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Old 05-30-2018, 09:03 PM   #21
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I agree that as long as the solar panels are close to the same voltage they can be hooked up together. My old coach, that was bought by my neighbor has been running a mix of Harbor Freight (2 sets poly) and 2 Renogy Mono panels for around 4 years now. Still works just fine.
I am not sold on the flexible panels just yet. From reviews on YouTube (I know) and what other Rvers have told me of their experience with them I will continue to wait and see how they do long term.
I just added another 100w Renogy panel to make 500 watts on our current coach roof. The original 4 panels are putting out the same voltage and amperage as the new one I just installed. I have the panels individually wired down to a fuse panel next to the controller to allow me to test them separately if needed.
Renogy does make a "skinny" 100w panel now that is narrower and longer than their standard panel.
I am not with Renogy, just like their reasonably priced products.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:30 PM   #22
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Hello all. I have installed 5 Lensun flexable 100w panels on my MH roof. Im very pleased with the quality and performance using a Epever MPPT 40amp controller charging 4 group 24 deep cycle batteries. No curling or lifting and all the battery power needed. With the 2500w inverter I can use the microwave with battery to spare. Hope this might help someone make a decission to go solar
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:11 AM   #23
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I think the dancing on flat panels video was the Wynns. And they did an update where they found that their flat panels got scratches and cupping and haze that degraded the power. The biggest problem was haze and scratches from cleaning over time. They used solid mount panels on their MotorHome after that. But they are a sailing channel now and I see they have both solid mount and flexible panels on their catamaran.

But if your View has two flex mount panels I think I too would add another.

My Winnebago came with one Zamp solid panel and the 3-port connector. So I added two more solid panels from Renergy for ~$200 total.

One more thing that doesn’t seem to apply to you, WBGO installed the wiring between the 3-port connector and the charge controller backwards. So when I got my RV the charge controller showed “P-01” on the read out. Which indicates that problem. Zamp was helpful identifying that issue and I simply had to reverse the wires at the back of the controller. I saw a dealer video of a new WBGO diesel pusher the other day. The dealer opened the bay to show the controller in the video. Yep, it showed “P-01” on the controller.

It’s important to note, if you don’t buy a Zamp for the 3rd panel you’ll have MC4 connectors on the new panel, but the Zamp 3-port connector accepts only SAE connectors. So you’ll have to change the new panel to SAE. Also note that Zamp wires their SAE connectors backwards with the positive wire attached to the shielded side. SAE connectors are usually expected to have the negative wire on the shielded side.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:59 AM   #24
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Yes, I am familiar with the Zamp wiring and connectors having tested them several times now. Fortunately WGO learned how to install ZAMP on the View models, everything is correct regarding polarity. As far as "standard" I have several portable battery chargers, trickle maintainers which use SAE, most of them do. Some put the positive on the same side as Zamp others put the negative there. More importantly you can pick up 10ga wire with the red wire (pos) on the female just like Zamp from Amazon, SAE connector one end lug the other. I will use my solder gun, shrink wrap and waterproof that in the run. Zamp has made a really big deal out of this to confuse potential customers - exactly why I can't recommend them. SAE connectors are not "Zamp" connectors, they have been in the industry since I was a kid in various applications. Now any slightly trained electronics nut can simply whack the MC4 end off and connect the SAE wire in about three minutes with a good technique, solder, solder iron and DVM with no fear of any polarity issue. That whole thing is crazy, like - hello, everyone is not electronics void or inept. My experience with the Zamp OEM from WGO is not favorable. I can not recommend their flexi panel at all, have not used their rigid but they are very overpriced.

As far as voltage specs, yes, it is indeed desirable to have voltages as close as possible in all panels. Like any circuit configuration in series or parallel variances have the same impact, exactly. So one panel with an operating voltage of 16 and one with 18VDC will drag the strong one down normally to the lower level which may alter output of current somewhat but all in all it depends on several parameters of the panels, not just voltage. Staying with all the same panel is good - UNLESS you start with ZAMP because they are at least twice the price of other solid performing panels and their flexi panels do not enjoy a very good standing with me (and a few others) right now. I hate to dump two Zamp panels in the dirt but that may be the best solution. Time will tell. As noted before I have a service appt to get this taken care of, will take two trips, simply because I do NOT want to hear from Zamp they failed because of abuse in 4 months.

Best bet is to ask WGO to please not install Zamp panels on the roof and avoid all those extra screw holes in the roof and the hassle with Zamp panel exchange during the first year. So now I have two recommendations for prospective V/N customers; don't buy it with the DE0061 refrigerator and don't buy it with Zamp solar flexi panels on the roof. That's just my advice and worth just that, words on a forum.
Yesterday on the evening news a new company was announced in our local area, coming soon and hiring now - Korean based solar panel mfg. Will hire 500 initially, good for the economy. Sometimes you get better quality when you pay twice the market rate for a product, if Zamp continues to thrive I think they will need to get competitive or make a higher quality product, or sell a lot of govt. contracts. The other thing I have noticed about ZAMP is they refuse to list the panel specifications on their web site. I know the open circuit voltage is 19.1 but that's all and the expected amp output in most favorable conditions but there are many other specs that should be listed.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:08 AM   #25
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It is 84*F outside, sunny at 12 noon. The one good Zamp panel is delivering 5.5amps steady. Try to post some pics of the cell and panel curl, remember it is far worse at 95*F but today is the first day sun has been "out" in over a week, lots of rain. Note the attachment does not put the panel flush on the roof but there is a spacer to allow flexing.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:25 AM   #26
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Just to add a side note here: I do know at least one panel manufacturer states if the connectors are cut off the panel it voids the warranty. Might be good to ask about this before buying a panel if you intend to cut the connectors off.
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:51 AM   #27
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Kayak, any heat issue inside the RV under the panel?
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadman View Post
Just to add a side note here: I do know at least one panel manufacturer states if the connectors are cut off the panel it voids the warranty. Might be good to ask about this before buying a panel if you intend to cut the connectors off.
I decided to skirt this issue and bought MC4 to SAE converters on eBay. Really well made and not expensive.

