80 Watt Zamp Solar Portable Charging System

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I have had the chance to test and try out Zamp Solar’s 80 Watt portable charging system. Though not large enough to power a tiny house it is enough for a medium size trailer or motor-home.

I have a 1994 RoatTrek van conversion and we like to take it off grid at times and although it has a built in generator it is noisy and can have mechanical issues at times.

I have not been able to take take the solar system out for a real life trial, but wanted to share my experience with it by testing it at home.

solar panel case

My battery level was at 80% according to the meter on the solar panel. Connecting the system was simple. Using alligator clips I connected it to my battery and let the other end of the cord hang out through the opening. My battery is kind of difficult to get to so that took the most time.

The Zamp Solar panel comes in a very nice case. Simply unzip the case and remove the panel which is folded in half for storage. Unfold the panel and pull out the legs. Set the solar panel facing south or align with the sun to get the most light.

80 watt solar panel

You need to set the solar charge controller to a wet cell battery which is what I have in the RoadTrek. Connect the solar panel cord to the cord coming from the batter and you are ready to start charging.

This 80 watt Portable Solar Charging kit provides 4.58 amps of charging power. It’s recommended to use this on 27-31 group 12v batteries, great for medium sized travel trailers.

connect battery

Each kit comes with a 10 amp waterproof/weatherproof digital deluxe solar charge controller already mounted on an EZ-View bracket, 16 feet of wire with the new solar plug system with battery terminal clamps and a ballistic nylon carrying case.

clamps

Like I said earlier my battery was at 80% capacity when I started charging. It took approximately two hours to fully charge my battery. The charge controller stops charging once the battery is fully charged so it will not damage your battery.

external plug

I am looking forward to our summer trip when we spend eight days off the grid and I can use this silent solar charger to keep our electrical needs available without disturbing the peace of the redwoods.

If you are looking for a quality system that is reasonably priced check out Zamp Solar’s portable options. They also offer larger systems for tiny houses or cabins. (Use Coupon Code tinyhomesolar and receive 10% off at check out)

 digital deluxe solar charge controller

EZ-View bracket

80 watt solar panel

solar panel and roadtrek

fully charged battery

 

15 Comments 80 Watt Zamp Solar Portable Charging System

  1. hank

    This website is very good and this article is well-written and it inspired me to go and look and find out more about solar power.

    The problem I have in reading the solar power articles, websites and ads is that there seems to be a big disconnect between what the knowledge of people who use it (or sell it) and the people who don’t have it and are trying to figure it out, and the literature and advertisements do not even attempt to bridge that gap. Instead of starting out with IF THESE ARE YOUR NEEDS AND LIFESTYLE, this system will do those things and give you everything you need to do it (with power to spare) and then go from there down to the detail of the specification, they are written in the opposite direction saying HERE IS THE SYSTEM WITH ITS SPECIFICATIONS and this is how much unit power it gives for storage and use (leaving the user to figure out the dastardly math, read other literature to figure out if the system is complete, compare prices and figure out the economics and determine how this could be installed). There is no user friendliness. How right is it that you have to already be an expert in solar power before you even go to an ad or website looking to buy for no other reason that the website does not tell you what you need to know other than the specifications of the product with only vague inferences about what it will do. Being a new industry, this is all understandable, and no doubt over the next few years the solar industry will pick up its pr game to make it easier for the public to understand the capabilities and assess as to whether the products are either worthwhile or good value. But right now, there is a disconnect, imho.

    Reply
    1. Eric

      Hank – you are 100% correct! I had to read for over a year the available information to design my system 7 years ago, and there is always opinion based mis-information to deal with.
      Obtain a tool called a ‘kill-o-watt’ and paste the math formulas on the wall for converting the relationship of 12VDC and 120VAC electricity. This is all handled by your charge controller feeding your battery + battery feeding your inverter. Now you are somewhat prepared to estimate system desires for your situations. You can clarify everything with patient recording and simple math processes.

      Reply
  2. Wendy P.

    Great article, however, didn’t someone proofread this thing? Many typos that should have been caught before posting. Looking forward to an update when this author goes camping over several days…

    Reply
    1. murraymaybe

      Typos? That’s a concern for you? That isn’t very kind of you to criticize when someone is simply trying to take the time to give us information to help us out. This wasn’t that sort of test.

      Reply
    1. DeWhit

      I think you need to introduce your organization and discuss its purpose and history before doing a sales call on a forum thread.

      I don’t understand your site being any more than a payment for leads generator for installers.

      Is that a fair statement ?

      Reply
      1. DeWhit

        Actually, your site is nothing but a online lead generator and referral service and makes no guarantee of anything or anybody or credentials or licensing and that is from a read of your site terms.

        Reply
  3. Marsha Cowan

    Thanks so much for this information! I have already sent it to most people on my email list. We had an ice storm a week or so ago which knocked out electricity to thousands of people in this area for four or more days. Something like this would have been very good to have. And of course, it is perfect for “tiny-house-want-to-builders” who may be tenuous about building their won solar systems. Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. ET

      In an area that gets ices storms in March you need to make sure you have enough sun to power a solar system in March. A generator might be a better choice.

      Reply
  4. Jeff

    I run the website solardealz.com and I’m trained in Zamp Solar products and how solar works. If you have tech questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I love helping people with solar projects.

    Thanks – Jeff

    Reply
    1. pamela

      will you email me some info on a small starter kit… I have a few questions but would prefer a private conversation via email, thanks

      Reply
  5. mary

    Thanks so much Hank for saying what I have been feeling for several years. I started out using solar landscape items to begin to understand solar technology. I do have a solar generator I bought a few years ago and would like to go completely solar, but I get so tired of trying to figure out the technology. At 65 yrs. young it is hard to keep up with new fangled gadgets, (or at least new to me. I will keep plugging along trying to understand. Will ck. your website Jeff to see if it helps.

    Reply
  6. Janette Price

    I too would like mor info. I dont understand much about this technology but i would rather have something to power up daily or during power putages that does not rely on fuel except that which is supplied naturally. I can live with reduced usage and would love to give something like this a try. Please keep me posted

    Reply

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