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Randyretired

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About Randyretired

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    Colorado
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    RVing boating

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  1. The following is from Battery University. During the constant-current charge, the battery charges to about 70 percent in 5–8 hours; the remaining 30 percent is filled with the slower topping charge that lasts another 7–10 hours. The topping charge is essential for the well-being of the battery and can be compared to a little rest after a good meal. If continually deprived, the battery will eventually lose the ability to accept a full charge and the performance will decrease due to sulfation
  2. One of the biggest advantages of solar is the final few hours needed to fully charge batteries. Running a generator for hours to fully charge lead acid batteries to keep from early demise has always seemed like a waste. During this final phase very little power is needed and even the smallest of generators provide more power than necessary. We are nearly always in states where sunlight is plentiful and usually can get enough to keep our batteries charged.
  3. The peace and quiet is worth a lot to us as is not having to be around to run the generator or mess with it. Solar has gone down a lot so we purchased a little more than we needed and don't worry about. Our solar cost substantially less than a $1 a watt. We already had enough batteries and an inverter.
  4. The ACA also conflicted with our plan but the judges order ruled the day.
  5. US West was our employer. My DW had enough years to take an early retirement offer and I took a buy out. The benefits are hers and she has very kindly let me tag along.
  6. Just a couple of years after we left the heath care plan was significantly reduced. The company also tried to reduce our benefits but "the judge" didn't buy it.
  7. For most of us we can only make an educated guess for these numbers. Health care costs are up at unprecedented rates and of course inflation is a factor for everything else. We keep a large portion of our savings invested and that isn't guaranteed either. We were lucky to retire early and in that time I have seen the cost of nearly everything double. We also have company provided health care, which turned out to be worth more than we even imagined.
  8. If your Teton is built like ours it has osb on the roof. Unlike many RV's a screw into this will hold a lot. Both Dicor and a screw would be my choice.
  9. You mentioned you might like a small solar setup to charge your 1 battery. You could buy a cheap controller and a 100 watt or maybe up to 140 watt panel that would supply maybe 10 amps under ideal conditions. Rarely will ideal conditions exist. This would give power enough to run a few lights and the water pump but that is about all. Parts could be purchased for around $200 if you shop around. If you decide to go with a bigger system later it is often better to just start over. The controller will be limited to the single panel and mixing panels has it's own problems. Larger systems also require bigger wire and generally require rewiring as the factory wiring isn't near adequate.
  10. There is another thing that is often overlooked by first time solar users. Conservation. Things like turning the coffee pot off after the coffee is made or upgrading to LED lighting. Turn off the electric hot water or wire the inverter around some of these items. Electric heat or AC can run batteries down quickly. Additionally the battery bank needs to be properly sized and charging inefficiency for lead acid batteries should be considered. System management to keep the batteries as efficient as possible and replacing batteries as needed. The use of a generator to assist the solar is also an option. Solar is great for off grid camping but it isn't for everyone.
  11. Many of the less expensive stations also move a lot fuel. The price can be the draw. When a station has a lot of vehicles fueling...
  12. Solar is a lot like RV's in that one size doesn't fit all. An inexpensive small system to maintain a battery is one end while covering the roof with panels and numerous batteries to provide for everything and maybe even run the AC some is the other end. Cost and weight is also a consideration. A system to keep our batteries from going completely dead while running a few lights in a long weekend fishing trip was our first solar maybe 30 years ago. We loved it but it was expensive then. Today solar has come down in price a lot but the batteries and inverter if needed all add up. We have what we think is a middle of the road system that uses 6 6volt batteries and 1060 watts of solar. Some have bigger and some have smaller systems. By being kind of frugal we purchased the panels and controller for about $800. I already had the wire and material to build the mounts so this $800 would not apply for most. The material could easily be twice that plus labor. Batteries and an inverter if needed adds significantly to that. The bigger systems and lithium batteries can add up quickly. Even then few have enough solar to run the AC. There are a lot of smart people here that can help you figure what you might need if you can provide what you would like to power with solar and learning the basics as has been suggested is needed before you jump in.
  13. Brian, yes that blue low roof Volvo is ours. As I wrote the ramps we use for our RZR are 8' and climb 4'. The RZR climbs this 6" per foot rise without a problem. Depending on the length of your RZR I would guess that will be pretty close to what might work for you. Good luck and please post pics.
  14. Polaris maybe able to give you more information on that. However, depending on how long your RZR is, going much steeper than the angle we use may cause height issues. Also a steeper angle will reduce the storage under the RZR. We load our RZR under our Subaru Forester with the roll bar removed. The car is carried at an angle and the RZR fits tightly under the front of the car. To help me envision what I wanted to build I paced back from my HDT far enough to get the bed area in a picture. Then I took a picture of the car at the same distance. I cut out the car in the car picture and placed over the bed pic. Using a object such as the cab for height limits this gave me a way to see what it might look like and the angles that may be needed. It is not perfect but it will get you close and can be a good way to show a fabricator what you have in mind.
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