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Old 02-19-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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San Clemenete , California
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 26
Zamp Solar panels --Has anyone installed these

Hi-all
Brand specific..Has anyone installed Zamp solar on an Airstream?

Have you tied 2 or more panels of these in parallel.
If so what did you use to splice the wires. Apparently the
plugs on the panels are not MC4 splice compatible. Any suggestions on making the super tight and water tight. I'm planning on soldering splices and
double or triple wrapping with shrink wrapping.

Did anybody use" .Very High Bond Conformable Acrylic Foam Tape, Double-Sided VHB Acrylic Adhesive" Super high bond tape in conjunction with screws or without to hold the solar panel feet to the roof.

Did anyone use the built in "pre-wired" solar on their Airstream. What is the max wattage that can be run on the pre wired.
They say that it is 10 gauge. Any suggestions on running the panel wire pair from the roof into the storage where the controller will be mounted.

Sorry for rattling off the questions, I felt like I was in a congressional hearing.

I have watched many of the videos on youtube and just wanted some direct info.

We are looking forward to meeting some of the forum members at rallies.


First shakedown trip coming in a weeks to Borrego Springs, CA

Thanks,

Steve and Carolyn and Charley pup
San Clemente, CA
WBCCI #10778

2016 Flying Cloud 23FB
Casa de Plata.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:04 PM   #2
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2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 745
Steve, typically you would use a combiner box on the roof to join your panels together. These boxes are sold by AM Solar.

Many folks have successfully used 3M VHB tape along with Sikaflex 221 without screws to bond their panels to the roof. In my case I have four 100 W Renology panels that have performed very well.

As for maximum wattage, it's possible to reuse the existing solar pre-wiring in a 400 W installation if you create a series/parallel panel arrangement. This will keep the losses due to the pre-wiring to less than 2%. You'll need an MPPT controller to perform this feat. My motivation for doing this was to simplify the DIY installation. I also didn't want to disturb my trailer by running cables.

If you use the existing pre-wiring, check your manual. In my case accessing the solar pre-wiring on the roof was as simple as dropping one of the interior lights, finding the wires, and drilling a single hole from the interior light fixture through to the roof where the combiner box is mounted.

Don't forget to make sure you get a battery monitor, as it's important to know the state of discharge of your batteries if you plan on boondocking and want your batteries to last a long time.
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Old 02-19-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari
St. Augustine , Florida
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300 watts can safely be used with 10 gauge up to 12' of wire (from panel to controller. My run is 11' on 10 gauge with 150 watts rooftop. You have to look at wattage and wire distance. Another thought. You MAY get by with that but it is 14' at 240 watts AWG chart AC or DC and in most cases you would find a suggested 200 watts.

I used the idea that zamp shared with their "frog" plug-in to create such plugs on the sides of my battery box a few years ago. Ironically now Airstream I understand is doing the same on the new units.

The location of wiring is different from time to time. On the Safaris the the prewiring was easy to find at the battery box, then stuck in behind the monitor panel and finally in the refrigerator door area. It was taped back in all locations and labelled solar behind the monitor on my trailer

You'll find that there are many opinions on the forum. Some believe you should use massive wiring to lower resistance and avoid the prewire. Others believe you must have lithium batteries, etc It all depends on how beefy you want your system and how deep your wallet is. I have read RV forums where people are creating systems to run their AC unit and all electrical items with no limitations to the tune of thousands of dollars. If they need it, then great. It depends on need but I see solar as supplemental and coordinated with other energy sources in my plan so a smaller system is fine. A 200-250 watt system will charge two half charged batteries up nicely in the "solar day" rating (5 hours or so). I was told I could add another battery if needed with 350 watts.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:00 PM   #4
GLCMRANGER - Sue
 
2016 25' International
Littlestown , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 314
CarolynSteve: I just installed the ZAMP expansion (two 80 watt panels) but had to re-do what the Dealer did (2 100 watt panels with 30 AMP Solar Controller. I installed a ZAMP Combiner box on the roof which made everything work great.

