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Old 10-14-2017, 10:44 AM   #1
AZ Traveler
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Solar Install

My rig is supposed to be pre-wired for solar. I have climbed on the roof and found the MC4 connectors. There is a template in the switch panel that says it is pre-wired for up to 30 amps and is the cutout for a GoPower controller. I have looked up near the batteries but do not see wiring that I can ID for solar but may be missing it. I have already installed 4 6 volt batteries.

I am considering installing a GoPower kit which includes 2 160 watt panels and a 2000 watt inverter/charger. We boondock about 25% of the time and have a pair of Honda 2000 watt generators that can be used for a/c or cloudy days.

Would be interested in hearing from anyone that has used the pre-wire setup or has installed one of the GoPower kits.
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:19 AM   #2
WaltBennett
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I used a different setup, but I think you may need a bit more than 320 watts. I've 400 and can recharge my four T-105s in a day with moderate sun from 75 - 80% (from a Triminic). Several will say I should have 500 watts or more, but most of the time we're boondocking we're not using anything during the day (maybe the Fantastic fan, but that's all).
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
Mel B.
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Originally Posted by WaltBennett View Post
I used a different setup, but I think you may need a bit more than 320 watts. I've 400 and can recharge my four T-105s in a day with moderate sun from 75 - 80% (from a Triminic). Several will say I should have 500 watts or more, but most of the time we're boondocking we're not using anything during the day (maybe the Fantastic fan, but that's all).
I agree I have 400 watts, 4 flooded 6v interstate golf cart battery's, 2000 watt inverter/charger. I could add 1 more 100 watt panel but like Walt I haven't had the need. However your main question was about using pre-wired RV, If your like me you want all the info you can get. I chose Renogy for all my solar products, no where near the top of the line but not the cheapest either. We couldn't be happier with our solar system. I still have a 3400 watt Champion inverter/generator with remote start for back up, and my old faithful yamaha 1000 watt as back up for the back up. My wife and I have boondocked for a month or more with our new solar system and we will never own an RV without a good solar system
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:32 PM   #4
AZ Traveler
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Thanks for the input. Just finished 6 days boon docking at 8600 feet with nights in the 20s. Held off on solar and inverter to make sure I was making the right decisions. Managed fine with my 2 Honda 2K gens. Often had to run both gens in the morning to handle the converter recharging batteries (after the heater ran a fair amount in the cold temps) plus either the coffee maker or micro wave. I think I need to go to a 3K watt inverter and will assess the solar more later. It is easy to add another panel and my pre-wire is advertised to handle up to 30 amps plus I will still have my gens available to augment.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:55 PM   #5
Mel B.
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
Thanks for the input. Just finished 6 days boon docking at 8600 feet with nights in the 20s. Held off on solar and inverter to make sure I was making the right decisions. Managed fine with my 2 Honda 2K gens. Often had to run both gens in the morning to handle the converter recharging batteries (after the heater ran a fair amount in the cold temps) plus either the coffee maker or micro wave. I think I need to go to a 3K watt inverter and will assess the solar more later. It is easy to add another panel and my pre-wire is advertised to handle up to 30 amps plus I will still have my gens available to augment.
Sounds like a plan, one critical thing when building a solar system is the wiring. So with all the horror stories we read about stupid mistakes that are made at the plant, I would be leary of trusting what you can't see behind the walls. Also are you sure you need a 3000 watt inverter? The bigger you go the higher the amp draw is at idle. Also your 2 biggest users are the microwave and the coffee pot and how often will you really need to run both at the same time?? Some people have a residentual fridge, I don't and I run mine on gas so It's not a big amp draw for me. Another thing about Renogy is they have an Ebay store as well as their regular store. Same items, bran new but you can put in bids. They don't move to far but I saved $150 by shopping on the ebay store. Good luck
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:49 PM   #6
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Mel,

