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Old 05-11-2019, 10:00 PM   #1
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REV 24RB - 500 W of Zamp Solar

Just finished adding 2 x 170W expansion solar panels to our existing 160 W system, all on our small REV roof. We boondock quite a bit, plus tailgating 10 home Chiefs game in KC, MO.

I know this forum generally hates Zamp, but I like the easy install that we did ourselves over two years. Only issue was our dealer suggested installing aluminum bars across the roof to mount the panels, similar to a ski rack. The bars are mounted to the top side wall just above the awning and rain gutters. This avoided mounting to the fiberglass/thin plywood roof...which we were worried would be too weak to safely mount the panels.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-11-2019, 10:30 PM   #2
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The problem with Zamp is the price. 170W panels should be around $160 normally. I am sure Zamp is charging way more than that.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:10 PM   #3
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Iím hoping the quality, US made, and easy of install work out. Plus, if I was looking to save money I wouldnít have bought an RV.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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I’m hoping the quality, US made, and easy of install work out. Plus, if I was looking to save money I wouldn’t have bought an RV.
US made doesn't need to cost a lot.

Wouldn't be surprised if the Zamp and these were pretty close to identical. These are also US made.
https://www.continuousresources.com/...al-solar-panel
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chfwiggins View Post
Just finished adding 2 x 170W expansion solar panels to our existing 160 W system, all on our small REV roof. We boondock quite a bit, plus tailgating 10 home Chiefs game in KC, MO.

I know this forum generally hates Zamp, but I like the easy install that we did ourselves over two years. Only issue was our dealer suggested installing aluminum bars across the roof to mount the panels, similar to a ski rack. The bars are mounted to the top side wall just above the awning and rain gutters. This avoided mounting to the fiberglass/thin plywood roof...which we were worried would be too weak to safely mount the panels.Attachment 204346
I like what you did. Now I know it can be done on a REV.

Also like USA made. I have heard two boat builders from Asia say they will only use USA made solar products.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Rev 24CB solar

Completed the install of three 160W Renegy flexible solar panels in series with their 40 A controller this past week on the Rev. Very pleased with the performance so far. Wish I had room for additional batteries, (have 2) but for now will deal with that limitation.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with Zamp. It is over priced compared to other quality manf. Solar equipment.
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:31 PM   #8
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Just curious... if I mounted flat on my roof how do I track the sun or get the best angle for sun?
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:38 PM   #9
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Just curious... if I mounted flat on my roof how do I track the sun or get the best angle for sun?
You don't unless you have tilting brackets. Just add 30% to your calculated wattage than you think you would need and it makes up for it. Solar panels are cheap...unless of course you use Zamp


If you think you need 300, make it 400!
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Old 05-12-2019, 04:27 PM   #10
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You don't unless you have tilting brackets. Just add 30% to your calculated wattage than you think you would need and it makes up for it. Solar panels are cheap...unless of course you use Zamp


If you think you need 300, make it 400!


So price is the only difference? If price was only difference then theyíd be out of business. Iím not an electrical guy (chemistry is my gig) but my research pointed to Zampís higher quality and a lot of guys saying you get what you pay for. I saved a bunch on installing myself and the other brands I researched did not make it easy.

I needed something simple to install and something that will last a lot of miles and years and keep the batteries charged for 60+ days a year of boondocking (and after a few more years that will grow when I retire). Iím sure I overpaid, but like I said earlier, I didnít buy an RV to save money. I bought one for the convenience, the travel opportunities, and the quality time with my family on a new adventure. Just like my Harley buddies, we didnít buy one of those because it was cheap either.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #11
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So price is the only difference?
It actually is the only difference.



I made my own mounts but the panels I posted have great mounts that they sell that are perfect for the panels. Not cheap little Z mounts.https://www.continuousresources.com/...nels-160w-200w


The panels I posted have the exact same warranty as the Zamp panels...made in the USA as well. I would not be surprised if the cells themselves are identical.


