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KING DOME DISH, is it for you ?

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As we set up camp here just outside of Independence Kansas at Elk City Lake State Park, I noted again, that we had chosen a campsite that suited us well. But, it once again didn't have a clear view of the sattellite we would need to get the local weather, ect. Sorry bout' the low quality of the first photo, I guess I was trying to do too many things at once, shade the lense with my hand from the sun, ect..




Because we seem to habitually choose sites that are similar, I have wondered if our roof space might be better used for a solar panel site. Bugeyedriver has such a setup. We carry the dish in the manner of the Beverly Hillbillies, up on the roof rack. It is a bit large and sometimes in the way, but it prooves to be necessity when we need to know about the weather.

We have sometimes thought that should we build a 22' Ollie, we should use that roof space for solar panels.

I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)

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I have used solar panels for many years, first as portable units that could be moved about in order to catch the sun, then with the Oliver, permanently mounted on the roof.


After using solar both ways, I can state that I strongly prefer the panels mounted on the roof in a horizontal manner. The primary benefit of solar panels to us is to charge our batteries from about 80% charged to 100% charged. The charging of the batteries for the final 20% is a slow process and not well suited for generator recharging, as is the charging from 50% charged (never discharge your batteries beyond 50% of their capacity) to 80% charged, which we can accomplish in less than 2 hours of running our generator. It would take an additional 6 to 8 hours of running the generators to charge the batteries from 80% to 100% charged. That's a very inefficient use of generator power and fuel, but a very efficient use of solar.


Another big plus for roof mounted solar panels is that you are charging your batteries while you are on the road, driving or parked. This is impossible with panels that are not mounted on your roof. It is very easy to start the generators in the morning and charge our batteries up to 80% full, then cut em off and let the solar panels take over from there and bring them up to full charge during the remainder of the day.


Actually, we have to use the generators only about every second or third day, for about 2 hours, with the solar panels mounted on the roof. If it were very cold and we ran the furnace all night long, we might have to use the generators every day, but that is a rare situation we have never encountered.


We did not go for the king dome simply because we knew that it would a crap shoot as to whether or not it would do us any good while camping. We installed a satellite radio for quick on-the-go news and weather. It works great, and we use it in situations when even our portable dish can't be used due to blockage by trees and mountains to the south of our campsite.

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As you know.. we completely left the kingdome off our unit. We just simply don't watch TV enough to merit the space and much preferred the solar capacity we could get without it.


For our occasional TV needs, we got a little USB plug in unit called an elgato eyetv (http://www.elgato.com) that allows us to tune in TV/Radio into our computers. Works great for us, and has hardly any space considerations.


For movies and TV shows, we use Netflix to have them shipped into us on DVD. Netflix is great about frequent address changes to keep up with in our travels. I'll also occasionally order a TV series on DVD from Amazon's marketplace (used) - watch it, then sell it back on Amazon.


- Cherie

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