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Old 07-03-2018, 08:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Harbor Freight solar panel deal!

So I realize that Harbor Freight solar panels aren't exactly the most ideal. However they do have a 25% off July 4th coupon. Which would make a great deal for newbie skoolies. Which would make the solar panel kit $150.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:21 AM   #2
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This is very tempting as who doesn't want a great deal on solar panels. Have you purchased from there before? Have you had luck with their stuff? I wonder how good of a quality these panels are. I'm really not trying to rain on your parade but from a few past experiences, it has seemed Harbor Freight carries items that are good for a project or two and then die. Maybe others have just had better luck than us? I would love to hear feedback on these panels. It would be a terrific deal.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Fairy View Post
This is very tempting as who doesn't want a great deal on solar panels. Have you purchased from there before? Have you had luck with their stuff? I wonder how good of a quality these panels are. I'm really not trying to rain on your parade but from a few past experiences, it has seemed Harbor Freight carries items that are good for a project or two and then die. Maybe others have just had better luck than us? I would love to hear feedback on these panels. It would be a terrific deal.
From everything I've read people have said that they're pretty decent. They're not mono crystal but they hold up well. Also harbor freight has a great extended policy. I think it's $5. So why not. They're old panels were crap. These just came out in June.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:37 AM   #4
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The HF kit seems like an OK deal but it's a dead end. You can't expand it, you're gonna be stuck at 100W. If you want something you can deploy to make a little extra power when you're parked somewhere and you don't need it to make much, then it's not that bad.

If that isn't your end game, if you want something you can permanently affix to your bus, if you want to go above 100W, you're way better off spending a few more dollars and getting something like a Renogy 100W kit. They're monocrystaline panels which are more efficient, it comes with all the cables and mounting hardware, and the charge controller goes to 30A instead of 10A. The 100W kit can expand to 400W just adding panels and cables. This is the 100W kit: https://amzn.to/2IU22fx

I used the 400W kit which saves a couple dollars over piecing it together one at a time. This is about as big as you should go before you need to be moving to 24v and using MPPT etc. I've been using this as my sole power source for 1.5 years. https://amzn.to/2KxiYOv
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:15 PM   #5
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Is 100w really enough for anything on a bus or is more recommended? I've been looking at the Renogy 400w kit and at less than the price of 4 of the HF kits, it just seems a no brainer to me to trust the Renogy over something from HF. How often have you had a choice between a brand name and HF and you just had to have the HF for their quality? HF has their panels on sale and they are more than the everyday price of the Renogy.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:43 PM   #6
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If you have no power and just need a kit you can throw out and charge some phones laptops or whatever it's fine, but at $1.50 a watt it's not even close to the $160-180 a 310w panel from Trina solar.

It is what it is, a cheap easy no frills low power unit. That said if you are camping without hook up or power in your bus it'll keep your gadgets charged.

Oh and a friend of mine loves that place she gets some kind of senior discount. So if you fit that age bracket ask about that too, save 15-20%
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Old 07-04-2018, 04:07 PM   #7
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I LOVE Horrible Fright!

But only for stuff I consider disposable or one-use items.
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