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Portable Solar Add On System


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572082322_smallsolar.thumb.jpg.46ac231447473e35b8952650a2d40278.jpgPortable Solar Upgrade: 

We are preparing for more trips where we will be camping in more primitive settings.  
In some cases we'll be in developed USFS campsites that have a fire pit but no water or electricity.

To extend our stay and recharge our batteries without starting the truck or generator we've decided to pull together a simple external solar kit.
We also want to be able to loan this kit to our family members who have other trailers with Zamp Solar input ports.

Here's what's in our Kit:

2 - HQST Solar Panels - 100 Watt 12V Monocrystalline with MC4 Solar Connectors
1 - Renogy Voyager 20A PWM Solar Controller
1 - Harbor Freight Utility Case  (For cables, adapters, and the Solar Controller)
1 - Harbor Freight Apache 1800 Waterproof Case (So I can leave the controller out in the rain if necessary)
1 - Pair - Solar Extension Cables with MC4 on one end (RICH SOLAR 20 Feet 10 Gauge )
1 - Zamp Solar Cable (Modified to have Anderson Power Pole connectors on the end.)
Misc - MC4 Y Cables, adapters and Fuses

Cost:

The total cost of this kit was < $300  ....a similar 200 Watt Solar Suitcase with controller is about $425.00.
 

Our USE Model: 

Our kit is designed plug in to charge both the Aux Batteries in our truck bed and for our the main batteries for the Trailer.
We also have made it portable so it can be loaned out to our kids and friends who also have a need for charging.

Our F350 truck is setup with dual AGM batteries and has a Redarc BCDC1225D Dc/Dc Charter with Solar Inputs connected via 45A Anderson Power Pole Connectors.
(Another whole writeup on that project is here:   Link to Truck Power Port Project

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The Elite II units with Solar Options have an external Zamp Connector on the side of the trailer which is connected through a 20A fuse to the trailer batteries.
That Zamp Port doesn't connect to the onboard Zamp Controller, so you need a second controller for external panels.

In operation there are two way's we connect up the Solar Panels:

1) To charge the truck batteries, the panels  connect directly to the Power Pole connector in the truck as it's connected into the Redarc Charge Controller.

2) To charge the trailer batteries, the panels connect through a Renogy 20A PWM controller to the Zamp Port on the side of the Oliver.

 

System Overview Photo Repeated Below: 

572082322_smallsolar.thumb.jpg.46ac231447473e35b8952650a2d40278.jpg

All the components will fit into two cases, one for the solar panels & legs,
and another in a utility box for the cables, controller and adapters.

 

Solar Controller in a transit case: For Mobile and Loaner Use

We want to be able to move the solar controller between various trailers in our family, so I decided to mount it inside a small waterproof transit case.  
The case has Anderson Powerpole connectors on both the solar input and controller output side of the case.  
These are nice connectors that are flush mounted into the box and include a dust cap for travel.

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Harbor Freight - Apache 1800 Transit Case $12 on sale

 

Mounting the Controller:

The Renogy Controller is mounted to a piece of 3/4" plywood cut in a U shape to fit inside the bottom of the transit case.
This U shaped cutout helps hold the wire connectors up off the bottom of the case and gives room for the wires.
I wired the Anderson Connectors using the 45 AMP pins to 10 AWG stranded wire.
These wires are connected to the controller mounting screws via spade connectors.

 

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Case open to show the Renege Charge Controller and connections to Anderson Plugs

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Both the Input (Solar In) and Output (From the Charge Controller) use
Anderson Power Pole Connectors Capable of 45A)

 

The Carrying Case: 

All the cables, Y connectors, adapters, fuses and the whole waterproof case fit neatly into a Harbor Freight Utility Box.
The Solar Panels and leg system along with tie down stakes will fit into a separate case to protect them during transit.
There's even room left over for a voltmeter or other accessories like Crimpers or Cutters for solar troubleshooting.

 

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Harbor Freight Utility Box has storage in both the base and the LID area.

 

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Main Body of Box holds Cables and Controller in a waterproof transit case.

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The lid of the box also opens and has room for MC4 - Y adapters, Couplers and Fuses.
 

In any case, hope sharing this give's some of you an idea for your own mobile solar upgrade.

 

Craig Short

Hull 505 - Galway Girl


 

 

 

 

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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 

BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

Amazon Oliver Outfitters Guide:  https://amzn.to/2mAAgPO

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7 hours ago, Wanderers said:

Where did you purchase the Anderson connectors adapter for he side of the box.

I buy much of my small anderson parts online from  Powerwerx Anderson Connectors

They have a good selection of tools, parts etc for many projects.

Craig

 

 

 

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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 

BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

Amazon Oliver Outfitters Guide:  https://amzn.to/2mAAgPO

ALAZCAFLGAIDILINKSKYLAMIMNMSMOMTNENMNCOR

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ANOTHER great effort.  Master Craftsman work for sure!

Will your two solar panel cases fit in the OE2 main closet in front of cloths hanging on the cloths rod?

From your Lithium install, you have pretty much totally maxed out space in the battery box.  However, is we were to use smaller/less capacity Lithium's, do you foresee any problems with mounting a ZAMP Solar Sidewall Port actually in the battery box hatch to feed directly into a solar suit case Voyager Solar Controller and batteries?

Thanks

GJ

Tug:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Trailer Tow, FX-4, 4X4, Rear Locker

ALAZARCACOIDKSKYLAMSNENVNMNCOKORTNTXUTVA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 3/31/2022 at 11:37 AM, Geronimo John said:

do you foresee any problems with mounting a ZAMP Solar Sidewall Port actually in the battery box hatch to feed directly into a solar suit case Voyager Solar Controller and batteries?

Geronimo John:

There would be room to mount the small waterproof controller inside the sidewall of the battery box.  
I held my renogy unit up inside the box and it had clearance for the tray to slide, etc.
It also looked like it might even fit ON the door if you were careful making sure no other big cables in the front of your box.

Since our trailer already has a ZAMP Sidewall Port, I plan to plug my controller into that port and leave the box tucked up under the trailer somewhere.  The zamp port we have runs from the side of the trailer (just rear of battery box)into the area under the curbside bed.  It has a 20A fuse inline, and then it connects to the Ground and + 12V lines that then continue into the battery box.  

In my Kit I have the zamp solar cord with the proper SAE wiring connection for the Zamp Port on one end, and the Anderson's on the other to plug into my waterproof control box.

The ZAMP SAE ports are reversed polarity from most other brands.  This is so a cable coming from a solar panel doesn't have a male connector sticking out with DC+ on the connector.

Craig

 

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 

BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

Amazon Oliver Outfitters Guide:  https://amzn.to/2mAAgPO

ALAZCAFLGAIDILINKSKYLAMIMNMSMOMTNENMNCOR

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