Does factory solar include a solar controller?


  • GeorgiaMBGeorgiaMB Member Posts: 33
    Newbie question, So sorry in advance… But we’re getting a 320 Boondock, with solar already installed… Will it have a controller already so I will be able to know how it’s working?  I just did not see anything about the solar panel on the 1000 YouTube videos I have watched thus far!
    2021 [email protected] Boondock 320S | 2021 Toyota Tacoma SR5 V6 
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 9,089
    You will have a Victron controller installed as part of your installed solar package.  You can download the VictronConnect app and use it during your walk through to check that your solar is operational.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • DougWWDougWW Member Posts: 87
    I just got a look at a new 2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock model yesterday. Besides the solar panel on the roof there is a solar plug in on the driver's side of the tub. Looks like a nice feature.

    2021 [email protected] 320S Boondock, Chevy Avalanche, Happy wife.
  • William_KeeverWilliam_Keever Member Posts: 37
    DougWW, what kind of accessories would someone use that Solar plug on the side of the tub for? I’m sort of new to this. 
  • Millie_on_the_moveMillie_on_the_move Member Posts: 14
    The solar plug can be used to add a "suitcase" style solar panel to add more solar capacity, or reach to a sunny area if the existing panel is shaded
    2021 [email protected] 400BD
    South Carolina
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 3,082
    edited March 2021
    The "solar plug" is a common ordinary SAE port.  A very simple connector.  Since it connects to the battery, it can also be used to draw power from the battery with a simple setup like a plug and a 12V "cigarette" plug.  I use mine for my portable 100 watt panel.
    Ignore all internet comments about it:  it isn't wired "backwards"or "reverse polarity". These types of comments have made the port so mysterious and confusing most people hesitate.  (I did.) And:  it isn't a "Zamp" port. (There are dozens of makers).  Note that the Amazon link says "motorcycle".  It has been a standard connector for motorcycle accessories for years. 

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • CharlieRNCharlieRN Member Posts: 422
    GeorgiaMB said:
    Newbie question, So sorry in advance… But we’re getting a 320 Boondock, with solar already installed… Will it have a controller already so I will be able to know how it’s working?  I just did not see anything about the solar panel on the 1000 YouTube videos I have watched thus far!
    We're in the same situation and picking up our 320 BD on Tuesday. As others have indicated, the solar panel connects through a Victron Smart Solar controller. As @Sharon_is_SAM indicates, it is a BT unit for which you need the phone app to monitor the read-out from the controller.
    The Victron gets good reviews, with the only drawback being that that it is rated for only 10 amps. This is sufficient for the factory solar, but not adequate if you add panels. We suspect that we'll need more solar but will wait and see on that score. Having an SAE plug already in place should make it easy to add a suitcase panel with its own controller.
    And I don't think you need to be sorry for asking questions in advance of actually getting your camper. We ordered our back in August and I've been asking questions on this forum going on 9 months now!
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock / 2022 Telluride - Phillies/Eagles/Flyers Country
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 5,350
    The solar controller is sized for the solar panels installed with it.  So a TaB320 has a 10-amp controller and a TaB400 with its larger solar panels, gets a 15-amp controller.  If you want to add more solar panels, you need to add the properly sized controller for them.
    2018 TaB400 Custom Boondock,  Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast.
  • NorCalMikeNorCalMike Member Posts: 52
    And most suitcase style panels come with controller built in so pretty much plug and play.  I assume the panel are hardwired direct to batter via controller so doesn't matter if battery cut off switch turned off, right?
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 9,089
    @NorCalMike - the solar port is wired directly to the battery, so the plug and play suitcase will charge the battery with the battery switch on or off.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • RetiredguyRetiredguy Member Posts: 11
    Newbie question re solar.  We have a 2021 tab 320 s boondock.  We have two Interstate Marine, Deep Cycle, SRM 24V batteries hooked up in parallel. In our Victron app our battery setting is set at factory default: (Gel Victron Deep discharge  (2)). 

    Our battery is currently at 14.49 volts and the current of the battery is at 4.3 amps. The state is now in absorption.

    Float should be at 13.8 volts and absorption is now at 14.5V. according to the settings, my battery shoukd have triggered to the float mode at a absorption voltage of 14.4V.

    Are my settings correct with this setup?  I worried that I might be overcharging my battery at this higher voltage.
  • 2WoodsyOnes2WoodsyOnes Member Posts: 6
    Can you overcharge the lithium batteries with the factory solar setup.  We bought our 2021 used and it has 2 batteries hooked up in the front tub.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 3,082
    The solar controller is a Victron, and has a setting for Lithium batteries.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 469
    The absorption voltage can be as high as 14.6V for LiFEPO4 batteries.  I personally prefer 14.4V for battery longevity.  I forget what the default value is for Victron.  If you're Absorption is set to 14.5V and you're currently at 14.49V and it says the state is Absorption, you should be fine.  I can't quite tell from your description.

    @2WoodsyOnes, The battery should have over-voltage protection within the battery management system (BMS) to protect against a charger failure that tries to over-charge a LiFEPO4 battery, usually set at 14.8V or 14.9V.
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander 3.5L V6
    Bellingham WA
  • GregChrisGregChris Member Posts: 101
    While the phone app seems good, if it doesn't work, what good is it? Did every possible trouble shoot. I don't think I'm the only who has this problem.
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 3,151
    edited March 15
    @GregChris, it's unclear what it is you're saying doesn't work.
    Are you having problems with the phone app, or are you having problems with the controller?
    Chan  -  near Buffalo NY
    2014 S Maxx
    2011 Tacoma 4cyl ... edit: 2022 Tacoma 6cyl - oh yeah! 

     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya - Pull Dreem
  • GregChrisGregChris Member Posts: 101
    The phone app can't find the controller. Therefore it can't connect or monitor. The controller does work. If you search I'm sure you will find several referances to this problem. 
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