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Old 05-24-2017, 08:22 AM   #1
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2006 16' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
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Can a portable solar panel be added to a factory solar system?

We are purchasing a 2006 International CCD 16' with factory installed solar. We'll try it out as-is, but I could imagine wanting the flexibility and added capacity of a portable panel to compliment it. I expect a lot of boondocking use. My question is this- if we decide to add a portable panel, can we just use a system where we clip onto the battery, or do we need to wire it into the existing charger and system somehow? I'm worried that there could be some conflict with two independent chargers, but just clipping on a portable system would be easiest.Comments?
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Old 05-24-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
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The controllers should work together. I have both fixed panels on the roof fed through a Victron Blue solar and a Zamp portable panel and they work in concert. Many later model AS trailers have the Zamp compatible SAE port wired next to the battery box so they plug right in.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:21 AM   #3
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I had my Zamp 200w portable panel before I had 200w of roof solar installed. The shop ran a connector for the portable panel into an outside compartment (where my hydraulic brake controller is located. I removed the Zamp controller off the portable system and is not used anymore. I purchased 50ft of marine grade flexible cable to connect the portable panels to the portable connector (Anderson connectors). Only the solar controller inside the trailer manages the solar from the roof and when the portable is plugged in.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:32 AM   #4
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It's good to know I can use a separate controller if I need to. We boondocked last night, and battery dropped to 75% at its lowest. This includes occasional use of the cellular boost system which I'm also experimenting with. It charged back very quickly this morning, but we are parked in the sunlight. A portable may be useful for less sunny days and shade. Right now, I think my higher priority would be adding a second battery.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:42 AM   #5
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Depending on how close the battery is to the U Cord. You could install a 7 pin connector (like on the TV) then plug in the portable panel.
The controller could be at the panel. You only need the charge line pin and the common/ground pin
I have a similar setup on my '74 Argosy 26'. It works fine.
The controller is mounted on the back side of the solar panel where it is out of any weather.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:13 PM   #6
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
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I have a new Airstream 25 Cloud, My question is upcoming winter here in Long Island NY.Do I have to remove the Batteries as i have solar panel on roof, would it be ok to leave them in the unit for the winter. This is all new to me. Tks
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffin View Post
I have a new Airstream 25 Cloud, My question is upcoming winter here in Long Island NY.Do I have to remove the Batteries as i have solar panel on roof, would it be ok to leave them in the unit for the winter. This is all new to me. Tks
Hi

Once you have a pile of snow on the solar, they aren't going to work very well. Does that happen for an hour or two or for a week or two? If it's weeks, you will definitely need some other way to keep the batteries happy.

Discharged batteries at sub freezing temperatures swell and rupture. That's not a good thing.

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Old 10-14-2017, 04:35 PM   #8
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Solar panel

Hi uncle bob thank you for giving me some information about keeping my batteries in airstream for the winter here in ny. I just want to tell you the batteries are from amg lifepro, would this make a difference tks
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