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Old 05-02-2018, 07:12 AM   #1
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Extra solar

Just picked up our 21’. I am trying to figure out a way to add a portable solar panel in addition to the original. Has anyone done that?
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:30 AM   #2
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Hook your portable panel to the solar controller in parralel to the existing panels, as long as both are similar voltage...
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:32 AM   #3
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But really, the factory 160-watt Solar should be plenty for typical days use
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jjrint View Post
Just picked up our 21’. I am trying to figure out a way to add a portable solar panel in addition to the original. Has anyone done that?


Lots of people have done that, generally accomplished with a “solar port” added near your solar controller and then wired into the same terminals as your roof solar (parallel connection).

There are a couple of good reasons for an extra, portable panel, besides just wanting more amps. One key advantage is that a portable panel allows you to park in the shade when it’s hot, while still emplacing your panel in the sun. Another is the ability to increase input by aiming directly at the sun. But then you have to periodically re-aim as the sun moves.

Having both roof and portable gives you flexibility that neither alone provides, which is a bonus in my book.
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Old 05-02-2018, 09:03 PM   #5
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With one 100 watt panel

With one 100 watt panel and two 105 Trojan 6 volt batteries I was able to run our small refrigerator during the day and would switch to propane late afternoon. Arizona sun.....in our 19 ft Scamp. I would like to equal that with the Escape. I’m aware of the larger size fridge. Curious if anyone has been able to use the stock fridge with the addition of another 100 watt panel.

We are waiting for the owners manuals from previous owners so i’m not quite sure what we have 🤔
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:23 AM   #6
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This is our external solar setup:


Zamp Solar Port
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Go Power 80W suitcase
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

added a few plugs and cables to allow for bi-passing the Go-Power controller and to patch into the escape's onboard controller or it can be used as a stand alone

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Old 05-03-2018, 12:35 AM   #7
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This is our external solar setup:


Zamp Solar Port
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Go Power 80W suitcase
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

added a few plugs and cables to allow for bi-passing the Go-Power controller and to patch into the escape's onboard controller or it can be used as a stand alone

I am still learning about solar . I just installed 180 watts on the roof going into Victron controller . I have had for a long time the same Go Power suitcase 80 watt . It has it's own controller as you know . I have Go Power connect to the trailer Plug , that's how I would go to batteries . I also have the other connections Go Power gave you . So can I if needing more power directly hook to batteries ? Hook to trailer Plug as before ? Or install a zamp connection Plug in ? Because it has it's own controller. I want it separate because it is 80 and I think not the same as the 3 , 60 watts I installed . Pat
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:36 AM   #8
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I am still learning about solar . I just installed 180 watts on the roof going into Victron controller . I have had for a long time the same Go Power suitcase 80 watt . It has it's own controller as you know . I have Go Power connect to the trailer Plug , that's how I would go to batteries . I also have the other connections Go Power gave you . So can I if needing more power directly hook to batteries ? Hook to trailer Plug as before ? Or install a zamp connection Plug in ? Because it has it's own controller. I want it separate because it is 80 and I think not the same as the 3 , 60 watts I installed . Pat
Pat: The solar experts can hopefully weigh in, but the difference in wattage doesn't matter with the panels in parallel to each other. You just want the output voltage the same or close which you are because your Lensun panels and your GoPower portable are 18V. If you want to keep the GoPower portable intact with it's own controller then you can go direct to the batteries as you describe either through the 7 pin connector, clamping on the posts (if battery terminals are always accessible) or wiring on a permanent convenience connection like Zamp or Furion XLR right off the batteries. Since you have batteries in the front storage box why don't you consider the Zamp or XLR connection right on the side of the box? Or just hard wire the Anderson connection that comes with the GoPower kit. Then you just need to open the storage box and plug in. Your GoPower kit should have all the connections you need for ultimate flexibility. For how much you will use it I would just keep it simple and definitely not worry about trying to integrate with your onboard controller and bypassing the controller on the portable. Yeah you'll lose some efficiency with a long run of wire from the portable controller to the battery, but so what. You already have 180W on the roof.

www.furrion.com/store/energy/net-zero-solar/solar-port-inlet-black-p-945.html
or
www.amazon.com/Zamp-Solar-RVROOFSIDE-Sidewall-Port/dp/B00T36YVI4
or
7 Pin Trailer Adapter | Go Power!

This is a good video that goes over all of the options except the 7 pin
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patandlinda View Post
I am still learning about solar . I just installed 180 watts on the roof going into Victron controller . I have had for a long time the same Go Power suitcase 80 watt . It has it's own controller as you know . I have Go Power connect to the trailer Plug , that's how I would go to batteries . I also have the other connections Go Power gave you . So can I if needing more power directly hook to batteries ? Hook to trailer Plug as before ? Or install a zamp connection Plug in ? Because it has it's own controller. I want it separate because it is 80 and I think not the same as the 3 , 60 watts I installed . Pat
You can connect the portable panel directly to the batteries either through the GoPower trailer plug adapter, or, an installed connector (I'm not sure what the "other GoPower connector" is, but it is likely a SAE 2 pole connector.

