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Old 09-23-2018, 04:02 PM   #1
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Roo with SolarOnTheSide Options

There is a LOT of info on solar on this forum, but it's a tad overwhelming. Our new Roo 183 has a SolarOnTheSide receptacle and as everyone has already observed the kits they offer are $$$$. I'm trying to figure out what I need at a minimum to maintain my battery. No intention of using it to provide power boondocking or for any extended period.

Would this kit work with an SAE adapter? Do we even need the charge controller or just the panel and connector?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1
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Old 09-24-2018, 02:17 PM   #2
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I would watch for prices to drop on Renogy suitcase. You can move it away from RV a bit in the sun, and also angle it for best power output. I am waiting for delivery of my '19 Geo Pro to find out if that plug on side runs through existing controller (Geo Pro's have roof mount solar standard). If not, my Renogy suitcase came with a controller. I paid 200 bucks for the setup by adding it to my wish list and keeping an eye on it until there was a good price drop. This is the one I got:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 09-24-2018, 05:14 PM   #3
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You absolutely need a solar controller. If you leave your solar panel directly connected to the battery after dark, the voltage potential drops on your solar panel and can actually drain the battery.

That being said. The solar panel that you listed on Amazon is a good panel, but the controller is garbage.

You want a decent MPPT controller. Don't cheap out on controllers. I've seen many people kill their batteries with cheap ones.
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Old 09-24-2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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For the limited sized systems the OP and I are employing, I don't see any great advantage in employing a much more expensive MPPT controller. From what I've read, the PWM controllers in both setups are time-tested and decent enough controllers. Sure, MPPT controllers are better and I'm not familiar with setup enough to know if there is a diode to prevent draining batts when darkness comes, but I can always jerk the cord if it becomes an issue. There are Pros and Cons to each controller type, I encourage the OP to google it and choose what your budget will allow.
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