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Old 03-20-2023, 11:53 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2022 16' Caravel
sanford , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
2022 16' Caravel solar

There is a decent MPPT charge controller installed for the 90W panel on the roof, and there is an input near the batteries for an external.
I was surprised to see that input is wired directly to the batteries bypassing the MPPT controller altogether.

There are extra ports on the roof, can external panels be plugged in there?
Why would Airtstream bypass the charge controller???

Thanks for any suggestion.
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Old 03-20-2023, 02:51 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
2023 28' International
Mercer County , New Jersey
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 475
It is separate for a few reasons:
- If the panels are mismatched (Volts or amps - depending on a parallel vs series configuration), you will get degraded performance.
- Most portable panels come with a controller built in.
- Who'd want to climb on the roof every time to connect/disconnect the panel?
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Old 03-20-2023, 03:47 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
2022 16' Caravel
sanford , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 7
The panel we had with our last trailer does not have a charge controller, I'd installed that inside the camper. Looks like they install the same cheap one I had on "portable" panels now so I can modify the one I have or get a newer lighter folding one.
Now I see the error in my logic.
I appreciate the education
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