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Old 08-14-2019, 06:34 AM   #1
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Solar options for 16' Sport.

Hello all,

I have a 2019 16' Sport that i'd like to get solar for. It only has one interstate battery, and I am really just looking for something big enough to keep that charged. I may add another interstate eventually, so maybe enough watts to charge two batteries while boondocking.

The trailer has the Zamp pre-wiring but those panels seem to be very expensive. Are there other panels I can buy that will be able to plug into that pre-wire system as easily?

Thank you!
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:05 AM   #2
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Hi

I believe what you have is the pre-wire to the battery as opposed to a pre-wire on the roof. The battery pre-wire is generic and pretty much any portable solar gizmo will plug into it. The controller is in the portable part, the "pre-wire" is just a couple wires, a connector, and a fuse.

All that said, there *is* a bit of nonsense about the polarity of the connector used. Some put the plus side here, others put the plus side there. As long as red goes to red, all is well. If it simply will not plug in that way, you will need to wire up an adapter (or re-wire one of the plugs).

Hopefully that makes sense .....

Bob
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Old 08-14-2019, 04:21 PM   #3
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Solar Option a portable ?

Being in a similar situation boondocking and / or not always able to be in charging sunlight (+ other airforum members suggestions for also “adding” portable) for now, decided on a 120watt folding portable by Aims PV120 Case (Amazon). This tops off our 2)220ah 6volt Fullriver AGMs In @ 4 hours.

Sweet little unit !
Surprisingly ultra compact & light, 5 panel flexible fold out more like a big notebook. Slips in side storage hatch. You must add a small charge controller but for $250.00 all in, get a 120w (5.5+ charging amps in full sun) orienting solar option until figuring on roof top version.

Most alum framed portables in this arena go from $500.00 to $750.00 and far bulkier and heavier although more substantial.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:49 AM   #4
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Hi

Ok, some math:

A single group 24 battery is likely to be in the 80 AH range. Your typical "stop using" point wold be half of that or 40 AH.

A small single panel is doing pretty well putting out 5 to 6 A. If it does that max output for the equivalent of 5 hours a day you get to 25 to 30 AH in a day. Roughly speaking, it will take more than a day of reasonable sun to get your battery back up to "full". That assumes you aren't pulling anything off the battery. Yes, there's some guesses there, but they are pretty close to what you should normally see.

The "typical" ( = who knows what you have ...) fridge pulls about 1A into the 12V control board. It's going to do that 24 hours a day so that's 24AH. One would *guess* that if you are using the trailer, you are using the fridge . The fridge will pull about what the panel will put out on a good day.

Indeed, if you are going to be out and about "off grid" for more than a day or two, you need more than a single group 24 battery (or you don't use the fridge ....). You also probably need more than a single small solar panel.

Bob
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:06 AM   #5
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Bob and the others are correct. I have a 2018 16 Sport and I added a second battery, since just starting out, I added a second Interstate and got and identical battery box from Walmart.com. I had to cut one handle off to fit, a couple of battery cables and you are good. I also got a Renolgy portable suitcase and controller, Bob right about the plug, Zamps switches the hot side on the SAE plug, but red to red from controller to plug. I also added a BVM, Victron 712 to actually see my aH. We use 15-20 a day and and the suitcase adds some back, with we can go 4 days easy being thrifty. By then water is getting low too in the 16 Sport. Have Fun!
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:27 AM   #6
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What is the size when it in in the case?
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitger View Post
Bob and the others are correct. I have a 2018 16 Sport and I added a second battery, since just starting out, I added a second Interstate and got and identical battery box from Walmart.com. I had to cut one handle off to fit, a couple of battery cables and you are good. I also got a Renolgy portable suitcase and controller, Bob right about the plug, Zamps switches the hot side on the SAE plug, but red to red from controller to plug. I also added a BVM, Victron 712 to actually see my aH. We use 15-20 a day and and the suitcase adds some back, with we can go 4 days easy being thrifty. By then water is getting low too in the 16 Sport. Have Fun!
Thank you for the information! I'm a huge beginner when it comes to electrical things so I'm not quite sure what you mean by Zamp switching the hot side on the SAE plug. I was looking at the Renolgy panels as well but not sure how they would connect to the battery. Can you tell me which controller you got? And did you just connect it directly to the battery?
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Old 08-15-2019, 10:57 AM   #8
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This is the Renogy suitcase I have:

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monocr...n%2C195&sr=1-4


But your will need to change from the MC4 connector on the panel to SAE, I used this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just connected it at the controller, but here is where the ZAMP plug thing comes in. The Zamp socket on the trailer is switch from the normal SAE setup. Normal SAE is the exposed metal part of the plug is positive, but on ZAMP's the metal plug end is neg, so back to Bob's statement, pos to pos ( + to +), which means you switch the pig-tail wire, so that the + (pos) side coming from the controller runs down the SAE pigtail such that the covered end of the plug is the positive side (+), this will then go into the positive side of the ZAMP socket on the trailer. Just make sure +/pos is connected to +/pos on controller and socket (you can trace the socket to the pos side of the battery to to confirm.

Also, the pig-tail is only 5 feet, I have made a longer one (extension) so I can move the panel around if needed.

I hope this helps,

Any help here explaining this is welcome, also google the zamp plug issues and you will see others dealing with it
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitger View Post
Bob and the others are correct. I have a 2018 16 Sport and I added a second battery, since just starting out, I added a second Interstate and got and identical battery box from Walmart.com. I had to cut one handle off to fit, a couple of battery cables and you are good. I also got a Renolgy portable suitcase and controller, Bob right about the plug, Zamps switches the hot side on the SAE plug, but red to red from controller to plug. I also added a BVM, Victron 712 to actually see my aH. We use 15-20 a day and and the suitcase adds some back, with we can go 4 days easy being thrifty. By then water is getting low too in the 16 Sport. Have Fun!


I also have an ‘18 16 and would like to do something similar as I mostly boondock. Not handy but learning. Wondering how you installed the Victron, where the shunt went in. Thank you.
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitger View Post
This is the Renogy suitcase I have:

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Monocr...n%2C195&sr=1-4


But your will need to change from the MC4 connector on the panel to SAE, I used this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just connected it at the controller, but here is where the ZAMP plug thing comes in. The Zamp socket on the trailer is switch from the normal SAE setup. Normal SAE is the exposed metal part of the plug is positive, but on ZAMP's the metal plug end is neg, so back to Bob's statement, pos to pos ( + to +), which means you switch the pig-tail wire, so that the + (pos) side coming from the controller runs down the SAE pigtail such that the covered end of the plug is the positive side (+), this will then go into the positive side of the ZAMP socket on the trailer. Just make sure +/pos is connected to +/pos on controller and socket (you can trace the socket to the pos side of the battery to to confirm.

Also, the pig-tail is only 5 feet, I have made a longer one (extension) so I can move the panel around if needed.

I hope this helps,

Any help here explaining this is welcome, also google the zamp plug issues and you will see others dealing with it
Ok great thank you, it's all starting to make sense now. So if I purchased the panels that you linked. And purchased these two converters, it should work as a "plug and play"?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...c=1&pldnSite=1

https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-MC4-SA...XTME36DYS8VGT2
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Old 08-15-2019, 06:54 PM   #11
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Two Seasons ago, our first set-up...120w Zamp, charging thru the 7pin.

Bob
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