I'd love to send you an email to give you step-by-step instructions (with pictures). If interested PM me on the forum your email address. Also, I can give you advice on panel placement -- i have a 2016 25A (rear bed) configuration.
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:53 PM   #5
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2017 30' Classic
celina , Tennessee
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 10
Steve I just put 320 watts of solar on our new 2017 30j classic.
I did use the Zamp system.
First bought 2 80 watt slime line Zamp panels, only like 13.5" wide and about 58.5" long.
Bought a kit that had the 30 amp deluxe 5 stage PWM controller
25' of 2/c 8awg heavy duty solar wire, wire has the terminals on already
came with a 3 port solar panel combiner cap which was already installed on the AS so I have an extra one
40 amp auto reset circuit breaker
mounting hardware included
this system is good up to about 480 watts

a month later bought a 160 watt panel. JR can get the proper airstream mount feet for the panels

this was my winter project everything came together pretty well
did have to do a bit of custom work to run the wiring and mount the controller.
also did get the battery sensor that does wire to the controller.

so far pleased with the system have about a $ 1000.00 invested.

I also have a complete Zamp Solar Regulator Electronics Kit that I would sell
has all the stuff listed above. You still would need to get the panels. Their panels are now American made with a great warranty plus the mount feet fit in a groove and they are adjustable. With this kit you might have to buy additional wiring to run to battery depending where you put the controller. I bought 50' of # 4 wire off e-bay 25' red 25' black worked great.

Give JR at Off The Grid RV Solutions a call and talk over what you want
He is one super nice guy and more than willing to help you. He is the one that got me set up and walked me through the install process.
his number 520-261-2950 tell him Stan sent you if you go that route.
Also e-mail me or text or call if you have any questions. If you PM me your e-mail I will also be glad to get back to you

Did use the 3m VHB tape plus one screw in each foot and then caulked

SJWK 2094
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Old 02-21-2017, 08:03 PM   #6
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2013 27' FB International
Conroe , Texas
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Look up Lewster here on the forums. Ask him for his opinion.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:15 PM   #7
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2022 27' Globetrotter
highlands ranch , Colorado
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 19
Just bought a International 25FB with the Zamp pre-wire, am planning on purchasing the Zamp solar panel and charge controller. Trying to find all of the pre wire locations and would appreciate any information on how to find and how to install solar with the pre-wire?
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:32 PM   #8
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Apollo Beach , Florida
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Colorado Fun, Welcome to the forum!

The pre-wires (yellow and green) on my 2017 FC25FB were located in a front curb-side compartment under the bed next to the positive and negative bus bars strapped to the battery cables. I just completed a four panel 400W series-parallel installation using the factory pre-wire and Zamp rooftop box as shown in the attached collage picture. The panels are SP100's from AM Solar. I purchased everything from AM Solar and found their advice to be very helpful in the selection and installation of my package. Look how nicely those four SP100 panels fit on a 2017 FC25FB!
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:29 AM   #9
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2022 27' Globetrotter
highlands ranch , Colorado
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Thank you for the information, these are the panels and controller from AM Solar we have been looking at. Love the 4 panel layout.
Thanks
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:55 PM   #10
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NAPA , California
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I just purchased a Zamp 200 watt system (2 panels 100 watts each) roof mounted.
I have the upgraded agm batteries. So now my batteries will be topped off while in storage. Do I unscrew the disconnect green knob to kill the batteries or do I leave them running ? What will the solar panels run besides my house lights, TV and Alde system?

Can I run one og my air conditioners? etc? Any other useful information would be helpful. Thanks,
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:59 PM   #11
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Apollo Beach , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madogkenno View Post
I just purchased a Zamp 200 watt system (2 panels 100 watts each) roof mounted.
I have the upgraded agm batteries. So now my batteries will be topped off while in storage. Do I unscrew the disconnect green knob to kill the batteries or do I leave them running ? What will the solar panels run besides my house lights, TV and Alde system?

Can I run one og my air conditioners? etc? Any other useful information would be helpful. Thanks,
I do not disconnect my batteries now that I have solar. I just turn the store/use switch to store when in storage. My batteries use about 120 Watts of solar per day to float in storage.

You will not run A/C with 200W of solar and a pair of AGM batteries. We use a generator for both the A/C and microwave. We use propane for heating, refrigeration and water heating.

We have 400W of solar and 230AH of batteries. We can watch unlimited TV in sunlight and for a few hours after dark with the inverter on. We use the inverter for hair drying on low heat/fan and for charging laptops during daylight. We turn off the inverter when not in use. We can use unlimited amounts of all other 12V functions such as fans, lights, water pump, radio and phone/IPod/IPad charging in all sun/cloud conditions. With 200W of solar, you may have to be a little more conservative on less than fully sunny days as we must do in high tree shaded conditions.
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