Question on Camper that is solar prepped

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by CampChaos, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    I am looking at purchasing a New Rockwood HW 277 this next spring. I know they come solar prepped. Not sure if it is still Zamp or not. Anyways, my question is: Do I still need to get an inverter? Do I need to hook up anything that controls the charging from the solar panel?

    I am looking to get a Non Zamp 100w 12v solar panel along with the special connector to connect it to the camper if it is Zamp.

    The HW277 has the unit to monitor battery life so I don't need to get one of those unless I want to get more detailed reading on the battery system.

    Not new to popup camping but new to solar power, battery use, propane use and dry camping. (I have an older popup and never used the propane system or the battery)

    Any insight would greatly be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Tisha
     
  2. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    The sidewall 'solar ready' connector is designed for a portable solar panel that includes the charge controller.
    Just as easy to use the included alligator clips of most portables
    Build your own you will need a charge controller
    They make adapters to fix the polarity of the solar ready plug vs the rest of the world, or you simply trace the connectors wiring and fix it to you liking.

    Get a charge controller and install inside and run wire to the 'solar ready' plug or add you own then plug in your panel when needed.
     
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  3. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    I have the same plugs (shown) plug.png for an external panel-only (no controller) and for external DC boost voltage (likely from a separate portable solar system). Which leads to potential for a mix up if you are me. I mixed it up just once and my self-indicating 25A fuse blew. No damage. I need to change the External DC plug before the next trip OR figure out how to be more careful. Keeping both plugs the same allows my 12V extension cord to be used on either of the two ports, according to the situation at hand.
     
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  4. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Solar will supply 12 volt power to your battery only. You will need the panel, charge controller and the correct adapter to match up with whatever socket is on the trailer.
     
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  5. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    I did do some research about the zamp and using non zamp panels. I already have the polarity flip connection in my cart. I jus wasn't sure if i need to get a charge controller because there is a unit in the camper that i can press to see the battery life. I can't find any information on whether the unit has a built in charge controller.
     
  6. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    You must have a charge controller as the camper does not come with one. You are pressing a button on the monitor panel in the camper, it shows among other things battery charge.
     
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  7. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Mine is "solar ready" as well.
    Has a plug, and wiring that goes nowhere.
    Zamp wiring is reverse polarity I believe, so if you use the wiring triple check the polarity.
     
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  8. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Not hooked up from the factory??
     
  9. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    It's not hooked to anything.
    Just a plug under the camper and wires that run inside and off to nothing.
    I'd need to track them down to see exactly where they go, but there is no charge controller or anything in the pop up.
    Not for solar anyway.
     
  10. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Wow nice! Lol... I would think they should just connect to the battery, seeing as how the charger and controller would be external.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
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  11. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Nope. I thought that too.
    Too much trouble I guess.
     
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  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I think its a dealer add on, ie not factory
     
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  13. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    Thank you. I wasn't sure if it had the controller since it will have the monitor.
     
  14. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    Good to know! Thank you
     
  15. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    I am glad I asked! Thank you
     
  16. CampChaos

    CampChaos Member

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    Thank you neighbormike! And the reverse polarity adapter to hook a non zamp solar panel up. I was able to at least find that much out. I can start researching batteries and charge controllers now without feeling like I might be wasting my time :D
     
  17. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Active Member

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    Is ZAMP the only solar port with polarity issues - or is it all of them - they all look much the same on Amazon.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    The issue is how you wire them. At both ends there can be a source, ie a hot. Which end do you not want to touch something that my have a common ground (short)? Do you wire both J plugs to protect the hot? if you do you can not plug them into each other without switching polarity!

    It seems to me that little maintainers and chargers do it in a way that is reverse to zamp. IE, plugging a maintainer into a 'solar ready' port would reverse charge the battery!
     

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