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Old 08-04-2015, 02:50 PM   #1
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Zamp solar prewire

Hey guys. I have a new 625D popup that has been pre-wired for Zamp solar with an SAE plug mounted on the frame. It has a sticker that says to "use only Zamp products". From what I understand, the plug is just wired to the battery and any portable solar panel from zamp will plug directly into it.

After looking at the Zamp products, they are super expensive, $479 - 550 for a folding 80w system with controller. Just ordered a 100w Renogy folding panel with 10a controller from Amazon for $279. I figure I can always just pop the lid off the battery box and attach the jumper cables to the battery directly to replace the energy used overnight. This is what I used to do with my little 5w panel to trickle charge, but that is when the camper is stored.

We use very little energy on our popup. Just heater fan and water pump a couple times a day and all LED lights.

What I would like to do is be able to use the port for the Zamp system with the Renogy panels. What I have read in the forums is that Zamp SAE plugs are wired backwards. The female side from the panel is positive and male is negative. I think this is their way of forcing me to buy their product If I don't want to pop the battery cover off. I have also read that their explantion for the female side of the panel connector being positive is to keep from accidentally grounding the positve on bare metal when hooking up. Sounds reasonable.

I have talked to Forest River Service and they told me that the Male side of the pre-installed port on the camper is Positive. I talked to Renogy and they sent me some links to retrofit their newer MC4 connector to SAE, with male being negative.

Just wanted to know if anyone has gone through this and if you can confirm what I THINK I have learned????

I think I should be able to top off my one group24 battery with one 100W panel with good weather. I have heard wildly differing opinions about solar battery charging. But, we are just a little popup and don't use very much juice. I know, I probably should get another battery to go with the factory installed group24, but this is starting to get expensive. Maybe next year.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:16 PM   #2
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Renogy 100w panel

We have the Renogy 100W solar suitcase with controller for our RW2514g which also came with 1 group 24. Can't say that we are heavy electric users but we have had no problem topping our battery off each day with 4-5 hours of decent sun here in MN, it then goes into float.

As for connection, I made a couple of heavy guage wires that connect to the battery with the same type of connector that comes with the panel (an Andersen) connector? Got it at the local Ace Hardware. It is hooked up to the battery all the time and just tucks alongside the battery in the box until needed. So far we have been very happy with this outfit, it seems to be a very well built and designed quality product.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:26 PM   #3
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Thanks 61Cubby! Is your camper prewired with the Zamp plugin?
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:01 PM   #4
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It is, but I chose to use the connection that came with the Renogy because it is definately alot beefier than the Zamp and wanted to minimize any loss over the already long run of cable. I can also swap it out for the alligator clamps that come with the Renogy and charge up any other batteries around the house....2 motorcycle and 4 vehicle batteries if needed.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:46 PM   #5
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My camper is prewired for Z-amp and I also have the renogy 100 watt folding panel. Hooked it up and nothing. Used the clamps to go straight to the battery and the renogy controller powered up. Got out the multimeter and checked the Z-amp connection. It was good but the polarity is opposite of the renogy. So I got a SAE 10 gauge cord, cut it in half spliced in a fuse and reversed the polarity. No more alligator clamps. The short, fused, polarity reversing cord is obvious so I won't mistakenly use it with the alligator clamps if I use on an additional battery. The renogy controller won't start up unless the battery has some charge and apparently serves as a reverse polarity protector as well.
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