenty!

    Ok but here's what's going on here. I'm working on buying a few wooded acres near wake county north carolina. I'm selling the Subaru and buying a used truck and a camper. This way when i'm done with work in September and go down to my new land i have some sort of base camp command center while i cut down trees for next year's cabin project and work on other alternative structures and land for agriculture.

    so yeah I don't need an ac but i will like to power a tv and stuff sometimes and just have some sort of comfort. Due to the fact that all this stuff hasn't been bought yet I'm not sure of my available funds for the solar project but I'd estimate around 2-4 grand. Thanks for that generator info as well. I'll be scouring Craigslist for one of those.
    Brokor, kellory and BTPost like this.
  8. gundog10

    gundog10 Monkey++

    Wild Bill, this year our company approved solar systems for our camp ground hosts. I bought everything, solar panels (2x150) controller (morningstar 45) all wires/ fuse and jumper cables for around 850,00 each. Add batteries and psw inverter and you would be around 1,500 . Shop around and good luck.
    Yard Dart and Brokor like this.
  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

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