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Using the Furrion Solar Port.

 


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Notice:

This webpage is only intended as limited supplemental information specific to the CnLinko connector that can be used to connect a solar panel via charge controller to a RV battery.

This webpage does NOT replace the manufacturer instructions for connecting the solar panel. The reader must obtain all instructional material, read, for connecting their selected charge controller/solar panel, and understand said material before continuing.

 

Grand Design, Forest River, and perhaps other RV manufacturers have been installing a Furrion Solar Charge receptacle as of late, for the intended purpose of connecting a portable solar charger to your battery. However, the RV does not come with the plug for the receptacle, and good luck obtaining one from the RV manufacturer.

Generally the only way to obtain this plug is when you buy a Furrion solar panel. However, Zamp (a competitor of RV solar panels) does make an adapter from the Furrion plug to their panels.

Still, it would be nice to obtain these plugs independantly as there are many useful things you could do with this plug. The Furrion receptacle installed by the RV manufacturer simply connects to the battery via fuse (7.5a fuse in the case of my RV). For example, if you had a few of these plugs, you could attach one to a trickle charger so you could connect to the battery without having to open the front hatch. As well, a low power air compressor - like those that are used to inflate beach toys could connect to this port. In reality, almost anything that can use 12VDC at less than 7.5A could be connected.

Due to difficulty in finding this plug, some owners have removed the Furrion receptacle and have installed one that offers a more standard plug.

But there is good news! I have located a source for these plugs.

 

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The connectors are solder tab only, so you need a 25~40watt soldering iron to connect the cable. But when assembled properly, the connectors are rated at IP67 (Impervious to dust/immersable in water up to 1meter).

Even though these connectors are manufactured in China, they are fairly high quality, and worth the asking price from the eBay seller.

I don't know if Furrion is trying to protect their "piece of the pie" by making the connector hard to obtain, and what the relationship is between Furrion and the RV manufacturers, but here is one instance where the little guy (RV owners) have been able to find a part that might otherwise be very expensive to obtain.

  

 


Connector Video

 

One question I have been asked a lot is which pin on the connector is Positive, and which pin is Negative, since I did not specify that in the first video. While the connector itself is not polarized - that is, it does not care which pin you use for which, to make your RV compatible with the Furrion or Zamp (with adapter) solar panels, I would suggest using Pin 1 on the CnLinko connector as the Positive connection and pin 2 as the Negative connection. This provides a consistant connection scheme with the pre-wired panels.  

 

In addition to the wiring to the battery, a charge controller must be used to limit the current and voltage to the battery to prevent an unsafe charge condition. Many suitcase or portable solar panels do come with charge controllers, but you must verify this is so. A typical charge controller is shown to the right.

Charge controllers are typically wired between the solar panel(s) and battery.

If your portable solar panel does not come with one, ensure you buy a controller that is compatible with both your solar panels and battery, is a waterproof version, and can handle the number, type, and capacity of your solar panel(s).

Warning:

This connector is only intended to be connected to a portable solar panel that includes a CHARGER CONTROLLER. Connection to a Solar Panel without a charge controller can be dangerous.

A charge controller limits both current and voltage to the battery. You could severely overcharge a battery by directly connecting it to a solar panel without a charge controller. This could result in rupturing a battery, a fire, or even explosion of the battery.

While most "portable" suitcase solar panels in the 60~100Watt range include a charge controller, most larger panels that are intended to be roof mounted are not. You must ensure your solar panel has a charge controller between the panel and the battery it is charging.

You must verify the correct wire path from the battery to the solar panel, as well as connecting a suitable charge controller before use.

  


Connection Video
 

References:

Furrion Solar Port Technical Data (Download)

 


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Last reviewed and/or updated June 14, 2017