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Old 04-02-2020, 01:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: NY
Posts: 22
Solar indecision

So I know solar is a pretty regular topic but we're all shut-ins so I figured I'd raise it again

We have a 2012 Sunset Trail M-29SS. I'd like to install 200-300W of solar on it for some 5-7 day dry-camping trips to support the furnace and light house loads. I've done the math and I'm pretty confident on my needs and system sizing. I plan to use flexible panels for the install.

Unless something better comes up, I'm going to go with the Eternabond tape method. It seems like a good fit for my goals and capability. I know my roof is not "walk on" so the install could be a little tricky - any tips y'all have on that would be appreciated.

What I'm undecided about is the wiring. I have plenty of experience with electrical in general, but very little with RV roofs and wire routing. If possible, a "no drill" option is obviously attractive, and it seems from past posts that a common option is to come down the fridge vent. That's on the opposite (starboard) side for my camper from my power panel, and I have an "insulated basement." I'm not thrilled about the idea of trying to drop the cover and do that routing. I don't have room to work on the camper at my house so this has to be managed at the storage facility. I don't really want to push their buttons making my parking area look like a construction site!

What I DO have, right under the storage drawers under said fridge, is some kind of sub-panel that appears to have a reasonably high-amp, always-on 12V feed because it's a fuse/relay subpanel for the slideout and stab. jacks. I'm wondering is whether it would make sense to put the power feed into here. That might also let me do some "easier" internal wiring from there up to near the switch panel by the front door to install a battery monitor...

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-02-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
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Remember, the flex stick on panels don't have the life span as the conventional panel.
They aren't able to dissipate the heat like a panel that's up off the roof.

I ran my wires from the solar panel over to an down a vent pipe that went thru a closet. They exit the pipe at the closet ceiling. Hole in the pipe was sealed with silicone. From there they go over on the ceiling and connect to the controller. Then down to the floor where I drilled a hole for them to exit out to the pass thru, and on over to the batteries, where they are fused and then hooked to the battery bank.

Don't chintz on wire. Make sure you run a heavy enough ga. Also with multiple batteries make double sure on the heavy ga for connecting. I used copper ends for connecting. Crimped and soldered.
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Old 04-03-2020, 08:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 344
I installed solar this spring, 4 (Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Compact Design) and a Renogy Rover MPPT 40A controller. Now for the wire I went with 6AWG (6 Gauge 6 AWG 50 Feet Black + 50 Feet Red Welding Battery Pure Copper Flexible Cable) all my connections are crimped and soldered including my MC4 connectors. then I ran my MC4 connectors to a center point on the roof into two {posative and negative) waterproof electrical boxs, then through a plastic conduit to the side of the trailer then ran the wires down the awning supports on the side of the trailer, came out the bottom and over 9 inches to my front cargo through and through storage, where I installed my controller, and a 3000W inverter. Plus added 3 new group31 batteries. Now I still need the snow to melt to run my last 10/3 cable through the belly from my DC inverter back to my transfer switch which is tied into my main power AC power fuse panel. The transfer switch is hidden in the same area just behind my fuse panel and is wired so the shore power is priority over the pure sine inverter. i know a few things are heavier than necessary but I can easily add to it with little to no trouble as I placed my equipment accordingly, I also added a cut off switch and a fuse from controller to the panels, plus a fuse to the battery. Plus added a fuse between the inverter and battery also. It was a fun project, and I wouldn't dare mention how much time a person can kill making up cables etc but I think I made 30 cables between batteries, panels, and inverter stuff. and if memory serves me it took a big couple weeks till I had everything snug as a bug and looking like it came from a factory. Wow I better not use that term, I fix factory stuff everytime I open or start a project, because we all know some of there work, lol...
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:05 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2019
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I'm just waiting on my system to be shipped. I went with Hanwha 300w panels and victron mppt. I ordered 2 but will eventually go 4. CDN dollar just sucks right now.
I'm dripping and mounting a drop box right beside the sewer stack. Should be a straight shot to a void behind wall in underbelly storage. Where I will install inverter and controller.
If enough room, batteries as well. Bunch of dead space back there.
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