Originally Posted by trinityfly
I looked up 80 Watt Portable Solar Charging System – ZS-80-P and it looks like the one my dealership wanted to sell me. Turns out the 500$ price tag is competitive. Pretty slick kit with folding panels and attached controller.
My RPod is pre-wired for solar. Not sure what plugs to replace the battery clamps that come with the units.
I think you summed it up pretty well - what Zamp sells is convenience. Its a good quality setup ready to go straight out of the box. Not positive, but I believe the battery clamps unplug from the main cable, and that cable should plug right into the side of your trailer. The trade-off for the simplicity is the price.
You can buy the pieces and parts and put something together for maybe $300. It just comes down to preference.
Our trailer didn't come with the solar prep, so I just went the pieces and parts route. Bought two 100 watt panels, a controller, the wiring, fuses, and hardware for about $600 at www.solarblvd.com
(but check their eBay store, sometimes the same items are cheaper there). I setup one panel as a portable panel since we camp in the woods a lot. I have everything to roof mount the second one, but still debating if I want to do that or just set it up as portable as well.
But, with a single 100 watt panel in good sun, we were able to maintain our two 12 volt batteries for 5 days. Wish we could have stayed longer to see how far we could stretch it. So, I would think the 80 watt panel would be a good option if you want to dry camp for a few days at a time without needing a generator.