Originally Posted by LarryW
Unwise to upgrade batteries or install solar until you determine your AH use times 1.5.
Since it appears as if this thread will be inconsequential by the time I write this the thread of mine will be aimed at future plans of various magnitudes:
1: Yes, know how you will use your vehicle, e.g. 100% off grid or 50% off grid or 10% off grid. Things get more expensive as you approach 100%
2: Know how much AH you really use in your vehicle, e.g. Is it 50 AH/day or 150 AH/day or 300+/day. AH/day are expensive.
3. Can you modify your behavior by using less expensive consumables? In other words can you use a generator or propane?
4. How much money does your budget allow for off grid usage, e.g. $100's/year or $1000's per year or $10K's per year?
These are questions you should ask yourself before you throw $$$$.$$ for batteries, solar, wind. I have bought upwards of 100K AH of battery capacity for various sailboats and RV's I have owned and operated on land and sea. Here is what I would do in these times if I really wanted to be off grid:
1. Go Lithium car batteries at 24VDC or 36VDC or 48VDC or higher. There are many, many good reasons to do this. Prices are coming down.
2. Buy a high quality (efficiency) 24VDC to 12VDC buck converter of around 100A to tap into the Lithium power. They are cheap at $<200.
3. Buy a good 2000 W Inverter to convert whatever voltage Lithium you have into 110VAC (or 220VAC 50/60Hz) . These are also in the $200 range.
4. Buy the best Lithium specific charger you can find for 110VDC. These are not so cheap but are less than $<1K.
5. Buy as many solar panels as you can afford (like max of 1600W) in whaterever voltage your Lithium battery voltage is. This could be higher VDC. Panels are reasonably cheap these days if you shop around.
6. Buy a really good solar charger system (like Morningstar or better) that charges the Lithium battery. Not so expensive and $<1K.
OK, remember to be kind to me. This is what I would do if I was going off-grid for a long time in a sailboat or RV. In lieu of all this remember; The generator is your friend and stick to lead acid batteries in the 350 AH range (160AH usable).