Are We Crazy?

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rruff

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I said PARTIALLY cloudy. (diffused light). I guess the internet knows better than someone that actually worked in the industry.
This is only the first 5 articles that came up. All say mono is better in cloudy conditions.

"Mono panels gather more energy in low light, such as cloudy conditions."

"Efficiency on High Heat and Cloudy Day – Monocrystalline solar panels deal with severe heat and low light better."

"Pros Of Monocrystalline Solar Panels: Better performance in cloudy areas where sunlight is minimal."

"What Solar Panels Are Best For Cloudy Days? Monocrystalline solar panels are the best technology solar panels for cloudy days. These solar panels have higher efficiency and perform better than the other technologies in low light conditions, such as cloudy days."

"MONOCRYSTALLINE SILICON SOLAR CELLs Pros: They perform better than similarly rated polycrystalline solar panels at low-light conditions."
 

frater secessus

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Google says the opposite:

I've tried to subject that claim to reasoned discussion before. I fear it is not a good use of time.

As far as I can tell from the literature Poly/Mono have similar performance in cloudy conditions (similar sensitivity to the germane part of the light spectrum). This also lines up with my unscientific observation with arrays of both types.

Having said that, if someone has links to formal empirical testing or research literature I'd like to read it, Sandia or NREL in particular. I do change my mind when I come across new evidence.
 

wrongway2

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Not being a spec nerd nor a techno geek, I figured that 200 watts fits into the equation to fulfill my minimal power needs. So I settled the Mono/Poly argument by adding a third panel of which ever kind I have. Now I have 300 watts, and battery capacity, to cover me for cloudy days. It's working fine. Ok.....argue on.....
 

Catalyst1

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Hi,

Long time lurker, brand new member.

A little background, we are both in our late 20's and have a dog. Both of us are business owners who work pretty much 24/7, we love what we do but its time for a break. In the coming months we will be selling our house and moving to Florida, tired of the Ohio winters among numerous other things. We've tossed around the the whole van life thing for the past 3-4 years and are now seriously spending time trying to figure out if this is for us.

My main idea is to spend 6 months to a year on Florida's west coast, spending time at campgrounds ( close to/on the beach) or trying to park at public boating boating docks and things like that. I've reached out to numerous different cities across Florida and most of them have said overnight parking is fine at those locations.

The biggest things that I am trying to figure out if they are realistic or not are as follows:

#1: AC- I will be planning on working in the mornings and need AC not to mention our dog needs to be safe. The goal is to bring her every where but if we need to keep her in the van I want to be 100000% sure she is safe. My plan for AC is a small 5000 btu window unit mounted near the top of the fan with about 1200 watt monocrystalline with at least 400 amp hours of batteries. My only concern is this wont be enough, I want to build a system that can run 24 hours "IF" possible. Meaning sun is out and all that fun stuff. We are looking at 150+ WB sprinters.

#2: Jet Ski- Seeing as I am not really going for the super urban stealth build we have tossed the idea around of hauling a jet ski with us, this would also go into my plan of camping at docks since it would look like we have a reason to be there due to the jet ski. I love to fish and if would be a way to get off shore a bit and explore.

#3: Shower- We keep going back and forth if we want a shower, we've stood in a few of them and cant fit. I'm 6'4 230 so a shower would take up a decent amount of space. Those of you who built showers, was it worth it? Since we plan on being on/near the beach all the time I feel like a shower would be a must have.

Lastly is experience, both our cars at the moment are not conducive to camping in. I am a try before you buy type of guy and am having a hard time finding any rental vans in our area (ohio), If anyone is near by and would rent there van/let me bug you with a million questions please let me know.

We've tossed around the whole boat life thing but at the moment we both don't feel like we have enough experience to do that.

Thanks,
P2
I, like you, think the ability to shower inside is essential. If you are going to use it often, I recommend you look into a recirculation system with filters. That way, you don't have to be as concerned about the amount of water each shower, as you would if you just dumped it into a grey tank with every shower. You need to be willing to change 3 filters about 1X week, but to me, that beats constantly running to re-fill your water tank. If you don't put a shower pan inside the van, you can plumb it so that you shower just outside the van, with a van door open, and a shower curtain that pulls around you while you shower.
 

GypsyJan

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"Are We Crazy?"

Hopefully, as those that are considered crazy seem to fare better as van dwellers, LOL!

I am a native Floridian and when I go on the road fulltime next year, I only plan to be in Florida 5 months (Nov-March). Those months I won't need air conditioning. Apr-Oct can be muggy, if not downright hot.
 

