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#16 weavejd

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:06 AM

Yep, replaced the incandescents with LEDs, it was the second 'mod'. Makes a HUGE difference in current draw! :wow: Now the big power hogs are the fans - furnace, Fantastic, and the water pump.
Dave & Kathy
"Given a choice, it's better to wear out than rust out" - Dr. Francis D. O'Connor
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#17 Lane

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:40 AM

Hey! Casita Factory !

Options? LED interior lights (I understand you've already done the exteriors). Furnace that puts less drain on the battery. A "Green Model" with some power-savin, ecologically focused options. Natural Woman has some good ideas. Perhaps it's time to change your focus a bit from making a buck and (oh, by the way) providing a great trailer to something a little more focused on the tree huggers (and the folks who just want to save a buck on their operating costs).

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who suggests I keep her in mind for any savings.
Ray Lane Aldrich
Lane's Bait Shop at
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#18 Lane

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:45 AM

How much?

You folks who've added solar to your menu of power choices, what'd it cost you ? I am, by the way, not looking for anything precise, just a ball-park to ease the initial decision making process.

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who has promised to help me eat up any savings.
Ray Lane Aldrich
Lane's Bait Shop at
web.me.com/lanealdrich/Lanes_Bait_Shop
Retired & Loving it
Back in NoVA after the West Coast
2007 17'SD & Navigator

#19 WtMtJim

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 12:21 PM

How much?

You folks who've added solar to your menu of power choices, what'd it cost you ? I am, by the way, not looking for anything precise, just a ball-park to ease the initial decision making process.

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who has promised to help me eat up any savings.


The 80 watt all-in-one unit (has built-in controller, wiring, storage bag, etc.) that I got from CEA Solar (www.rvsolarnow.com), is $595 regularly and the last couple of years they have sold them at Quartzsite for immediate delivery for $495. Like I said, I checked around and I probably could have pieced together a similar unit from various sources for $100 less but to me the $100 is worth it for the peace of mind of having one warranty and good customer service, plus I'm not very handy at cobbling things together. As with most things, you get what you pay for.
White Mountain Jim
(Jim & Alice)
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"The road is always better than the inn." - Cervantes

#20 travlinbob

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 08:59 PM

I dont mean to step on any toes but I am going to turn that web site into a link for easy access. Hope you dont mind Jim.

rvsolarnow.com

Lane check this out

This looks like the coolest way to set up solar that I have seen so far. Also the price is very reasonable.

Bob

Edited by travlinbob, 15 November 2010 - 09:01 PM.

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#21 JudyinWis

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:44 AM

How much?

You folks who've added solar to your menu of power choices, what'd it cost you ? I am, by the way, not looking for anything precise, just a ball-park to ease the initial decision making process.

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who has promised to help me eat up any savings.


Don't forget that you can take 30% of whatever you spend as a credit toward the payment of what you owe for federal income tax. That's a credit toward payment of the tax, not a deduction from the income that is being taxed. If your tax preparer balks, point out that your Casita counts as a second home. (All the other energy-saving tax credits apply only to your first home, and expire at the end of this year anyway.) If i can find and figure out how to provide the IRS web link i'll do so in a subsequent post.

Some, myself among them, don't have enough taxable income to take advantage of the full credit, and for this there are a couple of options. One is to spread out the use of the credit over 3 years. The other is to make future tax liability a current tax liability by rolling over some portion of a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

Judy

#22 JudyinWis

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:18 AM

This website will do for purposes mentioned above: http://www.dsireusa....US37F&re=1&ee=1

Sorry i can't seem to make it work as a link.

#23 WtMtJim

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 06:41 AM

I dont mean to step on any toes but I am going to turn that web site into a link for easy access. Hope you dont mind Jim.

rvsolarnow.com

Lane check this out

This looks like the coolest way to set up solar that I have seen so far. Also the price is very reasonable.

Bob



Don't mind at all. Thanks Bob.
White Mountain Jim
(Jim & Alice)
2010 Casita 16' FD - "Egg'Scape Pod"
2005 Toyota 4Runner V8 - sway bar & air bag suspension helpers
"The road is always better than the inn." - Cervantes

#24 Imperfect Destiny

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:40 AM

I just posted on our blog info about our solar system and the components we use at ImperfectDestiny.com if interested.

My wife and I loooove our solar power. Don't understand why more folks aren't using it and why all new RVs don't include it as an option.

The all in one kits look extremely convenient but wouldn't quite work for us as we needed more power than most have. We also needed a MPPT charger for our AGM battery bank.

LED Lights are another awesome upgrade if you are trying to stretch battery life. A typical incandescent bulb uses about 1.2 amps. An LED about .3 amps. All of our lights are now LED.
Jim
Location Independent living/working ala Casita
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#25 Dutchman

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 06:38 PM

I researched solar systems for my Casita for over a year and recently purchased an 80 Watt all-in-one system from CEA Solar (web rvsolarnow.com). I had thought about piecing a system together by buying various components and then putting them all together. But the system I bought from CEA Solar is a complete unit. (snip) So I bought the complete unit from Jim Mannett at CEA Solar. Now I'm really glad I did.

It has worked very well and here's the best part. I had a problem at first with the equipment. (snip) Well, Jim got in his car, drove 400 miles round trip, performed an in-my-driveway troubleshooting routine, diagnosed a bad pigtail, replaced it, and the unit has worked flawslessly since then. No charge for any of this from Jim (I did buy him dinner, though). I doubt I could have received that level of customer service and support from anyone else.

