FWC - last question before ordering

skiroc

Observer
I'm looking at placing my order in the next few days and have a question about how much battery/solar I need. Here are my accessories that require energy:
- the basic lights, no added options. with most of my camping spring- fall (long days), and wont use the lights for more than an hour per day max.
- fantastic fan - used to move a little air around, but with most camping at 8,000 ft or higher, not likely to be used often
- factory furnace - I really have no idea how much I will use this, but don't expect a lot. Its really for those few days a year where I might be in really cold conditions.
- frig - plan on getting the compressor that requires electricity
- recharging of misc stuff like computer, camera batteries, ipod, etc

I usually drive at least 30 minutes per day when I'm out, so am seldom sitting in one place. Usually have good solar conditions.

I'm been thinking of getting one battery plus solar, but wonder if I should get two batteries plus solar. My concern is not the added cost, but a second battery adds another 50 lbs.

How does one battery plus solar, compare to two batteries? Is one combination better than the other?

I drive a 2006 Tundra and will be getting a Fleet.

All thoughts appreciated.
 
Last edited:

knobbytracks

Observer
Good question(s). Sorry, I don't have any answers for you but I am curious as to what others have to say. I eventually want to get a solar panel as well, but am clueless to what I need.
 

DesertBoater

Adventurer
I'll chime in, although I didn't have much of a choice as I picked up my Eagle used, and the previous owner had added solar. From my perspective, it's awesome! I'm not worried at all about the starting battery or any systems in between the two. The camper came with the 7-pin trailer harness connector, but I've found that with the solar I've got, I haven't needed to plug it in while driving. Similarly to you, I don't use much juice while I'm out there. Lights occasionally, but when I'm camping, I'm usually outside, which means I'm wearing a headlamp and have a propane lantern that does the job. I removed the 3-way fridge because it just didn't work for me, and I was in favor of more storage, and the drawers that are in that space are now almost finished. I also don't have a water pump/system, so that's another set of electrical requirements that I'm not worrying about. I've only got one battery, and it seems to keep up with my needs just fine. I was able to run the stock heater all night in early February in Flagstaff and still had plenty of juice before the sun came up. Personally, I'd advocate for solar. Your battery will always be charged, and it's completely mindless. Once it's installed and running, you don't have to worry about a manual disconnect switch, or adding excess strain to your alternator.

The one drawback that I see for myself, is that carrying kayaks, I might end up obstructing the panels, however so long as I load my roof correctly (whitewater boats on the side of the solar panels, sea kayaks on the other), I shouldn't have much of an issue.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
West
 

NothingClever

Explorer
Personally, I'd advocate for solar. Your battery will always be charged, and it's completely mindless. Once it's installed and running, you don't have to worry about a manual disconnect switch, or adding excess strain to your alternator.

Well said.

Also, if you have a camper you can use off the truck, it frees up the truck for running errands which come up during extended camping.
 

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