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Showing 1-10 of 93 reviews(5 star). See all 133 reviews
on May 20, 2012
This is a no brainer.
Some of the RV parks we go to are remote and you have to be self contained.
That means you need to generate your own power too.
This product allows us to keep the 2 - 12 volt batteries charged at all times and use them as needed without hooking up a generator or plugging the truck in to run the batteries off the truck's system.
I also purchased an inexpensive charging/maintenence system from Amazon for about $20 that works well.
We sit the solar panel next to our RV or truck during daylight hours and let it do the work "naturally".
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on March 1, 2014
I got two of these to keep my boat batteries charged up instead of wasting energy with a plugin charger. I got two separate charge controllers because one battery is lead acid and the other one is gel. I think there are more expensive charge controllers that can do two batteries at the same time, that would have been better and then I could run the panels in parallel, but it was cheaper to just have them separately. No issues so far, just have to spray them down with some glass cleaner every once in a while and hose them off
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on December 24, 2011
Watch this video if you need help with solar power setup. This will help what you need to buy, guaranteed!Sunforce 60031 10 Amp Digital Charge Controller] ][[ASIN:B001TE0IMG Cobra CPI 880 800 Watt 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC Power Inverter with 5 Volt USB output Instapark® 50W Mono-crystalline Solar Panel These are the items I bought for my solar power setup plus everstart marine battery 27DC-6 from walmart.

P.S. Pure sine wave inverters are also 3x more expensive than modified sine wave inverters. Modified sine wave inverters can do most of the jobs pure sine wave inverters do. I didn't mention this in the video but most of the times, deep cycle and marine batteries have 2 rectangular caps, look in the video closely, you have to put distilled water or drinkable water(it's okay), and fill it up until about 1 inch below the opening of the holes. Check these water levels about once every 3 days(recommended). Just take the caps off to put the water in if needed. Also, charge controllers are heavily recommended if you use a solar panel greater than 10 to 15 watts. Mono-crystalliine and poly-crystalliine solar panels are recommended, amorphous panels are not recommended because they're not efficient as the other two types of panels and they generally last shorter than the other two. You can buy a smaller inverter, smaller controller, smaller battery,smaller panels or larger of them depending on your needs.
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on June 27, 2013
I've been looking into solar for a few years trying to figure the in's n' out's. Bottom line; It's easy, not that expensive and very functional. I stumbled on the "Compass Marine" site just chock full o' info. A little more research and I made my move. I settled on a 50w panel so I could get over 2 amps of charge, mono-crystaline for efficiency and an MPPT controller. My research showed Instapark is very competative and makes the smallest 50w monocrystaline panel. Their customer service agent in CA. said they are warrentied for marine use. Perfect. For charge control, research showed Genesun (as mentioned on Compass Marine) is the leader for a MPPT controller in a small panel marine application. A great controller and priced right. OK kid's here it is. One 50w mono panel @ 2.8 amps max, one Genesun G-5 controller 5 amps max, some stainless rail fittings, a support and a few holes in the panel frame and viola, yer mounted to the rail. At that point I replaced a 12v house battery with two 6v batteries for a 12v system with 235ah house and another 80ah start battery for a total of 315ah. Now, thats what LoV can do for you. The last kink in this upgrade is a BlueSea ACR and battery switch..oohhh baby! These little darlin's isolate the house and start systems (you can combine both systems if desired)and controls the charge from the engine to each system automatically...batteries love it. And now...results. Start and house batteries both measure within a few tenths of a volt of each other at around 13.5v. Pheenominal. The controller shows charge/standby/full. It usually shows "full" when I come on board. The panel seems to provide a surfit of power for my house system. Battery performance is excelent. I am surprised at the efficiency of the panel. Bright sun, cloudy/foggy day, even in the shade it puts out a charge! I am very pleased with my Instapark panel. I've been using this system all summer and the batteries are always topped up. The engine provides aprox. 60% of the charge and the panel takes care of the rest. For my needs, this is by far the best marine charging and house system I have ever had!!
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on May 19, 2013
When I saw the size of it I thought it wouldn't be up to much. Was I ever surprised when I hooked it up and checked the voltage it was pumping out even under a cloudy sky but of course much more in sunlight.
I don't understand the problems some had with the connections on the back. First thing I did was take the cover off the black box to check that out in case it needed attention. . Connections on mine are very well soldered and clamped under a strain relief . Maybe the earlier ones were not like that. Years ago I had a 20 watt panel that was twice the size of this one and took up way too much room for transporting it in my Boler travel trailer. This compact 30 watt one fits right inside the little clothes closet for travelling and charges my battery much faster than the big 20 watt one did.
I recommend this panel as very good value and at an excellent price. I did buy a separate controller after reading the reviews of the controller being of undesirable quality in the package deal that includes the controller.
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on January 9, 2014
I was looking for something that could extend our stay for a few days when out in the sticks to keep the light/fans running. We purchased this along with the sunforce 7A charger and the battery tender 25ft extension cables + ring connectors. The polarity on my panel was not reversed as some have reported and while the wiring was not heavy duty it seems fine for this application.