BTW, I have no financial or other interest in Jim's company or the product. I'm just a very satisfied customer.


I'll second all the above. This morning I got together with Jim Mannert at Lake Pleasant Harbor marina, north of Phoenix, AZ. He’s easy to find in the camping area; a dieselpusher with an array of solar panels on the roof, and a trailer full of colorful advertising his solar business.

I have a six year old solar setup and I wondered whether it was still working correctly or should I upgrade. Jim emailed me and suggested I come on over and he'd take a good look at it. He gave my system a thorough check-out and pronounced it in very good shape; nothing else needed (I have one 80W movable panel and one Group 27 AGM battery). If I had not had my panel I would have bought his folding 80W setup - very handy, easy to pack in its own bag. Jim is a very pleasant gentleman, fun to exchange ideas with and he appears to know the solar business well. He mentioned another Casita is coming in next week, from Colorado. He didn't charge me anything either, had to push some $$ (in lieu of dinner) to him for checking my system .

I’ll stay at Pleasant Harbor Marina for a few more days. Riding around on my bicycle I found one quite old 17ft Casita (with the old style decals) in the storage area, and a newer 17ft in the FHU section. Incidentally, one can ‘camp’ here with FHU amongs the big boxes for $32 or so, or $25 in an open section with W/E, or a mere $6.- for boondocking on a large, perfectly flat area; even so the clubhouse is available (had rotisserie chicken there tonight for $6), there is a clean laundromat, dump and even a swimming pool (officially for the higher paying guests, but who knows who’s who in a bathing suit, I was told ;-) ) The place is packed with sailboats, powerboats, jetskies et al, most on the hard at this time of year. Most big rigs are here full time or at least for the winter season.

A B-25 Mitchell flew a couple of circles over the lake today. Love that throaty low growl of the old WW2 radials - glad I am not paying the fuel bill for that one.

Ed

Edited by Dutchman, 18 November 2010 - 07:17 PM.

Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

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'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

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#26 SgtMaj&The CO

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:27 PM

We have been thinking about a solar recharge system off and on the past couple of years. Since we are not experts this seems to be a good solution for us. We do travel where there are no hookups and it seems we only need power for lights and water pump. No micro/heater/TV. Had a quote of $1100 last year...thought that was to much. Since then I now need a CAP machine at night. I use it w/o humidifier when we travel. I'll have to do the homework on that...can anyone help me? How would I figure out if this 80watt system would work for me.

The CO

#27 dab

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:57 PM

LED Lights are another awesome upgrade if you are trying to stretch battery life. A typical incandescent bulb uses about 1.2 amps. An LED about .3 amps. All of our lights are now LED.


Actually the performance improvement is better than that - stock Casita bulbs draw 1.5 amps, and my LED replacements are about .2 amps. Expect next year's LED lights to be even better, primarily more light for the same amount of power.

Dave
Boise, ID

#28 Lane

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:55 PM

CPAP

My CPAP can operate on 12V and has lasted two nights on my onboard battery in conjunction with regular light discipline. In conjunction with the heater I suspect the battery dies a LOT faster. I can't help you with the math, not enough fingers.

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who does not want to share my CPAP
Ray Lane Aldrich
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2007 17'SD & Navigator

#29 Dutchman

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 07:02 PM

Since then I now need a CAP machine at night. I use it w/o humidifier when we travel. I'll have to do the homework on that...can anyone help me? How would I figure out if this 80watt system would work for me.

The CO


If you know or can figure out how much power the CAP machine consumes in one night, you will have a good idea of how much you need to replenish by solar during the day. My 80W panel, same size as the CEAsolar set-up, will produce 4.8 W per hour in full sunlight. Winter sunlight on a clear day will give you about eight hours, i.e. 8 x 4.8 Watts = 38W recovery.

Edouard Trautwein, #1372  

'03 17SD "Pura Vida"
'99 Toyota 4Runner, 3.4L V6 -

 

Casita living - Luxury on two wheels.

HOME IS WHERE I PARK IT !   


#30 SgtMaj&The CO

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:21 PM

Lane & Dutchman,

Thanks for your input.

I finally found where I'd put the instructions for the CAP. Under the heading "Electrical" says DC power consumption is 12 VDC, 3.0 A Max.---so is that an hour??? I'm assuming it's w/o the humidifier. We have an inverter, can it be used instead of the DC adapter they say we can purchase from them?...Or is that cuz they just want our $$$.

Since we live in California and travel mostly in the west...if we get this Solar Panel system will it replenish enough to use the CAP: I sleep about 7 hours. Sooo---7X3= 21 amps...therefore, using Dutchman's calculations...an 80 watt system should work...and maybe leave a bit left over for water pump use. Is this the way to do the Calculations? We've gone w/o power for as much as 6 days; our battery was on the way out so we just ran it down. Have a new one now. This was before CAP.

Since we don't boondock much in the winter, will purchase this system in the spring.

Thanks again, The CO

PS..for Lane: We lost one of our family poodles, Senna. One of the sons of our Knownee. He lived with our daughters family. Lived to be over 17yrs. AND, magically, the day the family decided it was best for him to be put to sleep...they got a call from their pet groomer...she had a poodle that needed a family!!! Poodles rule heaven, too. Give our best to Phoebe. Esther, poodleless for the time being.