2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-02-2017, 11:32 PM   #1
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

We are set for a 5.0TA this coming year.... and want to know what portable solar panels fit in what storage area.

Where do you store your portable solar panels when not in use and driving to your next camp site in your 5.0TA and what brand and size panels are they?

Thank you.
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:13 AM   #2
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I would recommend the Renogy 100 Watt portable suitcase model. If you are having a solar panel installed on the roof, have ETI install a Zamp Solar Plug on the outside, so you can plug in your portable solar panel w/o a Controller.

RENOGY Foldable Solar Suitcase Kit 100W Mono Without Charge Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LXG4AXS..._vr5iAb2JQHX9B


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Old 12-03-2017, 06:37 AM   #3
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I had to go to a pair of flexible 50 watt panels to get something to fit in the front storage of the 5.0TA Classic. Made a set of break down frames that fit in the outside storage behind the entry door.

I believe the front storage in the new body is bigger.
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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I would recommend the Renogy 100 Watt portable suitcase model. If you are having a solar panel installed on the roof, have ETI install a Zamp Solar Plug on the outside, so you can plug in your portable solar panel w/o a Controller.
Yes, we are getting the ETI roof installed solar. Does the Renogy just plug into the Zamp Solar plug or is some rewiring needed to use the Zamp port from the Renogy?
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:39 AM   #5
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I would recommend the Renogy 100 Watt portable suitcase model. If you are having a solar panel installed on the roof, have ETI install a Zamp Solar Plug on the outside, so you can plug in your portable solar panel w/o a Controller.

RENOGY Foldable Solar Suitcase Kit 100W Mono Without Charge Controller https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LXG4AXS..._vr5iAb2JQHX9B


Fred M.
Fred,
Where do you store the portable solar panel in your 21' when not in use?
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:30 AM   #6
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The Renogy one weighs 30 plus pounds. I purchased the Lensun Solar folding one (100 watts) which is some 25 lbs lighter and can easily fit under the steps in the 5.0ta. It has the m4 connection but you can adapt it to fit the external port that is factory installed.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B071F...qLL&ref=plSrch
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:19 AM   #7
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

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Originally Posted by casejh View Post
Fred,

Where do you store the portable solar panel in your 21' when not in use?

I have it leaning up behind my drivers seat and secured with two cross-crossed bungee straps on my Ford F-150.

Fred M.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:50 AM   #8
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honair View Post
Yes, we are getting the ETI roof installed solar. Does the Renogy just plug into the Zamp Solar plug or is some rewiring needed to use the Zamp port from the Renogy?


Mine plugged straight into the Zamp Solar plug, but the Renogy solar panel that is currently listed on Amazon has MC4 connectors. However, they sell a nice MC4 to SAE adapter. The SAE end will plug into your Zamp Solar port.

RENOGY MC4 to SAE Adaptor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N1TALFY..._HMPjAb2CFGWMZ

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Old 12-05-2017, 01:55 PM   #9
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Yes, we are getting the ETI roof installed solar. Does the Renogy just plug into the Zamp Solar plug or is some rewiring needed to use the Zamp port from the Renogy?
It depends on how Escape wires the Zamp connector. If it is wired directly to the batteries (or converter), you need to use the controller built into the Zamp panel (in other words, don't change anything).

If you have rooftop panels installed by Escape, they usually install the Zamp connector so it is wired to the input of the trailer's GoPower solar controller. In that case, you need to bypass the Zamp controller on the panel, i.e. add a Zamp in line connector directly from the panel output.

I'd specify on my build sheet how I wanted the Zamp connector wired.
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:00 AM   #10
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

Quote:
Originally Posted by casejh View Post
Fred,

Where do you store the portable solar panel in your 21' when not in use?






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Old 12-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #11
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I have it leaning up behind my drivers seat and secured with two cross-crossed bungee straps on my Ford F-150.

Fred M.
Thanks for the answer and photo, Fred. Enjoyed meeting you at the Guadalupe River Rat Rally!
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:44 AM   #12
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It depends on how Escape wires the Zamp connector. If it is wired directly to the batteries (or converter), you need to use the controller built into the Zamp panel (in other words, don't change anything).

