2 different parties that I know opted for this type of solar and after a year's use have discontinued their use, opting to return to the standard glass surfaced panels.
I'm very curious also... why? Is there something I should know? I mean, I'm recommending this setup to others I know, so if there's something up with them I'd take it as very good advice.
Don't screw around with anything as precious as your horse's life. TorkLift Super Hitch. Period.
You find a lot of people tow with a TC on the truck, myself included, and unquestionably the Torklift Superhitch is the way to go.
It is DOT approved to go 4 foot out, 1,200lbs tongue weight, 12,000lbs towing.
The trailer in my sig is a 20foot 7k trailer, towing is no problem.
Any chance of circuit breaks between panels requiring a re-wire?
What is the expected life of the panels?
Boy, I hope there's no breaks.. that's the downside to these panels. If one fails, you ain't never gonna get it off. You'd have to just stick another one right over the top of it.
They're rated @ 20 years... Am I going to have this trailer for 20 years... highly doubtful.
I have a much smaller utility trailer I haul behind my TC. About how long are each of those solar panels?
I really want to do what you have done, perhaps soon.
Thanks for the post.
They're really long... 18 foot by 16 inches. The weekend before we left, my uncle dropped coin for the exact same setup for his 38foot ToyHauler, only to discover he didn't have room for all 4 panels, just 3 due to all the various vents and things protruding from the roof.
I did the install on his ToyHauler the weekend before we left, took a solid 8 hours, but that also including replacing his 2 standard RV deep cycle batts with six Interstate 6volt Golf Cart batts.
This topic has bounced around a couple times, I finally found one that SHOULD fit... Ordered it today, and I have to say, I think it was a great buy. Brand new, delivered out of the RV mecca of the world, Elkhart, IN, shipping included for $570.
I called them and I have to say, their service is exceptional. Their Ebay listing shows MFG's specs only, and it was so close, I called asking if I could get a real tape measure double-check, and they had no problem what so ever helping out. Come to find out, the posted measurements are 1 1/2" larger than actual...BINGO! It should fit!
Here's what I have...
Here's a link to the seller - they list "More than 10 Available". I called them, and paying them directly cut the price from $600 to $570.
Recreation Pro, Elkhart IN
Here's a couple pics of what will HOPEFULLY fit in it's place...
The tape measure says it should recline fully no problem on the left, the right, leg only will pop up, it won't recline into a full-flat lay out. With the slides in, I'll have to push it flat against the wall, for camping, then pull it out a couple inches.
One way or another I'm gonna make it fit.... Wish me luck!
Most of my camping is dry camping. My TC has 75 gallons of water, so I got plenty of that, and while I do have a Honda EU gen, I prefer no generator noise. I usually have my trailer in tow since I'm taking toys pretty much on any trip, so I did a little project to turn my trailer into a mobile power station.
Oregon Dunes last week---
I already have 6 145Ah sealed AGM commercial batteries in the TC, and I'm NOT nice when it comes to power conservation. Coffee pot running all morning, microwave, Sat TV... and as if that's not enough, the trailer has a separate 110v beverage fridge and separate stand-alone ice maker that draws ~400 watts.
I recently got a great deal on solar, and put four 135 watt panels and a hi-end MPPT controller into my trailer. I added 4 more 145AH batteries in the trailer, and it's own 2KW inverter. So the fridge and the icemaker in the trailer are now stand-alone, running off the trailer batteries and inverter. To connect the camper to the trailer's solar, I used 100a Golf-Cart type connectors through 4ga battery cable.
The panels are REALLY cool - frameless peel-n-stick, and when they say stick, omg, the adhesive they use is flat out evil. I am not affiliated with them in any way, but if you're interested, here's the link to where I got them--
First thing I did was to lay them out to get a fit and placement....
Then start the peel-n-stick
And finally got all 4 down...
So that very first pic of my rig at Sand Lakes is WITH the solar, and as you can (or can't) see, the solar is literally invisible - no frame.
It was perfectly sunny out, and I was putting out so much charge, I had completely full batteries, at it's peak hitting 34amps continuous charge.
Here's a pic of the controller in the back of the trailer
I had so much charge I ran a set of jumper cables from my trailer batteries over to my buddies travel trailer batteries and kept him completely charged over the 5 days we were there. Never once in 5 days did we have to run a genny. Total cost for 4 panels, wire, and controller was almost to the penny $1,000--same price as my Honda 2000.
The moral of the story - if you regularly haul a toybox, consider adding solar to it, there's a lot of unused real estate on that roof.
