Tuesday, October 23, 2018


View this post on Instagram

When people ask me about whether they need a generator, I tell them it’s about tradeoffs. In a perfect world, we could collect (panels) and store (batteries) enough solar power stay anywhere as long as we might ever want. But, ironically, just as the days grow shorter and the sun’s angle shallower making collection tougher, our power needs increase as we crank the furnace and use it longer each day and night to keep our families warm. . Portable panels that can find elusive sun and tilt bars to squeeze some efficiency out of a few good hours can sometimes save the day, but at some point, you may have to ask yourself, which am I more willing to do; Hitch up and head to town for an electric connection or fire up a loud and stinky generator for a couple hours so you can stay at that prime lakeside spot? . Yup, it’s a trade off, and in the end, we’ve chosen to carry a 1000W generator that fits in our roof top box, preferring not to have it inside the SUV with us (safety/smell). Our unit puts out about 38 amps, more than a factory 30 amp charge controller can accept back into the batteries (tho we’ve actually upgraded to a 50 amp controller that *could* charge faster). That being said, we do need to be a little careful about how much additional power we’re using while recharging to avoid overloading the generator. So yeah, we’re not making smoothies in the Mixgasmic 4000 or running my hair krimper at the same time. . For us, it’s just about topping up the batteries, and as much as we love our solar setup, even with our 405W on the roof and 120W portable panel churning out a *max* of 28 amps (in perfect conditions which are rare), even the little 1000W gen blows it away for getting back to 100%. But it’s loud. And stinks. Side note: I think our 1000W may actually be louder than a 2000W because it needs to rev a lot higher to give us the power we need whereas a larger unit could stay closer to idle in “Eco Mode” and do the job. If we had a way to carry it, we’d probably have a 2000W with a “soft start” on our AC unit that would allow it to run. . I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think we’ll stay here for a while. . #airstream #airstreamsolar #rvsolar

A post shared by David Zimmerman (@advodna_dave) on