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Old 02-24-2019, 01:19 PM   #15
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Any recommendations on portable solar panel units?

As an alternative to a suitcase, just get a couple of 100 watt panels, about 40-60 feet of solar cable and a Victron solar controller. This will perform better than a suitcase and only cost about $400. You can also mount it permanently down the road on your Basecamp or another Airstream.



There is no need to go any larger than #10 wire as the current is only about 5 amps if you connect your panels in series.



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The next photo was taken when the solar output was much higher, about 175 watts from the panels (based on the Victron controller) and 167 watts into the batteries (based on the Trimetric).Click image for larger version

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Old 02-24-2019, 01:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paprika View Post

I've had flexible panels. I've seen them fail after a year or so. I use rigid panels on the ground now. Bonus: they cost half as much per watt as the flexibles.
I waited for the panels went on sale, this helped on pricing, so far mine have lasted over two years.
What I like about flexable panels is that they are light and very easy to store.

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:15 AM   #17
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Dave-We have the 200 w suitcase from Renogy and the reverse polarity adaptor to connect to Zamp solar plug. It still does not work through the plug. If we hook up to battery directly works fine. Did you have problems with the Zamp solar plug? We canít figure it out.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:58 AM   #18
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Hi tschambo,

If you are asking me (DaveP), I cannot answer from experience. I do not have any Zamp equipment. If it is just reverse polarity, then I would say that you might have some bad crimps or a faulty adapter.


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Dave-We have the 200 w suitcase from Renogy and the reverse polarity adaptor to connect to Zamp solar plug. It still does not work through the plug. If we hook up to battery directly works fine. Did you have problems with the Zamp solar plug? We can’t figure it out.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:39 AM   #19
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Yes>>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee-Robert View Post
Is it waterproof? Can you post the model number?
Our Zamp has stayed out...but really it's not a concern they are portable after all. 🤔
I fold 'em up and put 'em in the Burb right after I roll up the awning. 👍

Bob
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:24 AM   #20
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I have both the ZAMP 160 for a 2 x 6 volt AGM trailer and a ZAMP 120 for the single 12 volt AGM trailer. Both work very well.

I opted for the made-in-the-USA ZAMPs instead of the Canadian based Renology and Go Power! Valterra Power panels. I've read that people have had difficulties with warranty issues with the Cnadian companies.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:35 AM   #21
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Trickle Charge?

100W is a lot for battery maintenance. I use a 35W small but quality panel and a small inexpensive 7 amp charge controller plus a couple alligator clamps and it keeps the battery fresh. I do this on my parked vehicles as well through the 12V lighter sockets. If you are maintaining a load in the trailer you will need more than 35W.

The other option is to build a portable solar charger. Small inverter, battery, charge controller and panel(s). Then just plug the trailer into that. Other option is to plug it into a genny once a month for an hour.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:34 PM   #22
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Great portable solar panel review on you tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee-Robert View Post
Now that my Basecamp is in covered storage the factory installed solar panels on the roof can't keep the batteries charged. I need to locate a good option for a portable solar panel setup to connect to the exterior solar panel connection.
I would recommend that you check out this review of various panels out on the market.

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Old 03-03-2019, 12:45 PM   #23
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Have Go Power 120 portable panels (suitcase) . Plugs into 7 pin to charge. See ad in Airstream Life store.
I have the same. Works for me
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paprika View Post
Food for thought: Renogy's "Compact Design" 100 W rigid panels (which at $113 look like the current best buy) are performance warranted (90% of rated output) for 10 years. Renogy's 100 W flexible panels are performance warranted for 0 (yes, zero) years.

I've had flexible panels. I've seen them fail after a year or so. I use rigid panels on the ground now. Bonus: they cost half as much per watt as the flexibles.
I wonder if you could expand on the issue with the flex panels a bit more. The dealer where I picked up my 2016 25' International FB installed two 100-watt flex panels on the coach, and I'm beginning to notice some 'fogging' of a few of the sections on each panel. I don't have the tools or the experience to know how to measure the output from the panels.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:44 PM   #25
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Iíve used the Zamp portable 160 Watt panels successfully for 3 years to recharge my AGM batteries at sites when we have no 30 Amp power. The problem I had was how to charge batteries on the day of departure after a night without AC power. We would artive at our next site with partially depleted batteries. I purchased a Yakima ďOff GridĒ roof rack (see photo) and mounted the Zamp solar panels to it using nylon straps, cushioning under the panels, and cable locks for security. I simply connect the solar panel to my batteries as usual but can now charge as I drive to our new destination. This has worked very well during my recent test on the way to Death Valley from Orange County in preparation for an Alaska ttip this summer,.

An added advantage is I can position the Zamp wherever I get best benefits while camped yet get total recharge on the day of travel.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:22 AM   #26
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Same concept on a home built 200w renogy suitcase mounted on my son's camper. Click image for larger version

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Old 03-04-2019, 03:04 PM   #27
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I also got the Renogy Eclipse 100w panels. Eclipse is smaller and lighter than the previous model. Got an "open box" suitcase sold by Renogy through eBay and saved about $140. Can't even see any wear and tear on it. Check out YouTube video by Bob Nada for how to set up a convenient wire from your panels to your trailer batteries.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:41 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
I have both the ZAMP 160 for a 2 x 6 volt AGM trailer and a ZAMP 120 for the single 12 volt AGM trailer. Both work very well.

I opted for the made-in-the-USA ZAMPs instead of the Canadian based Renology and Go Power! Valterra Power panels. I've read that people have had difficulties with warranty issues with the Cnadian companies.
I think you mean Renogy. I don't know where you got the idea that it is a Canadian company. All my dealings with them have been through their business in California.
Also as to the issues with warranties, I found them to be very easy and accomodating to deal with.
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