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Having a addition portable panel was suggested by a friend.  Said it was a good backup if you park under trees or shade.  I'm thinking that Oliver can install the hardware for hook up out side the trailer.  I'm wondering if the connection are all standard or do each manufacturer have their own style.  If so, I guess I should purchase the unit before ordering a trailer.  The other question that come to mind is...when the portable unit is hooked up can both the roof top and portable unit work together if I was parked in full sun?  Or is each one on a separate circuit. Thanks!

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Oliver includes a Zamp connector for portable panels on their trailers.  If you want to use a different one, it’s fairly easy to swap out.  Several people have done so, since most people think that the Zamp portable panels are overpriced. 

Your portable solar will work together with the rooftop solar.  Technically it’s a separate circuit but both circuits charge the battery simultaneously, which I think is the question you want to know. 

Edited by Overland
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There are aftermarket adaptors available for the zamp ports, so that you can use most other connector types with their "proprietary " port. (Meaning, the Zamp suitcase panels are plug and play, but an adaptor plug makes other less expensive panels just as simple to connect.)

Your friend is right. Portable solar is great. Allows us to park in the shade, and still keep the batteries charged.

I don't know which controller Oliver is installing, so yes, you should ask how many additional watts you can have in portable solar. The controller needs to be sized big enough for all the power coming from the combined rooftop and portable solar.

Edited to add: Most suitcase solar packages come with their own separate controller, which feeds directly to your batteries through Oliver's prewired Zamp port and wiring, so then you don't need to worry about the capacity of your onboard controller.

We did ours a bit differently... ( of course. 🙃


Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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The external Zamp SAE Plug on the side of Oliver directly connects to the Batteries.
That means the suitcase (portable)  solar panels will need their own controller as it doesn't connect to the Zamp Controller inside the trailer and used for the solar panels on the roof.

If you were to use one of the Zamp suitcases the waterproof controller is included with the panel, and they come with the cable for connection with the Zamp SAE connectors and/or battery alligator clips.

The Zamp branded Solar Ready sidewall port (SRRV) found on the Oliver are completely compatible with any Zamp portable solar panel.
Not all SAE wired ports and portable briefcase solar panels have the same positive and negative connections. 
The polarity may be reversed when the solar panels connect with another brand of SAE quick connection extension cable or solar charge controller.

Shown below is a ZAMP connector.
This is this one is used to connect between the wall of the trailer and a Zamp Solar Battery Maintainer panel.
(I'm including it so you can see what the SAE connector looks like and see that in a ZAMP connector they have RED wire the rubber covered connector and the black wire going to the exposed lug.)  This protects users from contacting a + lug if they plug the connector into the Solar Panel first.

The typical SAE plug (below)  is reversed, and has the RED wire connected to the Exposed LUG, and Black goes to the rubber covered lug.

2-Way Female Flat Connector

As others mentioned, it's possible to find adapters from the Zamp SAE sidewall connectors to other brand connectors so it's not a huge issue...just a bit of research.  In fact, Zamp sells the polarity reversing plug below for $9.99.  (On sale for $4.99 at this time).


So ...if and when you select the external panel...just make sure to get one that has it's own waterproof controller, and the proper connector/polarity adapter.


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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2021 F350 King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
Inverter/Charger: Xantrex 2000Pro 

Travel BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com



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There is no need to purchase a portable unit right away unless you will need it for when the Ollie is in storage. After three years I have not really felt a need for one, as I can run my generator for a short while for charging. I do use the external port often in summer, but it is for a power cable run into my truck for the ARB fridge/ freezer.

Mine has the Furion port, here is some info: .... External power cable from solar port

I would still like to have a panel, but it is now way, way down on my wish list.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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