adding second solar panel

NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
the 320 S has one 100watt panel, has anyone just added another by simply splicing it into to existing wire on the roof?

Or any other ideas welcome I have two 6v batteries.

I don't have the unit yet till next week so don't know how the wires enter the roof, any have a pic?


2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
365 Watts of Solar

Comments

  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 2,177
    edited January 11
    Adding a second 100-watt panel, would also require the rep,a cement of,the Victron 75-10 solar controller with a 75-15 to handle the additional wattage.  

    Another option is to just get a 100-watt portable solar panel (suitcase type setup) that will allow you to add additional solar without camper modification to roof, and then you can place the second solar panel in the sun, even if the camper is in the shade.  I believe current production includes a SAE type external,so,air connector, which you plug the portable panel into (which requires its own solar controller).  
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400 Boondock, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,392


    @[email protected] - This is a 210 watt Sunflare solar panel that has its own Victron 75/15 solar controller, and the front 105 watt Sunflare solar panel has its own Victron 75/10 solar controller. I also have the Victron smart shunt so I can see all three Victron components on the Victron Connect app. This is on a 2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock model.  
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost
    [email protected] Administrator
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
    Nice install how did you run the wires to the controller

    can you please explain "Victron smart shunt"  or a pic?

    that's perfect for what I was thinking
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • VernaVerna Administrator Posts: 6,392
    edited January 11
    @NovaTab, if you search for smart shunt on the forum you’ll get a better explanation than I can give, or just go the Amazon and they have a good explanation.

    And I do admit I had an expert do the work for me. I asked and it was done as I asked. I do also have two 6 Volt AGM batteries in the front tub with 225aH of storage. 
    Verna, Columbus, IN
    2021 [email protected] 320S  Boondock
    Towed by a white 2019 Ford F-150 4x4 Supercab, 3.5L V6 Ecoboost
    [email protected] Administrator
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 69
    edited January 14
    NovaTab said:
    the 320 S has one 100watt panel, has anyone just added another by simply splicing it into to existing wire on the roof?

    Or any other ideas welcome I have two 6v batteries.

    I don't have the unit yet till next week so don't know how the wires enter the roof, any have a pic?


    My situation is very similar (320 BD w/solar, dual 6v batteries), though my camper won't be delivered for another 6 weeks. I had the same question about additional solar panels, and was considering asking to upgrade the controller to the 75-15 so I'd be ready for an additional 100w panel. I eventually came to the conclusion that I'd be better off experimenting to see how things worked with the stock panel and controller first.
    If it turns out that more charging is needed, I'll make the decision about what setup to use at that point. I'm inclined to go with a suitcase panel with it's own controller because it's an easy and relatively inexpensive solution. Another, perhaps bigger plus, is that portable panels can be placed in the best orientation for charging. If what Denny16 says about the 320 now coming with an SAE plug in place, a suitcase solar panel/controller is literally plug n' play. On the minus side is the pain of setup/teardown and of finding a suitable place to carry and story the gear.
    I also plan to add a battery monitor, though again after taking delivery of the and getting a feel for the [email protected] The Smart Shunt is nice - it's a wireless and communicates the information to your mobile via BT - but is fairly pricey. In the early stages, I will simply keep tabs on the state of the batteries with a handheld multi-meter and take my time sorting through the pros and cons of the various monitors.
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock (on the way) / 2008 XC-90 V8 Sport
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
    I did a bit more research and received a roof frame plan from the factory showing the frame supports.

    I plan on putting on 250 watt hard panel just behind the roof vent on hinge.
    then do a tilt up bracket to get a  better angle.

    Then add a 20amp controller for that panel to add to system if I want to get fancy looking into motorized linear lift or gas struts???


    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • MarcelineMarceline Member Posts: 897
    CharlieRN said:
    I also plan to add a battery monitor, though again after taking delivery of the and getting a feel for the [email protected] The Smart Shunt is nice - it's a wireless and communicates the information to your mobile via BT - but is fairly pricey. In the early stages, I will simply keep tabs on the state of the batteries with a handheld multi-meter and take my time sorting through the pros and cons of the various monitors.
    This is a cheap alternative to the SmartShunt. It provides the same information as a multimeter, but you permanently connect to your battery so that you can get readings at any time using your phone. You can also set it up to send an alert if voltage drops below a certain level.
    San Francisco Bay Area
    2013 CS-S [email protected]
    Battered but trusty 3.5l V6 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • druthazerdruthazer Member Posts: 21
    @NovaTab. We put 2 100w Renogy panels in parallel and usually there is a weatherproof plug in connector from panel to the wiring.  There are simple inexpensive splitter connections that I got from Renogy that allows a direct connection of a 2nd panel without any special or additional wiring... 

    We put one panel in front of vent across with connectors toward the right side and second panel fore & aft to right of vent.  Wires were close enough to direct connect without any wire on top of panel.  

    See photos on our solar on thread 2017 Tab 320 s from 2020.   Works great ... cost cheap.  Bob & Dianne
  • NovaTabNovaTab Member Posts: 44
    sure but if the panels larger the controller can't handle the load.
    I'm adding a 265 watt panel with second 20amp controller
    2021 TaB 320 Boondock, Gran Cherokee TrailHawk
    365 Watts of Solar
  • WayfaringStrangersWayfaringStrangers Member Posts: 8
    We just picked up our new 320 on Friday and plan to use a suitcase panel in addition to the roof panel, but the solar port in the front box is not Zamp. Someone told me they are wired opposite of others. Will my Zamp work in the new 320? 
    Yes, I need to update our picture. 
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 6,700
    edited January 19
    Just think of your solar port as an SAE plug - forget about the Zamp.  If it worked with your previous TaB, it will work with your new TaB.  If it doesn’t, then you need to check how the port is wired at the battery.  

    The Zamp panel controller wire ends in a plug that is wired so the positive lead is covered and the negative lead is the metal exposed part.  If you can use a multimeter, it is easy to confirm the port battery wiring.  If not, look at your battery and follow the port wires to the battery to determine how your port is wired.  

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
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