Not planning to run microwave and coffee at the same time and if I am not running the gen the converter won't have a load early so 2000 watt may work fine. Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2017, 04:19 PM   #7
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Hi AZ Traveler. I'm getting ready to do the same thing. I'm shooting for 400w solar, bought a TriMetric monitor and a Morningstar Tristar 45 MPPT controller. I have a 2000w inverter from my last two 5ers that I'll probably install as well. I wanted to mention that I thought I'd have a starter solar installed and I'm not sure I'll keep it. It's the GoPower 160w model. The PWM controller/monitor is installed at the command console. From what I have been reading, this is inefficient and should be as close to my 4 x 6v AGM battery bank as possible. I'm not much of an electrician so I am going to find someone to take old system down and put what I want on it. I tried to trace the wiring and it pretty-much is two wire coming from solar panel to the command console and then to the battery bank.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:20 PM   #8
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Mike,

Thanks for the feedback. I have read the same about keeping the controller closer to the batteries.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:38 PM   #9
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Rookey, the trimetric and inverter are the first thing you need. Then you can see how many amps you are using then you can size your panels based on that. You want the inverter as close the the batteries and large cables like #0. You want the cables from the panels to the controller as short as possible at lease #4.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:47 AM   #10
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Thanks Mudchief. Appreciate your thoughts. That's a good idea. Just plan on using TV and my wife will need her laptop for work. I'll run the reefer on gas.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:43 AM   #11
skidrowe82
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Running Wires Behind Nose Cap

I'm installing solar panels on the roof, and considering running the wiring behind the nose cap . Has someone attempted that? Concerned there is too much batt insulation behind nose cap. Not willing to take it off, rather want to fish the wires through a drilled hole. 2015 Montana 3582RL. Not prewired for solar.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:50 AM   #12
H. John Kohl
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I would go through the roof following a vent pipe. I do not recommend trying to use the nose cap. Too hard to fish wires with home style insulation getting in the way and possibly opening non-insulated areas.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:44 AM   #13
Lenny K
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Agree with John in regards to bringing down your wiring in the wall that has a vent pipe that has the shortest run to the batteries. Place a combiner box on the roof to run your wires to from your solar panels and then run 2 or 4 gauge wire from the combiner box to your charge controller which you want to have located closest possible to your batteries.

There might be other options to bring down the wire but I'm not familiar with your model. Just take your time and look on your roof and the interior for the shortest run to your basement.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:57 PM   #14
scattershot
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Mine was installed professionally, and they ran the wires through the refrigerator vent on the roof. Nice neat installation, no fuss, no muss.
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:27 AM   #15
Mel B.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidrowe82 View Post
I'm installing solar panels on the roof, and considering running the wiring behind the nose cap . Has someone attempted that? Concerned there is too much batt insulation behind nose cap. Not willing to take it off, rather want to fish the wires through a drilled hole. 2015 Montana 3582RL. Not prewired for solar.
Here's mine, no problem
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20170518_150244616.jpg (123.7 KB, 9 views)
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Old 01-19-2018, 07:43 AM   #16
Mel B.
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
Mel,

Not planning to run microwave and coffee at the same time and if I am not running the gen the converter won't have a load early so 2000 watt may work fine. Thanks!
AZ,
Now that I learned how to post a picture (Thanks Carl&Susan) here's my set up in my basement. The battery boxes have the tops off in the picture. My boxes are vented on top and bottom. Solar has to be the best thing we have ever installed. But we Boondock more then anything else. Good luck and let us know what you go with. My equipment is all Renogy, certainly better stuff out there, but this didn't break the bank and it works great. Renogy customer service can NOT be beat.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20171104_142104.jpg (265.5 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 20171104_142107.jpg (251.7 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:36 PM   #17
routemaster
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Solar

Hi Guys.
We lost EOC so I joined you. We have a 2006 Everest 377J.
Here is what I installed on our E and works really well now for the passed 4 years.
Den.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Roof box wire down into coach.JPG (112.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Access panel.jpg (52.0 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Tristar controller.JPG (107.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Completed set up.JPG (113.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg DSCF2526.jpg (153.3 KB, 6 views)
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:32 PM   #18
browens62
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routing of solar wiring for 2018 3121RL ?

I have been looking for the solar wiring for our new Montana. It is prewired but can't find how the wires are routed. thank for any help,
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