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Generator vs Solar Power Mack 6-7-03  
Most of my camping in my 24 ft travel trailer is done in the rockie mountains of Canada, at locations with no hook-ups. With the cold nights, the furnance operates all night draining the batteries. This makes it impossible to camp for extended periods 5+ days with out a battery re-charge (the trailer has 2 12V batteries). My question is, what should I consider when deciding between a solar system vs. a gas powered generator. I am considering a 150W solar system or a 2000-3000W generator. Is that over kill?
Re: Generator vs Solar Power Ray 7-14-03  
I would rather consider the generator. The solar panels will mostly only re-charge the batteries and the generator could provide some power for daytime use if so desired.

As far as size of the generator is concerned, the minimum size would recharge the batteries it wouldn't take a 2000W to accomplish that. You would be better served to determine your actual electrical requirements. Matching generator output to anticipated loads on your trailer is the most critical calculation you need to make. Generator manufacturers generally recommend operaing loads of 35 to 70 percent, with 70 percent being the preferred end of the spectrum. Discover the rated amperage for each appliance. Each appliance should have a placard that displays the voltage and either the amperage or wattage. Divide the wattage by the voltage to find amperage. Get a generator that fits your usage requirements, that is how long each appliance will be operating.

I would be surprised if you needed more than a 1000W genset. If you just want to charge the batteries the solar panel would probably work. I suggest you get a Heart, (brand name) interface or equivalent to manage the electrical needs from the batteries and generator.
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