Installing a solar set-up on your rig is an expensive initial outlay – BUT man oh man if you want to do any boondocking at all – and NOT have to run your generator - is it worth it !!
Yes, I do still have to run my generator for things like the microwave, hair dryer etc. but that’s minimal.
I did mine over two years. Two years ago I had (2) 135W Solar Panels installed. That installation included all the wiring, the charge controller, and other things I have no understanding of.
Even at that point, since doing that, I have not once needed to run my generator to charge my batteries.
Last year I added (1) more 140W Solar Panel and exchanged my existing (2) 12V batteries for (6) 6V Trojan batteries. My existing two batteries were fine but I wanted to add more and I’ve been told you NEVER mix old batteries with new ones.
So the above combined with the fact that I am NOT an energy hog PLUS switching my lights to LED has left me with power to spare !!
When my solar panels were installed I opted for the ‘tilted’ as during the Winter months the days are shorter and the sun is lower so you need to maximize the sun’s input.
This stop took me longer to get settled as I had many chores/errands to do. And it was far easier to get these things done with the rig instead of on the bike. Especially the SIX loads of laundry.
During those days I didn’t tilt my solar panels. Surely not going to do that when I knew I’d have to put them back down the next day as I would be moving.
What I discovered was that I still have battery power to spare at the end of the evening. The only difference I have observed is that it is a little later in the morning before my batteries are fully charged. And they stay at a full charge for the entire day.
I’ve experimented with leaving my inverter on all evening (that’s for my computer and MiFi device); turning several more (LED) lights on in the evening (even though I don’t need to); leaving my Inverter on all day AND all night; and I STILL end the evening with my battery level showing 12.5 – that’s 90% charged !!
So no more tilting the panels for me. One ‘set-up’ job that I don’t have to do now. But it’s nice having that option.