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Old 06-01-2017, 11:01 AM   #1
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2011 25' FB International
Gunnison , Colorado
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Question Portable solar panels

We are wanting to try out some of the portable solar panels we have seen others using with their Airstreams. We'd appreciate info on brands, ease of use, cost and anything else anyone can add that we should be aware of. Thanks in advance. We have a 25í FB 2011 Intl.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:16 PM   #2
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My Zamp 200 works great but it is almost 50 lbs. together with 200 w on roof works great
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:24 PM   #3
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Zamp 160 watt portable paralleled with a 100W Renogy on the roof. Works well for us.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:30 PM   #4
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Best bang for the buck is Renogy.

https://www.renogy.com/products/sola...olar-suitcase/
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:29 PM   #5
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I have a Renogy 100 that has worked well for us.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:59 PM   #6
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If you've got a portable solar panel unit, could I ask what you run off it?

We boondock, but if it's in a place where we would want to run the AC, that would happen so seldom that it's not a factor. Generally we're pretty good for a few days out with two six-volt batteries. We do carry a Honda 2000 generator but are happy when we don't have to use it-- or bring it, for that matter. Mostly we would want to continue to run the fridge and stove exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and sometimes the furnace fan.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:01 PM   #7
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Oh, and be able to recharge/plug in small electronics like a laptop and cell phone.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the info. We just want the portable solar panels to keep our batteries topped out. We ordered a Renogy 100W portable folding panel today. We'll post how it works on our trip next week.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:04 AM   #9
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How did the solar kit work out? I too have this question. We will be switching to 6V batteries shortly, but are curious about people's storage and use options for the portable solar, it seems like the most logical step, and avoids holes in the trailer. Do you generally leave them out when you are not on site? During travel where do you put them, how sensitive to movement are they? 2016 25' Flying Cloud FB. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
If you've got a portable solar panel unit, could I ask what you run off it?

We boondock, but if it's in a place where we would want to run the AC, that would happen so seldom that it's not a factor. Generally we're pretty good for a few days out with two six-volt batteries. We do carry a Honda 2000 generator but are happy when we don't have to use it-- or bring it, for that matter. Mostly we would want to continue to run the fridge and stove exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and sometimes the furnace fan.
I don't run anything off the panels. I charge the batteries with the panels and run stuff off the batteries. The items in your last paragraph are doable, but you'll probably need more than a single 100W panel to keep up with that load consistently through less than optimal sun conditions.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:14 PM   #11
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Our friends with a FC19 similar to ours are on their second season with a 120W Eco-Worthy they got off Amazon for about $250. Seems to work really well so we are ordering one.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:49 AM   #12
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My Renogy 200 suitcase came the other day and I have been playing with it in the yard. It did a great job charging up my 2013 25FC with two 12 volt batteries it only took a couple of hours even while running a fan. Today I will setup as I would while boondocking. My goal is to keep the need to run a generator to a minimum. I plan on having the generator available to run the AC for my wife , she doesn't tolerate heat since her accident years ago. Most of our trips tend to be in the fall and spring so that helps temperature wise. I've seen a few post where people set their rigs up to be totally solar but the costs look like over kill to me. I want to be as green as the next guy but cost to benefit is not quite there.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:24 AM   #13
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I have a Renegy suitcase and Goal Zero controller that includes ability to charge ---
12 volt items, USB items, and 120 volt items. I use it to top off my 6 volt house batteries (2for 12 volts), and recharge my Sondors electric bikes. Have used them for about 1 year. Seems to work well.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
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I just recently purchased the Renogy 200 watt suitcase but haven't tried it yet
Paid $399 for open box but looks like brand new
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:28 PM   #15
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Well it's not a long term test but I was able to run the fan, water pump a couple of times for bathroom breaks and washing a couple of dishes at lunch. Based on the battery voltage from the controller looks like I started and ended the day at the same voltage on battery. I know there would be more draw down over night but I am still learning . It helps having the suitcase so I can keep it pointed at the sun during the day. I'm looking forward to our first trip away from a campground setting
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:24 PM   #16
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We have 200 watts of solar on the roof, looks like an AM Solar installation, cant tell for sure, weíre the second owners with the solar added by the first owner (thank you whoever you are!) along with group 27 AGMs somehow stuffed into the stock battery box. This provides ample power in most conditions. We donít use an AC coffee maker, instead heating water on the stove and making coffee one cup at a time with ingenious single serve filters from a Canadian company named MiniMinit. My wife can use her hair dryer on the low setting from the inverter for the 15 minutes each day it takes, and we donít watch TV, choosing to get away from that form of entertainment while camping. We also have a portable 100w panel from InstaPark called a Mars-100. I bought it from Amazon 5 or more years ago for a ridiculously low price and used it as our primary recharging source when we had a t@b camper. Now I use it as backup primarily when the AS19 is parked in the shade. The portable panel has its own charge controller and I wired up a female 7-way receptacle such that I can just plug it into the trailer 7-way connector. I bought 50 feet of 10-gauge landscape lighting wire to allow putting the panel in the sun. Iím thinking of buying 50 feet of 6-gauge flexible welding wire to replace the landscape wire but I havenít gotten around to it. As it is, I can still get adequate charge from this setup so replacing the wire hasnít been a priority. I guess Iíd do it if the portable panel was my primary charging source. I did use the 6-gauge welding wire to power the truckís 7-way receptacle for better en route charging but thatís another story.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:39 AM   #17
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Well we took a trip this last April 7 days away from hook ups . The panels keep us charged up most days. I did run the generator a couple of afternoons to power the AC . We also ran it a couple of mornings so the wife could run a hairdryer and we would use our Kerig instead of the percolator. I have 15 ft of cable but I think I need to add a bit more as we where under a few trees and shade was an issue during parts of the day. Our biggest issue off the hookups was water both potable and grey. Where we were had a dump service that came by to dump the tanks but didnít provide fresh water. Over all it was a good trip.the only downside was some rain followed by mud which turned into a dust that covered everything and took a couple of days to clean up.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:20 AM   #18
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can someone tell a newbie how to connect a renogy portable suitcase to the Camp plug on my FC 19'. I understand that the renogy is wired different. I was thinking about a 120 watt suitcase for the AS but don't want to fry the system by doing it wrong. I have a 80 Amp on the roof and want too add 120 to 160 more via portable.

thanks

Brad

ps if you suggest a product i.e. a wire adaptor can you link to it please
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:17 PM   #19
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Just make sure the portable has a controller built in
I use an Eco Worthy 120 watt portable ,all you need to do is wire a plug that will fit your AS solar input

$235 on Amazon
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley G View Post
can someone tell a newbie how to connect a renogy portable suitcase to the Camp plug on my FC 19'. I understand that the renogy is wired different. I was thinking about a 120 watt suitcase for the AS but don't want to fry the system by doing it wrong. I have a 80 Amp on the roof and want too add 120 to 160 more via portable.

thanks

Brad

ps if you suggest a product i.e. a wire adaptor can you link to it please
There are a lot more discussions on this in the Electrical/Generator & Solar forum area. My AS doesn't have a factory solar connector, so I can't weigh in with specifics...but I recall discussions saying that it is just an SAE surface plug/connector...though you will want to check the polarity.
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