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Old 10-28-2012, 09:34 AM   #1
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Solar Panel install questions

I've been perusing the threads in different forums here, but i am still confused. Our new AF 22H is apparently wired "solar panel ready." Does this mean that one can purchase a panel, plug it in, and have a slow charge on the batteries? Is this a worthwhile addition? Where do you find appropriate panels (Northwood Mfg?), and where are they usually mounted? Thanks for any info you can provide.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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I did all my own Solar Installation and I've never bought a coach pre-wired for solar but I would think is all they gave you is wiring from the roof to your battery compartment and that does help. I doubt they gave you a solar controller which you need to have. How many and where to mount is something you will have to determine yourself based on what your needs are (how you plan to camp using how much battery). here is one site thats really helpful, The RV Battery Charging Puzzle HandyBob's Blog and check out RVSOLARELECTRIC.com. I grew up playing in the So Cal deserts so Boondocking is all we ever did and still do , meaning learning to conserve and using battery power only. There are many many ways to go spend your money but the bottom line is figuring out what kind of camping to you like and tackle it from there.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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What the TdogKing says rules :0) Here in Washington State we use AM Solar for our supplies.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
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www.amsolar.com is another good source or information. They deal exclusively with Rv systems.
In most cases pre-wired is as TdogKing stated.
Panels are generally installed on the roof to get the most exposure to sunlite.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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I would think likely all that is provided is wires from the roof to the batteriey area and roof access. These wires are probably too small a gauge. However, they may be useful as a 'pull string' if not anchored down.
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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I realize that sun exposure is the big #1 for solar panel installation - and the RV rooftop is the #1 contender for that installation - BUT, that choice ALSO dictates the requirement that the RV then must be parked out where the most sunlight exposure is available...

That, then, also leaves the RV out in (usually!) the full force of maximum solar heating - and increased need of air conditioning - which THEN requires MORE power, which then...

In our case, we use portable solar panels on 20 foot or so cords, to allow the RV's to be parked in the shade - and the panels themselves to be occasionally moved for best sun exposure as the day wears on.

Works well for us!
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:39 PM   #7
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Here's a link to Wanderman's blog. He did a real nice install of solar panels on his rig. Good basic info.

His solar series is in six parts and was posted in September, 2011.

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:54 PM   #8
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Thanks, all. I appreciate your pointing me in the proper direction.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
In our case, we use portable solar panels on 20 foot or so cords, to allow the RV's to be parked in the shade - and the panels themselves to be occasionally moved for best sun exposure as the day wears on.

Works well for us!
I do the same thing and use 8ga landscape wire.
I was give two 48 watt panels and have them wired
in parallel for about 7 amps output.

8 Gauge Low Voltage Stranded Copper 2-Wire 100 ft.-0108FT at The Home Depot
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #10
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Be careful with manufacturers solar intallation pre-wires, check to see what guage wire they used. If it is not a 8 guage or larger, (the larger the better) then it will limit the effectiveness of your solar panels if used.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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My 5er was satellite ready. All they did was put sticker on the roof and one on the bedroom roof .
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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Generally if it is pre-wired there will be a coil of wire (one black/ one white) in the house battery compartment. Ours was 8 guage.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #13
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Correction; its 6 cuage.
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