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Solar or Gen/ or Both?

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We have ordered the Solar package for our new Oliver and are considering the Gen basket installation as well for the availability of a gen. We are new to this and do not have experience with the use of power from Battery storage. Our primary electric use, I think, will be from the Solar option. Usually we camp in National Forests, mostly no power available.


Considerations for the Gen option: Emergency charging of Batt when down to 50% and no Sun. Infrequent need for air conditioning. Not sure if there are other things that we would want it for.


Any help would be appreciated.



Grayson and Ann Cook

Northwest CT and Mid Coast Maine

2016 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed FP

Toyota Tundra, Extra Cab, Long bed, 5.7 V8


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We have two solar panels, and follow the cool weather. We carry a Honda 1000 for charging the battery if we hit a stretch of rainy weather that we can't drive out of. In 7 years, and over 60,000 miles of camping trips, we've used the AC a handful of times. Even less on the microwave. Just to give you an idea of our camping style, we spend most of our time in state & national parks, COE campgrounds, and our private camping property in the NC mountains.

It all depends on your camping style. We'd rather camp at a higher elevation than run AC, and solar is silent. So, no basket for us.

I think you could easily add it later if you find it's necessary.

Just my two cents.


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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  • 2 weeks later...

One problem that I have recognized with my Oliver is that a good deal of the time I am camped under trees which will not allow the sun to reach a roof mounted solar. For those times a small and light Honda 1000 will recharge your batts. If I think I will use the AC then I have to bring my Yamaha 3000 gen. I have also found that when parked under or near trees that the reception on my Kingdome is nonexistent. I now use a portable Tailgater for TV.

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