Installing non-Zamp solar

I have a 2014 320 [email protected] and want to install portable solar hookup. I know little about electronics and want to keep this as simple as possible. I understand that I need to deal with reverse polarity if I don't go with a Zamp unit, which I don't want to do because of the expense. I don't know if that entails simply getting the reverse polarity switch and plugging it in or do I need to do some rewiring inside the [email protected]? Also, if more complicated wiring is needed, does anyone have ideas about who can do this other than an RV dealer, given their expense and months-long wait to get an appointment?


  • pthomas745pthomas745 Moderator Posts: 2,718
    edited August 4
    Welcome to the Forums.
    Ignore the phrase "reverse polarity."  Drop it from your vocabulary. Ignore it when you read it in the millions of posts about the "SAE port". (That is what the port really is: SAE port).   It is just a plug, and just like any other plug, it needs to be wired correctly.   I've never used a Zamp panel.  Thousands of owners have used different brands and combinations of panels and controllers with no issues.  It is easy to figure out.  Really.
    First: do you have the "port" on the side of your trailer?
    The easiest way to install a panel is to use alligator clamps directly from the solar controller to the battery.  No ports involved.  The hard part ( and the inconvenience) is opening up the battery box and attaching the clamps.
    The "solar ports", which are wired to the battery, allow you to just plug in the solar setup in.  There are several easy and convenient ways to do this, too, with no drilling into the trailer at all.
    Many owners have easy solar hookups that did not involve any drilling at all, or a dealer (who also may not understand it). 
    Tell us what you want to do.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • HoriganHorigan Member Posts: 369
    @pris, It sounds like you have a Zamp/SAE port on the side of your tub.  If so, this is wired directly to your battery.  You will need a portable solar panel with an integrated controller.  The wires from this panel can either clip on to the battery terminals, as mentioned above, or you can put an SAE plug on the wires.  Look at the backside of the Zamp port in your tub to determine which receptacle is positive and negative and make sure your wiring from the panel is such that positive from the panel goes to positive on the port, and negative to negative.
    2019 [email protected] 400
    2013 Toyota Highlander
    Bellingham WA
  • SLJSLJ Member Posts: 190
    I bought the SAE to solar adapter cable and reversed the solar connectors on it so no polarity adapter is necessary. The less connections the better. Took the controller off the panels and mounted it in the tub closer to the battery so I won't have as much loss when using a 25' extension. You will need connectors and a crimp tool to swap the connectors. Here's what I used to attach a 200 watt Renogy briefcase panel (about halfway down the page):
    2021 [email protected] 320 S Boondock
    The Finger Lakes of New York
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