5 Stars By JTFC6 on 2017-04-24
Motorhome 200 watt installation
I installed this kit in my motor home to eliminate having to run the generator or plug in to shore power every couple of days. I would recommend adding an inline fuse and a cutoff switch if you purchase this kit. Everything included from Renogy was packaged securely and all components seem to work as expected. This was my first solar install and I had no background in this technology so I watched a few YouTube videos to get an idea of how others were doing their installs. Overall I am very happy with this product.
5 Stars By Scott A. Franco on 2014-03-12
I installed this on my trailer. I liked the fact that the charge controller could have handled up to four panels. The 200w setup is adequate for my needs. I added a second deep discharge battery to the trailer to contain the charge. I also added a sine wave inverter to operate the 110v appliances in the trailer, direct connected to the battery.
After installing the panels on the roof, I don't plug the trailer in anymore to charge it. The entire system is capable of running a few light appliances like TVs, power drills, etc. It cannot run the air conditioner, microwave, or other high power appliance. I have not experienced running out of power at night, but then I haven't really tried to stress it. One time when the power was out in the house, I used the system to run a light and a drill. Nice to have a backup power source.
Installation was easy, although I didn't use the provided tiedown fasteners. I actually liked the tiedown fasteners described in the manual, which are rubber expanding bolts that hold the mounts secure from the back side. However, that was not what came with the panels. I found that the roof was actually something like 3/8 plywood decking, and used wood screws and proper roof sealant throughout.
One hint I would give is to NOT try out the snap in power connectors before you are ready. They are unbelievably difficult to get apart again.
I don't know why everyone is so down on the controller. It works fine, and gives good status indications. Apparently the "ultimate" charge controller is supposed to be a Maximum power point tracking (MPPT) controller. But according to what I have read, this means it optimizes charging my knowing where the sun is at maximum, by remembering the peak power generation time of the panel. This would have no use in any case for a trailer, because that is going to change when you move the trailer.
5 Stars By Irgunr on 2016-11-02
easy install works great.
Great Solar system for the price. I installed this on my 5th wheel 4 months ago and it is keeping my batteries charged to there peek all the time. I did a week of camping with out power hook ups and this system was strong enough to recharge my batteries during the day and left me with enough power to use all the lights and my TV all I wanted during the night. I'm using 2 6v golf cart batteries to run my camper. each battery is 215ah.
5 Stars By Mike Whelan on 2017-06-24
Great product, super quality and great support.
Great kit. I spent far to much time trying to decide on how much solar I needed for our Class A motor home. I called Renogy and received great advice. Ordered this kit based on the conversation with Renogy. Shipping was fast. The kit was easy to install. We spent just over 3 hours from opening the boxes to pumping power to the batteries. More time was spent in routing the wiring than doing the panel placement or connecting to the controller or batteries. Product quality is very good. Kit is near complete. I only added a fuse and some roof sealer to the order. Everything worked as advertised only better. I was getting 14.7 V from the panel on a partly cloudy day. The only complaint is the lack of documentation... Hmm come to think of it the install was so easy I didn't even use the documentation until just before I made the final connections.
5 Stars By Bikefreak on 2017-04-11
started out with the 200W kit expecting to upgrade to ...
started out with the 200W kit expecting to upgrade to 400W but I don't even think its necessary ....usually my batteries are back to a 100% by noon the next day...I'm running a Whistler 1600 inverter to my 3 deep cycle batteries to harvest the power of those panels (which are connected to my 3batterie peer bank thru the charge controller that comes with the kit). Only change I did was that I opted for the LCD charge controller at checkout instead the 'Wanderer's that it origanally comes with. To my surprise the LCD charge controller was $10 cheaper and gives you much more information of what's going on with your system (voltage, current amp charging, battery stats...) than the default 'wanderer's charge controller....if my batteries are dead those two panels (200W) put out 10-15amps a peaktime which is plenty to recharge my batteries after a hard day of use
5 Stars By BTA-MALL Prime Fan on 2016-05-09
Good starter kit
So far I think the kit is good. Came with what is advertised. You have to go online to see the manual, but these days that's not a surprise.
