Review of OptiMate RV Solar Panels - 60 Watt Portable Solar Kit - MA96JR

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OptiMate RV Solar Panels - 60 Watt Portable Solar Kit - MA96JR Review


Hi there, I'm Michael with etrailer.com. Today, we're gonna take a quick look at this OptiMate Solar Duo portable solar panel with controller. This is going to utilize the sunshine to provide an off-the-grid charging solution for your batteries. This will allow you to park in the shade and place the solar panel in the sun so that you can get that maximum charge without having to be in the sun yourself. So you can enjoy the coolness of the shade and let the panel do all the work. This is a pretty lightweight option.

So it is gonna be very easy to transport, move around so that as the sun moves, you can make sure that you're adjusting this to make sure that you're getting the most sunlight. We do have several different cables here that add up to about 11 feet. So you'll have about 11 feet of room to work with, pivoting around your battery to make sure that you'll be able to still be connected, but then still move this to where you need it to be. The dimensions, it's right about 27 inches wide from the sides of our brackets here, about 26 inches tall and only about 1 1/4 inch thick, so like I said, very portable, easy to move around so that you can take advantage of that sunshine. And the legs are adjustable so that you can angle this to the angle that's gonna work best.

So if the sun is high in the sky, you can kind of pull it all the way out like so, get that direct sunshine. If it's kind of low in the sky, you can tilt it up like that, make sure that you're getting as much sun as you can. It's a really nice option for making sure that you're always going to be in the sunlight. This does work for your lead-acid and lithium 12 volt batteries from 2 to 240 amp-hours. Whether they be flooded, AGM, gel or lithium iron phosphate, this is gonna do a great job of charging them up.

The solar panel is rated for 60 watts of production. It's also going to provide about 12 volts of power. Of course, that will fluctuate depending on how much sunshine you are getting. This is a polycrystalline solar panel. So if you know anything about solar panels, that polycrystalline, it's more of your economical option.

So I like to compare it kind of to plywood. So rather than having a solid board, like you would with a hardwood, this is gonna be more kind of pieced together. So it's more economical, still gonna do a good job for you. It's just a little bit less efficient, so depending on what you're wanting to invest into your solar setup, this is gonna be a good option for you but probably not the top of the line like some of the other options that we have available here at etrailer. So if you're just wanting to get the batteries charged up, you're not really all that concerned about being the most efficient, this will probably work just fine for you to get those batteries, extend those lives. With that said, this is made of waterproof material. So it's going to stand up to the elements. So you're not gonna have to worry about this. This does have an IP rating of 54 so it will hold up well for you. You don't have to worry about the weather causing any problems. It does have this Solar Duo controller, that's going to kind of adjust the output coming from your solar panel. So it's gonna have a nice, quick, consistent charge. You're not gonna have to worry about overcharging your batteries. It's gonna help monitor how full the batteries are and to adjust based on that. It does have the dual method charging system. So if there's a lot of sun, a very sunny day, it's gonna provide a continuous charge of about five amps. If it's kinda cloudy, getting ready to storm, something like that, it's going to have a pulse charge of three to five amps in that low light condition. So it's gonna try and get as much power as it can. It does have an automatic multi-stage smart charging system to help extend the battery life. So it's going to base its input onto your battery based on how full your battery already is, so again, that you're not gonna have to worry about overcharging your battery. And then it is gonna also help save your dead battery from as low as one volt that'll help bring it up. So a really nice option here it does have an LED display. Bring a little bit closer so you can see that better. So you can see those LEDs are going to correspond with how full our battery is. So as we're charging, we'll be able to see that. And then as we're using that power, we're also going to be able to monitor that coming down so that we know how much power is in our battery. All our cables are SAE cables. So we've got about an 80 inch long cable on the back side of our panel here that's already connected up to the top. That will then plug into our Solar Duo controller. Very easy to just get plugged in on the side there. And then our controller will either work with our included ring terminals if we want to get this permanently mounted onto our battery. We're only gonna be using the one battery so we can get that mounted in place. It's got a 15 amp fuse in it already. So we just open up that cap and then plug that in with those SAE fittings, very easy to match up, slide in place there like so. I can't see it; okay, there we go. So get it lined up, slide it in, and you're ready to hook up. When you are done and once you remove your solar panel, you can just pull that apart. These ring terminals will stay on your battery. You can just put that cap on to protect it from the elements so that will always be mounted on your battery, ready to go. But they also include these clamps that will allow you to again, plug in to your charge controller. And then if you have a secondary battery or you're switching batteries a lot, you can connect to the positive and negative side of your battery for a more temporary option. But again, with either the clamps or the ring terminal with the charge controller and the length of the solar panel cables, you are gonna have about 11 feet of cable to get connected and kinda work to make sure that your solar panel is gonna be out where it's gonna get the most sunshine. And in addition to all of that, it is also going to come with this heavy-duty nylon carrying case. That will allow you to very easily store your solar panel when it's not being used. It's got this zipper closure here and a pocket inside for all your cables. So you can very easily keep those organized. Get it opened up here. You can see this pocket is right here with instructions to help you get everything set up, make sure if you're not experienced with solar, ensure that you're doing everything correctly. Put all those cables in here for easy storage. And then just kind of put this over top our solar panel, and get ready to move it to our next location. So you don't have to worry about potential scratches or anything like that. Having this case on here will help protect it, make it easier to transport. You just very simply zip those sides back up like so. And flip it over. It's got these carry handles here with the hook and loop connector that we can connect on the back side. Finish zipping this up, and we'll be ready to go. So if we are moving from one campsite to another or wherever it is that you're planning on using your solar panel, this is going to make it very easy for you to carry along. Like I said, it's only about 13 pounds, so very lightweight, easy to transport to wherever you need to be. So that's gonna complete our look for today. Again, I'm Michael with etrailer.com. Thanks for watching..


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