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Portable suitcase solar panels

ekirkland
Explorer
Explorer
I looking at getting a 100 to 130 W suitcase solar panel top off dual 12v batteries while dry camping and have some questions:

1. do you connect to the 7-pin trailer cable or attach wires directly to battery with SAE or other terminals?

2. if attaching directly to the battery, do you just connect to one battery or both?

3. get one with a 10 Amp voltage controller or go with 20 Amp?

4. looking at Renogy, what is the difference between the regular Monocrystalline or Eclipse?

Thanks!
Eddie & Liz
Auburn, AL
=====================
2015 Jayco Whitehawk 27DSRL
2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost w/MaxTow & HD Payload
Nights camped in 2017 - 53
24 REPLIES 24

pnichols
Explorer II
Explorer II
Gulfcoast wrote:
I'm simply not drilling holes in my roof to install flat panels ever. I may go with a 200-watt folding panel or might have to keep the reliable Champion inverter.


Our motorhome has a single piece fiberglass roof and several years ago I researched ways to mount hard solar panels up there.

Back then, there were adhesives (I believe made by 3M) strong and durable enough to glue hard panel mounting brackets to smooth surface RV roof materials such as fiberglass and aluminum. I think they were from the same family of adhesives as those used to glue the windows onto their backing frames on the outside of commercial buildings.

I agree on not wanting any more holes in our RV roof than are already there!
2005 E450 Itasca 24V Class C

ekirkland
Explorer
Explorer
Yes, meant to write WATT instead of amp.
Eddie & Liz
Auburn, AL
=====================
2015 Jayco Whitehawk 27DSRL
2014 Ford F150 Ecoboost w/MaxTow & HD Payload
Nights camped in 2017 - 53

BFL13
Explorer II
Explorer II
Gulfcoast wrote:
I'm simply not drilling holes in my roof to install flat panels ever. I may go with a 200-watt folding panel or might have to keep the reliable Champion inverter.


You will want the generator anyway. The sun does not shine every day 🙂
1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

Bobbo
Explorer II
Explorer II
I have an appointment at the Airstream factory this May to get 4 panels installed on the roof. I will get 100 watt panels if they will fit, otherwise I will get 80 watt panels. I am getting the mothership to do the work. Portable panels are still under consideration, after we see how well this installation does.
Bobbo and Lin
2017 F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab w/Max Tow Package 3.5l EcoBoost V6
2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB

Gulfcoast
Explorer
Explorer
I'm simply not drilling holes in my roof to install flat panels ever. I may go with a 200-watt folding panel or might have to keep the reliable Champion inverter.
RV'ing since 1960
Dodge Cummins Diesel
Mega Cab
Jayco Travel Trailer

RickLight
Explorer III
Explorer III
Mine is an Accu Power 120W, flexible and light weight!

It came with a 10A cheapy charger which I mounted in my forward compartment with my batteries. All the wiring is set to simply plug in the 3 fold panel.

Note that large panels can be quite awkward to handle. I've also added a steel cable along my wires to lock the panels to the trailer. It can be cut, but should slow most thieves.

We may add fixed panels later and have some of each type.
Rick,

2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
PullRite Superglide

pianotuna
Nomad II
Nomad II
Hi,

I get 7 amps of charging in leafy shade from 256 watts of panels at solar noon.


freetime58 wrote:
pianotuna wrote:
Striking the panels and setting them up is annoying.

A fixed installation means that the battery bank will be maintained between trips.


Park under trees in the shade for a few days and those fixed panels will let you down! I love the flexibility of my Renogy suitcase, 100 amp seems plenty to keep two group 31 AGM batteries topped up.
Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
You said 100 amp and 200 amp. I think you mean watt not amp

100 amp is about 8 amps peak 4 amps reality 200 2x that and what I'd suggest
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

freetime58
Explorer
Explorer
pianotuna wrote:
Striking the panels and setting them up is annoying.

A fixed installation means that the battery bank will be maintained between trips.


Park under trees in the shade for a few days and those fixed panels will let you down! I love the flexibility of my Renogy suitcase, 100 amp seems plenty to keep two group 31 AGM batteries topped up.

Devocamper
Explorer
Explorer
Fixed panels are good out in the open but the suitcase setup lets you find the sun if your parked under trees ! Both have benefits .
08 NU-WA Hitchhiker Discover America 339 RSB Sold
18 Host Mammoth
07 Chevy 3500HD LT1 EXT Cab LB DRW D/A Sold
18 Ram 3500 SLT Crew Cab DRW 4x2 6.4 4.10's

Lwiddis
Explorer II
Explorer II
Between 100 and 200 amps? You mean watts. Install 200 but wire for 400.
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

Boon_Docker
Explorer II
Explorer II
ekirkland wrote:
Thanks guys! I'm also debating between 100 amp and 200 amp. Mainly used for LCD lights, ceiling fan, furnace, water pump; we dry camp up to 5-6 days at a time before moving on.


I would go with 200 watts, that way you won't be disappointed.

Boon_Docker
Explorer II
Explorer II
ekirkland wrote:
Thanks guys! I'm also debating between 100 amp and 200 amp. Mainly used for LCD lights, ceiling fan, furnace, water pump; we dry camp up to 5-6 days at a time before moving on.


I would go with 200 watts then you won't be disappointed.

2oldman
Explorer
Explorer
ekirkland wrote:
debating between 100 amp and 200 amp.
watt
"If I'm wearing long pants, I'm too far north" - 2oldman