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Old 09-07-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Portable solar port added inside van

When I had Sportsmobile North outfit my van they told me there wouldn't be enough room to install solar on my roof because I had already elected to have them install a MaxxAir fan and a roof AC unit. It wasn't an issue because I had a second alternator installed to quickly recharge the batteries and had ordered my Sprinter with the adjustable high idle feature. This allowed me to idle the van at a high enough rpm to let the second alternator quickly charge my house batteries if I wasn't going to be driving anywhere.

I did have them add a solar power port on the outside of the van so I could use a set of portable solar panels for those rare instances where I boondocked in the same place for multiple days and yet didn't want to idle the van to charge the batteries.

Since I have the portable solar panels I decided to add a second solar power port INSIDE my van. This allows me to set up my portable solar panels on my dash and plug them into this new port to trickle charge the house batteries. This is proving to be a great way to offset the small power draws I have when I park the van at home. I live in a condo complex and have to park my van in a parking lot where I don't have access to A/C power to keep the van's batteries topped off.

Just a quick mod to get some extra use out of the portable solar panels I already have.



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Old 09-07-2019, 10:30 AM   #2
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Great idea. Are those flexible panels? You could prop them up using the visors (just run a cord of sorts stung between the two visors) - assuming the panels are not to large where you would end out blocking some if the cells.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Great idea. Are those flexible panels? You could prop them up using the visors (just run a cord of sorts stung between the two visors) - assuming the panels are not to large where you would end out blocking some if the cells.
Yes, they are flexible panels. Here is a link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074ZR3RNP

It's actually three 40W panels (120W total) that fold up together for storage. I left them laying on the dash because the sun is quite high in the sky and I currently get marginally more power output with them laying down. Later in the year, when the sun is lower in the sky, I'll prop them up against the windshield.

I already tried using the visors as you suggested, but the panels are just a little too short to use the visors to hold the panels. It's such a huge windshield. I'll probably use the extension legs built into the back of the panels or find some way to use bungees across the back, similar to your suggestion.
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