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Old 09-04-2016, 03:32 PM   #15
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For those of you with 25' FC front bedroom, the zamp 160's when put away in their suitcase fit perfectly in the storage locker next to refridge drivers side, on the left side. Almost as though spot was made for them. Just added a strap to hold top against wall. Does not interfere with normal use of locker . I have two 6 volt lifeline Agm and the panels bring them up in about 4 hrs f good solid sun. The panels connect to the batteries with the optional exterior (15 buck?) adaptor I bought when I bought the panels and mounted on the side of the battery box.
Also for those with the above mentioned TT , if you extend the top of your battery box, I don't believe you can open the storage locker behind the batties on the front of the coach. I blew out the bottom of my battery box and added two inches on the bottom.
Rick
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Old 09-04-2016, 03:36 PM   #16
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Just order mine extension for batteries box from http://www.vinniesairstream.com/, only $100. and everything you need to get the job done.

That looks like a well designed and built extension for $100. I built my own. If I had known about this I might have gone that way.
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Old 09-04-2016, 04:57 PM   #17
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Look at the Go Power portable solar that is recommended in the Airstream store. I just got the panels, 39' extension cord, and the adapter that plugs into the 7 pin plug. Easy peasy.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:11 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for great input. The GoPower 120w portable looks like a nice unit at a good price. However I think we're leaning towards building our own 200 w portable solar from the Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Bundle Kit ($309 on Amazon) since it will be half the price of the 200W Zamp unit and I consider myself pretty handy, and it sounds like GammaDog was successful at doing something similar.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:49 AM   #19
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I bought the two 100w Renogy panels with the Wanderer controller. I added two slide-apart stainless hinges to the panels with stainless steel nuts, bolts and lock washers (they fit better than rivets). I added a 12v quick disconect to the battery bank and the feed end of the controller and Voila!
Interested in how you support the panels when in use, especially in view of the fact you can use them together or independently.


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Old 09-05-2016, 10:07 AM   #20
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Time will tell which brand is better. For me, I went all over the renogy website,and couldn't find out where they were made . I hope USA.....zamp products are according to its website and distributor 6 months ago, are made in the USA, with the exception of one or two panels made in Canada soon to be moved to plant in USA when completed. No brainier for me, I bought the Zamps. ����
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:19 AM   #21
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Where the cells are made and where the panels are assembled are not necessary the same place. Reneogy cells come from Germany according to their web site.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:25 PM   #22
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Zamp panels are Bosch.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Offack View Post
For those of you with 25' FC front bedroom, the zamp 160's when put away in their suitcase fit perfectly in the storage locker next to refridge drivers side, on the left side. Almost as though spot was made for them. Just added a strap to hold top against wall. Does not interfere with normal use of locker . I have two 6 volt lifeline Agm and the panels bring them up in about 4 hrs f good solid sun. The panels connect to the batteries with the optional exterior (15 buck?) adaptor I bought when I bought the panels and mounted on the side of the battery box.
Also for those with the above mentioned TT , if you extend the top of your battery box, I don't believe you can open the storage locker behind the batties on the front of the coach. I blew out the bottom of my battery box and added two inches on the bottom.
Rick

Thanks for the tip, that's the setup we are interested in getting.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:41 AM   #24
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To greghoro's question: I move the panels a few times during the day to track the sun. This helps improve performance since they generate the most energy when the surface of the panel is perpendicular to the sun's rays. I use a range of common camp stuff to raise one edge by placing it in the middle of the edge where the two panels meet (the plastic bin in which I keep oils, greases, sealers, etc when traveling is about 12" tall and is the most common prop). I have propped them against a camp table for early or late sun low in the sky. I'm mindful of wind, but no problems so far. I riveted a looped hanger to each panel and use light metal chain and a padlock to keep them from walking away. Of course, a person with a light bolt cutter could still get them for a great price.

If I made another set I would not use sliding hinges. I've never seen fit to deploy just one panel and they are light enough to move and deploy as a pair.

I added $2, round hardware store magnets to the controller's feet. They stick securely to the A frame. Works great.

