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Old 01-04-2016, 12:35 PM   #1
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Portable Solar Kits

Hi All;

Looking for some opinions on portable solar kits such as the GoPower or Zamp solar. I have a 2016 Eagle 321RSTS using two 6V for house batteries and would like to use solar to keep them topped off. We also have a Honda generator we use when required for heavier loads.

Thanks
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:02 PM   #2
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I have the GoPower 120 and it does a decent job. Renogy also makes a good portable unit at a better price. I wish I had researched more, I would have gone cheaper as I feel they all work the same. After one season I am ready to install two 100 watt panels on my roof with a good charge controller. In this way anytime there is sun they are charging. When set up at camp I can still supplement with the suitcase panels if needed.
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:08 PM   #3
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Try searching the site for solar kits, there should be a lot of hits, along with a lot of opinions, but all well worth reading.

Any thoughts about permanently mounting panels on the roof? You can keep expanding the system (until you run out of space). Do not have to worry about securing them like when you have them on the ground around the TT. Do not have to set them up or pack them away when leaving. Sun comes up in the morning and they start charging, no work except the initial setup and checking the setup every now and then.

Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:19 PM   #4
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Good advice! I have seen the Renology kits on the net and will have a closer look at them prior to leaping in.

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Old 01-04-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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Mustang65, ...wonder if you have one sitting in your garage.... :-)

Thats quite the setup you have there, big investment no doubt as well. I would like to get a feel for how much dry camping we will actually do before I jump into solar to that level. In addition I am a little shy about drilling holes in the roof of my brand new RV ....

I will do a search on the site and see what I can come up with.... Was wondering if all the portable kits have plugs that will fit the Eagle prewired outlets???

thanks again for your reply.....

John
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Old 01-04-2016, 02:48 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=jwmercer;365879]Mustang65, ...wonder if you have one sitting in your garage.... :-)

/QUOTE]

This will answer your question regarding the Mustang...

Don
https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f1...ida-18959.html
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:28 PM   #7
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From what I understand, and I'm no expert, the packages are going to be adequate at best. I think you'd be better off buying alacart and having something to build on, or has value if you decide to go in a different direction and sell. I don't think the package charge controllers will charge at the proper voltages, won't go high enough.

I'm considering solar on our next rig (ordered it last week). Really thinking that I may start year 1 of the new rig with upgraded batteries (at least 2) and a monitor and see what we use. And at the same time, pay attention to the level of "sunny-nes" in our campsites. Will use my Yamaha 2400 to charge batteries.

Year 2 would be buying panels and a good charge controller and trying the "portable panel route" while my roof still has warranty.

This would set me up for tearing (actually, just drilling holes) into my roof after the warranty is up and installing panels up there. While being the slow boat approach, it would give me a good understanding of what I'm getting into, what the performance can/would be, and what I'll need for a permanent installation.

This is all subject to change of course.....
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:36 PM   #8
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Outstanding!
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:42 PM   #9
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Prudent approach and outlines my thinking as well. I like the idea of buying a piece at a time with the final objective of building that big rooftop system. My warranty runs for 7 years so will have to get a go ahead from the manufacturer before any hole drilling happens.
J
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdash View Post

I'm considering solar on our next rig (ordered it last week). Really thinking that I may start year 1 of the new rig with upgraded batteries (at least 2) and a monitor and see what we use. And at the same time, pay attention to the level of "sunny-nes" in our campsites. Will use my Yamaha 2400 to charge batteries.

Year 2 would be buying panels and a good charge controller and trying the "portable panel route" while my roof still has warranty.

This is all subject to change of course.....
This is a very smart way of doing it! It is the same approach for installing SOLAR on a home, you have to know what your current (camping) lifestyle will use to calculate the minimum panels/batteries needed and you can learn how to cut some usage (leaving lights on when not being used or radio on when not listening, Tv on and not watching...) and transition into a SOLAR RV Lifestyle. If planned correctly, you can keep adding until you don't require the use of a generator (or need it as much).

Don
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2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
250Watt Grape Solar Panel, MorningStar MPPT 60 Charge Controller
1500 Watt Ramsond PSI, 2 Trojan T145 Batteries (260Ah)
2 - AirSight Wireless IP Cameras (used as rear view cameras)
EnGenius WI-FI extender, D-Link wireless (n) modem
MagicJack Internet Phone
2012 Ford F150XLT, EcoBoost w/3.73
157" Wheel base, HD Towing Package

Our Solar Album https://www.jaycoowners.com/album.php?albumid=329
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