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Old 05-27-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
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Cool Suitcase Solar Battery Charger?

These things seem like a "cheap" easy way to get into the "Solar Battery Charging Business."

Any of you Boys have experience or advice on these systems? Or should I just bite the bullet and go with the permanent mount on the roof. I like the idea of parking the FF in the shade and having the Solar Panels in the Sun.

Thanks, HH:
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:13 AM   #2
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I use a 120 watt suitcase -- it is a knockoff of the Renogy. It works great. We park in the shade and put the panel in the sun. It keeps the battery topped off, almost all the time -- it is like free money from the sky. The downside is that you have to deploy it and fold it up and store it. Permanent panels are hassle free. But they are not tilted the way a portable is, and they are more likely to be shaded (if you park in the shade).
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:51 AM   #3
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Sounds good, what brand is the knock off do have? I love saving money. HH
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #4
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I have a Renogy 100w suitcase panel and accessories that I got on sale for less than $200. If I have the panel in full sun for 4 - 5 hours. It will charge my system to about a 90% charge. It takes another few hours for a complete charge.

The one piece of advice I have for the situation you described is to have enough cord to move the panel out of the shade of trees and shade of the trailer. I have a 30 ft cord from the panel to the battery bank. I am looking at getting a 50 ft cord that hopefully will cut down the time required for moving the panel from one sunny spot to the next. I prefer to spend my camping time doing something other than babysitting a solar panel.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:32 PM   #5
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Haole, the panel I got does not even have a name on it -- a cheaply made (but adequate) Chinese import. I think the Renogy is better quality.

And if you go with a longer cord, make sure the wire is thick (for less resistance). I have a ten gauge cable that extends for 25 feet. The original was twelve gauge at 15 feet. The bigger the wire, the smaller the gauge number -- very confusing. (Plus it is always so hard for me to remember how to spell gauge.)
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