I hinged the panels with the working sides out, not in. These panels are quite impact resistant and since they ride under a hard tonneau and since tonneaus leak a bit I wanted to minimize the chances of the panels filling with water. So far, so good on that point.

The best thing I added were the Anderson Power couplers. I have one wired into the battery bank and one on the feed end of the controller. It is a better connection IMO than alligator clips and I don't have to open the battery box to set up. It also gives me a port to plug additional 12v stuff including a third battery which I carry in the truck or trailer for cold weather boondocking. I'd love to have two or move 6v batteries, but we don't need that much capacity often and I couldn't handle the extra tongue weight. The 12v quick disconect with a battery in a box gives me the same amp hours with zero extra tongue weight for less money. Works for me. Here's a link: https://www.amazon.com/Gauge-Battery...Anderson&psc=1
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:20 PM   #25
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GammaDog--any reason the controller couldn't be inside the battery box or front storage compartment permanently wired to the battery, with two leads with RENOGY quick connectors to connect to the wire coming form the panels?
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:23 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
GammaDog--any reason the controller couldn't be inside the battery box or front storage compartment permanently wired to the battery, with two leads with RENOGY quick connectors to connect to the wire coming form the panels?
That's what I did with mine. Controller and shunt close to the batteries, but inside the trailer ( 25fb Fb) with the 6awg back up to the front to an Anderson connector beside the battery box.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:04 AM   #27
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That should work

Quote:
Originally Posted by fran&frank View Post
GammaDog--any reason the controller couldn't be inside the battery box or front storage compartment permanently wired to the battery, with two leads with RENOGY quick connectors to connect to the wire coming form the panels?
It sounds like gandtimes did it that way. It certainly should work. I chose the approach I used for a couple of reasons...

I don't believe my Renogy controller is weatherproof. The inside of my battery box doesn't seem fully protected from weather (the lid has no gasket and there are holes where wires enter and exit) so I only expose it to the elements when weather is good enough to use solar charging. Plus my battery box is a tight fit.

On the EB 25 the inside compartment is under the bed. It's hard to get wires in there, plus "the boss" likes to nap in the afternoon while I'm tinkering. Since the controller has indicator lights that show panel and battery status I wanted easy access when in use and the inside compartment doesn't give me that.

Another thought: I'm big on the Anderson connectors. By having the panels and controller portable as a unit and an Anderson on the charge side of the controller I can make up another Anderson with alligator clips to charge a dead car battery or help someone else away from my trailer. Ditto on the trailer-mounted Anderson... I can use it to attach 12 v accessories (maybe an Anderson with a cigarette lighter into which I can plug the 12 v portable fan we carry) or my spare battery.

Also, note that the connectors on the panels are industry standard MC4 fittings. They are not particularly easy to connect and disconnect (they have O rings for weather tightness). Some versions of the MC4 require a tool to disconnect them. I am planning to add a switch to the positive feed line from my panels to the controller so I don't have to unplug a leg during setup and take down. I do that now since the controller must be powered from the battery side before the panels are connected to it and exposed to the sun. Having the controller permanently mounted would avoid that problem, so that's another plus for gandtimes method.

One more technical detail... Be sure to add fuses on both the positive panel-to-controller leg (there is an inline MC4 connector made for that purpose but I don't believe it came with the Renogy 200w bundle) and on the positive leg from the controller to the battery bank (I used an automotive fuse holder soldered into the 10ga wire between the Anderson mounted on my battery box and the positive terminal connection).

So... I'm happy having the controller the way I do. Sorry for the long reply.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:18 AM   #28
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[QUOTE=GammaDog;1847212]It sounds like gandtimes did it that way. It certainly should work. I chose the approach I used for a couple of reasons

I should clarify. I have the SC2030 controller mounted under the bed in the from and I also have the TM2030 mounted inside the FB closet so I don't need to do anything else with the controller. Just plug the panels into the Andersen connector near the battery.
You can buy the Renogy suitcase setup without a built in controller and this is what I may do if I can't get decent flexible panels.
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