Truck Solar Panels Charging Camper Trailer

FoxenTEC

New Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
19
Long story but due to exceeding our Truck GVWR, I have moved our AGM batteries to our camper trailer which can easily accommodate the weight. The problem is there is no simple solution for adding solar panels to our A Frame camper trailer. Since the solar panels are already on the roof rack of our truck, I would like to keep the trailer batteries charged by the trucks solar. The plan would be to have a cable (either 8 awg or 10 awg) that plugs into the rear of the truck (connected to 200 watts solar) and then connects up to the trailer maybe using an Anderson connector. When camped and setup, I would connect the two vehicles up. I would keep the cable length to a minimum.62716032737__14406B5C-DFD8-4B9C-A8C8-41F80C35AD9A.jpg

Has anyone done this type of setup or possibly even had this cabled setup when traveling?


Thank you,
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
6,498
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
This isn't much different than a ground deployment of panels. I use an SAE connector for my ground deployed panels. While that works in a static environment, I don't think it would hold very well in a mobile (moving vehicles) environment.

An Anderson connector may be overkill, given the low number of amps. 10 awg should be plenty. Given the distance, 12 awg may be good enough too.
 

pbuck00

Bucky
Joined
Jan 2, 2020
Messages
30
Location
California North Coast
FOXENTEC....
How is this working for you? I have been thinking of pretty much the same thing.
Brand new trailer.. brand new roof and reluctant to drill a bunch of holes in it for mounting solar panels... equally reluctant to use VHB tape as the trailer has TPO roof. I have heard some stories about ground mounted panels going walk about...
So..... I already getting a over the cab roof rack to carry 2 kayaks. Probably the only thing it will every carry and be removed when not camping. I was thinking of putting 2 200 watt panels right down the center and wiring to a side mount on my trailer with a seperate SCC to handle it. I realize I would have to unplug when I go anywhere.. but once I am camping... driving is the least of my plans.

Has anyone else done something like this other than FOXENTEC above? my primary concern would be minimal shading from the side walls of the ladder rack. but then, I have been known to come up with some pretty wild ideas that have been (and should be) shot down..

Thank you
 

HRTKD

Boondocker
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
6,498
Location
Somewhere South of Denver
FOXENTEC....
How is this working for you? I have been thinking of pretty much the same thing.
Brand new trailer.. brand new roof and reluctant to drill a bunch of holes in it for mounting solar panels... equally reluctant to use VHB tape as the trailer has TPO roof. I have heard some stories about ground mounted panels going walk about...
So..... I already getting a over the cab roof rack to carry 2 kayaks. Probably the only thing it will every carry and be removed when not camping. I was thinking of putting 2 200 watt panels right down the center and wiring to a side mount on my trailer with a seperate SCC to handle it. I realize I would have to unplug when I go anywhere.. but once I am camping... driving is the least of my plans.

Has anyone else done something like this other than FOXENTEC above? my primary concern would be minimal shading from the side walls of the ladder rack. but then, I have been known to come up with some pretty wild ideas that have been (and should be) shot down..

Thank you

Suck it up and put them on the roof of the trailer where they belong.
thumbs.gif
 

FoxenTEC

New Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
19
FOXENTEC....
How is this working for you? I have been thinking of pretty much the same thing.
Brand new trailer.. brand new roof and reluctant to drill a bunch of holes in it for mounting solar panels... equally reluctant to use VHB tape as the trailer has TPO roof. I have heard some stories about ground mounted panels going walk about...
So..... I already getting a over the cab roof rack to carry 2 kayaks. Probably the only thing it will every carry and be removed when not camping. I was thinking of putting 2 200 watt panels right down the center and wiring to a side mount on my trailer with a seperate SCC to handle it. I realize I would have to unplug when I go anywhere.. but once I am camping... driving is the least of my plans.

Has anyone else done something like this other than FOXENTEC above? my primary concern would be minimal shading from the side walls of the ladder rack. but then, I have been known to come up with some pretty wild ideas that have been (and should be) shot down..

Thank you
Hello Bucky,

Long story but I ended up doing both solar and batteries in both the truck and the trailer. I still have two 100 watt panels on my truck for its two small 35ah batteries but then added a 200 watt panel on my trailer. I ended up drilling 12 holes in my 2020 trailer top. UGH! All went well. Our trailer top is similar but instead of TPO is made of Azdel. I will be sealing the roof this next week with Sikaflex. I still think your setup sounds completely doable!
 
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12VoltInstalls

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
1,981
Location
Vermont
In the fwiw department you should have sealant under the bracket feet and install the lag screws/bolts “wet”
Squirting caulking over stuff may work for a while or for a long time or not at all in my experience- membrane roof or sheet. No matter how careful you are. Learned this many moons ago with through-hull bolts in boats; installed wet: no problems. Sealed around things? They might not leak so as you can see it but more often than not it isn’t very long before mold or creeping crud shows up.
 
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