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Harbor Freight Solar Panel

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LFT View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 Jun 2019 at 4:44pm
Hi, I'm a new member and a new R-Pod owner, in fact so new I haven't picked up my 2020 model 178 from Couch's yet! I will pick it up the middle of July and my wife and I plan to continue on out west. My first question is I'm planning to purchase a Harbor Freight 100W solar panel kit for the times we won't be plugged in. Any suggestions on how and where to store the panel when not being used? It seems like it would be fragile and once assembled it is quite big. Couch's said it was $1600 to install Forest River's panel on the roof, so I'm passing on that for now, especially since the H.F. unit is $150 with a coupon!

We are a little concerned about lack of storage on the inside, it appears there is plenty outside storage.

Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

LFT
L.Thomas
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mcarter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2019 at 5:18pm
Transport on bed or in tow vehicle.
Mike Carter
2015 178
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LFT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 2:25pm
Actually after setting up the 4 sections of solar panels I think the best way is to break them down and return them to the original box and store the box up against the front of my pickup bed on it's edge. Ez to do, don't even see the necessity of attaching the panels to each other since they all have their own 'kickstand' support.
L.Thomas
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furpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 6:00pm
what controller is in the kit?
Mark, Susie, Micah, and The Maggie.
'11 RP177(sold) '17 Lance 2295FurPodsMods
'17 Ford F250 CCSB
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LFT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LFT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2019 at 9:27pm
Not sure, the it own brand I suspect, enough of a controller to handle 100 watts, maybe 150 watts. It has an input for additional panels. The kit came with two led lamps as well that plug into the controller as well. This kit was given high praise by Consumers Reports.
L.Thomas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maddoxaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 3:12pm
I'm also considering a small solar setup for my 2017 178, which has the 'solar on the side' plug already installed.  My question is how/where to wire the controller unit that comes with the panels.  It looks like the panels attach to the controller, then from the controller to the 'solar on the side' input.  If so, do you mount the solar controller on the outside of your trailer?  Or just leave it hanging or hidden somehow when in use?

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 3:28pm
Originally posted by maddoxaz maddoxaz wrote:

I'm also considering a small solar setup for my 2017 178, which has the 'solar on the side' plug already installed.  My question is how/where to wire the controller unit that comes with the panels.  It looks like the panels attach to the controller, then from the controller to the 'solar on the side' input.  If so, do you mount the solar controller on the outside of your trailer?  Or just leave it hanging or hidden somehow when in use?

Thanks.


most portable panels have the controller mounted to the back of the solar panel(s).
Mark, Susie, Micah, and The Maggie.
'11 RP177(sold) '17 Lance 2295FurPodsMods
'17 Ford F250 CCSB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LFT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 3:43pm
Can't answer that yet, I pick up my new 178 in 10 days. Although I do know the new 2020's have the solar pre-wiring terminating on the roof now instead of on the side of the tongue. I would think your setup would be much easier to hookup with the Harbor Freight panels. I don't intend hooking mine to the roof. Although possibly as some point in time I will get panels for the roof. I'm sure within the first couple of days I will be removing panels to see what is up with the wiring. As it is these panels and controller just use alligator clips to attach to the battery, the panels are waterproof but the charge controller is not so it will have to be kept dry.
L.Thomas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 5:39pm
I'd have to look at a Thunderbolt set up.  Normally the panels and controller would connect to the Z Amp connector on TT.  You may need a Z Amp adapter.  You could adapt the controller to inside pass thru.  Issue will be integrity of seal on the pass thru door.  I looked a HF solar but not close enough to see where controller was mounted.
Mike Carter
2015 178
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LFT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2019 at 6:41pm
On the HF setup the components are separate, the 4 panels plug into a harness which plugs into the controller, the leads to the battery also plug into the controller. There is plenty of cable provided. Yes if you could find a way into the trailer without disturbing the integrity of the trailer it woul be simple to mount the controller inside.
L.Thomas
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