Renogy 12V Gear Review; 1.5 years of full time use

Want to know how Renogy 12V gear performs, and compares to other products on the market? In this post, we’re doing a Renogy Review, covering a huge amount of Renogy 12V products that we have been used extensively over the last 1.5 years, with most of that full time, off grid living.

This is based on real life experience, using the products in the way they were designed to be including induction cooking, 600W of solar, multiple inverters and plenty more.

Renogy Brand Solar Panels
We’re doing a general review of all of the Renogy gear that we own

This review is independent

If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll know we aren’t sponsored, or in the business of pushing products. We simply share our thoughts on gear that we own, and have used extensively.

All of our Renogy gear was purchased at retail price online through the Renogy website, and we’re not being paid to promote anything. The below comments are our own, with the usual independence that we fiercely defend.

EDIT – the only exception to this is three Renogy products under the newer Renogy testing that were sent out free of charge. We still maintain 100% independence though, and Renogy had zero say in what our reviews turned out like.

Renogy battery monitor and bluetooth
We paid full price for all of our Renogy Gear

Support the blog

That said, we do have a link which we’d very much appreciate you use if you are going to buy any Renogy gear. It doesn’t cost you any more, but gives us a small commission which we use to continue running the blog, and providing you with accurate, unbiased reviews of all sorts of products. Here’s the link – Renogy Australia.

Renogy Gear we use

We purchased just short of $4000 of Renogy 12V Gear for our Hybrid Camper and Isuzu Dmax 4WD around 1.5 years ago, and its been used full time on our Lap of Australia under every kind of condition you could throw at it. Below is a short description of what we bought, and then our overview is at the bottom of the post.

Renogy Solar Panel

We purchased three Renogy 200W Solar Panels, and installed them onto our Hybrid Camper. You can read about the Caravan Solar Panel Installation in depth, but they’re mounted on 50x50x3 aluminium angle using only Sikaflex to the roof.

Powered by lots of solar panels
Our three 200W Renogy Solar Panels on the Hybrid Camper

Renogy Lithium Battery

We’re running two 170aH Renogy Lithium Batteries in our Hybrid Camper, which get used for the freezer, lights, water pump, induction cooktop and a range of other 240V appliances. These are charged by 720W of solar.

You can read about why we went with Renogy Lithium Batteries too, if you’re keen.

Renogy batteries
Our primary power bank in the Hybrid is two 170Ah Renogy Lithium Batteries

Renogy DCDC Charger

In our Isuzu Dmax, we have a 50A Renogy DCDC, which charges our 230aH DIY Lithium Battery. This also takes power from a permanently mounted 200W solar panel on the roof racks.

New electrical box
Our Renogy DCDC Charger in the Dmax

Renogy Battery Monitor and Shunt

Also in our Dmax is a Renogy Battery Monitor and shunt, which tells us how our lithium battery is going, and how long until its charged, or depleted.

Renogy gear
The Renogy Battery monitor and shunt is fantastic

Renogy MPPT Solar Controller

Taking control of the 600W of Renogy panels is a Renogy Rover 60, which is a big MPPT controller that does a great job of keeping our 340aH of lithium topped up. This is used side by side to an Enerdrive DC2DC unit with a separate, 120W (original) panel on the roof, and the alternator charge from the car.

Renogy solar controller
The 60A Renogy Rover MPPT Solar Controller

Renogy 12V to 240V Inverter

We purchased two Renogy inverters; a 2000W and a 3000W one. The smaller unit is in our Isuzu Dmax, and the larger one in our Hybrid Camper, and is used every day extensively for the induction cooktop, charging laptops and other random bits of 240V appliances.

Our 2000W Renogy Inverter failed after about 6 months, and they said the orientation contributed to the failure. It’s also possible that our DIY lithium battery was a contributing factor, but I’ll never know for sure.

Lithium battery install
We run a 3000W and 2000W Renogy Inverter

Renogy Bluetooth Module

We’ve got two of these. One plugs into our Rover 60 MPPT controller, and the other into our battery monitor and shunt. They both work just fine, and are handy to use through the Renogy app. We use them occasionally, but not that often anymore.

Renogy Bluetooth Module
The Renogy Bluetooth module

Newer Renogy testing

A little while ago Renogy approached us, asking if we were keen to test some products for them. We couldn’t take everything due to huge space and weight constrictions for our lap of Australia, but we’ve been testing the below gear for a couple of months now too:

Renogy 50A DCDC in IP67

This is their new DCDC, which can be mounted anywhere, and has integrated Bluetooth. We’ve set ours up as a portable unit, and run it on both our camper trailer and Dmax, depending on what we want to achieve.

Renogy 50A DCDC
We got our hands on a new Renogy 50A DCDC to test!

Renogy 400W Portable Solar Panel

I’ve always thought that putting a blanket out that only delivers 200W is a waste of time, and was never prepared to pay thousands of dollars for one that any dishonest person could just walk off, but the 400W panel from Renogy fits a magic niche.

We’ve used this extensively to top up our lithium batteries in either the camper or Dmax, and its gold, albeit a bit large.

Renogy 400W folding panel
The new 400W folding solar panel by Renogy

Renogy 200W folding solar panel

If you wanted something a bit smaller, Renogy also have a 200W folding solar panel that packs up really well, works great and is well made. This is the unit I’ll pull out if I’m feeling lazy, and it does a pretty good job.

Renogy 200W folding panel partly folded
The 200W folding panel by Renogy is great too

What else should you know about Renogy Gear?

Customer service

I’d be dishonest if I didn’t mention that my experience with Renogy customer service wasn’t as good as it should be. Renogy have no brick and mortar stores in Australia, and that means if you have a failure you need to deal with their online customer service, which albeit sufficient, is not nearly as good as dealing with someone on the phone.

Solar controller lithium settings

I also didn’t like the lithium battery settings on the Rover 60 MPPT unit, which are locked, and had to do some mucking around to make changes, but it is easy if you know how to go about it.

Overseas transaction fees

Some people are getting stung overseas transaction fees when purchasing online. If you are going to do this, use Paypal and you’ll avoid any of the fees (which are actually illegal).

Local suppliers

I should also mention that you can purchase Renogy gear through Off Grid, which are a reseller here, and have excellent customer support.

Wait for a sale

If you are getting it from Renogy, wait for a sale, as they have a huge number every year and you’ll save yourself a bucket load of cash.

Overall Renogy Review

After nearly 1.5 years of extensive use, I can quite easily say that I’m pleased with the Renogy range, and their respective performance.

The solar panels deliver what they are rated to, and asides from the 2000W Inverter failure, we’ve had no issues with the Renogy products. Renogy did replace this under good will, and everything else is functioning well.

To date, our Renogy Lithium Batteries have done more in the last 1.5 years than most recreational users would do in 5 – 10 years, and that means I can fairly confidently say they’re a good thing.

Renogy products are cheap, but in my opinion great value when you compare them to the quality of similar priced options.

I still believe that Victron gear is better quality, but you pay a LOT more for it too, and that’s not unexpected.

If you’re on the hunt for cheap, decent quality gear I’d quite happily recommend Renogy.

Do you run any Renogy gear? How has it performed for you?

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