What-Does-Solar-On-The -ide-Mean

Jayco – Forest River Solar On The Side Kit (Install Guide)

Technology keeps upgrading RV features. That is what is happening with this new attachment to your RV. When it says it is solar ready, you already have the wiring installed to connect to a plug and play solar system. It is a nice feature when you are going off-grid a lot.

What Jayco has done is installed this system’s wiring and connection so you can just make the switch to solar power with ease. The company is working with Go Power to make solar power a permanent option in their RV and trailer models.

To learn more about this new system that is built into your Trailer or RV, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about to see if this is a good way to power your RV when you are off-grid. Take a few moments to see how this important information can help you save.

What Does Solar On The Side Mean?


All it means is that when you are boondocking, you have a simple way to recharge your battery. All you have to do is hook the solar panels to this system and your battery will be recharging in no time. This gives you extra time and power without having to start your motor.

This is supposed to be a plug and play option so you do not have wires and connections to worry about. Jayco and Forest River are supposed to have their trailers and RVs pre-wired for this system.

But before you plug in, make sure you have the right devices on the other end between the solar panels and batteries. Some RVs come with a solar power inverter so it is a true plug and play system. Others RVs, etc. Need to have one installed before you can use this system.

The on the side part of this system simply means that the connection to plug the panels into is on the side of your RV or trailer. They can be put on the roof as well but the name ‘on the side’ sounds better than ‘on the roof’.

The name solar on the side is a reference to what type of power you are using and where the system is located in most cases.

Geo Pro Solar On The Side Kit


This is part of the power package Rockwood adds to its Geo Pro lineup. The system is straight forward and it comes with the right plugs that are supposed to connect directly to your battery.

The problem is that the alligator clips are designed to connect to the battery only so you may have some connection problems if you have devices between the battery and the solar panels.

This solar on the side package is found on Geo and E Pro models and it should be a standard plug and play system but at least one owner had problems with it. If your system does not have a controller built-in, then you may have the same difficulties in connecting the wires to make this system work.

One of the drawbacks to this system will be the fuse. If you are not careful, it can blow on you and stop the transfer of power to the battery. Sometimes, the brand may not connect the wiring to the battery. They leave it loose and you may have to connect it yourself.

Or have the dealer make the connection at a huge cost to you. It is not a perfect setup with this brand of RVs or model series.

Forest River Solar On The Side


Uses the Zamp pre-wiring system to make sure you can use solar power if you want to. The Zamp system is a suitcase-style solar panel set up that simply plugs into the solar on the side connection on your Forest River RVs or trailers.

The RVs, etc., are pre-wired by Forest River for you, and all you have to do is buy the system and plug it in. Once opened and plugged in you can chase the sun all day to make sure your batteries are recharged and ready to go for the evening.

You can get 40, 80, or higher watt systems with the Forest River partnership. Once you make your selection, you should be good to go. Unless your RV, etc., does not have the built-in components needed to control the flow of electricity from the panel to the battery.

You may have to buy some extra parts to make this system work to its advertised level. Also, watch out for the fuses. Before you blame the wiring, check the fuse first.

These seem to blow very easily when there is a connection issue. There are some owners that complain about this and they wonder what happened in the wiring process to make those fuses blow before they used them.

Jayco Solar On The Side


This RV making company decided to go with the GO Power organization when it installed its pre-wiring system for solar. It is an easy to use plug in system that has a couple of holes to thread the wires through before you make the connection.

Those holes keep the wires in place as well as out of your way. Then the screw on nuts secures the connection. This connector looks like it is waterproof so there should be no power shortages when you start to use it.

This system is also designed for emergency use. You can set up your solar panels, plug them in and recharge those batteries quickly. You can get the power you need by using the solar on the side with a Jayco trailer or RV.

Jayco also supplies some good electrical information on this system and how much power you will need when you do boondock. You can look at the chart at this link and see what specs will meet your camping situation.

What makes this solar on the side feature so popular, is that they can replace generators. You won’t be disturbing your neighbors with any noise as this system works silently all day long.

If you want privacy, the lack of noise makes sure no one can find your hidden camping spot.

Go Power Solar On The Side Connector


When you have this system pre-wired and ready to go, all you need is the right suitcase solar panel system and you get more freedom to travel where you want. You will have peace of mind knowing that you always can recharge your batteries no matter where you go.

Other benefits of this system include extending your battery’s lifespan by 50%, giving you back up power when you are in a parking lot or a friend's driveway, and it is a safe use of renewable energy.

Another benefit this system provides is that you can p[ark in the shade on a hot day and still recharge those batteries. You get to stay cool without losing a chance to power up.

With the Go Power system, the wires are supposed to be pre-wired to your battery. In some cases, RV owners found this not to be so when they investigated why nothing was happening when they plugged in.

What you will need to do is buy a solar power kit with a controller to make the system work right. All you are getting with a solar power ready RV or trailer is some wiring and a connection. The kit includes:

30 amp, single bank, charge controller (GP-PWM-30-SB)

Battery clamps

Quick connectors

Ring terminal connectors

SAE solar plug adapter

XLR-style solar plug adapter

12′ of UV 12/2 cable

Heavy-duty, nylon storage case

This information is taken from the Go Power website and from the 200-watt kit web page. There are different kits available and they will go by how many watts the panels are rated to handle.

It seems that you cannot buy directly from Go Power if you want to use their components. Their kit web pages come with a find a dealer link. You will need to buy through the dealer to get your hands on the right kit for your situation.

No matter which system you use, you will have to buy a kit or extra components to make the solar-ready wiring do its job. They are not truly plug and play until you install those extra components.

Some Final Words

Having the wiring pre-done for you is always a good move. You save on wiring costs and the trouble of finding the right path for those wires. If you like solar energy this is the way to go.

Once everything is installed, you just plug those panels in and re-charge. That makes camping so much easier and enjoyable. Dometic seems to be a part of Go Power as its name is on the website and different web pages.

If you do not like Dometic, then Zamp or other brands may work better for you.

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