Solar Suitcase Question

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by jonkquil, May 26, 2020.

  1. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    I need a solar suitcase set-up and have scoured the forums here, so I need to know if I have read & understood this correctly.
    Firstly, I know NOTHING about wiring/solar/amps/watts...nothing!!! Once a year I stay 4 nights at a site with no facilities. Last year I was in my 2007 Westlake & my group 24 battery only lasted 3.5 nights, no biggie! But this year I will be in my 2018 HW27KS (group 24 also)with a motorized winch, so it's really important that I have some battery juice on the last morning to crank down (I have tried the manual crank but got no where & was told it takes around 2000 turns!!)
    I am looking at 100 watt Solar Suitcases with hopes that I can keep my battery 'ticking over' for the trip. This is how I plan on using my battery - power LED lights, will keep it conservative just using the lights for getting ready for bed & going in & out of trailer at night. Furnace fan - will run the furnace for around 15 mins in the morning if needed. Water pump - this is probably the most used out of all, dishes, teeth cleaning, cooking/washing. Then motor crank up and down.
    What I pick needs to be simple and easy to use. These are the ones I have in my Amazon basket at the moment. Are my choices likely to work with my usage? I also have the 'solar ready' port on my p-up, do I understand it correctly that the Zamp port needs a reverse adapter? Can any one provide a link to this please? I have been using this forum for nearly 12 years and you lot always come up with great answers/solutions - thanks!
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NADR1CI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SKGJ5LJ/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A1L4RZ3C67RMV1&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WX6L3V6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A1MTYD0Y2D5AGH&psc=1
     
  2. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Well-Known Member

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    I have a similar one to the renogy and it works well and is a simple set up, but in the end it depends on the amount of sunlight you have. I can't coment on the Zamp port but some one will
     
  3. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    I have the Samlex version... very nice. I bought the needed adapter right from the rv dealer - was surprised they had it... of course now I can’t find it online to share a link. I personally would ditch your G24 for a G31 (or 2 depending on space).
     
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  4. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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  5. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I have a similar renology one. I don't have a Zamp.

    Looking it up...

    10. I have a Zamp Solar Ready sticker on the side of my RV, what does that mean?

    If an RV is “solar ready,”it means that the RV came pre-wired for our solar products with either a 3-port roof cap, a single port roof cap, or a side-wall port. However, each manufacturer does it slightly differently—some include full wiring, while others only wire from the roof to the batteries.

    1. If your RV came with a Zamp Solar sidewall port, all you need to do is pick one of our portable solar kits and plug it in. That’s it!

    2. If your RV came equipped with a solar port roof cap (single or triple) and a charge controller, you’ll just need to choose one of our roof mount expansion kits, mount the panel(s), and plug them into the solar port roof cap.

    3. If your RV came equipped with a solar port roof cap but not a charge controller, you’ll need to get one of our roof mount expansion kits AND a charge controller. Then you’ll need to mount your panels, wire your charge controller, and plug in to the solar port roof cap.

    So you need to figure out if you already have a charge controller. (I like to have neat wiring)
     
  6. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I've decided to go with the Renogy set and have managed to figure out the adapter to plug it into the Zamp port. Apparently Zamp add the port with reverse polarity so you can only plug in their 'much more expensive' set - $600 for a 100w panel!! But, if you add a reverse polarity adapter you can plug in any solar set. I could however just attach directly onto the battery but the port plug sounds a little easier.
    Neighbormike - I don't seem to have space to change or add a battery. My battery sits in a tray that is welded onto the frame and it's pretty close to my winch cable.
     
  7. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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  8. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    Basically the solar manufacturers pay the RV manufacturer to put their port on your pup. All you would have to do is attach two ring terminals directly to your battery and you are done. If you have used a battery charger at home for your battery you already understand enough to use a solar panel.

    (power source) Wall outlet = solar panel
    (makes the power usable) Battery charger = solar controller
    battery = battery

    the wires are slightly different but the concept is the same.
     
