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Old 07-03-2015, 10:12 AM   #1
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Harbor Freight Solar Kit

I realize this is a really inexpensive system (read cheap), but I am merely looking for an alternative to the generator to silence our few days a season of dry camping. Does anyone have experience with this particular system as a battery charging system? I really don't need it to run an Inverter but if it is capable, I might add a small one (<300watts).



Solar Panel Kit - Save on this 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

The timing of this question is merely because the system is on sale for $129. I am not sure I would go this route for the $189 (or more) price.

Thanks, in advance and let the debate begin . . .
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:39 AM   #2
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Have yo looked at this?

100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit | Renogy Solar

..
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Thanks! I have VERY limited knowledge on solar systems. No, I haven't. Is this more reliable/better than the Harbor Freight system? It seems to provide more watts, but do I need that for just casual charging?

I do like that the cheaper system has a stand to set it up, but I am sure I could make do with what is in the campground for that if need be.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:58 PM   #4
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I don't know a lot about it. I've been exploring it and it seems like a good "beginner" set.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:13 PM   #5
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I have a friend who is not on this forum that has one. We have camped with them and it will charge his 1 battery in an sverage day. It also has a USB port and he charges his smart phone. To me the stand is a little hokie, but it works. Hope this helps. Yes it is worth the $129.00.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:40 PM   #6
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I just looked at this one and if you want to go that route be very careful.
The web page states that it is a positive ground system. Our RVs are negative ground. They do offer an RV system but the cheapest is just over $300.
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Old 07-03-2015, 06:54 PM   #7
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I have a friend who is not on this forum that has one. We have camped with them and it will charge his 1 battery in an sverage day. It also has a USB port and he charges his smart phone. To me the stand is a little hokie, but it works. Hope this helps. Yes it is worth the $129.00.
Thanks, I am not sure I want the leash charged, but good to know!

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I just looked at this one and if you want to go that route be very careful.
The web page states that it is a positive ground system. Our RVs are negative ground. They do offer an RV system but the cheapest is just over $300.
And, wow Thanks!!
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Old 07-03-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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Joel, The "positive ground" refers to the Load connection. I talked to the Renolgy folks and he re-assured me that this was a none-issue.

The controller can disconnect loads in order to maintain a battery, Ods are good, nobody would use that feature in an RV.

On cars, we control loads by turning the power on off. This controller controls loads by switching the ground on/off.
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:09 PM   #9
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I think I would worry about storing this unit in the RV and also it disappearing from my camp site when unattended.
I have 6 x 100 watt panels on my roof for this very reason. I want to KNOW it will be there when I get back.
Anyone considering solar "kits" should be aware most don't come with MPPT controllers. JMHO.... tied to experience. Been down the PWM road before. You get what you pay for.
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Old 07-03-2015, 10:18 PM   #10
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I think I would worry about storing this unit in the RV and also it disappearing from my camp site when unattended.
I have 6 x 100 watt panels on my roof for this very reason. I want to KNOW it will be there when I get back.
Anyone considering solar "kits" should be aware most don't come with MPPT controllers. JMHO.... tied to experience. Been down the PWM road before. You get what you pay for.
Thanks.
I don't leave the generator out, either if I am not there. I don't want them on the trailer because we always try to be in the woods. Shade is good for us, but bad for the panels.
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