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Old 02-03-2015, 02:49 PM   #1
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Dealer wants to sell us 80 watt solar panel for our 179 but is asking 500$. Expensive

The Rpod is factory ready for plug in solar panel, is there a charge controller built into the Rpod? 100 watt panels go for less than half so why the big price. Advise would be appreciated.


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Old 02-03-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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Good reference site for anything solar.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:25 PM   #3
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I can get a 100W solar panel, charge controller and wires for around $200. So $500 is very expensive. I would look around and put a system together yourself. One thing to watch is you will never get close to the rated power if you do not have a MPPT controller.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:22 PM   #4
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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Check out Harbor Freight. They have good deals 45 watts for $139.00 right now. (But does the $500.00 include installation?)
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:55 PM   #6
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Is your rPod wired for solar from the factory like other FR units? Does it have the Zamp prep?
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinityfly View Post
The Rpod is factory ready for plug in solar panel, is there a charge controller built into the Rpod? 100 watt panels go for less than half so why the big price. Advise would be appreciated.


Joe and Diane, pups Jenny and Tyke
2011 Tundra-2015 RPod 179 (Mr.Toad)
Alive and well, deep in the forests of Northern California
I have a 2006 Cardinal fifth wheel that came with a built in solar charger. Can the same wiring be used if I want to install a larger solar panel?
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #8
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The wiring should be OK, most likely you will need a new ( more capacity) controller. Most setups do not provide much margin for adding larger panels. Check the capacity ( on the controller).
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Old 02-04-2015, 01:59 PM   #9
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These guys are well thought of by Trailer Life Magazine. Their website provides oddles of information. Welcome to AM Solar_Your RV Solar Specialists since 1987

Whatever you decide, make sure your controller has growth capacity for the future. Lots to think about including number of batteries, battery composition, type of controller, flat mounting or able to be angled, wire sizing, monitor controls, etc.
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:26 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. I have been checking some of the links yall have provided. Checked with the afore mentioned FR dealer ( where I bought my RPod) and he said there was no installation, that it was not mounted and was plug and play. I asked whether there was a charge controller built into my trailer or whether there was something that was integral to the panel or added between the panel and the plug ins available. He didn't know. Less than helpful huh? After the sale I am obviously history.

I haven't yet actually inspect the unit they are selling for 500$ but saw them leaning against a wall in canvas carry bags. As the dealership is some distance from my location inspection will have to wait.

Thank you again for your input. FR forum is a valuble resource for info.
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