Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Solar Noob Q: [@Costco] Coleman 100w Panel integration

Solar Coleman Costco

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 BigRanchInSky

BigRanchInSky

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • LocationUtah

Posted 29 March 2020 - 04:06 PM

Well, I'm itching to get my camping on, but staying put for now as per CDC guidelines, there's not much close by, I'd have to drive at least 1.5 hours away to camp right now=pretty cold in the Wasatch Mtns at present...the wife works in health care, so no go for me for now...so there's only one cure for that: Camper upgrades!

 

Today @ Costco they have a Coleman Solar panel on sale, $129 with free shipping, and I'm wondering how it could be integrated with the 2019 FWC Hawk. See the attached JPEG of the unit.

 

Since I'm a noob, of course I'd love to just plug the thing into the standard FWC solar extension plug (I believe my solar plug is on the rear of the camper) and away it goes...is there something I need to do before I plug it in? Keep the supplied controller or loose it? I have a 160 Watt system with 2x12V batteries, all stock from FWC as of 2019. I can probably handle finding the right plug adapter and hopefully get the polarity correctly identified when hooking up the plug leads, any info on that appreciated also.

 

Thank you in advance, I appreciate your ideas!

 

ColemanSolar_Costco.jpg


Edited by BigRanchInSky, 29 March 2020 - 04:13 PM.

  • 0

______________________________
2019 Hawk / Ford F250


#2 longhorn1

longhorn1

    Ouch, that stings!

  • Members
  • 2,600 posts
  • LocationCarmel, Indiana

Posted 29 March 2020 - 09:51 PM

Your solar plug on the rear of the camper should be wired directly to your solar controller. Therefore, your portable panel should not have a built in controller and you shouldn't use a portable panel with one. Our 2014 Grandby had 100W Zamp on the roof, with a Zamp controller. When I purchased a portable 80W Zamp panel, I had discussions with Zamp and FWC and they both confirmed the portable panel should not have a controller.

Edited by longhorn1, 29 March 2020 - 09:53 PM.

  • 0

http://texaslonghorns01.blogspot.com/

 

Ford F-250 Long bed, 2014 Grandby

 


#3 BigRanchInSky

BigRanchInSky

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • LocationUtah

Posted 01 April 2020 - 03:00 PM

Thanks Longhorn! OK, so take away the controller and get the plug figured out and I should be ready to go, correct? I purchased online, so it won't be here for a few days (hopefully not weeks) and I'll go from there.

 

Q: Are all solar plugs standard or will I be needing to get a unique plug somewhere?


  • 0

______________________________
2019 Hawk / Ford F250


#4 Wandering Sagebrush

Wandering Sagebrush

    Free Range Human

  • Site Team
  • 6,947 posts
  • LocationNorthern Oregon

Posted 01 April 2020 - 04:09 PM

If nothing has changed, I believe FWC uses the SAE connector, and suspect the Coleman may as well.


  • 0

Real Dogs Have Beards - Fear the Beard

Tu Ne Cede Malis


#5 rando

rando

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,180 posts
  • LocationColorado

Posted 01 April 2020 - 04:15 PM

The solar plugs are not standard.  FWC uses an SAE plug.   You will need to buy a pigtail and splice it onto the wires coming from the solar panel.   You can use a multimeter to measure the polarity of the plug on the side of the camper.    

 

It sounds like you have already ordered this, but if not, a foldable panel is a lot easier to deal with in the limited storage of a truck camper.


  • 0

2016 Fleet Flatbed

2016 Toyota Tacoma


#6 ckent323

ckent323

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 689 posts
  • LocationSolvang, CA

Posted 01 April 2020 - 08:41 PM

There are adapters available to go between MC-4 and SAE connectors.

https://www.amazon.c...r/dp/B01N1TALFY


  • 0

1993 Dodge Cummins W-250 Club Cab long bed, 2007 FWC Keystone


#7 fuzzymarindave

fuzzymarindave

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 75 posts
  • LocationMarin County, CA

Posted 01 April 2020 - 09:38 PM

I'm a solar noob too.  Just a thought, if a portable panel had it own controller; would it not be feasible to rewire the rear plug so that it goes directly to the house battery?   You would then have two separate controllers charging the battery independently.  Should be Ok?  I had also read somewhere on this forum that if a single controller has multiple solar panels connected that they should be identical? 


  • 0
.cali (from Urban Dictionary)
A name that non-native Californian's use when refering to California and trying to seem like a real Californian.
Typical of an East coaster

#8 ckent323

ckent323

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 689 posts
  • LocationSolvang, CA

Posted 01 April 2020 - 10:00 PM

I don't think the controller cares where the power comes from.  They are designed to take an input of some amount say 19.6 V and output 13 v or 14 v, as long as you do not exceed the voltage or current input limits of the controller.  However, mixing panels may be less efficient than if they were all the same make and model.

https://solarpanelsv...g-solar-panels/

 

On the other end however it is best if all the batteries being charged are the same.


Edited by ckent323, 01 April 2020 - 10:02 PM.

  • 0

1993 Dodge Cummins W-250 Club Cab long bed, 2007 FWC Keystone


#9 Vic Harder

Vic Harder

    Get's a "charge" out of camping!

  • Members
  • 2,639 posts
  • LocationCalgary, Alberta

Posted 02 April 2020 - 04:23 AM

I'm a solar noob too.  Just a thought, if a portable panel had it own controller; would it not be feasible to rewire the rear plug so that it goes directly to the house battery?   You would then have two separate controllers charging the battery independently.  Should be Ok?  I had also read somewhere on this forum that if a single controller has multiple solar panels connected that they should be identical? 

yes, that works too.  You will really want to have a battery monitor with a shunt, like the Victron BMV 712, to keep tabs on the battery SOC, especially with two chargers since neither charger will be "aware" of what the other one is doing.


  • 0

2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#10 BigRanchInSky

BigRanchInSky

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • LocationUtah

Posted 03 April 2020 - 06:12 PM

Wow, such great info, thank you!

 

RE the size of the Coleman panel: ouch it IS big, and heavy @17 lbs vs the foldable one @6 lbs for the one linked above...so I'm thinking it was a rash purchase and I might need to return it to Costco. Drat. Oh, well, better now than after I get it all unwrapped, etc.

 

And adding a shunt with Victron 712 sounds like an excellent idea, but I'm going to have to research like mad as to how and where to add that. Looks like the Victron unit come with a shunt according to this video:

 

Now I'm re-thinking if I can handle this...(I can't). I've actually never run out of power with the supplied 160 watt solar, I was thinking more=better. It may be time to simply ask if it's a good idea to go to all the trouble to add another set of components to the 160w system.

 

If anything I'm even more impressed every day with the components and build quality of the Hawk: it's really worth every penny, although it would've been nice to have a Victron controller installed, but they can't have every single available option in their builds.

 

Adding the Victron unit would be great but even that is way above my ultra novice level.

 

I think I'll shut this down before I waste anyone else's time. I'm glad I waded out into the stream and found it hip deep before I tried to drive through it, alone.


  • 0

______________________________
2019 Hawk / Ford F250






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Solar, Coleman, Costco

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users