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crockpot & van solar (paging bLEEps!)?
#31
(05-27-2019, 02:49 PM)TWIH Wrote: I haven't used my RP oven in months but when I did it worked fine, not for thin soups though.  More like stew or chili consistency items.

The solar oven definitely works, just requires some patience and of course good solar conditions.  I dont have consistently good solar conditions, too much cloud cover.

What about the Coleman camp oven?  Use over the propane stove, $34
1-5 of 222 reviews
Compact and easy to use
Average rating:5 out of 5stars

“I've often wanted one of those fancy camp stove/oven combos. Then I saw Coleman's camp oven that folds flat and compact and uses your existing stove. For our maiden voyage with the camp stove, I whipped up some Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Peppers, a fancy meal for being out in the 'wilderness'.
How it went: The whole thing is metal and as common sense would tell you, the outside get's hot. I thought the door knob would be hot too, fumbled with turning it using pot-holders, then found out it's not hot. Adjusting your desired temp is all controlled by your stove flame. I did not find it difficult to adjust to the 400 degrees I needed. I slightly over cooked my first pan, the bottom a bit over-done. Second pan came out great. Learning how to use it...

My takeaways is it's compact and light, and allows us to easily "bake", warm, etc.
The photos made me feel I was making a Coleman commercial!!!”
End of quote

Coleman oven is fantastic. But the newer aluminum onea are flimsy and easy to bend hinges and whatnot. I use mine at least 3-5x a week.
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#32
Yet Another Update:
Battery charger took the same amount of time as usual (~2 hours).
Felt the inverter a couple of times during its run, and no heat at all.

Yes, that was not a harsh test, but it was my #1 reason (originally) for getting the inverter, and it's always best to start with a gentle/easy test. Smile
System is still at 100%, but did briefly dip to 99%.

I'm going to plug in my Suaoki power pack, and see what happens. I'll be monitoring it more closely, since it's a bigger draw.
( Insert appropriate Jayne Cobb quote. Wink )
"Cause how you get there is the worthier part." Shephard Book to Kaylee, Firefly
[Image: dobby.png]
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#33
Sounds like you have a good grasp on the pro/con, and I encourage you to go for it. As abnorm points out crock pots are cheap at thrift stores, making it a cheap experiment if nothing else.

Having said that:

(05-25-2019, 05:49 PM)Kaylee Wrote: Has anybody used a crock pot powered solely by a van's solar system (with an inverter)?

I've done it with a smaller-than-full-size crock pot (I'll try anything once).  It worked as expected and did not clobber my power situation when used as the right time of day as you describe.

After a few weeks i replaced it with a small (4qt?) pressure cooker from a thrift store.  For me and what I cook the pressure cooker was a big win:

* drastically shorter cooking times
* made of steel (no ceramic bits)
* physically smaller for the same capacity
* easier to clean because the interior has been pressure steamed the whole time :-)  When I cooked in the crock the edges could get a hard crust at the "waterline"
* can be used outside the van without an extension cord :-P
* less water vapor released into the van
* lighter weight, though this might only be true for my two items

The lack of pizzafication is admittedly a shortcoming with no remedy in the pressure cooker world.

If I were in a Class C with copious storage, big sinks, and shore power the pendulum might swing back to crock pot.  For van use in sunny areas a solar cooker might be worth consideration.  Paging Dr. Jim!
---
frater/jason
FT around El Paso:  159" Promaster, 570w
blog | campervan | RVwiki

[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to frater secessus for this post:
  • Kaylee (06-24-2019), Roadtripp (06-29-2019)
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#34
Great thread. I also tend to try one appliance after another looking for something better for my tastes and needs. 
 Pizza: the countertop convection ovens will probably do pizza but take a lot of power. Not drawing power for long however. They cook things quickly. I still use mine occasionally so it has stood the test of time. If I had a small energy system in the desert I would definitely be trying several types of solar oven type cookers. 
 As Sternwake and others mention: Protect the battery investment. If the solar is going into float my mid-morning or mid-day or even mid-afternoon then why not plug in and cook but not at a higher draw than the solar can keep up with. 
 One of my main dilemmas that has been discussed here is the cleaning-up-afterwards, dishwashing,  water supply, water disposal, and trash management. I need to work on these. I’m still having fun experimenting. 
  My current landlord is likely one of the most efficient people on the planet. He even takes his cooking appliances apart and carefully inserts gel insulation in any void so they use less energy. His fridge has a extra layer of 6” insulation around it. Pretty amazing. If the majority of people lived like he does we would need a fraction of the resources and energy the world consumes.
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#35
Pizza is not a problem in a solar oven. I handed it out in YARC camp a few times. It may take a few tries to get it to your standards but that's true with everything. A American sun oven is likely the best choice as it gets the hottest.
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