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Old 03-22-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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Roof AC Solar Panels

Can any one tell me the reason my roof ac units have small solar panels on them. Mine appear to be damaged and I would like to know their use. I find the part numbers in my paper work but nowhere do I find the reason or purpose for them.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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It's ment to keep your house batteries topped up, while your MH is not in use.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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thanks for your reply.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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According to my owners manual, my coach came with solar panels, but i have none.. Anyone know where the wiring would be?? I might install one if I do not have to run the wire.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:53 AM   #5
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Per the spec sheet attached below, solar panels were not even an option. They were very small panels and did not work to well and if you do have wires built in to the coach they were very small and would only handl a 10 or 15 watt panel. I installed a 85 watt panel and used 10 GA wire per the manufactures instructions.

http://www.pacnats.com/Links/NRV%20B...Jan%202004.pdf
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:09 AM   #6
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The solar panels on my 2002 Tradewinds Founders Edition are only approx. 6-8 inches square. They seem to be made from a fiberglass material and have been damaged from tree limbs in the past. They are located on the front and rear roof ac unit covers. The wiring does appear to be fairly small and goes thru the roof at the ac unit base. My coach is still in winter storage and will come out soon. I will look and verify that the wiring does go to the house battries. The only place I am able to locate any information and pictures of the solar panels is in the ac spec. book.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:48 AM   #7
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Richard S. You are correct on the spec sheet. My spec sheet also has no mention of solar panel's. But my Owners Guide book mentions them as an option.. i also assumed that the LX had all options? just another time that i was wrong..
So anyway, did you run the wires through the roof AC?? Is the 85 watt taking care of the batteries?
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:06 AM   #8
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donhoward49,

I ran the wires down the refrigerator vent and used existing wire and gas line runs to get to the battery compartment. If I had to do it over I would go with 100 to 130 watts. The 85 watt keeps the batteries up ok but the price on solar panels has dropped so much in the last 5 years you can get much more for your buck now. The main key in the system is a good charge controller. Had this panel on a 01 Surfside new in 2001 and now I have it on my 07 Seabreeze and no problems.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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Thanks for the info..
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Richard S. View Post
donhoward49,

I ran the wires down the refrigerator vent and used existing wire and gas line runs to get to the battery compartment. If I had to do it over I would go with 100 to 130 watts. The 85 watt keeps the batteries up ok but the price on solar panels has dropped so much in the last 5 years you can get much more for your buck now. The main key in the system is a good charge controller. Had this panel on a 01 Surfside new in 2001 and now I have it on my 07 Seabreeze and no problems.
I also have a 1984 34 Mainship Trawler. Sorry Rv'ers it is a boat. I didn't want to use a generator. My boat is diesel and it didn't come with a generator . Diesel gensets are very pricey for a boat.. So I read about solar and yup build my own 150 watt panels.. They worked great for the boat.. I have two 12v deep cycle house batteries and it would keep my 12vdc refrig running 24x7 , my interor lights, and computer and radio as long as there was sun of course. And if there was very little sun i could use the interior lights.. I am going to grab them off the boat next week end and run some wires in the rv.. I don't know if they will be that road worthy. the solar cells break very easy. I don't know if they could tale bouncing around when stored... I will take a picture next week...
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Installed 2 panels in 08 total of 320 watts and wiring ran down ref. vent on roof and thru basement compartments to batteries. While I had it professional install, I watched and it's easy. Bought them from outfit in AZ that wrote book on Managing Your 12volt System. Get about 35 amps hrs per day input to keep 6 6-volt batteries charged. Hope this is helpful.
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