Annieclover

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You don’t have to be crazy to be a nomad, but it helps. “ crazy“ might be the word other use. I prefer eccentric, independent, freethinker, someone who doesn’t want to be in a box and enjoys thinking outside the box. We may not be crazy but we do like to walk to the beat of a different drummer.
nice explanation...
 

CosmickGold

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Polycrystalline panels. Not monochrystaline. They absorb power better on hazy and partially cloudy days.
. . . .
Good luck.
Oh no! I bought Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panels! Yet love living in the far Northwest where most days are cloudy. I've been using 400 watts of them since December 2017. Waaa! 😭 If I'd only known.

Oh. Ok. I read that. Whew! Now I feel MUCH better. 🥲
 

GotSmart

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Yup. If you want anything to agree with what you are thinking go to Google!

The difference in panels is small. When you are running a solar farm that is where you sweat the details.
 

wrongway2

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Techno geek crap. If a panel produces 5.1 amps and a panel next to it produces 5.2 amps it IS better. Fifty cents better? How about $75 better? "They" never say how little better is or mention the hefty price for the better you'll never know is there. Use what you have and don't fret it. The biggest difference, by far, will only be felt in your wallet. But, the ex-spurts don't tell you that.....no profit in it.
 

GotSmart

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As a founding member of the You AINT Right Club ~~~. Youse pikers keep on keeping on. Some day you might earn a stinkin badge.
 

NctryBen

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So you have the you ain’t right club, the I’m always right club, and the welcoming club... which one do I belong to? Well, welcome to the you ain’t right club... if you wanna know what’s right just ask me. Haha!
You would know what you could handle better then any of us. You sound adventurous... I’d rethink the jet ski as a fishing rig. But then it does kinda make sense in some ways. Hauling one around everywhere would be more of a pain I would think. The fact your both business owners tells me your both ambitious and self starters. I think you’d do well.
As far as your power needs... check out the section on power and electricity. Some good insightful people out there...
Are you crazy...? A good kinda crazy!
 

CosmickGold

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"Are We Crazy?"
Hopefully, as those that are considered crazy seem to fare better as van dwellers, LOL! . . .
You don't have to be crazy to live this lifestyle, just adventurous. . . .
[nature lover said: "You don’t have to be crazy to be a nomad, but it helps."]
nice explanation...
“Are we crazy?”
Does anyone answer Yes to that?
[“Are we crazy?”]
Uhhhh.... JDub tentatively raises his hand.... OHHHH... Wait. you mean THEM! :LOL:
well as crazy people are those that have seen reality..i would say if you're NOT crazy you are in fact nuts!!😂😂⁹ i am crazy by OTHERS standards but normal by mine AND those that matter!!!😘😘😘
As a founding member of the You AINT Right Club ~~~. Youse pikers keep on keeping on. Some day you might earn a stinkin badge.
. . . . Are you crazy...? A good kinda crazy!

Am I crazy? Some people clearly think so. I hand them my card with website and details on it. And I explain to them that my mother started teaching me that magic is very real and not fantasy, way back when I was two years old. She showed me by doing magic (the real thing, not tricks) and then taught me how to do likewise, which came easily at age two.

It's usually very hard for adults to learn -- if they can learn to do it at all -- but at age two, there is no need for faith to overcome one's unbelief, because at two, one does not have any unbelief to overcome! So I hand them the card and explain to them -- as they look at me incredulously -- that I wrote a 33,000-word book (free and online), that tells many of my personal magical experiences through life, and that I did this because so many adults I see around me don't believe in magic anymore at all. "They think it's just fantasy for children!" I tell them, "and I want people to know the truth so they can learn to make use of it!"

A fair number of people give me a look as though thinking "Oh man, this guy has totally lost it! Over the edge even! Clearly heading for an institution, maybe the 'men in white coats' or at least a retirement home for the senile. We better humor him for the moment, and then 'get the hell out of Dodge.'"

As I finish, they politely tuck my card into a pocket, thank me, and promise to examine my website as soon as they have an opportunity to do so. But I later check my website stats and discover most were never there. Instead, I think the card most often goes into the nearest trash can when they're sure I'm out of sight.

But that's ok. I don't feel bad about it, because I give them an opportunity to change their lives for the better, an opportunity to learn how easy it can be to manage one's environment (and happiness) with magic. The many who instead hold onto their problems and emotional distresses are making their own personal choice, which they have every right to. My job is only to offer an alternative, so I'm satisfied with fulfilling my role. 😌
 
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NctryBen

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Mmm, I love filled rolls...

I don’t believe any of us believe we’re crazy... on the contrary... happy as can be and probably the happiest on the road.
Need an alternative... naw... I think we’re good to go. Hitting the North Shore of Lake Superior tomorrow... life is good.
 
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