BUT they were wired in reverse with the positive lead in the male plug. I ended up having to cut the adapters and switching the wires.
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:14 PM   #29
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Well several thoughts. First if I buy the panels and want to cut off the leads that is my business. Second there is not heat felt underneath the panels inside the RV, there is about a constant 1/8" or more gap or air gap between the panel and the roof. You will feel heat under the vents and the shower light panel but that's not from a solar panel. Finally every SAE to MC4 connector on the market except a few made especially for Zamp by a non-Zamp company are reversed polarity (for a Zamp install) and you will need to cut the leads anyway. For a ridiculous price of $35 each you can buy correct polarity SAE to MC4 from one vendor. Why in the world would anyone with any skills with a solder gun worry about cutting those leads anyway. Just whack em off and do the job. Simple. That falls into the line of the fear mongering heard from Zamp - only use OUR panels with our stuff. Yeah, sure, so I can watch more of em curl up and fail in the heat? Nope. I really like the looks of the Renogy slimline panels but I don't like the weight going on the roof. You see Zamp simply chose to make their stuff incompatible with every thing already out there to try and entice customers to continue to buy their stuff only, bad tactic. Especially for a radical non-conformist like me. Not so bad if their stuff was really worth two or three times what everyone else charges for a panel but really? These things are really simple devices and not to be feared and there is no magic involved. Chop off the MC4 connectors from any vendor panel and solder a 10ga correct SAE lead on them and plug em up and forget about it. It really is that simple. OK, consider that a Zamp solar flexi cost over $700 MSRP and a Renogy slimline 100 watt rigid cost about $120 MSRP would YOU worry about chopping off the MC4 connectors and properly soldering on a correct polarity SAE connector? In the end what is a warranty but a pain in your posterior anyway... I'm very happy the folks at Zamp were able to take a garage shop business into a success story but like another such story of a major computer and cell phone maker I have never bought from them and never will. I prefer open market non-proprietary stuff. This computer is Linux powered, no dual boot, just Linux. My head is open shaped and my solar is going to be non-proprietary and open before I get through chopping and whacking it to make it usable and functional. But, unlike it's proprietary state, it will WORK when I get through with it and be usable for a fraction of the cost of Zampoid panels.
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:47 AM   #30
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OK, after sleeping the above post could seem pretty harsh to some but not intended that way. I am too direct according to DW, if you were offended take this as an apology.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:43 AM   #31
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It's the truth without suger IMO. I am doing the Zamp 30w controller and Renogy 160w panels. I ordered my extenshion cables to chomp off. No worries knowledge is power and a wide diverse selections of opinions is helpful. Everyone can give advice but I have to live with the choices I make. Stay tuned for pictures of my install on my 17 Navion.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:55 AM   #32
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Mike, it’s 30 amp controller. Think twice. A 30 amp will limit expansion. Wish i had a 40.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:58 AM   #33
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Kayak, thanks for your posting but I want to read your honest opinions. No sugar coating required.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:35 AM   #34
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I don't worry about the warranty much either, once I tested the panel to make sure it was working I would, and have chopped off their connectors on my other coach.

When I bought parts for the solar install on the current coach I bought 400 watts of panels but bought a 60 amp controller. I have since added another panel and might add more in the future so am glad I did this. Not much more money to upgrade at the time.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:09 AM   #35
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I'm 71 years old and, other than vehicles, I can count the number of warranty claims I've made on one hand.

However, if it's a big concern for you, instead of chopping off the connectors, why not make an adapter?
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:09 AM   #36
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The hotter roof radiating heat into the interior of the coach would scare me away from the flexible panels. I have no solar yet. Larry 2014 Reyo P, Titusville, FL
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:14 AM   #37
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I am in Tucson. It was 106 yesterday. I have three flex panels on the roof of my View. Is not a problem.
I cut off my connectors and hardwired them to an area behind the refrig.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:22 AM   #38
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Ok, thank you. I do like the low profile and relatively easier installation. Maybe since heat rises, radiating heat downward is minimal/negligible? Have you ever measured ceiling Temps in both areas where solar panels are and are not installed? Larry 2014 Reyo P
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:30 AM   #39
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No, have not taken actual temps. The panels are above the bedroom and I do not notice a difference from the bedroom to the kitchen area temps.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:17 AM   #40
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What about cupping and the shorter warranty?
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