This Renogy Panel Is Perfect For RVers And Campers
More and more RVers are buying portable power stations, also known as solar generators.
Power stations are great for when you’re dry camping in the wild, where you don’t have access to grid power.
I travel full-time in an RV and spend most of the time boondocking.
We have an EcoFlow Delta Max (click to view on Amazon) to power everything in our RV, even the air conditioner.
Then we have several solar panels that recharge both our RV batteries and the EcoFlow battery.
The popular solar panel manufacturer Renogy has released a 200W panel that is perfect for this purpose.
It comes with a solar charge controller so you can hook it up to a 12V battery, but it also has a bypass between the panel and charge controller to charge solar generators.
It’s compatible with pretty much any solar generator on the market. You might need to buy an additional adapter for brands like Goal Zero, Jackery, EcoFlow, and Rockpals though.
I’ll talk more about that further down, but you can also leave a comment and let me know which power station you have/plan on buying and I’ll lead you to the correct adapter.
What’s so great about it?
The reason it’s perfect for my needs is because of one single thing: the built-in bypass between the solar panel on the left and the solar charge controller.
Since solar generators already have built-in solar charge controllers, you should never connect an external panel via a charge controller.
But you do need a charge controller when you connect panels to an RV battery. Otherwise nothing is going to regulate the generated power and overcharge the battery which will damage it permanently.
How do you connect the Renogy panel to a 12V battery?
Renogy includes alligator clips that is used to connect the charge controller to your 12V batteries.
When you’ve connected the positive and negative clips, you need to choose what battery type you have on the solar charge controller.
Unless you have bought lithium batteries, you probably have flooded batteries.
How do you connect the Renogy panel to a solar generator/power station battery?
Some solar generators come with MC4 to DC adapters, which lets you connect panels like these right out of the box.
My EcoFlow Delta Max did, so I wouldn’t need to buy anything other than the panel and the power station.
If you have a Jackery or Goal Zero you need an MC4 to 8mm adapter.
If your power station has a 5.5×2.1 input, this is the adapter you need.
Can you charge both a 12V battery and a solar generator at the same time?
Technically it should be possible with an MC4 Y branch like this.
One thing about doing this that will feel wrong is that you need to connect the black (negative) to the positive MC4 male coming straight from the panel.
Then you need to connect the red one to the negative female MC4 connector from the panel.
Finally, you’ll connect the black one to the red positive from the charge controller, and the red one to the black negative.
I haven’t done this myself so I can’t promise that it will work.
The cable from the panel is too short, is there an extension cable?
Yes, and I recommend using MC4 extension cables, the lower the gauge the better.
These 20ft 10 AWG extension cables by Renogy are great.
Can I connect the Renogy 200W panel to a Furrion port?
Furrion ports have 10A limits, and this panel is going to exceed that amperage, therefore it’s not safe to connect this panel to a Furrion port.
If you have a Furrion port, I recommend getting the Furrion 100W (click to view on Amazon).
Is the panel and charge controller waterproof?
I wouldn’t submerge the whole panel in water, but it’s water-resistant enough that it’s ok to leave it out in the rain.
I have had a smaller version of this panel for years and it has gone through a lot of storms of all kinds, and it still performs great.
Please feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions or if anything is unclear, I don’t want you to buy or connect the wrong things together.
5 thoughts on “Charge Both 12V And Solar Generator Batteries With This Renogy Panel”
Thanks for a series of great articles
I only need 12V for lights / water pump and 120V for my laptop charger.
Is is viable to connect the panel with controller to the RV battery and at the same time connect to a solar generator then using a 15A adapter connect to the main RV electrical hookup ?
Would there be conflict between the solar charge for the RV battery and the normal charging circuit in the RV ?
Yes, that’s fine and that’s exactly what I do in my RV. It works really well since the panel with the charge controller charges the RV battery, which limits the power drawn from the solar generator.
I do, however, turn off the converter/charger in my RV (there’s a switch on the breaker panel, at least in my RV) when the sun has gone down/on a cloudy day unless the RV battery needs a charge.
Otherwise the solar generator would trickle charge the RV battery all night and waste electricity.
Thanks for that confirmation particularly the turn off comment
What are your thoughts on the recommended panels here VS the Renogy 200 Watt Eclipse Solar Suitcase? I see them in a similar package but not with the built in bypass.
I am not seeing a 200W suitcase, can you link it to me? The Eclipse panels are great, but I don’t think they’re worth the extra cost.
If you need to be able to charge a power station I would definitely get one with a built-in bypass.