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Old 04-03-2015, 05:48 PM   #1
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Portable Solar "Go Power" vs "Renogy" Cost difference?

Long term we are planning a trip to Alaska next summer. Figured I would pick up a nice Honda 2000 genny, to primarily to keep the batteries topped off. Then over the last 6 months I have been following a few YouTube full time van dwellers using simple solar either a 100 or 200 watt roof mounted system or the suitcase type portable (100-120 watt) solar to keep the batteries topped off.

What I'm trying to do is keep my battery topped off in order to keep the frig lit, take showers, small amount of lighting when needed. We have a 26' travel trailer, and when we do camp at national parks or state parks without power, I always get a heavily shaded site to keep the inside temperature cooler.

So a roof top solar I don't really care for, but thought the suitcase 100 or 120 watt portable ones with the extra 25' or 50' cord would do the trick.

My main question here is: Go Power has a 120 watt suitcase one with 120 watts of power 6.7 amps DC per hour with built in 10 amp solar controller for $600

Amazon listing Go Power 120 watt $600

Renogy has a 100 watt suitcase portable with 5.7 amps DC per hour with a 10 amp solar controller for $279

Amazon listing Renogy 100 watt $279


Why is the Go Power twice as much? Yes, The 120 watt one does have a extra amp of power, it is 5" longer, From the pictures it appears to have nice corner protectors. But what makes it twice as much.
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Old 04-03-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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I got 2 go power panels and boondock about 2 months in the summer and move through out the year and not always plugged in. we are very pleased with what we have.

You only get what you pay for. google go power and their history will speak for itself.

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Old 04-04-2015, 11:23 AM   #3
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With go power you are paying $300 for the panel and $300 for the name
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:52 AM   #4
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I have not used either of the products that you cite, but do have other products from both of these companies currently in my MH. My panels are all Renogy and they have been superb. And my inverter is from GoPower, and it has also been a really great product. I cannot explain the price difference between the two kits (unless it is the freight to ship from China).

I have not had any reason to engage the GoPower Customer Service team. I have, however, had a couple opportunities to deal with the Renogy CS Department -- two back-to-back failures of their Tracer charge controller (I hear that they have since discontinued this product, BTW). In both engagements with Renogy CS they were helpful but bureaucratic. In the end, they refunded all of my money and took the charge controllers back (in spite that they I had used them for 90 days). In the end, getting your investment back is all that matters, I s'ppose.

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Old 04-04-2015, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
I hear that they have since discontinued this product, BTW
Good to know...I was wondering why in their ad's on Amazon (Renogy) it said "all new controller design". I have seen much more advertisement for Go Power units. Maybe that is the reason for the higher cost (50% more). I first thought about "portable" solar on a video from a full time couple called Gone with the Wynn's That got me thinking.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:25 AM   #6
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Good to know...I was wondering why in their ad's on Amazon (Renogy) it said "all new controller design". I have seen much more advertisement for Go Power units. Maybe that is the reason for the higher cost (50% more). I first thought about "portable" solar on a video from a full time couple called Gone with the Wynn's That got me thinking.
It is actually over 100% more, more than twice the cost. Advertising probably does have a lot to do with it. Go Power is also sold in retail stores so they have to leave margin for retail sales.
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Old 04-06-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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100 watt Renogy Suitcase unit

I just purchased the Renogy 100 watt suitcase unit on Ebay, I have been watching the price of this unit on Amazon and on Renogy’s website. I saw the price jump from $249 to $279 last week and I assumed that I had missed my window of opportunity. I checked Ebay and found the same unit for $242 which is a direct buy from Renogy by Ebay. I ordered it on Wednesday April 1 and it was delivered on Saturday April 4, have not used it yet but it looks like a solid unit. You can also check out this site for the unit ' - renogysolar''s Emporium - Home & Garden'
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:45 PM   #8
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Here is another choice:


Foldable Solar Panels -Eco-worthy


I've been using their semi-flexible panels on the roof and have been using a 100W panel for situations when the coverage isn't that good (like when covered by trees). The panels are good and I've never had an issue with them in the years we've used them after installation.


