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Old 03-28-2021, 08:21 AM   #1
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Portable solar panel advise

Thinking of purchasing suitcase solar panel. Any recommendations ?
Zamp, Renology ?

Thanks
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:47 AM   #2
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Some threads on solar...
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...els-26428.html
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...lar-26453.html
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...els-26429.html
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:10 AM   #3
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I have 2 AcoPower 120wt panels (Lensun makes a similar set up): they have a 25ft cord, and both connect to a single 75ft cord using a "Y" connector. Having two at the end allows me to position each at a slightly different angle to capture sun for a longer period as it moves across the sky (without tending the panels). Or, both facing the sun for a more powerful charge (240wt combined).
These types of panels are very compact, so they store well. Don't weigh much so its easy to hang them on trees, on the van, I've even put them on rocks in a stream.
I believe both REF & Scalf77 have installed flush mounts to the side of their van for quick hook-up...something like this
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...Q8MMO1YX&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0753X68PS...d_asin_0_title

Whatever you purchase, look for the SUNPOWER Cells & the added outer ETFE coating on them.
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:25 AM   #4
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I wanted to share an anecdote about my Zamp suitcase solar panel. I purchased my Zamp 120-watt suitcase style panel new in 2014 and have been using it since. On my recent trip, it began blowing fuses. When I returned from my trip, I contacted Zamp and learned that my panel was covered by a 25-year warranty! A day later I got an email from their technical support asking or a few photos and some other details, which I provided. After another day, they let me know they'd be replacing my panel under warranty! I was surprised and pleased with this response and by Friday of that week, I had the new 140-watt panel in hand. I was especially happy with the quick resolution and stoked to see the improvements on my new panel! Zamp for the win!
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:44 PM   #5
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I got an "Eco-Worthy" suitcase solar setup, rated at 100 watts. It worked very well until I got a lithium battery. At that point it became clear the charge controller that came with the panels was only suitable for lead-acid batteries. $20 got me a Renogy Wanderer 10A controller with a lithium battery setting, though, and it was an easy swap.

I installed a 12V socket in the front grille and put a matching plug on the solar panel cord, so I didn't have to use alligator clips every time. (My house battery is under the hood.) This makes setup a very quick job.

Unless I'm really deep in a valley or the weather is constantly overcast, the panels can usually keep the battery topped up indefinitely, eliminating the need to idle the engine to charge it.
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:10 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, I bought this SMB a few years back and I’m still trying to sort it out. It has a obsolete Specialty Concepts solar controller and had a flex panel that I removed. I’m going to replace the controller with a Zamp. Forgive my ignorance, but does this charge the house battery or the starting batteries?
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoTerryh View Post
I wanted to share an anecdote about my Zamp suitcase solar panel. I purchased my Zamp 120-watt suitcase style panel new in 2014 and have been using it since. On my recent trip, it began blowing fuses. When I returned from my trip, I contacted Zamp and learned that my panel was covered by a 25-year warranty! A day later I got an email from their technical support asking or a few photos and some other details, which I provided. After another day, they let me know they'd be replacing my panel under warranty! I was surprised and pleased with this response and by Friday of that week, I had the new 140-watt panel in hand. I was especially happy with the quick resolution and stoked to see the improvements on my new panel! Zamp for the win!

What did Zamp conclude was causing the panel itself to blow fuses?
I have been looking at the Zamp OBSIDIAN® SERIES 90 Watt Long Solar Panels to replace my existing renogy 100 watt panels due to their narrower foot print.

I havent had any shorting or fuse blowing issues with the renogy stuff, theyre just to wide for my rig but i dont want to spend a premium on 90 watt Zamp panels if they short out and cause issues. Any idea what was wrong with the panel?
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Old 03-28-2021, 07:45 PM   #8
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I've heard good things about Renogy within the overloading community. I have a 190W Zamp and have been very happy with it.
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:35 PM   #9
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I've heard good things about Renogy within the overloading community...

Too true.😆
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:36 PM   #10
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I just got the:

Dokio 300w 12v Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit $315...it came and I haven't had time to set it up yet....bought it on E-Bay, came with 1 box end open, panels in fine shape, but the controller and chords were not there...called up customer service and they are sending that...will check back when they come...most wattage for the cost, fine reviews...plan on attaching to bottom of penthouse bed when not in use...only drawback is going to figure out how to make/set up bracket for angling of some sort...
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