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Old 03-23-2014, 01:13 PM   #1
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Solar

We have a 2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G and have been doing some up-grades lately. Being the retired, cheap, frugal, pennypincher that I am, (I have met some others) most of the work has been done with reasonable results. Our coach came with a 10 watt solar panel that was not working. I pulled it apart and by-passed the non functioning cells and it is now working to a limited degree. That being said, (I hate running the Genset), I would like to add several panels and remove the original.
Problems that I am aware of:
1 Limited battery space. (currently have 2-6 volt for house, 1-12-volt for chassis)
2 Running new wires.
3 Charge converter. (Size, location, wire routing etc.)
4 Then there is always the unknown which there must be many,

Question: Proper wire and how-to do it, routing ?
Has anyone with a similar coach done this on their own?
Is there information on the web that can be accessed?
Best (cheapest er, resonable) place to buy.
All input, positive or otherwise appreciated
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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AMSOLAR has a good education area on their website to include sample wiring diagrams.

Attached is a write up of how I did my system. Hope it helps.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VSheetz - Solar Setup for my RV v1.1.pdf (473.7 KB, 26 views)
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
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Here is the section of the forum that has LOADS of information on solar:
Going Green - iRV2 Forums
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:25 AM   #4
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Somewhere along my 81 years a guy told me there are no dumb questions, so here goes.
I have read that folks use external generators and a battery charger to help bring their coach batteries up to full charge. I've not heard or read about anyone plugging a charger to the coach and running the on-board genset. I own a Schumacher 100A charger in the garage.
Is this a no-no, normal practice or is my thinking out in left field somewhere?
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Most RVs already have a charger, usually called a converter. It will take 120 volt AC power produced by a shore connection or an onboard generator and "convert" it to 12 volt DC to charge the batteries. The shore power cord can also be plugged into an external generator, if no onboard one exists. Now whether or not the converter is up to the task of properly charging batteries is another matter.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:37 AM   #6
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A big thank you to vsheetz for the link. That helped a lot. I also want to thank PyrateSilly, and jackfish for their input.
I was hoping that someone out there had installed a system in a coach similar to mine. Some specific questions that come to mind are; details of how to get the larger wire from the roof to the charge controller, where to mount the charge controller etc.
Perhaps my questions are too broad for a direct answer. Thanks again, this is the best site I've been to.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:31 PM   #7
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Usually, 10 gauge UV resistant wire is used from the PV panels on the roof to a combiner box. The combiner box has a wire bus which accepts all the wires from the panels and accommodates heavy wire that proceeds to the controller. The wire from the combiner to the controller is sometimes fed into the refrigerator vent into the RV. Otherwise, the combiner box can be located above a space which will accommodate the path of the wire to the controller and a hole can be drilled underneath the combiner box, which is designed to be waterproof with enough DICOR sealant. The solar charge controller should be located as close to the batteries as possible.
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