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RV Wind Turbines

Discussion in 'Other Camping' started by kevinkimers, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Novice Camper

    Someone talk me out of this before I even get started trying to do it. While I was posting my mini turbine plans I came up with a larger turbine plan that is attached to my RV. :eek: There are two of them. One using my existing fold down antenna the other attached to the back of my RV. Crazy idea right?! :jawdrop: I really think I'm starting to lose it, but I can't seem to get the idea out of my head. Please convince me that it is a bad idea. :p
  2. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Depending on what you need....have you looked into solar panels? A lot quieter and possibly a lot cheaper because of the materials and the way it is manufactured.
  3. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Well, I think I know what you got your inspiration from. I often see RVs with little wind turbine looking things mounted on their roofs, like this one:


    But I am pretty sure that those are not there to generate power and it is more of a decorative feature. You should look into this in more detail before you invest too much effort to the project (unless you simply love to tinker) because your first attempt at a design might not put out power in a form useful for you to use.
  4. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Pathfinder

    Solar for the daytime and wind turbine for the night. Look into both options. No harm in that. Although you could find parts readily available on old DC fans or old car alternators. Solar panels are getting cheaper also, so don't limit yourself.
  5. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    You don't necessarily need to have something generating power at all times of the day. For personal use, batteries are usually a viable option. If I were to pick one or the other I'd probably go with solar given how unpredictable the right wind conditions are.
  6. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    When I was living "off-grid", and bought my diesel generator; the man who sold it to me had several wind turbines, and also some large solar panels, plus a huge bank of batteries which he charged up using both the solar and the wind turbines. This man lived at the top of a very high mountain peak in eastern Washington, and the wind blew like crazy the whole time I was up there. Even so, he said that the wind did not produce enough energy for him to use for his home. He said that although the wind was always blowing hard up there; it needs to be in a place with a whole LOT of wind before a wind turbine is going to do much for you.

    That said, it doesn't hurt to have one up on the roof, for whatever amount of electricity it may generate. Foldable solar panels would help a whole lot, too. If you have a good deep cycle battery that can be being charged by solar, wind, or the vehicle running; and manage your electrical usage, you would probably be okay with just the little camper trailer to provide for.
  7. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    That's part of the reason why wind power is not very popular. I know that in Scandinavia it is used significantly because they have a lot of wind on the coastline and off shore windmills work well for that. Like you said there is also on the tops of mountains but I am not sure how well that would work very very high up because of the decreased air density which would mean less pressure to drive the propellers.


  8. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Wind turbines are an issue in this Province and it is sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction in terms of real truth. Nuclear power generates fifty per cent in Ontario - then all this stuff is a whole different topic. I don't think that I be using either on any camping/canoeing trip soon.
    campforums likes this.
  9. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Dancer, I can see that having a wind turbine on the canoe might be a bit of a difficulty. I have searched for a better method of generating propulsion for the canoe, and I have discovered one design that is very unique, though I am not quite sure how Reese will fit. Maybe a Doggie Platform across the back would work?

  10. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Our incredible thinking process can design and create so many marvellous inventions. I think that my prospector canoe will have to continue to be the main exploration vehicle, that and my Sagamore cherry paddle will just have to do. :)
  11. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I completely agree, while clean/green/eco-friendly technology is great, nuclear is the only one that really has the potential to replace fossil fuels in significant quantity... At least based on what I've read.

    Sounds like Reese will be disappointed :(
  12. 2sweed

    2sweed Natural Camper Staff Member

    Someday Reese may just paddle his own canoe with or without wind power. Northern Dancer's dog is very smart and if there is a will there is a way. I can see them now going down stream paddling away in total bliss lost in that incredible thinking process..........:)

    images.jpg images (1).jpg
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  13. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    That is funny. I think your right - if Reese could paddle he would do that just to please me.

    He's a great companion and is as excited about being outdoors as I am. Unless you have had the experience - you really can't appreciate sitting in front of a fire and having your dog nuzzle up beside you and lay his head in your lap. There is a bond and an understanding that defies an accurate explanation. At the moment that happens, kindred spirits meet and a comfort level is established that goes beyond a simple friendship.

    :bear: Okay okay, enough of the mushy stuff.

