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RVing message boards => Tech Talk => Solar => Topic started by: bev555 on January 30, 2008, 09:08:23 PM

Title: buying solar panel
Post by: bev555 on January 30, 2008, 09:08:23 PM
Looking to purchase a solar panel for our camper, what is a good brand to watch for.  We will be in Quartzite soon & will buy one there...any recommendations.  Thank you
Title: Re: buying solar panel
Post by: Ned on January 30, 2008, 10:06:56 PM
Many of the vendors have left Quartzsite by now.
Title: Re: buying solar panel
Post by: ZuniJayne on January 31, 2008, 04:14:01 AM
Buying solar panels can be somewhat complicated, depending on your budget and the amount of roof area you have to work with.

My experience has shown that Kyocera gives you the most bang for your buck, especially in watts/amps for a given panel size.

If you have lots of roof room, consider the Unisolar 64.  They are not as good as the Kyoceras in full sun but do out-perform them in less than full sunlight and shaded applications. This will be important depending on where you travel.

I suggest that you do not do business with Discount Solar in Quartzsite.  While they may have improved in the last few years, my experience with them has not been good.  They did a dangerous installation on my first panel, and I found out several years later that that panel was defective.  I eventually got a replacement on it from Kyocera.  I only found out about the bad panel by overhearing a conversation in Q.  (And being suspicious that it would not charge above 13.6v.)

I suggest you do research on your electrical usage and your available battery space before you buy anything.  You may be surprised at how much power you need.

You will also need to throw in money for a good charge controller.Some run a couple hundred bucks.

If you travel and live off the grid, a good solar/battery system is a wise investment.  You will not need to be "leashed" to RV parks.