Lens Travels - Living our Dreams! travel blog

The new 220 watt solar panel that I recently installed

My original 400 watt solar system

The new and current system

Soon after I started full timing I installed 400 watts of solar power on the Dutch Star which at that time cost me about $4300. Recently we were in Yuma, AZ to get some dental work done in Mexico and while there had another 220 watts installed for about $1000. Solar power sure has come down in price since my first install. I also installed a much better monitor which provides me with much more info about what's going on with my batteries. I replaced all of my batteries this last winter and want to make sure that they last a long time.

What a difference that additional 220 watts makes. It's not unusual for the system to produce 28 to 30+ amps of power on a sunny day. That's really kicking and charges up my batteries in no time flat. While in Yuma I also made some other changes that reduce the amount of power that I need to work everything. I installed a small 300 watt true sine inverter in the front of the rig which is hard wired directly to the batteries. It powers the TV, the receiver, the Apple TV, a Blue ray DVD player, and an external hard drive which acts as a DVR. This little inverter takes very little power to run as opposed to the 2000 watt inverter that came with the rig. We hardly ever use the big inverter any more.

The new Samsung 32 inch LED flat screen TV that we installed helps reduce power consumption a whole lot as it take about 10% of the power that the old analog TV took, not to mention the fact that it weighs a lot less and produces great HD pictures. We're using a Winesap Carryout automatic HD satellite system which is very easy to set up. Plug it in and within 10 minutes or less we've got HD pictures as good as what we get at home. Installing this new TV was quite a project that is another story and maybe another post with pictures. Very nice set up that we are very pleased with.

We've done some other things to the rig that I'll address in another post.

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