On waking the morning following the rain, Jagger and I immediately go outside to check the solar panel and controller. Of course Jagger has other things in mind 😉 He takes care of business and we then move on to other priorities. Last night when we called it a day the Battery Controller was showing 75% charged. This morning the controller shows 50% charged and today the weather is predicted to be a bright sunny day! It appears using the few LED Lights I have installed recently in the Coach, Water Pump, Refrigerator, Furnace blower (briefly to take the chill off), Laptop, Cell Phone and Miscellaneous Controllers for the night, has used about 25% of the battery array. My battery array consists of two Deep Cycle 12 volt batteries that came with my Coach when I purchased it.
I will continue to test the usage limits, but it appears that Jagger and I made the correct choice on the purchase of a PORTABLE SOLAR PANEL for our needs.
Anyone who attempts to research all of the solar options out there, will soon find out how overwhelming the information can become. Over the next few weeks and months, I will continue to evaluate the Solar Panel purchase and do a special report.
I was able to purchase one for under $700 and install it myself. Amazon has several brands and vendors.
I chose the portable Zamp Solar 120 watt because the panels were made in Germany and assembled with the controller in Oregon. I had one question when I first installed it and they emailed back almost immediately with the information I was requesting. On a sunny day I can expect to get 6.5 amps and more from the panel.
Moving to San Mateo
After a morning on the beach like this one, it’s hard to think about moving. I was only able to book a total of six continuous days a Doheny Beach State Park due to the popularity here. So later today Jagger and I will be off to San Mateo State Park.
It’s only a nine mile drive South from Doheny. The check out here at Doheny is 12 noon, check in time at San Mateo is 2:00 PM. Another hurdle common to RVer’s I’ve found, especially the full time group who are moving often. After speaking to a ranger, my plan is moving off my site at 12 noon, but not leaving the park.
There is a large parking lot elsewhere in the park with some nice big trees to park under. Jagger and I will stay there after dumping our waste tanks for an hour or so and have our lunch and continue to enjoy the beautiful day here a the beach.
Last Walk On the Beach
After packing up all our stuff, I take Jagger for a walk around the RV Park here at Doheny. He is doing great walking by dogs at other sites (as long as they don’t bark aggressively). I try to avoid any dogs walking toward us at this point. He still growls, but I am able to control him and he is able to control himself somewhat. After our walk I take Jagger back to our Coach.
I can’t take Jagger on the beach (no dogs allowed), so I leave him in the Coach, grab my Canon Rebel DSLR and head for the beach. I shoot a few pictures of the awesome day spread before me and remember what it looked like just yesterday during the rains. It’s amazing what difference a day makes, in life too.
On to San Mateo State Park
After walking along the beach for awhile, enjoying creation, I return to the Coach and Jagger. Then regretfully, I execute our plans to pull the Coach out of our site that has been home for six days. Off we go to the Dumping Station. What a contrast after my leisurely walk on the beach, taking photos and enjoy the day.
On arriving at the Dumping Station here at Doheny, I find a line of campers waiting their turn. Jagger and I wait a good distance away as we are not in a hurry. There we wait until everyone has left. I have been watching as campers pull into the facility. There is absolutely no room here for my 32′ Coach and added Workhorse, without driving over a curb somewhere in the process. I maneuver as careful as I can and I am able to only drive the Workhorse up on a curb as we exit after dumping. I’ll take that, no damage done to my vehicles or foliage.
After a short wait under a tree, with the cool pacific breeze blowing through the Workhorse, time is up and we pull out heading South.
Until next time, Safe Travels… Gary
More Photos Doheny Beach State Park
Glad you got some solar, and that its working out for you! However, should it go bad or if you want to add to it, check out the 100 watt solar suitcase from Renogy @ http://www.renogy.com which you can get for less than half what you put in the ZAMP setup…..I have the Renogy setup, charging Lifeline AGM 6v batts, does great!!
Good to know John, I looked at those but saw a few bad reviews and no support if they go bad. I guess the cost difference you could just replace them. Those were made in Germany to right?
Maybe for the roof. Do you have an inverter?
Yes, I have/use a 2000 watt inverter, as my solar is NOT hardwired in to my trailer. Not sure where these panels are manufactured, but you’ll find bad review(s) on everything under the sun if you look long enough!! All I know is, they work great for me!
Great information. Renogy was right next to Zamp on my list. I probably could have saved some money, but also happy with my choice. I think a 2000 watt inverter would suit my needs also.
That beach looks very inviting. Did your coach come with an inverter? We’re still toying with a portable set of panels or actually biting the bullet and have a couple installed on the roof. Like you, we have two 12 volt batteries. We’ve been overwhelmed with what to do regarding solar so we just use the generator right now.
No it didn’t come with an inverter. So far for how I dry camp it’s working fine. Even with clouds and rainy days. If I continue to do as much DRY camping, I may spring for more panels on the roof and an inverter. Saving my money now.