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Old 06-18-2016, 11:54 AM   #1
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portable solar works for me

This is why I bought a portable panel. I can move to where I need it. I was 4 miles north of Munds Park AZ. The best thing about camping during the week is there is nobody else there. Got home Friday morning and didn't need the A/C.(camping anyhow). It's going to be 113 here today, but it's a dry heat
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
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How did the setup work, how and where did you connect your Panel? I just read the sprinter has a Solar connector somewhere?
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #3
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It's a 120 watt panel that folds up with a case. Works awesome. Used the heat during the winter and it would charge the battery to full each day. Never used the genny except for the microwave. The 12v plug is on the left side of the door. Anyone can install one on their rig.
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Old 06-18-2016, 04:35 PM   #4
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so just plug and play for the forester?
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Old 06-18-2016, 08:04 PM   #5
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so just plug and play for the forester?
That's how mine is.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:04 PM   #6
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Do you panels connect direct to the batteries or is there a piece of hardware needed between the panels and batteries. What brand panels and hardware do you have?
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:04 PM   #7
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portable solar

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Do you panels connect direct to the batteries or is there a piece of hardware needed between the panels and batteries. What brand panels and hardware do you have?
I have a 200w folding solar kit and it came with a controller built on the panel. It worked but now I now have 200w on the roof and a trimemetric Tm2030 monitor and controller. Set it up so when in shade or want a quicker charge my 200w portable just plugs in and walla, 400w. Just added 2 6v Interstate 232 ah batt which doubled my ah. Also added a jack and can charge my trolling motor batt from the solar, even going down the road. Love the set up.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:59 PM   #8
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I have 400 watts on the roof and it works great as long as the camper isn't parked in the shade. Guess whose DW always picks out shaded spots to camp out in? Yep, the next 200 watts will be suitcase style so I can put them out in the open.

Even in the shade, the solar system did a decent job of replenishing my batteries. I used to run my generator 3-4 hours in the morning and another 3-4 hours in the evening.

I ended up only using the generator 1-2 hours each night and most of that was to use high power ac devices such as the microwave, icemaker, and occasionally air conditioner.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bob dirt View Post
It's a 120 watt panel that folds up with a case. Works awesome. Used the heat during the winter and it would charge the battery to full each day. Never used the genny except for the microwave. The 12v plug is on the left side of the door. Anyone can install one on their rig.
Guys - I bought a 100 watt Renogy panel start-up kit with controller, expecting to be able to charge the battery like you all are. For some reason, I am not getting any juice back into the battery! Cables are hooked up correctly and I am getting juice at the controller from the panel, and juice from the controller to the battery.

I ran the battery down to 2/3 level by running lights, a 12v fan and a radio for a few hours. After 2 sunny days of charging (all loads are off), I still have 2/3 battery. Any ideas are helpful. I have called Renogy tech support and they say it's charging normally. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:03 PM   #10
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I have 400 watts on the roof and it works great as long as the camper isn't parked in the shade. Guess whose DW always picks out shaded spots to camp out in? Yep, the next 200 watts will be suitcase style so I can put them out in the open.

Even in the shade, the solar system did a decent job of replenishing my batteries. I used to run my generator 3-4 hours in the morning and another 3-4 hours in the evening.

I ended up only using the generator 1-2 hours each night and most of that was to use high power ac devices such as the microwave, icemaker, and occasionally air conditioner.
Guys - I bought a 100 watt Renogy panel start-up kit with controller, expecting to be able to charge the battery like you all are. For some reason, I am not getting any juice back into the battery! Cables are hooked up correctly and I am getting juice at the controller from the panel, and juice from the controller to the battery.

I ran the battery down to 2/3 level by running lights, a 12v fan and a radio for a few hours. After 2 sunny days of charging (all loads are off), I still have 2/3 battery. Any ideas are helpful. I have called Renogy tech support and they say it's charging normally. Thanks
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:16 PM   #11
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One panel will only give you about 25 amp hrs per day. Worse if clouds or any shadowing. That might only be replaceing losses like refrige on propane 12 v board especially if defrost strip, and other parasitic losses like detectors. If you are trully not drawing amps ( battery disconected ) then check voltages coming out of panel to make sure it is in specification. Then check charge controller output, it needes to be at least 13.4 and more like 14.4 to force a charge into battery.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:57 PM   #12
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portable solar works for me

What is the name of your120 watt portable panel and where did you get it?
What did it cost? Did your 2016 Forester 2401 WS MBS come with the 12 V plug mounted on the outside of your coach or did you mount it yourself? Thank you for help.

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Old 06-20-2016, 08:17 PM   #13
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If you are camping ( fridge running, radio and tv in standby mode and CO/Propane detector on you are most likely getting only 2-3 amps max into the battery after fulfilling the parasitic draw. If you have an 80Ahr battery at 50% charge you need to replace approx 40Ahr. At 2.5A you would need 16 hrs of full sun per day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmadera2002 View Post
Guys - I bought a 100 watt Renogy panel start-up kit with controller, expecting to be able to charge the battery like you all are. For some reason, I am not getting any juice back into the battery! Cables are hooked up correctly and I am getting juice at the controller from the panel, and juice from the controller to the battery.

I ran the battery down to 2/3 level by running lights, a 12v fan and a radio for a few hours. After 2 sunny days of charging (all loads are off), I still have 2/3 battery. Any ideas are helpful. I have called Renogy tech support and they say it's charging normally. Thanks
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:21 PM   #14
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We used the 120 Zamp solar suitcase which looks similar to the picture from OP. I have sleep apnea and I wanted to be sure to have power for my Cpap machine. We took a 3 month trip from Md. to the Colorado Plateau staying primarily in National Parks and Forests which for the most part do not have hookups. We never had a problem. It is a "plug and play" set up and paired with 2 parallel batteries, we had plenty of power. The nice thing about the portable set up is that you can move it around to get your maximum sun. Zamp tends to be more expensive but it works for us and we did not need to do anything but plug it in. Mind you we were in sun for 3 months with no rain. Awesome trip.
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