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Old 07-26-2021, 06:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Hazard, KY
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2021 Passport 221BH (solar question)

Hello everyone!

I am new to the forum. Glad to have found this resource.

I have a 21 Passport 221BH. This unit has a solar connection on the front and appears to have connections on the roof near the front.

I have a little 10W solar panel from etrailer and a cheap controller I purchased off of Amazon. I am thinking the controller isn't necessary to have with this setup because I think this panel has a builtin controller...but it's nice to see some numbers on the screen.

Anyway, I currently disconnect the battery and hookup the solar panel while parked to trickle charge my battery.

It'd be nice if I can connect this panel up to the port on the front to do this without having to fiddle with disconnecting the battery connections etc.

The sticker below the port makes it sound like you have to use a Zamp branded solar panel.

Does anyone know if I can just plug my 10W panel from etrailer (Go Power Eco Solar Charging System - 10 Watt Solar Panel) into this port and it will work? It appears to be the same connector. There's really no way for me to tell if it's working without my little cheapo controller inline. I suppose I could use a multimeter on the battery...not sure. Don't want to mess anything up electrically.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:09 PM   #2
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Zamp uses an SAE type connector. Very common and available at most parts stores. You could splice the SAE Connector on your current panel wiring. Or, find an SAE adaptor to whatever is on your panel now. If the only connectors on the panel are "alligator" clips, then I'd just cut those off and use the SAE. Just be sure the polarity is correct by verifying the wire color from the connector on the trailer to the battery.
Photos are of a 10w Eco kit and the appropriate adaptor for that panel.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:07 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. If you want to connect the 10 watt panel without disconnecting the battery I think you're going t0 be dissapointed. That will not be enough power to handle the parasitic drains and mzintain the charge on the batteries. You will need to either disconnect the battery from the trailer or ADD a battery disconnect. If the trailer came with a factory battery disconnect it won't disconnect all the parasitic drains unless it has the brand new system that Keystone is rolling out.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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Parasitic drains on the system range from around 1 amp to as much as 2.5 amps. Adding a 10 watt solar system (that's 10 watts in full sunlight and much less on cloudy days) will put around 0.8 amps into the battery at best and significantly less than that as an average...

It's a "losing battle" to even spend the time and effort to put that small of a solar charger on an RV 12 volt electrical system.

I'd equate it to trying to use 1" finishing nails to build a wall with 2x4 studs. Those nails won't even go through the 2x4, much less secure them in place. It's the same using a "half amp charger" to keep a system that's consuming 2-3 amps charged. At best all you'll be doing is providing storage for a "too small solar system on the roof"....

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Old 07-27-2021, 04:25 PM   #5
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Should have made this comparison earlier. Most modern cell phone chargers are 10 watts. The "fast chargers" are 15 watts. Most folks consider 100 watt dolar charger as a "minimum starting point" to maintain a 12 v battery. If you plan on drawing down the battery by using lights, water pump, fridge (on gas) , etc. then 200 watts is a starting point.
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