Outside of the kit I have purchased:
Dicor Lap Sealant
2 Blade Fuse Holders (10 gauge)
30A Blade Fuses
I'm trying to figure out where to mount everything in my '90 Lance Camper. I currently only have one Deep Cycle 12V battery, but I have plans to expand.
The kit looks good so far. I'll update and add pics of my install.
Just an update, as I've sold the camper and am buying this kit again for my toy hauler. It really is a well priced kit and worked great for 2 years! I'm sure will work great for the new owner.
NOTE***The Wanderer does not provide a float mode, so Renogy recommends if you are not going to use the camper for a month or so, you should disconnect the battery (in my case, I pulled both the fuses).
My work-around for this was to put a 12V motion light on the back of the camper, near the door. You can find them here on BTA-MALL for a good price. This would drain the battery slightly each night and recharge during the day, never requiring me to disconnect the load from the panels.
1 Stars By G. Jarrette on 2017-10-08
Renogy Solar Kit Junk Plugs Beware
We recently purchased the Renogy Monocrystalline Solar cell two panel with charge controller. At first when assembling at home for portable use all seemed to work but not as good as I had expected. The panels (2) in parallel did not seem to charge as fast as I had hoped. Well we went on a three week vacation and thought the panels would work but they just seemed to work only poorly. After I got home and suffered a totally discharged battery in a 20 degree F night with no power for the heater I found that the connectors that Renogy supplys are second rate junk rejects, IMHO. The male connectors have a small insert shaped like a chinese lantern. After connecting the solar panels to the cable that goes to the battery and then removing it I found that this little spring connector that is in the plug comes out and falls out. At home I could not figure out why the panels would not show any voltage until further investigation showed this part had fallen out of the connectors. It is not held in by anything and FAILURE is only a matter of time and you will have no connection at all. This is a cheap chinese design and if you buy these panels you will find that after a very short time this INSERTS WILL COME OUT ON THEIR OWN. I managed to find the small spring insert in my home after not being able to use them on vacation. I inserted the spring connector spacer and the panels are now putting out 14.3 volts to my sealed lead acid batteries after the charge controller which is another point of concern. After charging my batteries to 13.7 volts with the Travel Trailer converter an then disconnection shore power and hooking up the solar panels I found my batteries being supplied with 14.3 or more volts. Now I am afraid they will over charge my batteries and ruin them. I am not a stranger to electronics and have over 50 years experience building electronic equipment.
Bottom line is that I am not sure I made a wise decision to buy Renogy over Zamp which costs more. The connectors are over kill on the outside and hard to get apart for portable use when camping in wilderness areas which is what I bought them for to augment my generator use. The plugs are very hard to get apart. In a word junk. The weak spot in these panels is the connectors. Perhaps only good for one time assembly on a fixed application and not to be taken apart after that.
5 Stars By Dejavuduck on 2017-07-29
Dry-campers delight; a well documented, small and easy set up solar system
Very pleased with the quality of the product and installation documentation. The panels and charge controller are simply great quality. From the reviews I read before buying, Renogy stands behind its system and responds to troubleshooting customers - a big plus over competition in my purchase decision.
A DIYer, I wired the Wanderer Charge Controller into the bedroom of our travel trailer to have immediate access to the system status (and to keep it dry), plus two ammeters; one to monitor solar charge rate to a battery bank and one to monitor our power draw from the same battery bank. That gives us the ability to see the automated doings of the Wanderer, which is really a superb quality charge controller.
