Today is the first time I have had to take notice of the limits of my solar power. We have been boondocking for three nights now with only a one hour drive between the first and second day. We have been living as we normally do, charging two laptops, two phones, camera battery and watching TV for hours each night (usually both TV's). The Cradlepoint WIFI device is also never turned off. We have two inverters, one in the front and one in the bedroom, and they stay on all the time, used or not. This is quite a power drag on my two three year old six volt golf cart batteries. The single solar panel is also probably covered with pollen from Florida and South Carolina that I never cleaned off.
Last night I was up for a minute and decided to check the battery voltage. It was 11.4! This is about a 15% charge and is getting down to the point where the electronics on the propane powered fridge could stop working! I immediately turned off both inverters and checked the fridge to make sure the "Check" light was not on. We are moving to Las Vegas today so it will get a three hour run and we will probably go to a proper RV park where we will plug in.
My friend Rae just got a new solar panel installed and has been much better than I at monitoring it's performance. This is probably the first time we have boondocked for that long without a day's drive between stops and probably the first real test the system has had.
I am off to the rooftop to clean my solar panel. It is a sunny day today.
EDIT: I cleaned the panel (it was filthy), the full sun is on it and the batteries are charging at 12.5 volts. "It's Alliive!!!"