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Old 10-28-2016, 08:01 AM   #1
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Zamp vs...??

I have read posts about the Zamp solar systems and folks having ETI install a port for their panels. Anyone using another manufacturer for such a setup. Zamp looks pretty good but I am curious about other options folks have and comparisons...
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:23 AM   #2
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Go Power makes some nice ones too. They have a 80w & 120W portable.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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Depending on how you ask Escape to wire your port, you may save some $ by going with a panel without a controller. They can wire the port to the input of the trailer's built in controller, in which case, any panel can be used.

Even if you decide to wire directly to the batteries with a portable system with a built in controller, you might want to look at Eco Worthy's panels. Zamp makes a very nice product, but is quite a bit more expensive. If you are going to bypass the panel controller, there is little difference between the two. Even if you are going to use the panel's controller, I find it hard to spend close to $400.00 more for Zamp's controller...

I carry a 160 watt portable panel from Solar Blvd (no longer available) to which I added a connector so I can either bypass the panel's controller or use it, depending on which connector I use. I have a port I added that goes to the input of the trailer's controller. This makes it easier to get accurate readings on the TriMetric battery monitor I installed to keep track of the amp hours in & out of the batteries.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:11 AM   #4
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Some of us have used Solar Boulavard for panels. I have had several. My current model is close to this. They seem to have a pretty constant churn of sizes and models so this one will be replaced shortly by something comparable.

My last panel came equipped with a solar controller placed in a very handy location right on the back of the panel. Unfortunately that is the exact wrong location for the controller. I removed it and replaced it with a Blue Sky 30 located adjacent to the batteries.

There are several threads on the forum regarding adding an external port and using different brands of controllers.
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Old 10-28-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
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I bought a Zamp 170W folding panel for my 19 which didn't have rooftop solar. I've been thinking about what to do with it with my new 21.

Maybe an alternative power source for shady campsites.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:03 AM   #6
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Looking at our 19 ETI solar setup, it looks like it would be really simple to run additional lines from the controller, right up the existing panel wires out the fridge vent. (No holes required) You could then put a portable connector mounted to the foot of the panel and good to go. So far the roof panel is meeting all our requirements, but if I wanted to add a portable that is most likely how I'll do it. I'd estimate about an hour to add a connector.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:33 PM   #7
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For the roof mounted I used Grape, bought from HD. For a portable folding set, Renogy. Both are mono.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
For the roof mounted I used Grape, bought from HD. For a portable folding set, Renogy. Both are mono.
I also bought a Renogy folding panel (100 watt) to supplement our built in 160 watt. I had ETI install an electrical port (same as used for non-removable power cord) on the driver's side back in the dinette and had them run two wires from the existing charge controller to the vicinity of the port. The Renogy panel comes without a controller and it was only a bit over $200.
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Old 11-20-2016, 01:36 PM   #9
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Hello,
I have a 17B build sheet due Dec 12th so I'm trying to finalize a few items before then. My electrical needs are pretty minimal. Basically just the lights, radio and furnace. I'm getting the dual 6V batteries and 160W solar from Escape. Thought about having an extra 100W portable solar panel for low light winter conditions. Couldn't I just connect a portable solar panel to the trailers 7-pin plug-in using a connector such as below and call it good vs drilling another hole in my trailer and installing a Zamp solar port or something similar?

7 Pin Trailer Adapter | Go Power!
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Old 11-20-2016, 02:00 PM   #10
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If your batteries are external it can be even easier, just clip on to the batteries with the normally supplied alligator clips.

I do believe your way work work to some extent. Don't know about wire length and gauge effecting the power getting to the batteries from the portable.

The issue would be that the voltage supplied by the portable panel would disable the solar controller from the roof panel so you'd get nothing from that panel.
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