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Old 08-09-2016, 05:04 PM   #1
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How to utilize the Solar plug installed by Jayco?

Hi everyone,

I'm picking up my new 27BHS on Thursday and it includes a solar charging port near the hitch. I like to do as much off the grid camping as possible, but I'm starting to think that solar port is a marketing gimmick at best. Curious how or if anyone is using theirs.

Has anyone had luck using this connection with solar to do anything more than just simple trickle charging? There is basically zero documentation on this... what type of plug my solar panel would need, if there is a solar charge controller in the system somewhere (which I highly doubt), etc..

Just wondering I guess if my only option remains fishing new wires all over and installing a permanent system on the roof.

TIA,
Mark
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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Look under the Community tab and there is a Social group on solar in rv's. There is some good info there.
click: http://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/gr...ith+solar.html
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:42 PM   #3
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OK great Thanks for the tip, I'm heading over there now. I've spent the last 36 hours reading posts here back to back to back and there's an entire other section of the site to explore?!?!

Thanks again,
Mark
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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I just bought a couple of 40w panels running through a 7amp controller - tried using the solar plug on the trailer and did not work (SAE plug). Attached the panels directly to the battery with alligator clips and it was charging. Probably a bad wire, or the plug wasn't a tight fit...I have a 2016 26BH.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:24 PM   #5
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You should never attache a panel directly to the batteries. My old 40W panels used to generate around 19v ..... that's enough to potentially cook you batteries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyAjax View Post
I just bought a couple of 40w panels running through a 7amp controller - tried using the solar plug on the trailer and did not work (SAE plug). Attached the panels directly to the battery with alligator clips and it was charging. Probably a bad wire, or the plug wasn't a tight fit...I have a 2016 26BH.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:54 PM   #6
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Sorry...to clarify it was panels through the charge controller to the batteries with the alligator clips.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:34 PM   #7
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The solar is just a prep. The other end is coiled up behind the converter in my trailer. You would have to connect a charge controller and tie it in for it to work.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:53 PM   #8
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My pre-wired solar is wired to the battery but does not have a charge controller wired inline. So I have a charge control that the panels plug into and then the charger plugs into the pre-wire port. I have also used the port to power other 12v accessories. So I find it kind of useful.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:06 PM   #9
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Cool

So, it's not quite as cool as I had hoped, but it's better than nothing, and usable. For the next couple months, most of my use will be just learning the new TT and primarily with at least power hookups on site with a few 'off grid' trips to break everything (in). By next spring, I'll have a laundry list of mods.

Thanks for all the replies,
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:02 AM   #10
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Battery has been solid for 2 days out using items with the camper only. I am using a Harbor Freight trickle charger with built in controller for that will transition to winter service through the Zamp connector. Long term, our plan is to go to 200watts of panel hardwired. Those connectors seem to be fore straight up advertising. Ours is placed where you see it, not in any location where there would be a true utility.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:28 AM   #11
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Nice. I'm also planning on a 200 to 250 watt setup. I'm familiar with solar in your more traditional applications... grid tie systems, stand alone, etc.

There has been a pretty major learning curve for me on figuring out the best way to tie in a permanent solar setup on the Jayco however. I spent a few hours last night researching what transfer switches are, and why I'd need one. The charge controller is a no brainer so I know I'll need one. Now I'm trying to wrap my head around why I would need a separate inverter for the solar panels instead of just using the one already built into the trailer. As I understand it, the inverter/converter that is already on the trailer doesn't care what method was used to charge the batteries and should work... but a lot of reading I've done indicates this isn't true.. I may end up hiring out some of the work for fear of frying something.

Should be a good winter project in any event.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:35 AM   #12
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Your trailer doesn't care what method charges the batteries. Your panels will go to your controller you purchase and your controller will go to the batteries. The trailer inverter/converter isn't even part of the equation. It will charge the batteries if it is plugged in but the two systems won't fight each other or overcharge your batteries.
Check out the Renogy kits. Very affordable, works great, and the customer service is top notch for me so far.
Don't hire someone. If your mechanically inclined and not afraid to drill a hole in your roof to run panel wires you can do this yourself in a weekend. Heck I could do it in an afternoon now that I've done it to my own and know what to expect lol.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansai View Post
Nice. I'm also planning on a 200 to 250 watt setup. I'm familiar with solar in your more traditional applications... grid tie systems, stand alone, etc.

There has been a pretty major learning curve for me on figuring out the best way to tie in a permanent solar setup on the Jayco however. I spent a few hours last night researching what transfer switches are, and why I'd need one. Now I'm trying to wrap my head around why I would need a separate inverter for the solar panels instead of just using the one already built into the trailer. As I understand it, the inverter/converter that is already on the trailer doesn't care what method was used to charge the batteries and should work... but a lot of reading I've done indicates this isn't true..

Should be a good winter project in any event.
The built-in converter is to charge the 12V batteries when plugged into an AC power supply (AC -> DC), and while plugged in, you can run the 120V items (ie. microwave, air conditioner - AC -> AC). Your battery bank will only power the 12V systems without the inverter (DC -> DC). Adding an inverter allows you to power the 120V items (DC -> AC) from a 12V battery, except the air conditioning which draws too much power for a typical battery bank.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:55 AM   #14
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It's more clear to me now how this all works. Thanks guys. I knew I'd get a lot of excellent info here.
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