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Old 03-19-2018, 10:41 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Aliso Viejo Ca
Posts: 55
Portable versus Installed Solar

Quick Survey

The Go Power 120 Watt portable kit is about $50 on Amazon. Pro's is cost, flexible positioning. Con's is setup and take down. 33 lbs so carrying up & down from roof could be a issue, possible theft.

A similar 160 watt system permanently installed on roof will run about $1400(I'm not comfortable doing it myself).

I'd love to know the forums opinions.

Thanks in advance

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Old 03-19-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
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We purchased a portable stand 100w solar panel charger and it has worked great. We chain it through the legs to the frame of the trailer no issues so far. More stuff on the roof more stuff to re seal or check for leaks every year. I am a minimalist when it comes to the roof.

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Old 03-19-2018, 01:51 PM   #3
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You had me with the $50 on Amazon vs $1400 at the dealership....

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Old 03-19-2018, 02:26 PM   #4
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that kit is 500 + on amazon.
harbor freight has a kit about 100 on sale

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Old 03-19-2018, 02:50 PM   #5
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Location: Central NH
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I carry 2 100W Renogy panels for dry camping. They are loose and I simply prop them up with a stick. I move them a few times per day to maximize the sun I capture. I'm another guy that thinks less holes in the roof, the better. I suppose I might consider mounting them to the roof if I were in the south west most of the time? I vote for installing the charge controller yourself, so you can be more intimate with your system.
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Old 03-19-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
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I have been round and round on solar. We almost always camp in trees. I cannot recall a site without shade on the roof. Because of that, portable is the only way to go for us.

Samlex 135 watt portable is calling my name, but I still haven't pulled the trigger.
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:33 PM   #7
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Portable for us.
Zamp 200w. Weighs about 40#. Open the case, unfold the 2 panels and plug it into the connector on the front of the Cougar. I have an extra 25' of cord (50' total) so moving the panels into the sun is not a problem.
I would never even consider carrying them up to the roof. We leave ours out all day with a plastic coated cable padlocked to the landing gear.
At night we just fold it up and slide it under the Cougar.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:27 AM   #8
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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I used to have a portable that I would take out and plug in all the time. It was no big deal, only took a few minutes and as stated you are able to follow the sun to optimize the output. What I found was when I first got it I would check on the panel and move it regularly, after a while I got lazy and would move it less and less which negated the advantage of portable panel. Eventually I just got one 260 watt panel mounted on the roof. Now I don't worry about it at all. It is always there and always working. Maybe not to it's full potential and in the most direct sunlight all the time but so what. It keeps my 3 batteries topped off all the time and that is all that matters. For us the convenience of roof mounted is great. It does add something else to check when inspecting the roof but the roof needs to be inspected regularly anyway.

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Old 03-30-2018, 05:40 AM   #9
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I just bought the Kodiak solar generator and love it. only 20lbs and power packed.

Enjoying the Grandkids like No Tomorrow!
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Old 03-30-2018, 07:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gary31 View Post
I just bought the Kodiak solar generator and love it. only 20lbs and power packed.
I thought those things were crazy expensive and still didn't provide a power source? Is the 20lbs just a battery/inverter, or does it include panels?

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