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Old 06-04-2023, 10:42 PM   #1
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Aux Solar Input 2023 Micro Minnie 2100BH

I picked up a 2023 2100 BH MM a couple days ago that also comes with a 190-watt rooftop solar panel and side mount solar port. Iíd like to add a portable solar panel that plugs into the side port. Checked the voltage on the side port today (sunny) and it was only 13.6V, same as the battery. The controller (Go Power GP-PWM-30-SQ) has two sets of wires connected to it, one was reading 21V (input from the rooftop solar) and the other was 13.6V (output to the battery). There aren't any other input ports for the controller. It appears that the side mount solar port is direct wired to the battery, not ideal for a portable panel with a 20í cord so it can be moved around. Considering a couple options.


1) Rewire the side port to the controller and connect it to the same controller input as the rooftop solar or directly to the rooftop solar wire. Is that ok? Another problem is that there isnít good access to the space between the front bulkhead and the front of the TT where the rooftop solar panel wiring must come down. The controller is on the other side of the TT from the side port. Is it ok to run the side port wire through a conduit at the top of the front of the pass-through storage to the controller?

2) Upgrade the controller to one with multiple inputs and run the side panel wiring to it. Again maybe through conduit at the front/top of the pass through storage or is there a better way to access the space between the bulkhead and the front of the TT? Any recommendations on a controller?


Found this forum a few days ago and am impressed with the level of knowledge here. Hoping for some input on best path forward, which of course isnít limited to the options listed above. I have very little experience with RV solar, but did set up a system 8 years ago on my previous small TT using a Renogy 100W panel, Bogart SC-2030 controller, and Tri-metric TM-2030 battery monitor.


Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-05-2023, 07:21 AM   #2
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You’ve done a good job determining the current setup. It seems Winnebago has changed their auxiliary solar input. Previously, they always seemed to wire it to the solar charge controller, not directly to the battery. I can sort of understand this change because the majority of portable panels now seem to come with solar controllers already attached.

While the lower voltage isn’t ideal for a 20’ foot run of connecting wire it must be acceptable if every panel manufacturer is doing this.

If you want to run the full output from the panel, I personally would run it to the existing controller for continuity sake - so all panel output goes to the same place. But your other ideas would work as well. I don’t see a need for conduit at less than 20vdc. But it certainly would not be a problem. The factory would likely use split wire loom tubing.

Have you looked at portable panels and found many without SCCs already attached?
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Old 06-05-2023, 10:26 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback. There are portable panels available without SCCs already attached.
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Old 06-05-2023, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCamper View Post
Thanks for the feedback. There are portable panels available without SCCs already attached.
I know there are, but we've had other members check in here to say that their TT's external solar port was run directly to the solar controller and that they were having trouble finding panels without SCC built in.

They said every "solar suitcase" had the SCC built in and only "Solar Generator" portable panels were sans-SCCs.
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Old 06-05-2023, 01:56 PM   #5
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Agree that most come with built-in controllers, but Renogy offers one shown here
https://www.renogy.com/100-watt-12-v...-o-controller/
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Old 06-05-2023, 05:34 PM   #6
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Hey MTcamper,

The Micro Minnie owners who have sidewall port wired to the charge controller are FLX owners. Thatís how their rigs are set up from the factory. Since youíve already checked voltages and determined that the sidewall port on your camper is not wired to the charge controller, you have the same choice as all other owners of plain vanilla micro Minnieís: use a portable with built-in pwm controller and be limited to a very short run of PV cable connected directly to battery; or install a second charge controller to service the sidewall port. Itís really convenient having the sidewall port on its own controller. If you use a mppt and wire it close to the battery, you can run a very long cable between sidewall port and the portable panel without any measurable voltage drop. And a small controller, like 75/15 is not very expensive at all.

