Potable Solar Panel Theft Deterrent?

Discussion in 'Campsite Security & Safety' started by Mark CASTELLANI, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Hi...

    while crafting a post in the "Extra anti theft deterrent" discussion I realized that I don't have a plan to keep our portable Solar Panels secure from theft.

    We just got them [for my CPAP, primarily] and haven't taken them with us yet but, was planning on taking them next week, for the first time.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to secure them when we're "out and about"?

    Thanks for your insights!

    EDIT: PS and FYI... they're the Harbor Freight "Thunderbolt, 100w" setup... 4, 25w panels that can be ganged/latched together
     
  2. Etexcamper

    Etexcamper Member

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    If you have to worry about theft when out camping you are camping in the wrong places. Find you a safe and stress free camping spot. That is a large part of what camping is about.
     
  3. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yeah ... thanks...but, we do a fair amount of boondocking...my concern is someone happening along while we're out hiking or canoeing ... the panels would be something that would be easy enough to grab and throw in their vehicle and skeedaddle
     
  4. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    My portable panel is a 100W hard framed Renogy panel. at each end I installed stainless steel marine U-bolt, the retaining nuts are not east to access. I use a 30 ft security cable to padlock it to the trailer. (one lock each end). Thats all I can reasonably do.
     

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  5. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I used a wire rope and padlocks to the frame of the camper.
     
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  6. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Anthony...

    I'm guessing that 30' is enough slack to "follow the sun"... yes?

    Happy Trails!

    EDIT: just noticed that you're probably using the FULL length... my questions was prompted from thoughts of "looping" it [15' effective length]... thinking this through on the fly... thanks, again
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  7. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    I use the full length of the security cable. If the bad guys have a bolt cutter they will get your panel no matter what you do. I also converted an old 50 ft construction power cord into a solar extension cord.
     

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  8. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 100W panels mounted on the roof of our pup in tilting brackets.....out of sight, out of mind. I know, I can't always get them in full sun, but in three years we haven't ran out of power yet, & I don't really worry about theft, unless they take the whole pup, which is generally blocked by the TV. TBH, I worry more about possible hailstorms than I do theft...lol
     
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  9. jonkquil

    jonkquil Well-Known Member

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    I bought and used my solar panel for the first time this August. I didn't know how to secure it, so ended up storing it in the TV when I left camp to hike/kayak. I was in the park I camp at every year & have always felt safe, I just like to think preventative (maybe a little paranoid too) I like the wire rope & security cable, thanks for the ideas I might look into those. I know I can't be 100% secure, but I don't want to make it easy for a thief either.
     
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  10. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office

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    I replied on the other thread, but we just cable our solar suitcase to a nearby tree. Keeps them from easily walking off.

    Unless you camp where there are no trees, you don't need to padlock to the trailer. We have about 50' of power wire and maybe 25' of security cable.
     
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  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We have 2 solar panels, our original Goal Zero set of 60 watts, and our Zamp 160. We only secure the Zamp. We use a long cable, secured to the frame of the trailer. There is a slot on the Zamp that the lock will go into.
    The security cable also works to show the path of the power cable from the panel better in some sites, to reduce the tripping hazard. If I could find a cable in the right length and type in a high-viz color, we'd have that.
    [The Goal Zero panel is usually close enough to the trailer that I don't have to worry about tripping over the cable. I found that the power cord will go in through the emergency exit window, so the GZ Yeti 150 just stays plugged in.]
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  12. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    Re:
    The security cable also works to show the path of the power cable from the panel better in some sites, to reduce the tripping hazard. If I could find a cable in the right length and type in a high-viz color, we'd have that.

    just buy a hiviz construction cod and change the connectors at each end
     
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  13. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    yeah... I just replied to your other post...THANKS... and Happy Trails!
     
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  14. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    We don't do anything to secure them. At most we'll toss them on the roof when we leave the campsite.
     
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  15. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    My current panel is a 100w flex that I built a PVC frame for which includes rubber feet and lines to secure to the roof while camping. So as others have said, it's out of site. Even in the woods and with it flay on the roof, I get enough power to top off the batteries. This panel I decided not to lock down.

    You said you are using a CPAP. You may want to go with multiple panels (200w total at least) and two batteries. Keep your batteries maintained when the camper is not in use. I put a small solar panel on the camper for when it is in storage.
     
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  16. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Thanks, @PopUpSteve ...

    I've got a total of 160 AH... just using the group 24, at approx 70%, it took less than 3 hrs. to bring it full. I've yet to test the draw-down/charge-up on the FULL battery bank...that's my plan for next week

    Happy Trails!
     
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  17. rsdata

    rsdata Active Member

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    I have a couple of portable solar panels. I recently bought this at Home Depot to help secure them from casual thieves. Reasonable cost involved considering the cost of panels. I'm not sure about long-term rusting as it is not stainless or galvanized, but again the cost is low. twisted steel wire is a bear to cut even with a power hack-saw blade and should deter all but the most determined thief.

     
  18. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office

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    That's pretty much what I use.
     
  19. Mark CASTELLANI

    Mark CASTELLANI Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    hey, for $7.00, I pulled the trigger on that one... just got back from Home Depot... almost bought a "fancy-schmancy" one, off Amazon for $25.00!!!... yikes!

    DW swares that the only reason I agreed to the PUP was so that I'd have an excuse to buy more hardware/tools.... now I can say "look Honey, I SAVED us $12.00!!"... she won't be able to argue with that, right?

    Seriously Folks... THANKS for all your replies and insights!!... I'll sleep better now

    Happy Trails!
     
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  20. Leslie Chasse

    Leslie Chasse New Member

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    If the panel(s) are easily removable, then they can be safely stored.
    BTW. I don't consider the pup not folded up to be be secure.
     

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