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Old 05-04-2019, 07:19 PM   #1
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Newbie solar questions - - Renogy vs Zamp

I'm new to trailers and to solar. Trying to understand why the large price difference between equivalent watt Zamp vs Renogy portable solar units? I'm assuming there must be something significant that I don't understand
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebiT View Post
I'm new to trailers and to solar. Trying to understand why the large price difference between equivalent watt Zamp vs Renogy portable solar units? I'm assuming there must be something significant that I don't understand
Well I don't know what Renogy unit you're looking at but our 200 watt Zamp, suitcase unit not only has the best solar membranes available but also has a built in, water proof controller. Not only that but their stands are far superior as well. It's as simple as plug a play. They are more expensive for sure but IMO well worth the extra money.
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Old 05-06-2019, 12:51 AM   #3
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Just out of interest, what’s stopping you from putting panels on the roof?
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:54 AM   #4
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To be completely honest, I'm a very recent widow. My husband used to do everything. At least so far, I don't want to attempt to deal with putting things on the roof. I would need to find someone I trust a lot to do that sort of work, and I'm not there yet. Portable panels feel way more manageable.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
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….appreciate your situation but there is a lot to learn about "going solar." First is understanding how much power you consume vs how many panels you need. Second is battery storage--without storage, you only have power when the sun shines. Third, I see the utility of portable panels but -- a. they need to be stored when not in use; b. they need to be placed and aimed--good in shady areas, and c. if you can move them, so can a thief --so you need to secure them when in use. For me, finding a "solar mentor" was helpful to my decision process.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:11 AM   #6
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I have not checked prices lately but our Renogy system works very well and we like it a lot. Many trailers come already pre wired for Zamp so you should be sure how yours is set up.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:16 AM   #7
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I'm going to pause for now since discovering my trailer has LED lights, and since realizing my first several trips have hookups, so I can trial boondock and see how my battery does. I'll also do the math once I see how I function in this trailer. My power usage may be so light that I don't need anything
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:16 AM   #8
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What electric items do you typically use in the trailer? How long are the trips?


How many batteries does the trailer have?
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:59 PM   #9
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Trailer has 1 battery, trips are at beach 48 hours, have no idea on this trailer what will be used since its new to me. Some LED lights at night, fridge on propane, honestly water pump for toilet (hate beach campground toilets). But first few trips are in hookup sites, so will try boondocking there and see if I actually need to plug in
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:56 PM   #10
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That sounds like a good testing scenario, but, if your battery is in good shape, you should be good for a several days I would think. There will likely be parasitic loads, no idea what that's going to do to the battery life.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:00 PM   #11
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I went through this about 3 years ago.

I choose Renogy and purchased 2 x 100 portable panels.

Quality is great.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:26 PM   #12
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Ah- great that you’re still getting out there in your new situation!

How are you measuring battery state of charge?
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:03 PM   #13
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Not out there yet, waiting for new TV to arrive. If I understand question correctly, have a nice battery monitor that plugs in 12v outlet in trailer
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:01 PM   #14
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I started out with a Zamp 120 watt portable. It cut down quite a bit on my daily average generator run time for recharging the battery. When it comes time to do it, don't be too concerned about starting small with a portable unit as a supplement to a generator or to stretch out your battery through a long weekend. I chose Zamp because of their reputation and made in the US kits. I've heard some good things about Renogy, if their prices are more appealing to you.
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