I wanted this mounted on the roof and of course wanted to remove it for highway travel. I used industrial velcro to attach it and left a small gap for the cable to fit through. I then used the battery tender extension cables and ring connectors to make a quick connect/disconnect locations at both the panel itself and just before the battery. This way I could unplug/remove the panel easily and unplug the cable from the battery as well. I also purchased a weatherproof double outlet cover and wired the charge controller so that it and the connections were inside the cover and protected from the elements. The double outlet cover is mounted at the front of the popup with some more industrial velcro. The 25ft of cable gives me the option of moving the panel to a sunnier location if we happen to be parked underneath a tree too.

We tested this setup a couple times last summer and it worked flawlessly. We ran the lights (note that they were swapped out for LEDs) every night for a few hours and the fan during nap time for our infant son for five days without running out of juice (we use to lose power after 2-3 days of average use).

For the price, you just cannot beat this solar panel!
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on May 18, 2013
I hooked up a Sunguard controller to this Instapark 30W panel to keep a deep cycle battery charged. I chose to hook the controller leads right to the panel box output leads, then I spliced the 10 foot panel wiring to the controller output leads with large alligator clips (which go to my battery).
The panel seems to work fine and put out the rated volts and amps. One thing people need to know is that when you hook up a controller and then test the output from the controller, you may get nothing. The controller may require a load to send any juice out. You can test your solar panel output right at the panel box. In order to know your controller works, hook it up to a battery and then see how many volts are going into the battery. It should be a higher number than what your battery will test on its own.
I'm new to solar panels, but think this panel is a great value.
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on January 27, 2014
We have it mounted to the south side of our deer stand wired to a Morningstar Sunsaver to keep a Interstate series 27 deep cycle battery charged to feed our Cobra 800 watt inverter and car stereo. The inverter feeds our lights and television. This aluminum framed solar panel replaces 2 15 watt Sunforce Amorphous solar panels that came apart after 2 years in the sun and their charge controller/solar panel combination ruined my battery. My new combination of the Instapark 30W/Morningstar charge controller has been working great. Nothing like being able to keep one eye on the game and the other out the window. Do not skimp on the cheap stuff like I did and ended up paying twice! :)
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on February 25, 2013
I definitively don't have any complaints here. The panel works great, charging my battery. It is as advertised and produces what it is rated at. No complaints here. It is a great compact 50 watt panel. The panel produces 22 Volts open circuit (VOC) and depending on the sun strength it has been producing 15 to 17 volts when charging the battery(VMP). The Current short circuit (ISC) is 3 amps and while charging at this time of year has been about 2.5 amps (IMP). That is just a little shy of the advertised 2.86 amps. but it fluctuates with the strength of the sun. I use a Tracer MPPT controller with this panel and the conversion between available power from the panel and power to the battery is running between 89 to 95% I am pleased with the results that I am receiving at this point. I have tried a normal solar controller and only received about 45% of the available power. the combination of Solar panel and solar controller makes a difference.
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on September 10, 2012
I use a deep-cycle battery at Burning Man to run low-power music and lighting in a small camp, and to keep a phone and iPod charged. The 50W panel had my battery topped up by 10:30 each morning, though I must admit the conditions for solar power are perfect out there. Haven't yet tested it in cloudy skies. Very uniform look to the manufacturing of the solar cells and their connections, appears well made, and the aluminum frame is sturdy and about an inch wide. Overall the panel is exactly what I wanted for my needs and gives me some freedom to use more power if needed in the future. Came with the factory leads/connectors, so I was glad I also bought a set of male/female connectors at the same time to allow me to make a transmission wire to connect up to the panel readily. Panel came as described, well-packaged for shipping, arrived promptly with 2-day shipping.
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