The system package came with everything necessary, except in-line fuses, to get hooked up to our battery bank (four deep cycle 12-volt flooded cell marine batteries with about 300 amp hour storage capacity) and to run the power cable leads about 8 feet away from the trailer. I purchased an additional 50 feet of power cable (on BTA-MALL - Unlimited Solar's - Solar PV Cable Set with 2 x 50FT MC4 Wire Exntensions - 10 AWG) to be able to place the panels away from shade we might park the trailer in. The MC4 connectors are what Renogy uses and are compatible with other vendor MC4 extensions.
For now we are laying the panels on the ground; I will build an adjustable stand for future camping trips. So far everything works great, panels have been in 7 hours of sun per day on two camping trips and kept us charged up for daily 12-volt use (lights, water pump, an electronic ignition propane fridge with a constant 12 watt/0.8 amp draw, propane furnace ignition and fan, CO2 detector).
We have shifted our lights to LED's (lower power draw bulbs), but I expect this setup would keep up with higher incandescent bulb's power draw in camping spots with ideal panel exposure. I also plan to have a 200 watt AC inverter in the mix and expect that will be adequately supplied by the system.
We really like camping away from campgrounds, in BLM deserts and National Forests, so this is a great set up for us. I will recommend to friends!
5 Stars By T. J. Bowman Jr. on 2017-08-29
Great product, be careful about the recommended products that appear at purchase
Installed this system on my Toy Hauler RV. It is keeping the two batteries charged very nicely. We can watch a movie at night, and the batteries are fully charged by the next evening. I suspect we could watch a couple of movies, but I haven't done this yet. We use LED light bulbs throughout the RV to reduce consumption. I wish more people would go solar and use their generators less. Solar won't power the microwave or air conditioner, but it powers everything else.
Some people complain about the controller, but I think it does fine. The complaint is that it doesn't have a meter to show voltage or current. In my opinion, you only want this in the beginning to see how efficient your system is. The controller has LEDs that show when it is charging and when it is in maintenance charge mode (batteries full). I have an inexpensive volt meter that plugs into the 12 volt outlet. Good enough for me.
Do not buy the huge fuse holder and 100A fuses that appear as "Items other people bought with this." The correct fuses are 15A and 30A, and you can use standard automotive fuse holders. There is an inexpensive meter that appears when you purchase this, and I recommend that you fully read the instructions and develop a plan before buying it. This meter can only tell you what is happening at the point of installation. For example, some people install this between the panels and the controller (shows panel output), between the controller and the batteries (shows controller output), or between the batteries and the load (shows what the appliances are actually using from the battery). In my opinion, the last application is the only one I care about on an ongoing basis, and the installation for this application is independent of the solar install.
Also, take the time to look up the recommended roof attachment procedures for your type of roof. I have an EPM roof, so I looked at the manufacturer videos for attaching a fan to an EPM roof and used those as a guide. I was surprised to learn that butyl tape is the first line of defense and the self-leveling caulk was the second line of defense. If the roof leaks, dry rot will likely follow, and that can be expensive at best or ruin the RV.
Some people commented that the connectors are difficult to separate, but there is an inexpensive tool you can buy at checkout to make this easy.
The instructions say to hook up the solar panels last or cover them so they don't produce a charge until after they are connected to the controller. I cut cardboard covers from the shipping box and taped them to the panels. This allowed me to lay out everything before the final attachment.
5 Stars By candice on 2015-04-20
Panels appear (and 'feel') well built and all included hardware and cables appear sturdy. Mounting these panels on a house roof
I purchased this kit along with an AGM battery for my camper van's house power system. Solar panels were installed on a ladder rack (mounted on van rain gutters) which went generally smooth with the z-brackets included with this kit (though I did have to drill out new holes to secure z-brackets to U-Bolts to attach to the ladder rack). Panels appear (and 'feel') well built and all included hardware and cables appear sturdy. Mounting these panels on a house roof or other 'flat' surface would be easy as pie.
The solar controller also looks to get the job done though it is a bit basic and unfortunately does not provide an actual voltage reading of the battery but instead only a green/orange/red LED indicator.
Assuming the panels and charge controller hold up this appears to be a great value for a first time solar install.