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  9. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    @PopUpSteve I like that! I'm bookmarking it on my wish list. (I expect at some point I'll need to replace the Renogy one, and I like the idea of a softsided one)

    @jonkquil I was on the Zamp site, and this is actually in there FAQ. They claim that the did this to make the Hot side (The positive terminal) shielded by plastic to prevent electrical shorts while being plugged / unplugged. I actually can see this as somewhat valid. (And they probably didn't want to pay the license fee to have an Anderson Power Pole connector)
     
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  10. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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  11. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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    Can any one please tell me, what is the difference between a 10A and a 20A charge controller?
     
  12. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    The amount of current the controller can control. If you have one small panel a 10 amp is probably enough. 20 amp is better. For the small price increase a 30 amp will grow with you.
     
  13. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    I have the 100 watt version of the Dokio. Electrically it is fine but after about 2 years the edge binding started fraying and the sewn in tie down loops started pulling out due to UV damage. 2 years but actually about 4 months actual exposure.

    The controller that came with mine was faulty, but I wasn't planning on using it anyway and I haven't seen any reviews complaining about their controllers.

    If/when I replace it I will probably get an Accopower, like @PopUpSteve, primarily because the tie downs are grommets instead of sewn in loops.

    The thing I liked about the other two you linked are that they both have waterproof controllers, which is a big plus in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  14. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I have some photos of how I mount it on my roof. NOTE: Take off before travel.
    2019-07-04 17.28.23.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.28.40.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.28.51.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.28.58.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.29.03-1.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.30.28.jpg
    2019-07-04 17.30.45.jpg
     
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  15. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    jonkquil, get a set of jumper cables to use when you PU battery poops out, hook to running vehicle and PU battery and lower the PU.

    Both battery and panel are sources so which SAE + do ya protect? I suggest zamp did it wrong and many a trickle chargers did it correct! I like the ability of using the same SAE to plug in the panel or a trickle charger without adapters.
     
  16. jonkquil

    jonkquil Active Member

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  17. Overland

    Overland Well-Known Member

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    jonkquil hope ya don't mind me asking in your thread, but you did admit to being as ignorant as myself when it comes to electrical components. ;).

    Is a flexible panel less productive than a rigid panel given both are rated alike? I need to add some power eventually.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    In general 2 100w panels of different make/PV chemistry/rigid/flex/etc will preform the same, there are some pros and cons of each type, some bigger than others, cost, very low light performance, power reduction from heating ... Get what fits your needs/budget.
     
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  19. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Jumper cables are a must anyway! I have and used the following this past weekend.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075SM9WSV/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_MrZZEbDNNEQE7

    Batteries really took a hit from the heater over night and used the Ext Cable to give me some extra juice to lower the roof. I put the solar panel on at the storage yard so they'll be fine (and are by now) for my next trip.
     
  20. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    This comes along on every trip for me:

    Mainly because of the Digital Compressor.
    I feel like I use the compressor every other trip, Maintaining 4 bikes, never have to worry about someone being a few pounds low. (Plus all the friends the kids make in the campground, and somehow I end up tuning there bikes as well)

    I have used the Jump Pack to jumpstart an RV in the next site over that had an electrical mess, and somehow had cross connected the Engine battery and the House Battery, and ran both batteries dead.

    I've used the 12volt plug for my Chainsaw sharpener.
    Never used the inverter, but it's there if I need it.

    https://www.amazon.com/STANLEY-FATMAX-PPRH7DS-Professional-Station/dp/B01DLYQ4DS
    [​IMG]


    I like it so much I might replace it (I inherited this one from my aunt, it's like 10 years old, and the battery is shot from never being charged)
    Dewalt makes one
    https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DXAEJ14-Jump-Starter-Compressor/dp/B06XD6XBCM
    and Stanley has a newer model:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QR1CVRF/ref=emc_b_5_t
     
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