Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-26-2014, 12:21 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Livermore, Ca.
Posts: 42
Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Hi All,

I'm in the process of going Solar and I wanted to poll this group on their thoughts of going with a fixed or portable solar setup. Peter from Sportsmobile is quoting me roughly 1300 for a 100 watt system by Zamp but I see that Amazon I can pick up a 160 watt zamp portable system for 755.


I would like to know what you think are the pros/cons of each and more so if you had any regrets of either going with one over the other. Thanks in advance!
__________________

ucsundog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 12:58 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mikracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 2,209
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Heres a couple links to portable units on amazon. The Zamp kits are the most expensive and I don't know if I would spend that much on a portable kit. In fact, for the same price as some of these portable kits, you could get a mounted kit that can produce double or more the power. I don't have solar on my SMB, but was interested in getting a portable kit but never pulled the trigger. We mostly go for a weekend so I'm never in much danger of running out of juice on the house system.

http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-GP-PSK-1 ... zamp+solar

http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-GP-PSK-8 ... zamp+solar

http://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Foldable-S ... zamp+solar
__________________

__________________
2005 E350 Chateau - V10 - Agile Offroad 4x4
2012 CTS-V Wagon - For the baby...
mikracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
tonyvoudy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 212
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

One option that is regularly suggested in the forums is have SMB prewire your van for solar. I had all the wires run, zamp added, and an external panel connector added when I had my van built a few years ago. I recently installed two 100 watt panels on top of my van (picked up on ebay for $353) and still have the option of another panel to plug in externally in direct sunlight scenarios.
tonyvoudy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Tapatio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: California
Posts: 999
Garage
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyvoudy
One option that is regularly suggested in the forums is have SMB prewire your van for solar. I had all the wires run, zamp added, and an external panel connector added when I had my van built a few years ago. I recently installed two 100 watt panels on top of my van (picked up on ebay for $353) and still have the option of another panel to plug in externally in direct sunlight scenarios.h
Did the same. Having a portable unit adds one more thing to setup and tear down. I would recommend adding a permanent panel, free energy without ever having to think about it.
__________________
2006 E350 6.0PSD 5R110, SMB 4X4, RB-50, ARB lockers front/rear, Aluminess galore, AMP steps.
Callsign KK6GIY
Tapatio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,834
Garage
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

I also have a portable panel that rarely gets used. Top fixed panels are nice if you have the room (and the money). Having a light regulated smart charge is generally good for battery health more so than letting the batteries sit not fully charged. An alternator doesn't keep your batteries fully charged in most cases. My panels also keep the batteries topped while sitting on the driveway. But if you have access to shore power or store your vehicle out of sunlight it becomes a moot point.
I agree that a portable panel is something that take up space, is one more thing to setup & take down and portable setups are often targeted by thieves more than fixed systems.
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 03:31 PM   #6
Site Team
 
Ford_6L_E350's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington - Ridgefield
Posts: 4,725
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Like several others, I had SMB prewire the van and I added a solar panel later.

To me, a portable panel has several drawbacks:

- you have to store it when you are not using it.

- you have to drag it in/out

- it can 'walk' away when you are not around

A fixed panel has a couple of drawbacks:

- when you park in the shade you get limited power

- you will have to adjust the penthouse springs for the added weight

- hail (and other things) can damage the panel

Mike
__________________
SOLD04 EB350 Custom Floorplan
6.0 PSD 4.10 Posi
Salem Kroger coil spring 4wd
SMB Trailer w/AT Air Suspension
Alaska to Key West, Labrador and more
130685 miles 16.65 mpg average

Prostate cancer survivor. viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11099
2015 VW GTI
Leaving CA for WA
Ford_6L_E350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #7
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,834
Garage
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Yes Mike, other things
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
photographix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 457
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

I agree with Mike's list. Portable wasn't for us due to limited space to store it, we had a whole half of the roof that would always be empty, and there isn't much shade to be found in the desert. Adjusting the PH springs wasn't hard, just a little scary.

BTW, I put my system in (2 x 140W panels) myself. Cost for all the materials was about $1200.
__________________
DesertBoat
08 E-350 6.0 Quigley 4x4 modified EB19
My photos: ToddHakala.com
photographix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 06:16 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
86Scotty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 8,302
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Yes Mike, other things
__________________
Currently vanless. Weird.
86Scotty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
REF
Senior Member
 
REF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Boulder, CO.
Posts: 1,810
Send a message via MSN to REF
Re: Go Solar...fixed or Portable setup?

My vote:fixed, you don't have to think about it, you can usually put a larger panel up top vs. smaller portable unit, constant charge when you aren't using the rig. Only drawback as others have said, when you park in the shade and when you travel to Alaska and park it for a few days running the fridge and an Engle fridge/freezer, the sun is too low to give you a full charge on a fixed panel...as I found out the hard way at 3am when my co2 detector started beeping at me and I had to pull the fuse.....I'm bringing my generator up there next time, plus I might add a small portable Zamp to angle towards the sun.
__________________

__________________
'03 Ford E350 7.3L Diesel
(de)SMB'd Custom RB-50
Quigley 4X4 w/Deavers & Agile Offroad's R.I.P. package
CCV High Profile Pop Top
REF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Sportsmobile Registry

Jiminy

Gooseberry

Priscilla

DocMP
Add your Sportsmobile
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×