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Old 09-04-2016, 05:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Palms View Post
Hope this helps. You can't (shouldn't) connect a solar panel directly to a battery without a controller. The Zamp panels, like many others, have the appropriately sized controller on the premium priced panels. For other applications you go from the panels to an appropriately sized controller and THEN to the battery bank.
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I didn't go straight from the panel to the batteries, I went straight from the 30 Amp controller that is attached to the 100 Watt suitcase panel to the batteries. Rather than going through the Zamp plug on the trailer. The Renogy 100 Watt Suitcase comes with a 30 Amp controller attached just like other portable suitcases. I made this connector so that I can use the suitcase on other Vehicles if I want to.

It is a two pole SAE connector. Others use the waterproof MC4 connector. So you would need the panel(s) through an adapter into your Zamp connector, after which you would have to insert a controller prior to connecting to you battery bank. Alternatively, you would go from your panel(s) to an external controller and then to you bank.

I was going to install a controller inside the trailer however the Zamp ready plug on my trailer is pre wired to the battery system I would have to rip the wall out to get to it on the inside of the trailer.

The adapter I made to plug into the trailer was very simple. From the "Zamp" SAE connection on the trailer I made a plug with a SAE connector on one end and MC4 connectors on the other end. I also put a MC4 fuse link connector on it.

I have 2x90 watt each suitcase high efficiency Chinese panels that cost less than $130 each delivered. A slightly upgraded 30 amp controller was less than $30. You will spend some money on the connectors and cables. Then it's an SAE to the port on the RV wall. You have to protect the controller and could Velcro it to one of the panels if need be.

You can also get 10-20 amp simple controllers on eBay for very little money.


The Renogy 100 Watt suitcase was around $250 compared to the Zamp 120 Watt suitcase that cost $600+ and Renogy has upgraded the controller they use from a 10 AMP to a 30 AMP (better controller).

This isn't the way I had planed to set it up but in the long run I think it will be better as I can still use the suitcase with any other vehicle or system I want to other than the trailer..
I should correct one thing in my last post the Extension cable I used is 10 gauge not 8 gauge.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:07 PM   #16
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I just purchased a 2016 bullet. I was told it was solar ready and that was it. They didn't even tell me it was zamp solar ready. I found that bit of info online.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:53 PM   #17
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As has been previously mentioned, it will work with any solar panel that feeds a controller. All that's needed is the SAE adapter to connect the battery output terminals of the controller from the panels to your trailer.

Can't wait to receive my Forest River Mini-lite 1905 so I can trace the circuitry and advise the solution implemented.

It will probably be from my panels' MC4 output to an adapter to the SAE connector on trailer. Then install a controller inside the trailer from the SAE input. Then, from the controller to the batteries by the existing cable from the SAE connector to the batteries. That way I can still use my panels with the solar generator I've built for my house. Stay tuned.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:02 AM   #18
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Update From My Hunting Trip!

Well I have been in the hills for the past month. So I thought I'd post an update on the new set-up that I put together and it all worked out "GREAT"! I only used the 20 foot extension cable I made. For the most part I ran the Generator an hour or so each morning while I made the morning coffee ect. The portable Renogy 100 watt panel worked great even when we had several Cloudy Days it still kept the batteries topped off. I left the trailer for 4 days while I came home to cut up deer and when I got back to the hills the batteries were still full charged.

Please note that this was a single person in a 19 foot trailer and I only use a minimum of power as I am not in the trailer most of the day. Other than the normal drain from running frig (Gas), Water heater (Gas), Furnace (set at an average of 60 degrees), very minimum use of LED light, and recharging cell phone, and Garmin radios along with the normal Parasitic battery drain.

I feel that the system worked like a champion. I only used slightly more than 5 gallons of gas for the generator this year where I would normally have used about 15 gallons.

Oh ya! The important part!

Our crew ended up with 5 deer and 7 Elk! A little on the low side but over all another Good Year!
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Old 11-19-2016, 01:47 PM   #19
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Welcome from another Idahoan!
With your handle I figured you would be out in the mountains for sure. We were out in October for two weeks and the elk were waaay high even after a couple of storms. Brother and I ended up with our bucks, but that was it. Glad to see you post up your solar adventures as I am looking for something for our current TT.
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Old 11-20-2016, 08:01 AM   #20
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Welcome from another Idahoan!
With your handle I figured you would be out in the mountains for sure. We were out in October for two weeks and the elk were waaay high even after a couple of storms. Brother and I ended up with our bucks, but that was it. Glad to see you post up your solar adventures as I am looking for something for our current TT.
The setup I have worked great "for me". I do plan on making a few changes to it for the future. I still want to move the Charge Controller into the trailer rather than on the back of the panels. This will make the run from the controller to the batteries shorter which will reduce the power loss and keep the Controller protected from weather. It will also allow me to monitor the system from inside the trailer where it should be!

All this being new to me I wanted to try it out this year just to see if I was going to gain anything before I invested any more time and money into it. Now I'll trace down the wiring from the soar ready plug on the trailer and find a place to mount the controller.

If your TT is solar ready it is probably similar to mine if not It wouldn't take a lot to set it up for plug & play connections. Renogy has had some problems with the controller not being weather proof even though it is somewhat protected from the weather (another reason I want to move mine inside).
They do sell the suitcase with or without the controller. The prices seam to jump all around and if you watch the Renogy website and also watch Amazon the prices vary sometimes quite a bit. I ordered the 100 watt suitcase with the 30 Amp Adventure Charge Controller from Amazon ($265) and it was shipped straight from Renogy. Go figure I guess it's marketing!

One of the guys has a 45 watt H.F. panel that he used. It didn't work well with the overcast days we had (the stormy weather you mentioned) it is also twice the size of my Renogy suitcase 100 watt. He was jealous so I got to rub it in a little! Of course he didn't pay as much for his either!

They are where you find them! With the warm weather this year the Elk were either High or in the deep dark creek bottoms. Hard to get to and even harder to get out! That's why they call it "Hunting I Guess"!

Your welcome to P.M. me if you would like to trade ideas for a Solar setup for your trailer. Where are you located in Idaho?
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