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Old 05-18-2019, 06:46 PM   #21
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Name: Douglas
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
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We have a Victron 100/30 MPPT controller with wiring terminating through a fuse to Anderson connectors, kinda like yours. It has the built in bluetooth, so no dongle. I made up a 25 foot extension cord with Anderson on one end and MC4 on the other to hook up to a Renogy 100 W rigid panel. It works great. A couple of thoughts are that the bluetooth connection to the smartphone app is pretty nice. But if you had a battery monitor with a shunt (like a Victron BMV) then you could probably do without the dongle. And I agree about going to a ham radio shop to have them put Anderson connectors on wire for you. I used the Anderson 30 amp connectors and it takes a special technique in addition to the Anderson tool to make them up correctly to 10 gauge wire. So let someone else do it for you. And the 100W Renogy weighs about 25 pounds and is bulky.

We also have a Acopower flexible suitcase panel like this one:
https://smile.amazon.com/ACOPOWER-Po..._1_fkmrnull_3?
It clips onto the battery terminals but also has MC4 and SAE connectors so it is very versatile. We use it with our teardrop trailer with the battery clips but also can boost solar power input to the LilSnoozy by hooking it up in parallel with the Renogy. It only weighs 7 pounds and works fine with its included PWM controller.

Long winded answer, but if I were you I would sell the MPPT controller and buy an Acopower suitcase flexible panel like the one above. It works really well and is super easy to use.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:03 PM   #22
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One other thing about the Acopower PWM controller. I found the wiring connectors to be sloppy and modified them a bit. Pictures are in my Terragrin album.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:25 PM   #23
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Name: Deborah
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One thing I keep reading is that it's best for the controller to be as close to the battery as possible. So I wonder about the attached to panel styke
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:37 PM   #24
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One thing I keep reading is that it's best for the controller to be as close to the battery as possible. So I wonder about the attached to panel styke

'Tis true, but I wonder how significant the loss is. That would depend on the run I expect, and the wire gauge.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:56 AM   #25
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Name: Gus
Trailer: Boler
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I think my sequence is going to be:

1. Get to know my Casita by camping in hookup sites unplugged ;that will tell me a lot

2. If battery capacity is marginal at all for the weekends I like to do, then I'll do the math and probably put together a panel and stand, and try it out with controller where it is. Battery door will be open so risks seem low

3. If controller works well, then I'll proceed from there by moving controller

Thanks for all the good links and advice

FWIW I think your plan is sound. Regardless of where you buy them, I would suggest that if possible you take a look at panels at a brick and mortar store to get a sense of the size and weight both from the point of view of what you can comfortably handle and what you can store in your trailer. It may be easier to use two smaller panels and connect them together. If I am not mistaken with your particular controller you can hook them up in series which may offer some advantage.


Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:52 AM   #26
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While there are probably many things the initials PV stand for, in this discussion I suspect it is photovoltaic, the term for producing electricity from light.
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