Experience with Coleman Solar panels? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2015, 06:40 PM   #1
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Name: Stephen
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Experience with Coleman Solar panels?

For those in Canada, Canadian Tire will have a sale on 100 W Coleman panels this weekend (March 27-29, 2015), for $199 Canadian.

$2 CND / Watt ($1.60 US / Watt) seems like a good price. This seems better than dealing with the abusive dude selling unknown panels on Kijiji. I'll still need a charge controller.

I'm wondering if people have a good experience with Coleman panels? There's a suggestion in these forums that Coleman panels are made by SunForce. That and the pictures look the same, and SunForce works with Coleman for other products.

I'm not interested in the cheapest ... I prefer reliability and quality. Coleman and Canadian Tire are not the best brands for what I'm after. If anyone has direct experience, that would be appreciated.

NB 100 W should be enough for my light power use on my Trillium ... I'll be all LED by the end of the month.

thanks,
Stephen
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:10 PM   #2
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I have two 40 watt Coleman panels that I got on sale at Canadian Tire at $99 each, so 100 watts for $199 sounds good to me. The panels I got came with charge controllers included and all sorts of connectors. I only need to use one controller for the two panels ( but I did have to buy another cord to connect them both ).
I have only used them last summer, but they worked just fine for me. I had my generator with me as backup, but even on overcast days the panels kept the battery charged.
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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Just had a look at the 100 watt Canadian Tire has on sale. It is for permanent installation, so it isn't designed with own support, and the charge controller is extra.
I guess I am happier with my two 40 watt panels. They go on sale often at either $99 or $129 ( alternating ). Just sign up for a sales alert an wait for the email telling you it's coming up.
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:36 PM   #4
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I too have been considering the purchase of a solar panel. All I have are my interior lights, propane furnace, ceiling fan and water pump. I was wondering if the 40 watt would do the trick. I hesitated on the $99 sale, simply due to ignorance in these areas. Last summer we camped off grid for 5 days, and ran out of power just prior to loading. We are doing a road trip for 4 weeks with very few days at a time off the road. I don't think we will need solar assistance during that time, but in the future weekending etc it might help.
Jim
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:02 PM   #5
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DNM Solar , in Newmarket On. sells 250Watt Canadian solar panels for $218 . check it out .
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:09 PM   #6
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I have two of the 40 W panels that Glen has, though mine look a bit different, and two 60 W Coleman panels that I got at Costco:
Referral - Coleman 60W Solar Kit - $170 CDN
Actually, my son owns the two 60W panels, I bought his 40W panel to make a 80W hinged suit case array.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
I bought his 40W panel to make a 80W hinged suit case array.
Pictures, instructions please.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Pictures, instructions please.
Since I have not done it yet, pictures will be difficult.

The plan is to purchase an aluminum latch, and piano hinge from ebay. Carefully screw the hinge into the frame using stainless countersunk screws, and lock nuts and washers on the inside of the frame. Mount the controller on the back of the solar panel, then run the output of the controller to a connection on the battery box, on the tongue. The controller may actually be on the battery end of the cable, not sure yet. I plan to stick with the connectors that came with the solar panel.

When closed, the solar cells will be facing each other, out of harms way. I may put some Coroplast on the back of the solar panels to make it look neat when it is closed.

A very similar plan is in place for my sons two 60W solar panels.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
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Gotcha.
I just used cello packing tape on all the edges on the boxes that the panels came in. I use the alligator clips to battery terminals and I'm still looking for a waterproof container for the controller. My understanding is the controller should be close to the battery and at times the panel itself will be some 20 feet away, so you don't want the controller on the panel.
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