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Old 12-11-2015, 09:23 AM   #1
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Folding Solar Recommendation

I am looking for recommendations on which folding solar set-up to buy. The three I'm looking at are the 120w Go Power, 120w Zamp, or 100w Renogy. I would also consider others in this size that I missed.

The folding solar will augment existing roof top solar on my AS, as well as a pop-up camper, when parked in the shade or when the sun is low in the winter. I am limited to these sizes, as it is the most power I can get and still store it where it will be carried. I have considered making my own set-up (and still may), but I really like the complete units with a storage case for protection while traveling.

I want the option of disconnecting (bypassing) the controller that is attached to each unit, and running my own wire to a plug that will connect to the AS or camper solar controller (PWM). From what I can see from photographs, it would be easy to bypass the Go Power and Renogy controllers, and reconnect if I wanted to use them in the future (for a boat or something else). Not sure if I could do this on the Zamp.

The Renogy has less watts, but is half the price and has better ratings on Amazon than Go Power.

Has anyone compared the three brands, and if so, what did you find? Other thoughts?
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:53 AM   #2
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I did exactly the same as your proposed setup with Zamp 160. Works well.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #3
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Look at Overland Solar 150w.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #4
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I do not have solar on the roof and considered a propane generator before deciding on the Renology. It has worked well in the field for me and I really like the fact that it has an integrated controller. Also, got caught in the rain a few times and no worries, just tucked the controller under the panels and walked away - all systems nominal and usually a full charge of my 2 house batteries in a day. Amazon usually has them on sale every second month with free shipping.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:55 AM   #5
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I have the 120w Zamp and also,the factory installed solar. Been using it about a year. Zamp wired to my two batteries. Each system has it's own controller and they aren't in conflict with one another.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:49 PM   #6
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I use the Renogy. I actually have two of the 100 watt suitcase systems. One with the controller is used to charge up equipment batteries at remote locations and as back up. The one without the controller is used to supplement the roof top solar on my camper if I am parked in the shade. For me it was the best value for the money and the panels are top quality.

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Old 12-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #7
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Hi Trailbob, I replied on WTW. Looks like we have similar TT.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, it helps seeing what others do.

Overland Solar was recommended by mrprez, and on the Wander the West site that I also follow. I had never heard of them, so I looked them up and liked what I saw, and sent them an e-mail with a list of specific questions. They sent a detailed response and offered to customize their panel for my use by installing an Anderson connector before their controller. This would allow the use of the portable system's controller, or running directly to the camper/TT controller. They also offered (for a small fee) to upgrade the wiring between the panel and the battery from #14 to #10. Not sure which panel I will select yet, but I'm impressed by Overland's customer service.

Thanks again- Bob
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:08 AM   #9
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The charger is attached by double sided tape and is easy to remove from the back of the panel. Having the charger on the back of the panel will choke down the voltage available to charge your batteries. I moved my charger from the panels to the batteries and was getting 14.4 volts, much better than the 13.2 before.
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