Battery power's not a problem for me. I now have 10 145Ah commercial AGM batteries and 600w of solar.
that's 1000 lbs of batteries? you almost need a support truck to follow you with the batteries :(
Funny you mention that... I do actually. All of the solar and 4 of the batteries are in the trailer in my sig. Just added the solar a couple weeks ago. In fact, now that I think about it, i'll do a write up on it.
Generally speaking, the trailer goes where I go for hauling toys, and I have a large 100a Golf Cart charger-type disconnect between the batteries in the trailer and the camper, and the solar feeds through that same pigtail.
Great, I've went and hijack'd my own post....
If you're boondocking, don't just turn off the receiver but kill the power. ... beats a 3:00 AM low battery alarm from the CO detector. Trust me. :)
Battery power's not a problem for me. I now have 10 145Ah commercial AGM batteries and 600w of solar.
For those who own a Dish Tailgater---I'm looking for ideas to mount it to the 'roof luggage rack' semi-permanent, but in a way where it can still be removed if need be in case I'm parked under a tree.
I've googled and seen the ladder mounts, window mounts, and side wall mounts. I'm looking for ideas / pics of anyone who may have fab'd up something custom.
I find that when plugged into shore power, they're great. Where/what temps you camp at, and the insulation on your camper has a lot to do with how well they work.
Mine put out out so much heat, I went to Home Repot and added a Cadet Heater Thermostat to it. Most of these when installed into a roof air are either on or off, the AC TStat doesn't regulate the temp.
HA! Funny, I'm there right now as we speak, just out side of Tillamook at a place called Sand Lakes. It has a BIG campground, as well as a first-come-first-serve camping area. It is an ATV/ORV park, not a great place if you want peace and quite.
But a great place if you want to ride your toys... See pic in sig!
I just got my Tailgator. Works wonderful. Wish there was a better alternative to that unruly 50' cable for winding up and storing!!
That cable is just a standard RJ6 coax CableTV coax cable. You can literally go anywhere and get a shorter cable. There's two main CableTV Coax cables - RJ59 and RJ6... Same connector, the RJ6 is thicker gauge wire.
Make sure when you go to the Walmart or Radio Shack you look for the thicker gauge. If it's a relatively short run, say, under 10 foot, either is fine.
Here's a good YouTube video explaining the two---
RJ59 vs RJ6
I go there once in a blue moon, it's next to the Costco there. There's always another one to go to.....
I think it was a disgruntled employee....
Nice looking unit. But since we often park in treed areas I will have to continue to use my old portable Tailgater (which also does not require a separate power cord) so that I can move it to where ever there is an opening thru the trees.
Here in the Pacific NW, it's nothing but trees. Sometimes I can't even get a spot to set it that's clear, much less where i park. It is cool that they now include the mount, though.
It's a bit of a drive for you, but if you wanted to come down I'd be happy to diagnose it for you to make sure. I have all the electrical goodies to check batteries, chargers, etc.
Easy way to tell if you don't have a meter - when you plug in the camper to shore power, do the lights get brighter? If not, something's definitely up with the converter.
As far as charger - this is a bit expensive, but it's a top of the line fully programmable 3-stage charger, and 2KW pure sinewave inverter and built in transfer switch - kills 2 birds with one stone. I have one, it's awesome.
Xantrex Prosine 2.0
I was hoping that the NEWER model Happijacs would be discussed.
Instead, these threads are missing the Happijac model, frequency of use and weight of camper.
Actually, most of the members do have their TC's in their sig's. Most replies are coming from 9-10'ers.
As far as newer, how new? Mine's a 2012... Hopefully for CrappiJac's sake we're not seeing people with TC's newer than mine having issues. Brand new jacks failing... that would be bad.
One other note - One thing I did to prevent rust and make lube'ing easier on my former CrappiJacs -
(Disclaimer--if you don't like my idea don't blast me too horribly bad, it worked for me.)
I drilled an 1/8" hole right in the eyeball of the CrappiJac sticker on each jack, then regularly doused it with WD40. That helped A LOT. I would squirt until I saw it come out the bottom of the leg. They would run much smoother and quieter after that.
Then covered the hole with one of those tin-roof type screws with the built-in little gasket on 'em to seal the hole.
I have had 2 TC's with CrappiJac's. Hated them on both... One older AF, and my current Eagle Cap. My EC is a little heavier than yours, but I was forced to replace the jacks on a 2012 camper. The CrappiJacs just couldn't take the weight. I went with Rieco-Titans. They have been awesome..
I did a complete swap out to Rieco Titans, and did a write up here--
My Rieco-Titan / CrappiJac swap out
I bought the kit from Dyers, they had the best price, and thier service after the sale has been excellent - had a minor problem with one motor, and no questions asked was sent another one.
Dyer's link to Rieco Titans