    What was the topic about again?
  14. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    Man's best friend :) There are some very heroic stories about dogs that you often hear about. For example, just today in the newspaper I read about a story where a family almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning had it not been for their dog.
  15. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Novice Camper

    Ok, we came up with a complete idea... this is how ludicrous we can be.

    We have a folding (nonworking) antenna on our RV. Going to turn that into a wind turbine.
    Extending our roof to have a 1 foot space between ceiling and roof with air slits that can be blocked off when driving. Placing miniature vertical turbines inside.
    Lining top of roof (we are removing top hatches and air conditioner from the roof as we don't like or need them) with solar panels that lift to an angle.

    All of these will be connected to a power regulator (don't want to over charge the batteries) which is connected to 10 deep cycle batteries which are connected to a power inverter which in turn is connected to our fuse box. Insane, I know.
  16. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Wow! Sounds complicated to me; but then again, I am not mechanically inclined at all. I was one of those people that stole someone else's stapler because I had such a hard time trying to reload my own. I am sure my boss wondered how he could fill up his stapler, run to the bank, and when he got back to the office, the stapler was empty. I did see him give it a strange look, like "I am sure that I refilled this", sometimes. But anyway (back on topic again) , it sounds like you are going to have to make major modifications to the roof of the camper. How will you seal it back up again just in case it rains?

    I know that you don't actually get much rain out there on the high plains; but it does happen, and being dripped on by a leaky roof is no fun at all. You must really get a lot of wind out there if the turbines are going to generate that much power for you?
  17. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Interesting topic for sure. Like any equipment purchase I explore every possibility keeping in mind the goal or objective that I have set. I'm now thinking of longevity and practical applications as well. Cost is another factor, though not always. I sometimes ask myself questions - is this best that I can do? Are there other options? I'm I prepared to live with my decision? Do I really need it?
  18. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    I think before you go overboard with modifications to your camper's roof you should consider that putting something like that on the roof would probably significantly increase the air resistance it makes as you are driving. This would lower fuel efficiency and might actually cost you more power in the long run in the form of extra gas.
    happyflowerlady likes this.
  19. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    I was thinking about the same thing, Erik. If they are just leaving the camper parked on the property, and driving a different vehicle to and from town, then they don't have to worry about problems when driving. I have not been clear about whether the camper is an actual trailer, or one that fits in the back of a pickup, or whether they have another vihicle to drive. I know that Kimberley said they are way off of any paved roads, but as long as they are not getting much snow or ice there; then a regular 2WD vehicle would get them in and out most likely.

    Even if they are not going anywhere with the camper; I am still concerned that the modifications may cause the roof to leak, or if nothing else, will let more heat escape. Even if they are using propane to keep the camper heated; it will probably cost more for the extra fuel than they save with the wind turbines. Making a way to set them up along side of the camper seems like a better solution to me, and then they can keep adding more turbines as they can afford it, since they have plenty of room on their land.
  20. MacGyver

    MacGyver Survivalist

    OK... I know I'm biased because I'm in the solar camp, but a wind turbine just doesn't make sense to me. Even setting aside the mechanical issues you have to deal with to put one up, I think counting on the wind is just too hit or miss. By the time you invest money for a turbine that may or may not give you power on a given day, solar panels are up in efficiency to the point that you'll get at least some charge even on a cloudy day. As long as it wasn't too overcast, I've even gotten a trickle from my panel on a rainy day. As was pointed out, there's really no reason to have to charge 24/7. A good 3 or 4 panel solar array, with 100 watt panels hooked to an MPPT charger will give you well above the rated wattage on an average sunny day because most 12 volt panels actually put out higher than 12 volts and the charger converts the extra voltage into higher amperage. I get about 5 amps out of my one panel in full sun. Triple that and I can't see a situation where you'd run out of power unless you're running an inverter and cooking in a microwave oven all day. I guess if you're going to be in your RV full-time and using high drain appliances all day long, you might run into an issue. For times like that, I'd just find a cheap generator like the ones at Harbor Freight. A couple of my friends have them and they seem to do just fine to run every now and then - perfect for those times when your batteries can't keep up with the demand.
    campforums likes this.
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