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  • J.F. Rowan

Making a suitcase more flexible.

No, not a regular suitcase of course, but rather the Renogy 100W Solar Suitcase kit with controller. I ordered this to help with the charging chores that normally are associated with living in dispersed camping conditions where wall outlets are non-existent. Given the fact that electricity isn't my strong suit, I lucked out with this purchase since it not only does the job intended, but it charges extremely well.

The only problem I had was that since it had an onboard controller hardwired to the panel, I couldn't utilize the SAE connection to the trailer that would normally allow me to just "plug and charge". So then ,what to do? I liked the idea of being able to keep the controller if ever I decide to charge any 12V battery, say for instance in a another car etc., and I also wanted the flexibility of using it with the controller on my trailer or coach.

Renogy Solar Portable Panel Modification

The solution was actually quite simple. Modify the portable panel so that can be used to do both. SO I clipped the wires (positive and negative) leading to the controller in the panel and attached MC4 connectors to each of the ends of the freshly snipped wires. When I want to use the panel with the controller, I simply connect the panels wires to the controller and use the normal output wires, as in the case of charging a single car battery. But if I want to take the controller out of the equation, I simply disconnect the the two connections going to the controller and connect the positive and negative panel wires to my trailer via 10 foot extension cables and SAE pigtail.

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