Suggested voltage for a 8' x 14' cargo trailer BUT would like to use it to reduce the electric bill of the home as well.

Joined
Nov 12, 2021
Messages
1
I want to build out a 7' x 14' cargo trailer for remote living/camping.

I'm thinking of:

12 volt LED lighting
12 volt water pump
12 volt fans,
12 volt fridge
12 volt diesel heater
12 volt outlet w/ USB chargers

Shore power is a must. Ideally I'd love to have excellent solar 110V power for it, if at all practical. I sized several panels, even the 400+ watt ones, at 48 volt, and apparently 7 (oriented flat) will fit on the roof.

I'd like to run a PC, monitor/TV and accessories on 110 volts, and perhaps 4 interior and 2 exterior 100 volt outlets, for occasionally charging other computers, radios, test equipment.

As if this isn't enough, I live on an island in Canada some 30 miles to sea in a small community, and we often have power outages during the fall and winter storms. Some for a few hours, others for a few days. So, I'd love to be able to park this fairly close to the home, and feed emergency power to the home just a few items, as needed gas stove (needs power for the oven), a few lights, etc., plus pretty much year round when not camping in the trailer. Basically, I'd like to offset in some small way the electric bill, have emergency power, and one heck of an off grid camping system.

Is this remotely doable, or even reasonable to consider, or should I just set up a small generator for the house, and sort out a decent 100 volt system for the trailer/camper? 24 or 48 volts? I was simply looking to put the investment of the solar to work when not in use remotely.

Thanks in advance for any reply.
 

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
5,636
Location
Los Gatos CA
I want to build out a 7' x 14' cargo trailer for remote living/camping.

I'm thinking of:

12 volt LED lighting
12 volt water pump
12 volt fans,
12 volt fridge
12 volt diesel heater
12 volt outlet w/ USB chargers

Shore power is a must. Ideally I'd love to have excellent solar 110V power for it, if at all practical. I sized several panels, even the 400+ watt ones, at 48 volt, and apparently 7 (oriented flat) will fit on the roof.

I'd like to run a PC, monitor/TV and accessories on 110 volts, and perhaps 4 interior and 2 exterior 100 volt outlets, for occasionally charging other computers, radios, test equipment.

As if this isn't enough, I live on an island in Canada some 30 miles to sea in a small community, and we often have power outages during the fall and winter storms. Some for a few hours, others for a few days. So, I'd love to be able to park this fairly close to the home, and feed emergency power to the home just a few items, as needed gas stove (needs power for the oven), a few lights, etc., plus pretty much year round when not camping in the trailer. Basically, I'd like to offset in some small way the electric bill, have emergency power, and one heck of an off grid camping system.

Is this remotely doable, or even reasonable to consider, or should I just set up a small generator for the house, and sort out a decent 100 volt system for the trailer/camper? 24 or 48 volts? I was simply looking to put the investment of the solar to work when not in use remotely.

Thanks in advance for any reply.

It is all doable.... but the best way to start is to get a good handle on the size of the system. You need to do an energy audit/survey so you can get a handle on what your requirements are. Without that, figuring out how big the system needs to be is just a shot in the dark.

I use this tool for doing energy audits


I would advise doing the audit two ways:
1) What do you need for your travel/camping
2) What do you need for powering the home. (This could be anything from emergency power only to full-on powering the whole house)

Play with various combinations from the bare minimum to the full delux system. It will help you settle in on what your target should be.

One of the most valuable things about doing the audit is that you learn a lot about your energy usage. The first time I went through this I was surprised by what I learned. Things that I thought were no big deal turned out to be big energy hogs because I ran them so much.

Also, don't start buying stuff till you have everything figured out. Far too often, people get excited and start buying stuff.... and later discover it is not what they needed.

Good luck on your journey and ask lots of questions.
 
Top