If you have rooftop panels installed by Escape, they usually install the Zamp connector so it is wired to the input of the trailer's GoPower solar controller. In that case, you need to bypass the Zamp controller on the panel, i.e. add a Zamp in line connector directly from the panel output.

I'd specify on my build sheet how I wanted the Zamp connector wired.
What BRAND solar panel does ETI put on the roof these days? What BRAND solar controller do they install? (I should and will ask them.... but I think they are closed this morning.)

Can I add any additional amount of portable solar panels to the ETI installed solar controller? Otherwise asking.... is there a limit to the ETI installed solar controller of a mount of amps its controlling?

What model numbers.... if possible what are the model number for the panel and controller ETI solar installs.


Thank you....



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Old 12-16-2017, 09:48 AM   #13
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Now I see where your trunk is for your spare parts, like the MaxxFan Et al.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:56 AM   #14
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

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Now I see where your trunk is for your spare parts, like the MaxxFan Et al.
A place for everything, and everything in its place!

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Old 12-16-2017, 10:13 AM   #15
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What BRAND solar panel does ETI put on the roof these days? What BRAND solar controller do they install? (I should and will ask them.... but I think they are closed this morning.)

Can I add any additional amount of portable solar panels to the ETI installed solar controller? Otherwise asking.... is there a limit to the ETI installed solar controller of a mount of amps its controlling?

What model numbers.... if possible what are the model number for the panel and controller ETI solar installs.

I asked the same question recently and the answer was they use a Go Power kit. The controller has a 30Amp limit of which the 160W panel should not use more than 10Amps since the max power current and short circuit current are less than 10Amps.

Model numbers and detailed specs are at the website for the panel and controller.
Overlander Solar Kit (160 watts) | Go Power!
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:27 AM   #16
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I asked the same question recently and the answer was they use a Go Power kit. The controller has a 30Amp limit of which the 160W panel should not use more than 10Amps since the max power current and short circuit current are less than 10Amps.

Model numbers and detailed specs are at the website for the panel and controller.
Overlander Solar Kit (160 watts) | Go Power!
So..... seemingly.... one could add two more 160 watt portable panels to that controller and still be good to go?

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Old 12-16-2017, 10:47 AM   #17
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So..... seemingly.... one could add two more 160 watt portable panels to that controller and still be good to go?
That is how I read it also. Anyone disagree? 3x160W is below the 500W limit and currents are below the 30Amp limit.

And generally people rarely get maximum output given that at least one of the panels is mounted fairly flat on the roof and not putting out maximum power.

However, practically speaking I intend to only attach another 100-200W portable in addition to my 160W on the roof. That many panels get big and bulky and I just don't need that many at this point.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:29 PM   #18
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2018 5.0TA and Portable Solar Panels...What Fits Where?

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Thanks for the answer and photo, Fred. Enjoyed meeting you at the Guadalupe River Rat Rally!

Likewise! There was not enough time at GRRR, but we would like to invite you to our campsite next time for libations and conversation.

Fred M.
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:37 PM   #19
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That is how I read it also. Anyone disagree? 3x160W is below the 500W limit and currents are below the 30Amp limit.

And generally people rarely get maximum output given that at least one of the panels is mounted fairly flat on the roof and not putting out maximum power.

However, practically speaking I intend to only attach another 100-200W portable in addition to my 160W on the roof. That many panels get big and bulky and I just don't need that many at this point.
Escape is currently using GoPower panels, controllers, and inverters. They have changed in the past, so that could always change.

I am currently running 2 160 watt GoPower panels flat mounted on the roof of my 21, and a portable 160 watt Solar Blvd panel, all plugged into the current 30 amp GoPower controller. I have had no problems with the combination - the most I've seen here at Quartzsite with all three panels in direct sun is 21 amps.

I may get more in the future - I just modified the rear panel mount so that it is tilted, and am in the process of doing the same for the front:
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg _JRV0120.jpg (153.5 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg _JRV0121.jpg (89.8 KB, 28 views)
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Old 12-16-2017, 02:57 PM   #20
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It'll be interesting to see what you max at once tilted.
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