If the "other GoPower Connector" is already installed, where is it connected? If to the input of the Victron controller, you would need to bypass the portable panel's controller. If it is connected to the output side of the Victron controller or directly to the batteries, the portable panel's controller is necessary.

One other point. If you are also using the Victron battery monitor, it will not track the portable panel unless it is connected on the correct side of the shunt.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:57 AM   #10
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Pat: The solar experts can hopefully weigh in, but the difference in wattage doesn't matter with the panels in parallel to each other. You just want the output voltage the same or close which you are because your Lensun panels and your GoPower portable are 18V. If you want to keep the GoPower portable intact with it's own controller then you can go direct to the batteries as you describe either through the 7 pin connector, clamping on the posts (if battery terminals are always accessible) or wiring on a permanent convenience connection like Zamp or Furion XLR right off the batteries. Since you have batteries in the front storage box why don't you consider the Zamp or XLR connection right on the side of the box? Or just hard wire the Anderson connection that comes with the GoPower kit. Then you just need to open the storage box and plug in. Your GoPower kit should have all the connections you need for ultimate flexibility. For how much you will use it I would just keep it simple and definitely not worry about trying to integrate with your onboard controller and bypassing the controller on the portable. Yeah you'll lose some efficiency with a long run of wire from the portable controller to the battery, but so what. You already have 180W on the roof.

www.furrion.com/store/energy/net-zero-solar/solar-port-inlet-black-p-945.html
or
www.amazon.com/Zamp-Solar-RVROOFSIDE-Sidewall-Port/dp/B00T36YVI4
or
7 Pin Trailer Adapter | Go Power!

This is a good video that goes over all of the options except the 7 pin
Thank you Dave ! I am going to print your thread out . Pat
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:13 PM   #11
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You can connect the portable panel directly to the batteries either through the GoPower trailer plug adapter, or, an installed connector (I'm not sure what the "other GoPower connector" is, but it is likely a SAE 2 pole connector.

If the "other GoPower Connector" is already installed, where is it connected? If to the input of the Victron controller, you would need to bypass the portable panel's controller. If it is connected to the output side of the Victron controller or directly to the batteries, the portable panel's controller is necessary.

One other point. If you are also using the Victron battery monitor, it will not track the portable panel unless it is connected on the correct side of the shunt.
Thankyou Jon ! Yes because the portable wouldn't be something I would be using much , I want to not connect to the shunt that is in the front box . It's been a long time so I need to take a look at all my connections and see what I have . I really liked the Go Power connector on the trailer 7 pin . It was so easy and didn't need to open box . On top of the batteries I also have to remove the protection covering the batteries , that was another reason . I just had to plug into the trailer Plug , so easy . I could also add a zamp connection to the box .I want to not bypass the controller on the portable ,and I do know the portable will not be included .the other is my Victron is only for 200 watts . The Lensun 's are 180 watts . So I don't think I can add 80 more to my Victron controller . If I have this right I can have other controllers but to get a reading included everything has to be hooked to the shunt ? Boy there is so much to learn about solar even though once you get going it's simple .Pat
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:34 PM   #12
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Boy there is so much to learn about solar even though once you get going it's simple .Pat
We are so used to just using energy and now you have this miniature power plant on top of your trailer. It has to be at least a little complicated or we wouldn't have any fun figuring this all out.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:32 PM   #13
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We are so used to just using energy and now you have this miniature power plant on top of your trailer. It has to be at least a little complicated or we wouldn't have any fun figuring this all out.
Dave went out to the trailer and I don't have the Zamp connector line or Furrion . They did also upgrade their controller . I will call Go Power on Monday and see if I can get those items except the Furrion .they were out to lunch and I need to do some errands . Pat
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:46 AM   #14
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Thanks

Thanks for all the great info. Looks like Go Power is the way to go. Keep it simple.

Still wonder if the combination of the 80 watt Go Power and existing panel on Escape will keep the fridge going during the day
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:00 AM   #15
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I have the 80W Go Power portable unit. Works great, but if I was doing it again, I would use a couple semi-flexible Lensun panels. Lighter and more compact to store.

With the one I have I rigged the wiring with MC4 connectors to either use the onboard charge controller if needed separate from the trailer, or to go straight to the charge controller in the trailer if connected to it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:52 AM   #16
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Dave went out to the trailer and I don't have the Zamp connector line or Furrion . They did also upgrade their controller . I will call Go Power on Monday and see if I can get those items except the Furrion .they were out to lunch and I need to do some errands . Pat
Update for GoPower portable . Go Power said I am fine with the trailer Plug adapter we have to hook up and actually will work better . The only negative is not running through the shunt . Who knows may not even need . Will see. Pat
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:31 PM   #17
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I have both a 120 Watt Portable that can be plugged into a Zamp Solar Port that I have near the battery vent and a roof mounted 160 Watt Zamp Solar panel with an inside charge controller. My portable also has a 15 foot extension that allows me to go 30 feet versus 15 feet with the same SAE connection that is UV rated for 15 years.
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