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Old 03-28-2018, 06:40 AM   #1
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Which solar panel?

Hello Escapees...

Need your assistance with information on solar panel to get for our 19 Escape. We are having this one Zamp (I think its called) plug placed on our trailer, right by the battery. We are supposed to get a solar panel and regulator type box to charge our battery with.

There are so many options in the market that it is difficult to figure out which one would be the best choice... any ideas greatly appreciated... Warren and Maria
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
Hello Escapees...

Need your assistance with information on solar panel to get for our 19 Escape. We are having this one Zamp (I think its called) plug placed on our trailer, right by the battery. We are supposed to get a solar panel and regulator type box to charge our battery with.

There are so many options in the market that it is difficult to figure out which one would be the best choice... any ideas greatly appreciated... Warren and Maria
This topic gets talked about every few months, and everyone has their own ideas of what is best. On the search at the top of the page search “portable solar” and read some of the past threads.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:51 AM   #3
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This thread might be a good start:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f40/whats-the-best-portable-solar-panel-9608.html
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:20 PM   #4
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Thank you...

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This topic gets talked about every few months, and everyone has their own ideas of what is best. On the search at the top of the page search “portable solar” and read some of the past threads.
Noted and thank you for the tip... I have checked a couple of threads but I have not yet seen a situation where more than one person prefers a certain solar panel brand... there are so many out there... I will keep checking... thanks... Maria
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:22 PM   #5
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checking it right now... thanks Dave! Maria
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:27 PM   #6
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I'm leaning toward flexible because of weight, and Renogy. Thinking of making a frame that would grip the top/bottomw of the panels between a couple of 1x2 or some such, with a handle to screw them together and a way to attach a leaning pole for support. I suppose there are a lot of possibilities to be found searching the inter tubes.
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Old 03-28-2018, 03:32 PM   #7
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One question, are you getting roof mounted solar? It sounds like you aren’t. Are you getting dual 6 volt batteries? Are you getting the storage box? These are important questions since I recommend mounting the charge controller close to the batteries. This is talked about extensively in the threads.
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:01 PM   #8
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Hm... here are our answers to your questions...

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One question, are you getting roof mounted solar? It sounds like you aren’t. Are you getting dual 6 volt batteries? Are you getting the storage box? These are important questions since I recommend mounting the charge controller close to the batteries. This is talked about extensively in the threads.
Hi,
No mounted solar.
No dual 6 volt batteries... just the one (12v?) the ETI provides.
No storage box.
ETI to place the Zamp (?) plug near battery.

Yes, i have been reading some of the threads; I have to be honest all of this is like Chinese to us; we are truly 'newbies'... hanging onto every word from all of you nice folks for guidance... again, thanks a bunch for all the input! Warren and Maria
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
Hi,
No mounted solar.
No dual 6 volt batteries... just the one (12v?) the ETI provides.
No storage box.
ETI to place the Zamp (?) plug near battery.


Yes, i have been reading some of the threads; I have to be honest all of this is like Chinese to us; we are truly 'newbies'... hanging onto every word from all of you nice folks for guidance... again, thanks a bunch for all the input! Warren and Maria
In this case, I'd look for a portable panel includes a controller. While you could save $ by purchasing an individual panel & adding your own controller, a package is easier, and you don't need to add the hardware to support the panel.

As to the size, with the single battery, a 100 watt panel will do a good job of keeping your battery charged, providing you don't have a string of cloudy days or put the panel in the shade.

As to brand, there really isn't much difference between hard framed panels, so if you are going with one of them, I'd look at the support hardware - can the angle be adjusted? Does it come with a case? Does the support legs fold inside the folded panel? Does it have the standard SAE (Zamp) connector & a decent length of cable?

If you decide to go with a flexible panel, you will save weight and possibly have easier storage, but I'm not convinced with the reliability of the flexible panels. Some have been OK with them, others have had failures.

Again, if it was me & I had no experience with portable panels, I'd go to a large RV show where some of the different brands might be displayed, or attend a nearby fiberglass trailer rally where you see the different brands & can talk with owners. I will say that there are many very overpriced portable systems out there...
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:26 PM   #10
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In this case, I'd look for a portable panel includes a controller. While you could save $ by purchasing an individual panel & adding your own controller, a package is easier, and you don't need to add the hardware to support the panel.

As to the size, with the single battery, a 100 watt panel will do a good job of keeping your battery charged, providing you don't have a string of cloudy days or put the panel in the shade.

As to brand, there really isn't much difference between hard framed panels, so if you are going with one of them, I'd look at the support hardware - can the angle be adjusted? Does it come with a case? Does the support legs fold inside the folded panel? Does it have the standard SAE (Zamp) connector & a decent length of cable?

If you decide to go with a flexible panel, you will save weight and possibly have easier storage, but I'm not convinced with the reliability of the flexible panels. Some have been OK with them, others have had failures.

Again, if it was me & I had no experience with portable panels, I'd go to a large RV show where some of the different brands might be displayed, or attend a nearby fiberglass trailer rally where you see the different brands & can talk with owners. I will say that there are many very overpriced portable systems out there...
Everything Jon has said . We have a really nice Go Power portable panel which also comes in a case . And now after all this time putting solar on our roof . Bought 3 60 watt black fiberglass backed flexible panels by Lensun . Can purchase Lensun which makes a portable too and Go Power on Amazon too. The Go Power portables come with the charge controller
Installed . You can also get the Lensun with or without the charge controller . The difference between the two is weight . Our Go Power is heavier because of glass but is very sturdy and legs that you can adjust . We also cable to trailer frame through the legs . The Lensun portable is a lot lighter and don't see how you could cable it though . We looked at it but decided to put solar on roof so it is always there and someone can't walk off with . Pat
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