The one issue we had was that one panel wasn't working and they immediately sent us a new panel when told - perfect customer service.


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Old 04-13-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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I also have the eco -worthy folding panel setup. I bought the 200 watt unit, man is it big! I changed out the cheepo controller to a MPPT unit and upgraded the wire size to 8ga. I did this so I can have a 25 foot run of wire, added an Anderson connector to make it easier to pack away. This setup works great and charges up my 2 group 31 AGM batteries no problem.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:46 AM   #10
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I also have the eco -worthy folding panel setup. I bought the 200 watt unit, man is it big! I changed out the cheepo controller to a MPPT unit and upgraded the wire size to 8ga. I did this so I can have a 25 foot run of wire, added an Anderson connector to make it easier to pack away. This setup works great and charges up my 2 group 31 AGM batteries no problem.
What brand of AGM batteries did you choose? I am curious to their Ah rating and weight.

I was going to roof mount 2 Renogy panels but now I am thinking I am going to put a hinge on the 2 panels and make my own folding setup. Shading is pretty common at a lot of campsites and I want to be able to maximize the charge time. The only regret I will have is not being able to take advantage of the sun during transport but may mounting a single panel on the roof and using the 2nd as a "rover" will do the trick...
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:55 AM   #11
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There's a lot of garbage out there when it comes to RV solar & a lot of people who claim to know how to install. The horror stories are never-ending. Stop in Eugene, Oregon on your way to Alaska & have the folks at AM Solar do an install for you. You'll have to make arrangements before you go because they are very busy--they know solar better than just about anyone in the U.S. & they do fantastic work. We are very happy with the install they did for us in January.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:52 PM   #12
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Really no reason to park in shade in most of Alaska, even with long hours of sunshine in summer. But long term I can see your desire for shade when camping in hot sunny weather. I personally seek high altitude and sun in the summer.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
Long term we are planning a trip to Alaska next summer. Figured I would pick up a nice Honda 2000 genny, to primarily to keep the batteries topped off. Then over the last 6 months I have been following a few YouTube full time van dwellers using simple solar either a 100 or 200 watt roof mounted system or the suitcase type portable (100-120 watt) solar to keep the batteries topped off.

What I'm trying to do is keep my battery topped off in order to keep the frig lit, take showers, small amount of lighting when needed. We have a 26' travel trailer, and when we do camp at national parks or state parks without power, I always get a heavily shaded site to keep the inside temperature cooler.

So a roof top solar I don't really care for, but thought the suitcase 100 or 120 watt portable ones with the extra 25' or 50' cord would do the trick.

My main question here is: Go Power has a 120 watt suitcase one with 120 watts of power 6.7 amps DC per hour with built in 10 amp solar controller for $600

Amazon listing Go Power 120 watt $600

Renogy has a 100 watt suitcase portable with 5.7 amps DC per hour with a 10 amp solar controller for $279

Amazon listing Renogy 100 watt $279


Why is the Go Power twice as much? Yes, The 120 watt one does have a extra amp of power, it is 5" longer, From the pictures it appears to have nice corner protectors. But what makes it twice as much.
Consider this, since you are going to alaska and I am sure you are going May -august. The sun is up 22hours of of the day, albeit not as strong but still up. When we were there in 2013 at 2am I am sure there was still enough light to provide some power even though not direct. Regardless you will have way more sun there and anywhere in the lower 48 so you will be getting much more charging. That is one thing I liked about alaska, you never had to be anywhere before it got dark
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Old 04-18-2015, 06:12 PM   #14
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What brand of AGM batteries did you choose? I am curious to their Ah rating and weight.
They are 92 AH 12 volters from East Penn.
Not the ideal choice but no room for 6 volts in the old girl.
My new 5er will have 4 6 volt gc2s but they are throwing them into the deal because they made several errors in the purchase process.
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