First off, I'm not using car batteries, I'm using two UPS deep cycle batteries, they are better suited for back up systems and charge better. I got them used at a battery store for $40 bucks each.
They will supply your electrical needs depending on how much wattage you are using. A coffee pot for example will pull a lot of watts and make your batteries run down faster than just a couple of 13 watt cfl light bulbs.
I came real close to getting the Harbor Freight inverter but bought one from 12 Volt-Travel instead, about the same money but mine has a really handy meter on it's front panel that will tell you how much wattage your using. The inverter you link to is only a 400 watt inverter, not enough in my opinion, but may be good for a couple of light bulbs. My inverter is a 1500 watt inverter, it costs more but it'll run more appliances with it.
The solar panel I'm using is only a 5 watt panel, which isn't much but seems to be enough to keep my batteries topped off and fully charged. Charging up a dead battery would be a different story. This is why I also keep a standard battery charger to charge up the batteries while I have my normal electricity still available.
Of course a higher wattage solar panel will give you more watts, but they are also more expensive.
I'm not that familiar with the Duracell unit, so I can't really review it.
Great, thanks for the info.
Am I correct, though, in my explanation (solar to batteries, batteries to inverter, inverter to plug in appliance) of how the system would/should work?
Any opinions on the Harbor Freight 3 panel system?
My uses/needs for power would be the following(in descending order):
A couple of lights for my interior
Recharging the batteries in my hand held walkie talkie radios
Recharging my flashlights (which, as mentioned, are also crank operated, and could be ommitted if it put too much strain on things)
Possible need for a couple of AA batteries to be recharged
Optional-small cube refrigerator from my college days
I like the Duracell unit, seems pretty hefty, has a built in light, clock, and radio. Comes with jumper cables for a car battery. Seems pretty robust, and price is not bad.
I think if I do go with the HF 3 panel set up, I will grab a few deep cycle batteries for it. I take it that they are specially designed to be run down and recharged a lot, rather then small runs and recharges, like say a car battery?
Thanks again for the help. Always an education here for me.