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Old 03-01-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
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1977 28' Argosy 28
Mission Viejo , California
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Bumper mounted quick disconnect for portable solar?

Hi I'm a newby owner of a 1977 Argosy 28 MH. I have 200w solar panels mounted on a removable upright pole that fits into my hitch receiver. I'd like to connect the array to my solar regulator via a quick disconnect socket mounted perhaps under the rear bumper. I'm not sure what kind of socket to use for this application. I don't want the socket to be confused with a standard cigarette lighter socket or the towing harness. Any ideas?
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Old 03-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #2
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I also built a solar panel set up that attaches to a removable pole on the hitch. I built it to attach to the 7-pin trailer wiring plug. I just used a blank vehicle side 7-pin plug and only hooked up the charge line and the ground. It works well. One disclaimer though, my trailer is older (1962) with completely separate 12-volt and 120-volt systems. The charge line on my trailer goes directly to the battery. I don't know if more modern electrical systems would pose problems.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:26 PM   #3
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1977 28' Argosy 28
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Interesting idea. I think the 120/12v systems are sufficiently isolated, but I wonder if trailer power pin would just reach coach battery and not the house batteries. Also, would trailer wiring be sufficient for 200w?
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:32 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have lots of options and its just up to your imagination!

My first thoughts are:

1- Utilize a different style of tow wiring plug (i.e., instead of a 7 way plug, use a 4 way flat, or an even better 2 way flat) There are different types of trailer/tow connections and you can get almost anything on the internet if not available in a local store.

2- Label your connections. A simple weatherproof label could work, or you could get fancy with a plastic or metal engraved plate and permanently affix it with adhesive or rivets. I've seen and done this with snow removal equipment utilizing trailer wiring plugs.

3- Use a specific quick disconnect plug for the solar panels. Most solar manufacturers have a disconnect or plug with their systems already. Just use one for your vehicle connection. You could still label it if you wanted to.

I would just encourage you, whatever you do, to ensure the connection can be weatherproofed as well as possible, both when connected and disconnected. Corrosion on any contacts will likely affect a clean connection and good voltage transfer. Hope that helps a little bit.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:35 PM   #5
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Anderson 20 amp connectors.
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdufault View Post
Interesting idea. I think the 120/12v systems are sufficiently isolated, but I wonder if trailer power pin would just reach coach battery and not the house batteries. Also, would trailer wiring be sufficient for 200w?
The way I have mine built, I can only attach to the trailer when it isn't plugged into the tow vehicle. So I unplug the the trailer 7-pin from the truck and plug it into the solar panels. I didn't do the math on the wire, but the charge line on my trailer is 10 gauge, and my panels are small, less than 100 watts.

Since you're asking about coach vs house batteries, you must be in an RV, not a trailer. So I don't know it my setup would work.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:48 AM   #7
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I use the Anderson SB50 connectors for a similar application. They may work well for what you want. You can buy them for different wire sizes from 10/12 to #6. They also make different colors that must match or the won't fit.

You can buy them from Amazon or e-bay. They are much cheaper on e-bay if you buy them in bulk.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=sr_1_2&sr=8-2
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
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1977 28' Argosy 28
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Thanks all for the great input. Sorry in advance for my ignorance. How do the Anderson Connectors work? Do I need a male and female version of the Anderson Connectors, or do I just purchase two of the same connectors and they somehow can be configured to work in either role?
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:02 PM   #9
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I believe the SB120 came with my solar setup. It is portable, just choose the one that will provide the correct amperage rating.

http://store.andersonpower.com/MultiPole.aspx

Once you know the correct size HRO may have it in stock.

http://www.hamradio.com/search.cfm
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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I also used the Anderson 50A style connectors for my 200w dual panel solar. I mounted the connector to my battery box, with in-line 30A fuse wired directly to the batteries. The hardest part is soldering the 10GA wire to the 6GA connector. I use 10GA land scapeing wire. Gives me some reach for the sun when the trailer is in the shade.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:18 PM   #11
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the connectors are marked +,-..
be aware of your polarity when installing the contact a. The connectors only mate one way, upper and lower ensuring polarity.
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