I am an electrical engineer and studied a lot of the panels before I bought these. For the money, they are a great bargain. I also own a Harley. Of course I do all the wrenching on it myself since I don't want to overpay for others to do it. New cam, change tires, exhaust systems....I never put Harley branded parts on it unless absolutely necessary...way overpriced.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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It actually is the only difference.



I made my own mounts but the panels I posted have great mounts that they sell that are perfect for the panels. Not cheap little Z mounts.The panels I posted have the exact same warranty as the Zamp panels...made in the USA as well. I would not be surprised if the cells themselves are identical.


I am an electrical engineer and studied a lot of the panels before I bought these. For the money, they are a great bargain. I also own a Harley. Of course I do all the wrenching on it myself since I don't want to overpay for others to do it. New cam, change tires, exhaust systems....I never put Harley branded parts on it unless absolutely necessary...way overpriced.


Cool. Thanks
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:50 PM   #13
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Here is a Zamp factory tour If anyone is interested.

Not an endorsement, I found it interesting.

https://youtu.be/h1pKTLJJsu4
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:57 PM   #14
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Here is a Zamp factory tour If anyone is interested.

Not an endorsement, I found it interesting.

https://youtu.be/h1pKTLJJsu4


Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:55 PM   #15
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I needed something simple to install and something that will last a lot of miles and years and keep the batteries charged for 60+ days a year of boondocking (and after a few more years that will grow when I retire). Iím sure I overpaid, but like I said earlier, I didnít buy an RV to save money. I bought one for the convenience, the travel opportunities, and the quality time with my family on a new adventure. Just like my Harley buddies, we didnít buy one of those because it was cheap either.

Well put. Quality has a price. Might not be the "quality" someone else perceives but "simplicity" and "ease of installation" are "qualities" that have value. I am of the same school of thought, pay a couple of bucks more for a totally thought out application that is easy to install is money well spent.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:14 PM   #16
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So price is the only difference? If price was only difference then theyíd be out of business. Iím not an electrical guy (chemistry is my gig) but my research pointed to Zampís higher quality and a lot of guys saying you get what you pay for. I saved a bunch on installing myself and the other brands I researched did not make it easy.

I needed something simple to install and something that will last a lot of miles and years and keep the batteries charged for 60+ days a year of boondocking (and after a few more years that will grow when I retire). Iím sure I overpaid, but like I said earlier, I didnít buy an RV to save money. I bought one for the convenience, the travel opportunities, and the quality time with my family on a new adventure. Just like my Harley buddies, we didnít buy one of those because it was cheap either.
I like your setup. I almost went with Zamp.

I agree with you on the going quality. It also can be stated as Total Cost of Ownership. If you buy quality then you can get many years of service from your investment. My best quality investment was Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries. With four Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries, I have more power than six lead-acid batteries.

I went with Renogy Solar panels because of the small footprint & Amazon free shipping to Alaska. If I had to do again, I might look at different solar panel setup. But I would stay with Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:51 PM   #17
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II went with Renogy Solar panels because of the small footprint & Amazon free shipping to Alaska. If I had to do again, I might look at different solar panel setup. But I would stay with Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries.
Way better off having one 200W panel vs 2 100W panels. Half the wiring and half the mounts.


Installation and wiring of the solar panels is the simplest part of a solar installation. I guess I don't get why it's worth paying over $500 per solar panel instead of $165 for a panel that is also made in the US and with the same warranty in the first link below.


https://www.continuousresources.com/...al-solar-panel
vs
https://amsolar.com/rv-solar-panels/...0w-solar-panel


My system is 4 175W panels which I paid $160/each for. Same company that offers the 25 year warranty. Total cost of the panels was $640. If I went with Zamp, it would be $2152 plus shipping. To me, not willing to pay over 230% more for Zamp.


As far as Zamp quality goes, I would much rather use the MC4 connectors that are used everywhere on residential solar systems that are waterproof than the Zamp connectors that are not. I guess quality is in the eye of the beholder.
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