Zamp or Renogy

We have a new to us, 2017 [email protected] Max and want to buy a solar suitcase. Reading many of the other discussions has been helpful in some regards, but I have not seen anyone tackle a head-to-head comparison of Zamp vs Renogy. I know that the [email protected] has a Zamp outlet, I have read that Zamp's connections are reversed from "most others" but no one has addressed why they chose one over the other. Does the Zamp simply plug into the camper, while the Renogy must be attached to the battery with the alligator clamps, or can you plug it in using the MC4 to SAE Adapter? Do most people make the choice based on simplicity versus economy?
Any help on this topic would be much appreciated. We would like to move forward with this, but feel overwhelmed!

@JamesDow said:
I use Renogy 100 watt Solar Suitcase w/ 20 Amp Voyager Controller. (26 lbs)
I find the key is to have additional Solar Wire Extension (15ft.) to allow movement of the panels to maintain orientation to the sun and out of tree shade, etc.
I also have a Renogy MC4 to SAE Adapter.
The Voyager controller allows for another set of panels if the need arises.
So far, I have not found the need for additional panels.
I secure the suitcase with a 20ft locking cable, which provides some theft deterrence.
Buy directly from Renogy and not Amazon. You can get the same price and maintain the Renogy warranty in the event the product is received damaged in any manner.

Comments

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 257

    The [email protected] has a SAE plug in the front box connected to the battery. The SAE connector is a physically genderless two-conductor DC connector. The name comes from the Society of Automotive Engineers who created the specifications the connector is based on. Zamp is a brand.
    Below is a link which ran on the [email protected] forum regarding Zamp vs Renogy.
    Hope this helps.

    [Zamp vs Renogy https://tab-rv.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/6994/zamp-vs-renogy](Zamp vs Renogy )

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Moderator Posts: 328
    edited September 6

    Both Zamp and Renogy make quality, monocrystalline solar suitcases with and without charge controllers. I think Renogy has always been priced more favorably for the same level product. I believe that Zamp was the first to offer suitcases and maybe that is why Pleasant Valley installed a plug and play Zamp port.

    Michigan_Mike explains it here: https://teardrop-trailers.vanillacommunity.com/discussion/128/zamp-solar-connections-explained

    For my money, just like James Dow, I went with Renogy and their Wanderer PWM controller that would allow for the future addition of another suitcase. Although we chose to have a separate controller (out of the weather and closer to the battery is ideal), you can purchase plug and play Renogy suitcases with a built in controller just like Zamp. You can easily use your Renogy suitcase via the solar port using the Renogy MC4 to SAE adapter or arrange the solar port wires so that the top SAE terminal in the port connects to the negative terminal of the battery and the lower terminal of the port connects to the positive terminal of the battery. You can also choose to not use the solar port and just clamp to the battery.

    Solar has come down in price and there are lots of options. I see no reason to overpay. To compare Zamp offers a 90 watt suitcase with controller for $450, Renogy offers 2 different suitcase options with 100 watts and controller for $260 - $350.

    Sharon | Westlake, Ohio | 2017 TaB CSS

  • daveandcorlenedaveandcorlene Member Posts: 69

    Our Zamp suitcase came with both alligator clips and the plugin adaptor. Both options work fine.

    2021 TAG XL Boondock
    Toyota Tacoma
    Evergreen State

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