I installed a SAE sidewall port and on the inside, wired the port to a 75/15 mppt, the output side, I wired to a fuse block. If you donít have a fuse block, youíll need to put a 15amp fuse between charge controller and battery. My panel cable is 30ft with MC4 on bothe ends. One end connects to the portable panel, the other to a MC4 to SAE harness. The setup works great, allowing me to place my portable panel a long way from the camper when I have to park in the shade, which limits my roof panel production. Itís an easy install if you have bus bars. Buy a controller with Bluetooth so you can monitor its production. Hopefully you have already installed a Bluetooth negative shunt monitor.
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Old 06-05-2023, 07:46 PM   #7
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Marine359, That makes a lot of sense. I don't have busbars but looks like a simple wiring job. Since it's already direct wired to the battery I could just add a controller into the existing wiring. I'm guessing there is already a shunt somewhere for the existing controller tied into a battery monitor, but haven't found it yet. Maybe that's all in the controller?? Can you have a separate shunt for each controller? Seems like they would both need to go into 1 battery monitor. I installed a shunt and battery monitor on my last TT, which was easier since it wasn't a remodel job. For that I had one shunt that all the power went through. Also, to answer Creativeparts question, Renogy makes a good suitcase panel without a controller, model RNG-KIT-STCS100D-NC-US for a 100 watt panel. Which panel did you use Marine? I wouldn't mind getting a larger panel. Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-05-2023, 10:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCamper View Post
I'm guessing there is already a shunt somewhere for the existing controller tied into a battery monitor, but haven't found it yet.
The typical battery monitor in most Winnebago RV is voltage based, not using a shunt, but battery voltage. There are models with built in Lithium batteries, solar and inverters, such as the FLX TTs, some Travato Class Bs and NPF motorhomes that have built in currant based battery monitors. But, I think all others are voltage based and do not come from the factory with a shunt-based battery monitor.

Marine359 is saying he hopes that youíve already installed a shunt-based battery monitor. If you havenít, then you wonít find one on your non-FLX TT.

And to be clear, Iím not looking for any portable solar kits. Iím just commenting that weíve had members saying they had trouble finding them without SCCs. Of course, they are out there, folks just have to look around - like the Renogy kit youíve found.
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Old 06-06-2023, 02:44 AM   #9
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My panel is a soft folding 110w panel with no controller from Lensunsolar. Had it for several years now, and it works well. Very lightweight and takes up very little space stowed in one of the front wardrobes. But it was on the pricey side because there were not many soft folding brands. Today there are many brands, and a 200w model costs about as much as a 110w panel did a couple of years ago. Shop around on Amazon. But first watch some comparison videos on YouTube. I think the best, but costliest 200w soft panel out there is the Ecoflow bi-facial 200w model. My shunt is the Bluetooth smart shunt by Victron. It talks to the Bluetooth charge controllers. Note that is wired directly to the battery negative cable, and the load side of the shunt is wired to the negative bus bar. The small gauge red wire to positive bus bar from the shunt is for powering the shunt. Bluetooth range is about 10ft.
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Old 06-06-2023, 07:58 AM   #10
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Thanks, this is very helpful. Gonna be a fun project.
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Old 06-08-2023, 01:56 PM   #11
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I don't think my 2023 flx has the solar on the side port wired to the controller, when I check the voltage of the socket it reads battery voltage of 13.2. From the documentation found here on the forum it looks like there is a terminal where the battery and socket are connected. Been messing with a portable 100w panel and reading the info and poking connections with then multimeter and still dont have it figured out.
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Old 06-09-2023, 01:18 PM   #12
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I'm having a dilemma with the setup. To install the shunt it looks like I need to access the wiring between the bulkhead and the front of the trailer, which would require cutting a hole in the bulkhead. I'm not too keen on that. I'm thinking about starting out by just installing a controller in a voltage based mode and seeing how well that works before tearing into the bulkhead. It looks like the MPPT 75/15 can operate in voltage mode but it's not clear to me if that would require installing the Smart Battery Sense component. Is that the case?

Thanks
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Old 06-09-2023, 04:36 PM   #13
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Correct. Controllers will only give you battery voltage and watts being produced
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Old 06-09-2023, 07:44 PM   #14
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Thanks again. Really appreciate the input.
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Old 06-09-2023, 09:34 PM   #15
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Sorry for the non-stop questions but I'm learning as I go. It looks like the stock controller (Go Power GP-PWM-30-SQ) doesn't use a battery monitor. Does that reduce it's efficiency? Should I replace that with another MPPT 75/15?
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