Connecting portable solar panel to 2 6 volt batteries in series - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-27-2016, 02:53 PM   #1
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Connecting portable solar panel to 2 6 volt batteries in series

We recently purchased a portable 40 watt soar panel at Canadian Tire. It connects to our 2 six volt batteries with alligator clips. We used it successfully dry camping in the Okanagan for a week.

Hooking up with the alligator clips is a bit of a hassle, requiring loosening the straps, removing the covers, and remembering which clip goes on which post. A friend indicated he was getting an exterior DC plug on his Escape 17, in order to attach a solar panel directly. This got me thinking how much easier this would be. But knowing little about DC, I wonder if I could get a DC plug for my panel, and if it would work the same as the alligator clips for my two 6 volt batteries. Thought it better to seek advice before purchasing a plug or possibly damaging the batteries.

Doug
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:59 PM   #2
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I am getting an additional (portable) solar panel next week. The RV shop is going to attach the alligator clips to the batteries and then hook them on to some doo-hickey thingy into which I can just "plug and play" the solar panel. I'll post pictures when completed (Tuesday).
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
I am getting an additional (portable) solar panel next week. The RV shop is going to attach the alligator clips to the batteries and then hook them on to some doo-hickey thingy into which I can just "plug and play" the solar panel. I'll post pictures when completed (Tuesday).
Perhaps a Zamp solar port?

We are getting one built into our 2017 21'

Thanks to the always awesome Sarah at ETI for suggesting it.

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Old 08-27-2016, 04:13 PM   #4
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The best portable solar power unit I could find was this 80 watt one from go power. I need simple - REALLY simple - and this one fit the bill. We have used it alot and it is extremely simple to use, especially with the optional 7 pin trailer adaptor, easy to carry/pack up and it works really well even in overcast conditions. Portable Solar Kits (80 or 120 watts) | Go Power!
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Perhaps a Zamp solar port?

We are getting one built into our 2017 21'

Thanks to the always awesome Sarah at ETI for suggesting it.

Could you describe what that is exactly, the zamp solar port?
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:52 PM   #6
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I got a bunch of connection options with my Coleman 40-watt panels. I'm not sure that I want the alligator clips attached all the time. Controller also needs weather protection and I've not yet worked that out.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:18 PM   #7
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This is what I did for my Zamp panel.

Works great and is easy to use. Wired a plug into a 7-way socket for hot lead and ground. The yellow stuff is Sugru, which is a great moldable, self-curing rubber material that is very tough.

The 7-way plugs into my trailer connection and then I just plug the panel into the SAE plug.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:45 PM   #8
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The RV shop is going to attach the alligator clips to the batteries and then hook them on to some doo-hickey thingy into which I can just "plug and play" the solar panel.
I hope they're not actually going to do that. They can attach a pair of wires with proper ring terminals to the battery posts, hooked to a socket that you can plug your panel into. Unlike baglo, I'm not uncertain at all - there is no way I would leave alligator clips attached to the battery terminals while the trailer is being towed.

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I'll post pictures when completed (Tuesday).
I'm looking forward to seeing what they do, including what type of socket and plug are used... and whether the setup includes a controller.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:51 PM   #9
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Could you describe what that is exactly, the zamp solar port?
It's probably the panel-mounted two-pin SAE connector which has been mentioned before in this forum, and is shown on Zamp's Portable RV Solar page, and listed on its own as the Roof and Sidewall Solar Port.


If you want to use those connectors (which are the same as baglo shows in his Coleman kit parts photo, and on the end of Mesa's adapter) this is a good way to mount the trailer side connector... but I don't like this type of connector, finding that they corrode easily and don't make good contact.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
It's probably the panel-mounted two-pin SAE connector which has been mentioned before in this forum, and is shown on Zamp's Portable RV Solar page, and listed on its own as the Roof and Sidewall Solar Port.


If you want to use those connectors (which are the same as baglo shows in his Coleman kit parts photo, and on the end of Mesa's adapter) this is a good way to mount the trailer side connector... but I don't like this type of connector, finding that they corrode easily and don't make good contact.
Thanks, Brian, I think I'll stick with trolling motor connectors for the time being.
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